Study in Denmark – Why study in Denmark?

Students chose to study in Denmark thanks to its low study costs, high-quality English-taught degrees, and innovative teaching methods. Whilst the number of English courses for EU students are now limited, due to the high number of EU students wanting to study in Denmark, there are still many interesting Danish universities and courses to choose from.

Denmark is an affluent country with a liberal mindset, free healthcare, and a high standard of living. Unsurprisingly, Danes are said to be among the happiest people on the planet.

When you study in Denmark, you will develop a range of valuable, practical, and transferable skills. The Danish higher education system is built around group work, projects, lectures, and participative debates. Students studying in Denmark enjoy modern facilities and the close links with industry to gain valuable practical experience. 

In summary, students choose to study in Denmark for the collaborative educational system, modern facilities, low fees, and happy Danish people.  

Study in Denmark – choosing a university

If you decide to study in Denmark you have a choice of different types of higher education institutions where you can study for a degree:

  1. Universities – there are eight research-based universities in Denmark offering graduate and postgraduate qualifications. 
  2. University colleges – these offer professionally-oriented bachelor’s programs and diplomas, but not postgraduate courses. 
  3. Business academies – there are nine business academies where you can do a two-year program.
  4. Institutions that specialise in architecture, the arts, music, film, and fine arts where you can gain a degree in these fields.

If you are considering studying in Denmark, then contact Elab and benefit from Elab’s Europa program, which covers Europe’s best universities suited to you. The program enables participants to make good, informed choices. Despite Denmark reducing the number of universities and options available to foreign students to study in Denmark, Elab, through its network of partner universities, can help you find a suitable place.

Elab also offers premium support for applications to Copenhagen Business School, or Aarhus University. Call or drop us an email to arrange a meeting with an Elab Education consultant, face to face or online, to discuss the application process and what Denmark can offer to suit your best interests and future career plans.

Study in Denmark – popular university rankings

When choosing a university to study in Denmark, university rankings can be a useful guide. We have listed two sets below:

University in Denmark QS World Ranking, 2024 Times Higher Education Rankings 2024
University of Copenhagen 107 103
Technical University of Denmark 121 126
Aarhus University 143 109
University of Southern Denmark 326 251
Aalborg University 336 201
Copenhagen Business School  n/a 301
Roskilde University  n/a 601

Study in Denmark – choosing a course

Denmark has a two-level approach to undergraduate studies. You begin your studies in Denmark by taking an AP (Academy Profession) degree, which lasts for 2 to 2.5 years. You then have two options for finishing the course: you can take a Top-Up course, to gain a Bachelor’s degree or you can go straight into employment. The Top-Up Bachelor normally lasts from 18 months to two years.

In addition, institutions also offer a wide range of single bachelor’s degrees in certain fields. Gaining a bachelor’s degree from a Danish university normally takes between 3 and 3.5 years, while a Master’s course lasts from one to two years.

 For advice on which path to take when you study in Denmarkcontact Elab and we will talk you through your options and help with your university applications.

Study in Denmark in English

Danish universities teach a limited number of undergraduate courses in English, currently, around 70 in total, whereas if you study in Denmark at Master’s level you will be able to choose from a far wider selection (approximately 400) of  English-taught programs.

Undergraduate courses in English

The following institutions offer bachelor’s courses taught in English:

The most popular courses to study in Denmark in English at undergraduate level are in the fields of business and finance, IT, engineering, architecture, and social or environmental studies. Elab will help you choose the most suitable course and university based on our extensive experience with helping students apply to study in Denmark.

Most popular postgraduate courses 

There are well over 400 Master’s courses in Denmark that are taught in English, with the following being highly rated:

  • MBA
  • MA Design
  • MSc Biomedical Engineering
  • Executive MBA
  • Economics
  • Civil Engineering
  • Business Psychology
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Study in Denmark – the application process

Applying for an undergraduate course

To apply to study in Denmark at undergraduate level you will need to open an account on Denmark’s central application platform, Optagelse. This opens on 1 February and closes on 15 March.

