Description of the eight EQF levels

Each of the 8 levels of the EQF is defined by a set of descriptors indicating the learning outcomes relevant to qualifications at that level in any qualifications system.

The learning outcomes are defined in terms of: 

Knowledge: in the context of EQF, knowledge is described as theoretical and/or factual.

Skills: In the context of EQF, skills are described as cognitive (involving the use of logical, intuitive and creative thinking) and practical (involving manual dexterity and the use of methods, materials, tools and instruments).

Responsibility and autonomy: In the context of the EQF responsibility and autonomy is described as the ability of the learner to apply knowledge and skills autonomously and with responsibility. 

    Compatibility with the Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area

    The Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area provides descriptors for three cycles agreed by the ministers responsible for higher education at their meeting in Bergen in May 2005 in the framework of the Bologna process. Each cycle descriptor offers a generic statement of typical expectations of achievements and abilities associated with qualifications that represent the end of that cycle.

    1.    The descriptor for the short cycle developed by the Joint Quality Initiative as part of the Bologna process, (within or linked to the first cycle), corresponds to the learning outcomes for EQF level 5.

    2.    The descriptor for the first cycle corresponds to the learning outcomes for EQF level 6. 

    3.    The descriptor for the second cycle corresponds to the learning outcomes for EQF level 7.

    4.    The descriptor for the third cycle corresponds to the learning outcomes for EQF level 8.