Table of Education Levels

Education Levels Definition provided Country definition and calculation method
Pre-primary education Content: Programme to introduce young children to organized instruction outside the family context. To develop socio-emotional skills necessary for participation in school and society. To develop some of the skills needed for academic readiness and prepare children for entry into primary education.

Age: The age range is from age 3 years old to the start of primary education.

Others: Includes programmes for children with special needs corresponding to the programme described above, irrespective of their ages.
Age range is from 4-6 years old to the start of primary education
Primary education Content: Programme is typically designed to provide students with fundamental skills in reading, writing and mathematics and to establish a solid foundation for learning and understand of core areas in preparation for secondary education. Can be referred to as primary education, elementary education, or basic education.

Age: The typical age of entry is usually not below 5 years old or above 7 years old. Primary education typically lasts until age 10-12.

Others: Includes programmes suited to individuals with special needs if the programme provides systematic teaching and learning in fundamental skills of reading, writing and mathematics, irrespective of the age of the participant. It also includes primary-level second chance or re-integration programmes, and formal and non-formal literacy programmes that are similar in complexity of content to programmes classified as primary education. Adults or youth older than the typical aged students are included at this level.
Called primary school. Typical entry age is 7 year and 6 being the most common, at the end of primary school is 12 years, most often 12 years old. Adults or youth older than the typical aged students are not included at this level.
Secondary education Content - builds on primary education and prepares students for first labour market entry as well as further education. Secondary education aims at learning at an intermediate level of complexity. Not Applicable
Lower Secondary education Content - typically designed to build on the learning outcomes from primary level. More subject-oriented curriculum and an introduction to theoretical concepts. Can be referred to as secondary school, junior secondary school, middle school or junior high school.

Age: Typical entry age is between 10 and 13, with 12 being the most common. At the end of lower secondary education, pupils are typically aged 14 to 16 years, most often 15 years old.

Others: Also suited to individuals with special needs that build on fundamental teaching and learning processes from primary level and/or to provide skills relevant to employment. It also includes lower secondary-level second chance or re-integration programmes. It also includes adult education programmes equivalent in complexity of content. Some education systems may already offer vocational education programmes to provide skills relevant to employment.
Called junior secondary school. Typical entry age is 13 year being the most common, at the end of junior secondary school is 15 years, most often 15 years old. No vocational education programmes in this level
Upper Secondary education Content - typically designed to complete secondary education in preparation for tertiary education or provide skills relevant to employment or both. Programmes are more varied, specialized and in-depth than lower secondary education.

Age - Typical entry age is between 14 and 16. Can be referred as secondary school (stage two/upper grades), senior secondary school or (senior) high school.

Others - Programmes can be either general or vocational programmes. Also includes programmes suited to individuals with special needs equivalent in complexity of content. This level also includes upper secondary-level second chance or re-integration programmes and adult education programmes equivalent in complexity of content.
Called junior secondary school. Typical entry age is 13 year being the most common, at the end of junior secondary school is 15 years, most often 15 years old. No vocational education programmes in this level
Technical education or Vocational education Content - Technical education or vocational training is designed mainly to provide learners with the practical skills, know-how and understanding necessary for direct entry into a particular occupation or trade. Successful completion normally leads to a labour market-relevant vocational qualification which is recognised by the national authorities. Same
Tertiary education Content - Tertiary education builds on secondary education, providing learning activities in specialized fields of education. Others - Tertiary education includes academic education and also advanced vocational or professional education. Requires the successful completion of lower levels of education and/or entrance examinations. Same
Diploma/ certificate Content - Programme that offers a diploma/certificate on completing a course of study, short-cycle tertiary education programme. The content is shorter and less theoretically-oriented.Programmes may be referred to (higher) technical education, community college education, technician or advanced/higher vocational training, associate decree, or bac+2. Duration - The general duration is two years. same, duration can be one, two, three, and four years.
Bachelor`s degree Content - Programmes are designed to provide students with intermediate academic and/or professional knowledge, skills and competencies, leading to a first degree or equivalent qualification. Programmes at this level are typically theoretically-based but may include practical components. They are traditionally offered by universities and equivalent tertiary educational institutions. same
Master`s degree Content - Programmes are designed to provide students with advanced academic and/or professional knowledge, skills and competences, leading to a second degree or equivalent qualification. Programmes may have a substantial research component but do not yet lead to the award of a doctoral qualification. Entry normally requires the completion of a Bachelor`s degree or a Master`s degree. same
Doctor/Ph.D. Content - Programmes are devoted to advanced study and original research and are typically offered only by research-oriented tertiary educational institutions such as universities. Doctoral programmes exist in both academic and professional fields. Usually concludes with the submission and defense of a thesis, dissertation or equivalent written work of publishable quality. Normally requires the successful completion of Master`s degree. Second advanced research qualifications or higher doctorates may also be classified at this level. Honorary doctorates on the basis of other considerations from research work are not covered at this level. same