Academic Year and Language of Instruction in Norway

Academic Year

An academic year is the length of time during which an educational institution holds classes. The academic year in Norway varies depending on the type of study you are taking on. Commencement dates and the number of semesters vary by level of study and institution.

Below is a general guide on the academic year for the different levels of study in Norway:


  • Duration - 13 years in total (Kindergarten/Preparatory, primary school, and secondary school )
  • Semesters – 2 terms
  • Starts – Runs from mid August to late June the following year.

Vocational Education and Training

  • Duration – Normally 3 years (in some four years)
  • Semesters – Divided into three levels- Vg1, Vg2, and Vg3. (in a few cases four years with a Vg4)
  • Starts - Varies by the course and institutions

Bachelor Degree

  • Duration - Typically 3 years (4 years for National University Colleges of the art)
  • Semesters – Six to eight semesters
  • Starts - Runs from mid-August to June

Postgraduate- Masters Degree

  • Duration - 1 to 2 years
  • Semesters – Two to six semesters, depending on the field.
  • Starts - Runs from mid-August to June

Doctoral Degree

  • Duration – 3 years of study following completion of a Masters degree or a professional degree/program
  • Semesters - Usually no formal semester
  • Starts – the start date can be negotiated with the supervisor

Language of Instruction

In Norway, the language of instruction is Norwegian and English. The Norwegian language is the foremost language of instruction at Norwegian institutions of higher education.
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