University of Utrecht

University of Utrecht – study in English!

Utrecht university is an extremely popular, public, research-intensive institution, located in what BBC Travel found to be the 4th happiest place in the world!

The highest ranked university in the Netherlands, Utrecht university is ranked 13th in Europe and 107th globally (QS, 2024). The city itself is half the size of Amsterdam and, according to its alumni and current students, has an intimate small town atmosphere, with all the facilities you expect to find in a large city – museums, restaurants, galleries, bars and a lively leisure scene.

Utrecht is an exceptionally attractive place to study and live, with its 17th century city centre and tree-lined canals, and the world-famous bell tower, the Domtoren, standing opposite the Gothic Cathedral of St Martin, looking down benevolently at the hundreds of students rushing to their lectures, as it has for hundreds of years.

The university teaches around 38,00 students  across seven faculties, has produced 12 Nobel laureates and is well-known for its high quality research output. It is also singled out for its excellent teaching  and student-focussed academic life. The ratio of staff to students is a high 1:4, and this enables the university  to encourage active learning through small group work, as well as independent and supervised study.

University of Utrecht-What courses are taught in English?

The following courses are taught in English:

  • Celtic language and culture
  • College of pharmacy studies
  • Economics and business economics
  • English language and culture
  • Global sustainable science
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Literary studies
  • Media and Culture
  • Politics, philosophy, economics
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences

In addition to these bachelor’s programs, there are 80 Master’s courses taught in English at Utrecht University. For further, up to date details, contact Elab and we will provide you with information on what subjects are currently available at postgraduate level.

Is Utrecht a campus university?

The departments located in the city centre include Humanities and Law and Government, while the rest are situated slightly further out in the Science Park.

What is University College Utrecht?

A recent addition to Utrecht University – since it was  established in 1998 – UC only teaches bachelor’s courses and is a small, selective and highly prestigious part of the university.

There are around 750 students here, all studying Liberal Arts and Sciences, taught in English. As the first university college created in the Netherlands, UCU is a campus institution, whose students live in halls. It follows an American approach to education and runs three-year bachelors honours programs.

Students can design their own curriculum and take a double degree, and it is perfectly possible to take majors in different disciplines, something which the university encourages by insisting that students who are working towards a BSc also learn a foreign language.

Employers are keen to hire individuals who have graduated from here, and as  a result, entry is highly competitive. Students can go on exchanges to UC Berkeley and Yale – which gives you an indication of the level of education on offer at UCU. In 2024, tuition fees are 5251 euros, which is above average for the Netherlands.

What is the cost of living?

It has been estimated that students in Utrecht need approximately 1000 euros a month to cover their rent, bills, mobile phone, food, leisure activities and sundries. Groceries, for example, will come in at 120-180 euros a month, depending on where you shop, how often you eat out and the type of food you prefer.

As is the case virtually everywhere in Europe, your accommodation will account for more than 50 per cent of your costs.

In Utrecht, you can find somewhere to rent for 450-800 euros a month, since housing is cheaper here than in Amsterdam. However, you would be well-advised not to leave finding accommodation to the very last minute, since it is not a simple matter to find a shared house, flat or a room in any university city once its students have come back from their holidays.

The University of Utrecht and transport

Utrecht is incredibly bicycle-friendly and one of your first purchases should be a second-hand bike, particularly if you want to save your money for more exciting things than bus fares.

The closest airport is Amsterdam Schipol, 27 miles away, where you can catch a train to Utrecht and be home in 30 minutes. There are 88 trains every day linking Amsterdam to Utrecht. As a transport hub, Utrecht has direct road and rail links to Paris, Berlin and London – and beyond.

What are the entry requirements?

You should aim to score 34 and more in the IB.

You will need to prove your English language proficiency and the average scores expected from applicants are 6.5 in IELTS and 93 in TOEFL, 176 in the CAE and 180 in the CPE.

How do I apply?

Prepare your documents. In general, you will need to provide:

  • a scanned copy of your passport
  • a letter of motivation (Personal Statement)
  • translated transcripts of your secondary school reports/qualifications
  • transcripts of your academic record

You may also need to sit an entrance exam, write a thematic essay as part of the application process, upload recommendations or sit a profile test – this depends on the course you are applying to study. Contact Elab for help and further information.

Deadlines for submitting your application also vary, according to whether you wish to study a limited enrollment or selective program. Elab can provide you with the dates relevant to your intended course of study.

You must apply through the Studielink online central application system and pay 100 euros.

What are the tuition fees?

Tuition fees are very reasonable in the Netherlands, and at the time of writing, bachelor’s programs range from 2168-4500 euros. If this is your first degree you will be entitled to a discount in the first year. Contact Elab and we will give you precise, personalised information on tuition costs for the program you wish to study.

Every student at the Utrecht University will pay a small fee to join the students’ union.

What is the style of teaching?

Utrecht receives extremely positive feedback, in terms of the quality of its teaching staff and the way in which courses are run. Small groups, presentations,  discussions, debates and continuous support from tutors and lecturers have made it a student-centred, supportive university.

What are the main areas of research?

Utrecht university has four major research themes:

  • The dynamics of youth
  • Institutions for open societies
  • Life sciences
  • Pathways to sustainability.

As a renowned and acclaimed research university, Utrecht has many international partners and works across disciplines and borders to tackle today’s most pressing issues and challenges.

What is the next step for applying to the University of Utrecht?

Elab has been helping students to apply to the Netherlands for many years now. We have strong links with many Dutch universities and experienced consultants, who will help you put together an outstanding application, and provide you with the guidance and information you need. Contact us, by email or by phone, and let us work together on your application to Utrecht University.

Study in the Netherlands!

Leave your details and an Elab Education Consultant will contact you within 48 hours to turn your academic aspirations into reality.