Study in Denmark

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With its non-existent tuition fees and hundreds of English based courses, get the lowdown on studying in Denmark including available funding and visas…

Located in northern Europe, Denmark has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, providing a safe and friendly environment in which to study. Universities here have a reputation of educational excellence in areas such as engineering, life sciences, social sciences and IT.

International students have the opportunity to learn the Danish language for free by asking at their universities international office, a second language will look great on future job applications.

While Denmark may not be the cheapest place to live on a student budget the Danes enjoy a good quality of life, with the country regularly voted the 'happiest in the world'.

To discover more of your new surroundings and integrate yourself into Danish society (a nation of cycle lovers), get on a bike and pedal your way around the bicycle-friendly streets of the capital city, Copenhagen.

The Danish education system

Danish institutions offer over 500 programmes taught in English in a wide variety of subjects so there are plenty of options for international students.

Higher education in Denmark is divided into four categories:

  • Universities offer Bachelors, Masters and PhD programmes across a range of academic areas.
  • University-level institutions of arts, design and architecture provide research-based Bachelors, Masters and PhD programmes in the disciplines of fine and performing arts, design and architecture.
  • University colleges offer more vocational Professional Bachelor programmes in areas such as engineering, nursing, business and teaching;
  • Academies of Professional Higher Education also offer Professional Bachelor programmes, as well as Academy Profession (AP) degrees, which last for between two and two-and-a-half years and combine theoretical and practical study.

Entry requirements

Different universities and courses will inevitably ask you to meet different criteria and this is the case in Denmark. Each institution manages its own admissions so entry requirements will vary from programme to programme. However, the minimum requirements for admission on postgraduate programmes are a good grade in a Bachelors degree and, because many courses are taught in the language, equivalent proof of proficiency in English. If the course is taught in Danish, proof of proficiency in that language is requested instead.

For Doctorate programmes, you will need an internationally recognised Masters degree.

Course fees

Citizens of the European Union (EU) are entitled to attend university in Denmark or any EU country (this means the 27 member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The same conditions apply to all EU citizens whether a national of the country or not. This means that you are not required to pay higher course fees and that you are entitled to apply for any grants available to help with tuition fees.

In Denmark, higher education is free for students from the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland, and for those who are participating in an exchange programme.

You are also exempt if you have a parent who is not from an EU/EEA country but works in Denmark, a permanent residence permit, or a temporary residence permit that can be upgraded.

Other students will have to pay tuition fees, which range from €6,000 - €16,000 depending on the university and course.

Funding to study in Denmark

Despite there being no tuition fees for EU/EEA students, grants and scholarships are still sometimes available to contribute to living costs. For more details, see the State Educational Grant and Loan Scheme (SU).

There are a number of things on offer for non-EU/EEA students too, including Danish government scholarships for highly qualified non-EU/EEA students.

For more information and a list of grants available to overseas students, visit Study in Denmark - Tuition Fees and Scholarships.

Danish exchanges and placements

Students attending UK universities can take part in the EU's education, training and youth support programme Erasmus+. The scheme replaces its predecessor 'Erasmus' and offers study, training, work experience and voluntary placements to millions of young people, students and adults. Opportunities last from three months to one academic year in EU countries.

Financial support is available through the Erasmus+ initiative to any UK public, private or not-for-profit organisation actively involved in education and training.

Your university must have a formal agreement with a partner university in Denmark. Check that your university is involved in the programme and offers the Erasmus+ scheme in your subject.

It isn't necessary to have any knowledge of the Danish language, but you can arrange intensive language courses before you go. Speak to the Erasmus+ coordinator at your university about available opportunities.

Student visas

As an EU citizen, you are permitted to live in any EU country while studying as long as you:

  • are studying for more than three months;
  • are enrolled at an approved university/other educational institution;
  • have sufficient income (from any source) to live without needing income support;
  • have comprehensive health insurance cover.

EU citizens staying in Denmark for longer than three months will require a registration certificate, which is obtained at the Statsforvaltningen - EU Residence. You will need your passport, two passport photographs and your letter of admission. The permits are simply used to prove your rights as an EU citizen.

Non-EU students face more stringent requirements. Certain nationalities will require a visa, as well as a residence permit.

To find out whether you need a visa, visit The Danish Immigration Service - Do I Need a Visa?

For more details about residence permits, see Study in Denmark - Residence Permits.