Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Cattolica International

Double Degrees: Expanding Horizons and Broadening Perspectives in Higher Education


Is one degree enough? 

Whether you are a university student or a higher education professional, you might find yourself asking this question while witnessing the rising recognition and rapid increase of International Double Degrees in universities all over the world.

But what’s the purpose of Double Degrees and who does it benefit? Simply stated, these questions can be answered with two key concepts: learning mobility and cooperation, and it turns out that this is not only crucial for higher education but embodies direct and tangible advantages for the students deciding to take part in that exciting journey.


WHAT are Double Degrees?

A Double Degree is an integrated curriculum organised between two partner universities. This means that students will have the opportunity to study in two different countries, gain a broader perspective on their field, and in the end having earned two separate degrees from two different higher education systems.


Why are Double Degrees important?



From a student's perspective, not only do they earn an additional degree, which is a merit in itself, but this degree can greatly enhance a graduate’s employability. This is particularly true for those who earn their Double Degree in different continents, such as in Europe and the United States, as it can open up job opportunities on both continents. With a degree in hand, individuals are better positioned to pursue careers in their desired fields and make valuable contributions to the workforce.

The benefits of earning a degree extend beyond just acquiring knowledge in a particular area of study since Double Degrees inherently offer opportunities to develop soft and transferable skills. Graduates often have a competitive edge over those without a degree, as employers tend to view them as more qualified and better prepared to handle the challenges of the job. This is especially true in today's globalised economy, where businesses operate across borders and require employees with diverse skills and backgrounds. Not to mention, it provides a unique opportunity to broaden the student's professional network with professionals and students from all over the world.


Collaboration within Higher Education

From a higher education perspective, collaboration amongst universities is key to creating a shared knowledge base, advancing research and to continue striving towards the goal of providing an academic offer with recognised quality. The European Union is currently highly involved in supporting and financing cross-border cooperation between higher education institutions, which is vital for the creation of a European Education Area by 2025, in which learning, studying and doing research would not be hampered by borders. An increasing number of academic institutions across the globe are acknowledging the significance of incorporating Double Degrees into their academic offer.


SINCE 2003

Università Cattolica has been offering Double Degree programmes since 2003 and is at the forefront of using these programmes to enhance the student experience, encompassing faculties such as Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, Arts and Philosophy, Banking, Finance and Insurance Sciences, Economics, Economics and Law, Education, Law, Linguistic Sciences and Foreign Literatures, Medicine and Surgery, Political and Social Sciences, Psychology.

Since the launch of these programmes at Università Cattolica, there has been a 90% increase in domestic students who decide to undertake a Double Degree at one of the partner institutions and another 80.4% increase in international students who chose Università Cattolica as the destination for their Double Degree.


Double degrees in Cattolica

A Double Degree programme at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore allows students to split their academic career between Università Cattolica and an international partner university, with a wide selection of destinations to choose from. This experience offers an extended study experience abroad, lasting one or two academic years, to obtain a recognised qualification in both Italy and the host country of study.

The extensive range of Double Degree programmes offered is in collaboration with more than 40 TOP INSTITUTIONS around the world, in countries like Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Australia, China, Colombia, Mexico and more. It is an opportunity to gain exposure to different cultures, languages, and academic systems: invaluable competencies in a globalised world, where cross-cultural communication skills and intercultural competence are essential. This puts Università Cattolica in a unique position to provide students with an exceptional academic journey and prepare them for a globalised world.


The map shows Cattolica's partner universities where students can participate to a Double degree programme (click on the image to zoom):

Double Degrees are becoming increasingly prevalent in higher education and for good reason. As they enhance learning mobility and cooperation, they set the tone for what is essential for a student’s future employability and the advancement of what higher education strives to be.

Looking back at the initial question, it is not about a single degree being insufficient, but what profound benefits a Double Degree has to offer.


Article featured on Worldbound, edition n.8-2023.