Any applications to study in Denmark which fall outside these dates will not be considered by the Danish universities and you will have to wait a full year to submit your papers. You must upload all the required documents to the system, and then print off the Signature Page, which you sign, and send directly to the university.

To study in Denmark, you can apply to up to eight universities, and you do not need to pay a fee, since the service is free.

List your choices in order of preference. However, bear in mind that if you apply for a number of courses at one university, you will have to download, fill in and return a Signature Page for each course. These cannot be uploaded but must be emailed or posted. You will receive your offer, according to the order of preference you chose, by the end of July.

Documents for undergraduate courses

In order to apply to study in Denmark through the Danish application system, you will need to provide:

  • identity documents,
  • your certificates,
  • a chart of the hours you have studied specific subjects,
  • the English language examination passed and grade.

Do not overlook the study hours requirement since this is very important in the application process. Admissions boards want to see evidence that you have some school-based knowledge of the field you are asking to study.

Certain universities may also ask you to submit a Personal Statement, references, a CV, and a Verification Form.

Applying for a postgraduate course

Applications for a postgraduate place are processed by individual universities. Deadlines are commonly February-March. When it comes to language requirements to study in Denmark at postgraduate level, you are expected to have CI knowledge of English and can submit IELTS and TOEFL certificates.

Elab will help you choose a course, prepare application documents, and check your application to study in Denmark. Working with Elab offers peace of mind and the best chance of success.

Study in Denmark – Costs

When looking at the costs to study in Denmark, it is important to not just focus on tuition fees relative to other countries. Denmark was ranked the fifth most expensive country in the world (2020) to live.

Tuition fees

Fortunately, EU citizens do not pay tuition fees to study in Denmark for their Bachelor and Master’s degrees and can apply for government educational support (see Financial Support below). Tuition fees for non EU, or “international” students range from EUR 6,000 – 18,000 per annum.

You are also permitted to work while studying in Denmark, and this is useful for defraying some of your everyday living costs. Finding a job is to some degree dependent on where you decide to study in Denmark.

Altogether, this makes Denmark quite affordable for EU students.

The cost of living

When it comes to living costs to study in Denmark, you will need to budget around 1,400 euros a month for accommodation, food, etc.

Most students who study in Denmark buy bicycles in order to economise on travel costs, which are around 50-70 euros a month.

Copenhagen is naturally more expensive than other parts of the country, so you would be well advised to get an early application in for a place in a hall of residence. Private accommodation can cost you up to 900 euros a month, whereas halls charge a far lower 250 euros, or thereabouts.

Financial support 

As an EU student, you are entitled to apply for a social grant/SU. The SU, or the Danish State Educational Support scheme, is a social grant which is given to every student as long as they:

  • have a CPR number which confirms their right of abode,
  • are following a course of studies,
  • are working legally for a minimum of 43 hours a month,
  • have a Danish bank account.

Once you have started working, apply to the SU office at your university, where their consultants will guide you through the process. 

Study in Denmark – other useful information

If you decide to study in Denmark, here are some useful facts:

  • Denmark has an egalitarian philosophy, which is reflected in its education system. Lecturers are often addressed by their first names and are accessible to their students and supportive when it comes to dealing with academic and personal concerns. 
  • The Danish government offers foreign students free Danish lessons. It might be worth considering signing up for these since certain courses are hybrids, with teaching partly in Danish and partly in English – which would widen your choices considerably.
  • On arriving to study in Denmark you are entitled to stay for three months before you need to get a registration certificate. 
  • Your university acceptance letter will also include an important yellow card, which allows you access to Danish medical services. 

Study in Denmark – Elab’s Five Steps to Success process:

To maximise the chance of receiving an offer from a Danish university of your choice, Elab’s education consultants guide students through Elab’s carefully designed 5 Steps to Success process:

  • Introduction
  • Diagnostics
  • Personal Profile Map
  • Research
  • University Report
  • Final application choices
  • Application process plan
  • Mentor Program
  • Exam and Interview prep
  • Document completion
  • Application portal setup
  • Submission
  • Acceptance
  • Pre-departure procedures
  • Finances
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