The Kingdom of Denmark is a small Nordic country located in the southern parts of Scandinavia. With a population of less than 6 million people spread across a peninsula and more than 400 islands, the Danish nation is a real-world example that size doesn’t matter. Just look at their economy! Or even better – their Lego collection!
In this article, however, we will focus on something the Danes are getting more and more popular in several respected world listings and rankings – higher education. So without further a due, let’s dive in into the homeland of the Vikings and find out more about studying in Denmark!
According to recent reports from the OECD (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), Denmark ranks 2nd in the world for amounts of investment spend in education and 1st in Scandinavia. And if this is not impressive enough, you should know that there are only 8 public universities nationwide - with 6 of them booking a place in the prestigious Top 300 of Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings.
Furthermore, you can choose from more than 400 Masters degree courses delivered entirely in English. However, if you are confident enough, you can also apply for a programme in Danish or even Dutch! Their most popular study fields in Denmark? You will love them – Business, Engineering, IT and Science & Mathematics, with lectures promoting creativity, innovation and problem-solving thinking.
From a practical point of view, Danish universities have strong industrial collaborations leading to internships, placements and full-time job opportunities for selected students. And if you would like to participate in projects in a team-based environment, you can benefit from academic relations with several research institutes, science parks and other universities from Europe.
We already mentioned that there are only 8 public universities in Denmark:
There are also several private higher education institutions in Denmark. These include:
Note: If you wish to apply for private education in Denmark, we recommend that you personally contact the university for detailed information regarding application, tuition fees and Masters degree programmes.
Are you ready for free masters in Denmark? YES! Danish higher education is completely free of charge for all students from the EU and EEA or Switzerland. Internationals, or participants from all other countries, are required to pay annual tuition fees ranging from €5,000 to €20,000. However, there are several ways of reducing or evading this payment.
For example, students participating in exchange programmes with Erasmus, Erasmus Mundus and Nordplus are also allowed to study for free in Denmark. In addition, you can apply for a scholarship from the Danish government available only to foreign nationals. Lastly, there is also the possibility of referring to the Danish State Education Support allowing a limited number of foreign students to gain equal status as all other residents of Denmark.
Some Danish universities also provide additional funding support via loan schemes. Make sure to find out more about programme-specific scholarships, grants and stipends if you are a student with specific academic achievements, talents or research.
There are strict state regulations assuring a high level of teacher qualification, examination and curriculum development. Some universities have also gained international accreditation for some of their Masters programmes.
You should have in mind that the ECTS is fully implemented at all Danish universities. Additionally, following the effects of the Bologna Process, each awarded Masters programme receives international recognition.
In general, the standard duration of a Masters in Denmark is 2 years. Converted into credits, you will most likely collect 120 ECTS awarding you with one of the following degrees:
Tip: Check out if you can consider any double degree opportunities at Danish universities with the helping hand of the Masters Search.
As a rule, each university is responsible for setting unique application requirements. However, we have prepared a list with a number of really common documents that you should have in mind upon admission:
Additionally, your Bachelors should be internationally-recognized and equivalent to the Masters you are applying for. As for your proof of your English language proficiency, we recommend that you focus on acquiring either IETLS with a score of at least 6.5 or TOEFL with points ranging from 550 to 583 for the paper-based and 79-93 for the online version.
Alternatively, making use of your CAE or CPE certificate upon admission is also possible with either a B or an A-level respectively. Still considering a Masters in Danish? Then make sure that you find out more about the following language tests:
Once you are done preparing your enrollment documents, you can finally proceed to apply for your chosen institutions. Fortunately, the majority of Danish universities offer an entirely online-based application system which saves a lot of time and paperwork for the students. However, specific deadlines still exist and are set by each university individually.
In most cases, students from the EU and EEA or Switzerland are allowed to apply until the 1st of March each year whereas internationals are more limited – until the 15th of January. Note that these dates are more general and mostly valid for Masters students beginning during the winter semester.
NB: We highly advise that you apply as soon as possible, especially if you are an international student awaiting Visa approval.
Think about this – Denmark ranked second in the World Happiness Report for 2017. Yes, you read that right! But how is it possible for such a small country and population to rank globally only second to Norway?
