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Overview of Admission Requirements For Higher Education

Public Danish higher educational institutions are regulated through national legislation regarding degree structures as well as teacher qualifications and examinations. Programmes have received accreditation through national as well as independent accreditation agencies and the Accreditation Council.

Danish Higher Educational Institutions

Higher educational institutions in Denmark comprise the following:
  • Academies of Professional Higher Education/Erhvervsakademi: This is the professionally oriented first cycle degree programmes.
  • University Colleges/Professionshojskole: These also provide professionally oriented first cycle degree programmes.
  • Research Universities/Universitet: provide first , second and third cycle degree programmes in numerous academic disciplines.
  • University level institutions offer numerous first, second and third cycle degree programmes in subject fields such as architecture as well as design and music along with fine and performing arts.
Most of the higher educational institutions are regulated by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education types 1 to 4. The Ministry of Culture is responsible for the regulation of numerous higher educational institutions offering first, second as well as third cycle degree programmes in fine and performing arts.

Overview of Danish Higher Education System

Danish Degree Programmes

Bachelor's degree programmes in Danish higher educational institutions within the arts come up to 180 ECTS while diploma degrees add up to 60 ECTS. Bachelor's degree programmes come up to around 180 ECTS while Master's degree programmes within the Master's level add up to 120 to 180 ECTS. There are some Master's degree programmes which only add up to 60-90 ECTS. PhD programmes have around 180 ECTS.

ECTS Credits for the Programmes

ECTS credits are used by Danish higher education institutions for measurement of the student activities and 60 ECTS correspond to around one year of full-time study. Qualifications levels within the Danish higher educational institution have formed the basis for the Danish National Qualifications Framework for Higher Education. This is certified in accordance with the Bologna Framework as per principles adapted by the European Ministers of Higher Education. Danish higher education qualifications of certain levels are also considered compatible with the EQF (European Qualifications Framework).

Admission and Progression

General admission to higher education in Denmark necessitates students to have an Upper Secondary School Leaving Certificate or equivalent qualifications. Admission to some particular programmes is based on entrance examinations or submissions of a portfolio of certain artistic work. If short-cycle degree qualifies students for admission to first-cycle programmes, holders of Academy Profession degree may obtain a Professional Bachelor's degree within the same field of study via top-up programme. Completion of first-cycle degree qualifies students for admission to second-cycle programmes.

More about the Academy Profession Degree

The Academy Profession degree is obtained following 90-150 ECTS and includes period of work placement of at least 15 ECTS. The programmes are development-based and combine practical component as well as theoretical studies. Programmes are offered within a complete range of subjects including marketing management, computer science as well as chemical science. The Danish title is a field of study followed by an abbreviation AK and the English title is AP Graduate in a particular field of study.

More About Professional Bachelor's Degree

The Professional Bachelor's degree is awarded following attainment of around 180-240 ECTS and this includes a period of work placement of around 30 ECTS. This further includes applied programmes which are development based. The Danish title is referred to as Professionsbachelor i [field of study] and the English title is Bachelor of [field of study].

Danish Bachelor's Degree Programmes

The Bachelor's degree from the university is awarded following completion of 180 ECTS. The programmes are research-based and are offered in numerous scientific fields. Master's degree is awarded following completion of 120 ECTS and the programmes are research-based. They are offered in varied scientific fields. The Danish title is abbreviated to Cand. (Latin abbreviation of academic area) i (field of study). The English title is MA/MSc in field of study.  Master's degree within arts is awarded following the completion of 120-180 ECTS.

Admission Requirements for Undergraduate Studies for Foreign Students:

  • An entrance examination equivalent to a Danish Upper Secondary School Leaving Certificate
  • Proof of Proficiency in English (TOEFL, IELTS, or Cambridge ESOL examination)
A number of selected study programmes have additional requirements. This could comprise: 
  • Subjects passed on a specified level. Danish education use levels A, B, and C; where A being the highest of all
  • Subjects passed with a specified minimum grade
  • The diploma in total passed with a specified minimum GPA
  • Passed admission interview/test

Danish Master's Programmes

Danish title is abbreviated to Cand., while the English title is Master of Arts/Master of Music/Master of Fine Arts. Music academies offer a specialist degree of 2 to 4 years following the completion of the master's degree. PhD degree is awarded following completion of 180 ECTS. PhD programmes are offered by universities. Some university level institutions offer degrees in artistic and cultural fields. Detailed descriptions of degree levels can be found at the Danish Qualifications Framework.  

Admission Requirements for Postgraduate Studies for Foreign Applicants:
  • A globally recognised Bachelor’s degree of good standard
  • Proof of Proficiency in English (TOEFL, IELTS, or Cambridge ESOL examination)
  • If the selected programme is taught in Danish, then also a proof of proficiency in Danish language is also required

Adult/Continuing Education in Denmark

Adult or continuing education programmes also consist of two years of part-time study which equals one year of full-time study of around 60 ECTS credits. Particular master programmes require one and a half years of full-time study totaling to around 90 ECTS credits. Admission requirements comprise relevant educational qualifications and a minimum of two years of relevant work experience. The Further Adult Education gradation (videregaende voksenuddannelse) is awarded following education at short cycle levels and provides access to such continuing education programmes. The Diploma degree (diplomuddannelse) is provided after studies at first cycle level and they allow students to access master's level programmes. The Master degree (masteruddannelse) is awarded following education at second-cycle level.

Requirements to PhD Studies in Denmark

To get on a PhD, a student generally needs to have a Master’s/Candidatus degree or equivalent. In certain areas, a four-year PhD programme is offered to students who have done a Bachelor’s and a one year of study at PG level.

General Admission Requirements in Danish Higher Educational Institutions  

English Language Requirements

All higher education programmes in Denmark necessitate a high standard of English. Students to English-taught undergraduate and postgraduate programmes must, at least, bear out English proficiency equivalent to 'English B' in the Danish upper secondary school (gymnasium). Some programmes call for 'English A', which is one level advanced than 'English B'.
To prove an acceptable expertise in English, the language tests IELTS, TOEFL and Cambridge ESOL examinations (CAE) are used a lot. 

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