The Diploma Supplement is an official document accompanying the diploma of higher education. Both documents are to be issued by the Norwegian higher education institutions to all their graduates. The DS gives a supplementary description of the obtained qualification.
The Diploma Supplement (DS) is useful when applying for jobs or recognition of qualifications, as well as in connection with further studies abroad. Please note that the DS is only a supplement to the diploma, concerning one specific degree obtained by one individual graduate, which is valid only together with the specific diploma.
What information is in the DS?
The Norwegian DS follows the international standardised model, which is divided into eight sections. The Norwegian common template for the diploma and Diploma Supplement was developed by a working Group under the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (UHR). The Transcript of Records has been incorporated in the Diploma Supplement’s template under Section 4.
The eight sections of the Diploma Supplement contain information on:
- the holder of the qualification
- the qualification
- length and level of the qualification – placement within the national qualifications framework, and access requirements
- the study program and obtained results, the student’s learning outcomes, description of the grading system
- information on the function of the qualification, further studies and professional status
- additional information on mobility period and other matters
- signature and certification of the DS
- information on the national system for higher education. Section 8 of the Norwegian DS is a fixed text developed by NOKUT, which is updated regularly.
Below you will find links to the current text of Section 8 with a diagram of the Norwegian educational system. The document was last updated in April 2021.
Norwegian higher education qualifications make up the levels from 6 to 8 of the Norwegian Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning (NQF) from 2011, which is the national overarching qualifications framework. NQF was referenced to the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning (EQF) in 2014.
Diploma Supplement internationally and in Norway
In 1998, a common DS-template was developed under the auspices of the European Commission, the Council of Europe and UNESCO/CEPES. The Lisbon Convention is UNESCO and the Council of Europe’s convention on recognition of qualifications regarding higher education. Article IX.3 of the Lisbon Convention is dedicated to the Diploma Supplement.
A new (renovated) template for the Diploma Supplement was adopted at the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) Ministerial Conference in 2018.
Every student graduating in a country participating in the Bologna process should since 2005 receive the Diploma Supplement automatically and free of charge.
Norway established by law automatic issuance of the Diploma Supplement to all graduates in 2002 (The Act relating to Universities and University Colleges § 3-11 (1)).
Credit system og grading (appears in DS)
All Norwegian higher education institutions use a system of credits (studiepoeng) for measuring study activities considered equivalent to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). 60 ECTS credits (studiepoeng) are allocated to the workload of a full year of academic study, equivalent to 1500–1800 hours of study.
The Norwegian grading system applies for all higher education and consists of two grading scales: one scale with the grades Pass or Fail and one graded scale from A to E for Pass and F for Fail. The graded scale has the following qualitative descriptions: A – Excellent; B – Very good; C – Good; D – Satisfactory; E – Sufficient; F – Fail.