Analytic Quality Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-21, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 18 June, 2021 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2021.


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core definition

Bachelor-master’s is the shorthand for a two-cycle system of higher education introduced across the European Higher Education Area as part of the Bologna process.

explanatory context

A Bologna Process (undated) website states that Ministers [in Europe] "asked for the development of an overarching framework of qualifications for the European Higher Education Area. Within such frameworks, degrees should have different defined outcomes. First and second cycle degrees should have different orientations and various profiles in order to accommodate a diversity of individual, academic and labour market needs".

analytical review

World Education News (2012) defines:

Two-Cycle System (two-tiered system): The Bologna Declaration calls for the adoption of a degree structure comprised of two clearly defined cycles: undergraduate (bachelors) and graduate (masters and doctorate).


AEC (2004) defines it thus:

2-Cycle system: The Bologna Declaration calls for the organisation of higher education throughout Europe into two phases or cycles – undergraduate and postgraduate/graduate (these terms are used interchangeably). In a number of European countries, one-cycle studies are still quite common in higher arts education. The total length of studies also varies. In many countries, the qualification of the first cycle is called ‘Bachelors Degree’ and that of the second cycle, ‘Masters Degree’.

associated issues

related areas

See also

bachelor degree

master degree


Association europeenne des conservatoires [Academies de musique et musikhochschulen] (AEC), 2004, Glossary of terms used in relation to the Bologna Declaration, accessed September 2004. Not available at this address 31 January 2011.

Bologna Process (undated), Bologna Process available at, accessed 20 September 2012, website still available 20 June 2019.

Word Education News and Reviews (WEN), 2012, Bologna Terms and Definitions, World Education Services, Bowling Green Station, New York, NY 10274-5087, USA, accessed 20 September 2012, still available 31 December 2016, not available 20 June 2019.

copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2021

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