National Higher Education System

There are three types of higher education institutions in Denmark – each with a different profile but all offering high quality education. This gives you a great variety of study options – not least because the different institutions co-operate in various areas and there are different credit transfer opportunities. So there are plenty of opportunities regardless of whether you are interested in a research-oriented programme or one which is more employment- oriented and applied.

Universities: Danish universities are based on the continental European tradition of integrating education and research and offer higher education programmes from undergraduate to PhD level.

University Colleges (Professionshøjskoler): the university colleges combine theoretical study with practical application in a range of subject areas. Work placements are always included in the programmes, which prepare you to enter specific roles in employment. The University Colleges offer AP Degrees* [similar to Foundation degrees] as well as Bachelor’s degrees. (Note, these are very different from the 'University Colleges' in the Netherlands.)

Academies of Professional Higher Education (Erhvervsakademier)These are vocational institutes which largely offer 2-year AP Degrees* [similar to Foundation degrees] though some offer Bachelor’s degrees.

Entry for the most popular programmes is increasingly including a selection procedure based on GPA (Grade Point Average).

*AP degrees often constitute the first two years of some 3.5 year bachelor programmes in University Colleges. Students in the UK and Ireland, with qualifications equivalent to AP degrees [eg BTEC HND or FETAC Level 6] can apply to enter the 1.5 year top up bachelor programmes.


There are no tuition fees for EU students

Grants & Loans

Every Danish student enrolled in a higher education course is entitled to a number of monthly grants corresponding to the prescribed duration of the chosen study. Danish state educational support (SU) is generally only awarded to Danish citizens.

If you are an EU citizen, you may, however, apply for equal status in so far as the state educational support is concerned and thus be awarded state educational support for a study programme like Danish citizens. Recently, the European Court of Justice ruled that all EU students are entitled to avail of Danish Student Grants [which can be up to Eur 750 per month]. The Danish government has accepted this ruling. To be eligible for these grants, students need to get a pert-time job

Application Process

Application is through the on-line Optagelse system, which opens for applications on 01 February.The deadline for receiving your application form for programmes starting in August or September is usually 15th March (Note: Deadline is 12,00 CET 11.00 Irish). Increasing numbers of universities are unwilling to accept results from Irish/UK students as late as mid-August, which means school-leavers from Ireland/UK, wanting study in these institutons need to take a gap year.

[Note: a few institutions have additional intakes in January or February and for those start dates, the deadline is 1st September].

It should be noted that Danish institutions have a second round of applications, on 30th July, for vacant places. EUNiCAS provides an invaluable service in keeping registered students up-to-date with these opportunities.