Easily - each annual report is conducted with the aid of surveys asking about people’s personal opinion about their country’s level of GDP, freedom, life expectancy, social support and other additional factors. And, you guessed it – the Danish population is more than happy with the performance of their economy and running political system!
But aside from being an example to the world, what else can the Danes offer? Well, for starters, a non-typical relaxed atmosphere with a lot of people from different cultures riding bikes almost everywhere. Or in other words, a recipe for the perfect student environment offering an easy way of life, cultural diversity and cheap way of transportation.
However, there is only one minor drawback – a high living standard resulting from the excellent economic activity in the country. But don’t worry, as we have prepared many examples of ways to avoid bothering about financial matters as a student.
Fun fact: As one of the key members of the EU, Denmark still continues to use a currency different from the euro – the Danish krone.
Generally, Danish universities do not offer on-campus housing. However, you can easily find a place to live at either a student dormitory or private rental.
Kollegier, or halls of residence, are usually located in communal environments with excellent access to public transport. By sharing a room with fellow students, you can expect a monthly cost ranging from €250 to €450 depending on the city and university.
In terms of private accommodation in Denmark, you can choose from a wide range of possibilities – a single room, an apartment or even a house. However, here you will be looking at much heavier prices starting from €400 and reaching the mind-blowing €700 for a monthly rent including utilities.
Whatever your choice, make sure that you find your comfort zone and see if you can find the perfect housing for you at least 2 or 3 months before the beginning of your studies.
When it comes to groceries, we can have a look at local prices and learn more about the costs of some general goods:
With a strict and healthy diet based on this price list, you can expect to spend no more than 1500 DKK, or €200 each month for food bought from local stores and supermarkets. This means that you can even save up some finances for a few nights out enjoying some traditional Danish cuisine!
And on that note, you simply have to try out Fiskefikadeller which is a fish burger with lemon juice, onion, parsley and remoulade – the favorite sauce of the Danes. And since the weather can be quite rough throughout most of the year, don’t miss out on hot and nutritional dishes such as Æbleflæsk, Mørbradbøffer and all kinds of soups.
Expecting to constantly leave thirsty and with lots of space for a desert? Impossible – just make sure to order Rababergrød and a bottle of Carlsberg!
Tip: Even if you can’t afford going out much, you should know that there are a lot of interesting sandwiches typical for Denmark’s cuisine. So once you are at the local store, you can just buy some bread, meat and a couple of sauces and try preparing a Smørrebrød, Pølser or Leverpostej!
Last but not least, it is important to organize and plan your means of transportation. But since you are in Denmark, it would be a shame to waste around 300 DKK for public transport each month.
Instead, you can simply save up around 500 DKK for a decent bicycle and ride around the whole region of your city. Note this – there are more than 350 km of cycling roads and lanes only in Copenhagen! Pedal-power!
Devoting your time for city exploration while getting to know a whole new culture is extremely important. For this reasons, we have prepared some sightings that you should definitely experience at first hand once you are in the region.
As a child, you most probably dreamed of living in a world built of Lego. In Denmark, however, there is no need for imagination – you just have to pay a visit to the world-famous Lego House in Billund! You can spend a whole day there and even enjoy some of the offered activities completely free of charge.
Filled with too many childhood memories? Then you should definitely take your whole energy to one of the most exciting amusement parks in Europe – Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. From roller coasters to amusing concerts and musicals, you will find everything on the checklist for the perfect fun day.
From a more cultural point of view, there is the Amalienborg Palace home to the royal family of Denmark in the capital city of Copenhagen. In addition, you might want to plan a trip to Helsingør where you can find the iconic Kronborg Castle – yes Shakespeareans, the setting of Hamlet!
Finally, after fully tasting the opportunity to become a Masters student in Denmark, it is time to learn more about your work opportunities and strengthening your finances.
If you are coming from the EU or EEA and Switzerland you can easily find a part-time job with a flexible schedule of 20 working hours per week. However, you will definitely have to improve your Danish – find out how this is possible entirely free of charge once you are employed.
As an international student, on the other hand, the only difference is that you will have to acquire a work permit. This requirement can be passed easily, as you can simply apply for one once you are preparing your documents for a residence permit (Visa).
You can ask for a job everywhere in Denmark – from the local pub to a nearby restaurant. Still, it is better to visit the Danish government website providing more than 1000 vacancies in English.