Higher education

Universities in Denmark

Higher education

Danish universities are generally very well suited to international students and researchers. They offer a wide range of courses, as well as the opportunity to study in English.

There are three different types of higher education institution in Denmark, all of which offer a high standard of teaching.

Universities in Denmark

Danish universities, like many in Europe, combine education with research so that students are able to study at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Courses available vary from traditional academic subjects to more modern, innovative interdisciplinary courses. Universities are usually located in and around the larger cities in Denmark and often have strong links to businesses, industry and other research institutions. Bachelor programmes usually last for three years, while Master’s and PhD programmes last for 2 and 3 years respectively.

Academies of professional higher education (Erhvervsakademier)

These institutions offer courses that combine academic study with practice. Typical fields of study include business, IT, technology, food and tourism. Such academies are located in both large and small cities and have excellent links with local businesses and industry. Courses are generally two years in duration, with part-time courses open to adults and those in continuing education also available.

University colleges (Professionshøjskoler)

University colleges in Denmark combine theoretical study with practice in a wide range of subjects. Courses are generally offered in fields such as business, education, IT, nursing and social work. Students are prepared for entering the real world of work in their chosen profession by being sent out on work placements as part of their course. The duration of courses is usually around four years, though there can be some slight variation. Students are working towards achieving a professional bachelor’s degree, while there is also the opportunity for students to undertake postgraduate study on a part-time basis.

Tuition fees in Denmark

If you are an international student coming to study in Denmark and you want to find information regarding admission requirements and how to apply, you should consult the university in Denmark that you are applying to, as procedures often vary between different universities. There may also be differences in what you have to do according to which course you intend on taking.

For EU/EEA students and students participating in an exchange programme, higher education in Denmark is generally free of charge. However, all other students will have to pay tuition fees, and you should contact the Danish university to find out how much they charge.


You are able to apply for enrolment onto an undergraduate course at a Danish university as long as you hold a qualification equal to the level required in Denmark. You should check with the Danish institution you wish to study at in order to find out what their entry requirements are.

In any case, you will need to have a high level of English and, for courses taught in Danish, you will also need to take the Study test of Danish as a Foreign Language (Studieprøven i dansk som andetsprog) or The Danish Test 2 (Danskprøve 2). In some cases, you may also have to have passed The Danish Test 3 (Danskprøve 3). For courses in a specific field, you may need to prove that you have sufficient experience, either from previous study or practical work experience.

For Master’s degrees the general admission requirements are an internationally recognised Bachelor’s degree as well as proficiency in English (or Danish if the course is taught in Danish).

Each higher education institution in Denmark has their own admission requirements, so you should consult the appropriate institution for more information, including details regarding qualifications, entry tests and credit transfer. To have your foreign qualifications recognised in order to apply to study at a Danish university, you should visit the Cirius website .

Application deadlines at Danish universities

The deadline for admission to undergraduate degree programmes is usually in March. Some universities also offer courses starting in January or February. In this case the deadline for application is usually in September. You should contact the Danish university in order to obtain an application form. Deadlines for postgraduate applications vary between each institution, so you should contact the university where you wish to study as soon as possible.

If you are coming to study in Denmark as an exchange student, your home university should provide all the relevant information for you with regards to application and deadlines. If you are unable to study in Denmark as part of an exchange programme, you should get in touch with the university in Denmark you are interested in, and ask for information about coming to study as a visiting student or a ‘free-mover’.

Further reading

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