I graduated from DRCongo, and here we still use the old Belgian system.

I did the Polytechnic, and my diploma is called license en Polytechnique Option Genie Electrique et Informatique.

Basically, we spend one year in pre-polytechnic class, the 3 years of grade and by the end we get a diploma de grade for the first cycle and then we spend another 2 years to get the so-called diploma de Licence en Polytechnic. Basically here we spend 6 years at Uni to get that diploma.

Now that I am applying for UK universities I don't know how my degree translates in the UK educational system.

Should I call it a Master degree or a 2nd Cycle Bachelor Degree?

  • 1
    I they don't call it a masters it would probably be a mistake for you to do so. If you can describe it accurately, as you do here, or even just give the official names of things, then a UK university can probably figure it out. Maybe Belgium has published equivalencies.
    – Buffy
    Apr 8, 2021 at 21:50
  • 2
    The good news: several UK institutions have equivalence tables on their websites that include DRC qualifications. The bad news: they mostly consider a DRC Licence equivalent only to a foundation degree. Apr 9, 2021 at 8:40
  • I couldn't see DRC in the country list in most of the UK universities. I only saw most English-speaking countries only.. Apr 9, 2021 at 10:27
  • 1
    Try here, here, or here... Apr 9, 2021 at 11:13
  • 2
    you can make this as an answer I think. Apr 9, 2021 at 13:11

3 Answers 3


As a general rule, particularly for the parts of your application that will be read by an academic and not a computer or a bureaucrat, you should not translate official terms. Simply say that your degree is a Licence en Polytechnique - academics are used to working with people from different educational systems and have ways of figuring out what that means.

If there is a form for some office you have to fill out and they don't allow you this option, you should inquire if you can and have the patience for it. As an academic, I always hope in vain that the graduate admissions office will finally understand that foreign academic systems don't fit into the boxes they're used to seeing from domestic applicants and leave translation up to us. In part this is because, if I really needed to know, I probably know someone who knows someone who can explain to me the system in your country (and whether a GPA of 8.2/10 is really brilliant or rather mediocre), while the graduate admissions office doesn't.


It's not a Masters and not a 2nd Cycle Bachelor degree, so you can't call it that. In places where you have free-form text, you can probably say that it's "comparable" or "equivalent to a Masters or 2nd Cycle Bachelor degree", but you should state the name of the degree you actually have first. If you encounter drop-down boxes in application forms that don't have your degree and no "other" category either, then you could probably pick the closest choice you have available.


Independent of whether or not it's a good idea to translate names of qualifications in general, I note that several UK institutions (e.g. here, here, and here) have equivalence tables on their websites that include DRC qualifications, and they don't consider a DRC Licence equivalent to a UK Master's or second-cycle Bachelor's.

The general view of DRC <-> UK equivalences seems to be:

  • Diplôme Universitaire d'Études (Scientifiques|Littéraires) <-> A-levels;
  • Licence <-> Foundation Degree;
  • Maîtrise <-> Bachelor's Degree (with or without honours depending on score obtained in the Maîtrise);
  • Diplôme d'Études Supérieures <-> Bachelor's Degree (with or without honours depending on score obtained in the Diplôme d'Études Supérieures).

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