Danish Education System in Details

Studies in Denmark are oriented towards promoting diversity, critical thinking and problem-based learning with the aim of providing the student with a rich and diverse gamut of experiences. Higher education in Denmark is well structured and effectively formulated.

Pre-higher education in Denmark lasts from the age of 7 to 16. the type of school providing education include Folkeskole, Private grundskoler and Friskoler/state subsidized private schools.

At class 8 to 10 levels, there are Efterskoler (continuation schools).

The duration of the programme is around 9 years. The age level is from 7 to 16. Certificate/diploma awarded is Folkeskolens Afgangsprove/Leaving Examination after Class 9 or 10. Once can also go after Class 10 Folkeskolens 10 -klasse prove.

General secondary education in Denmark includes Gymnasium, Studenterkursus, HF-Kursus, Voksenuddannelsescenter/Adult Education Centres. The length of the program is around 3 years in duration. The age level is from 16 to 18 years. The certificate or diploma awarded include Studentereksamen following 3 years' study/Upper Secondary School Leaving Examination or Hojere Forberedelseksamen-HF/Higher Preparatory Examination following two years' study.

Technical Secondary School

This type of school is Erhvervsskole (Handelsskole/Teknisk Skole). The duration of the program is around 3 years. The age level is from 16 to 19 years. The certificate or diploma awarded is as follows:

  • Hojere Handelseksamen – HHX/Higher Commercial examination
  • Hojere Teknisk Eksamen – HTX/Higher Technical examination
Vocational education is provided through Erhvervsskole/Handelsskole, Teknisk Skole, Social-og sundhedsskole, Landbrugsskole or other specialized schools. The duration of the program is around 4 years. The age level is from 16 to 20 years old. The diploma or certificate awarded is Uddannelsesbevis/Svendebrev

Higher Education in Denmark

Higher education includes a university and a college sector. This is the professionally oriented higher education sector. Danish higher education programmes are made into binary divisions between research and professionally based courses.

The purpose of research based programmes is educating students to the biggest international level within and across various scientific disciplines. The purpose of professionally oriented programmes ensures education is based on practice at a global level to meet the need for qualified professionals in public as well as private sectors.

Danish higher education programmes are organised according to a binary division between research-based and professionally oriented programmes. The purpose of the research-based programmes is to educate students to the highest international level within and across the scientific disciplines, whereas the purpose of the professionally oriented programmes is to ensure education closely based on practice and at an international level to meet the need for well qualified professionals in the private and public sectors.

Universities in Denmark

Research based programmes are offered by around 8 universities to approximately 121,000 students. These courses are regulated by the Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Technology.

University Colleges and Academies of Professional Higher Education

Professionally oriented programmes have been studied by around 83,000 student and are offered by 8 University Colleges and 10 Academies of Professional Higher Education.  The knowledge base of such programmes can include business as well as profession based and development based. Programmes and institution are regulated by the Ministry of Education if they are professionally oriented mostly. Only a select few professionally oriented programmes are offered in institutions under the auspices of other ministries such as Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Justice along with some universities.

Higher Education Institutions regulated by the Ministry of Culture

The Danish Ministry of Culture also regulates a smaller group of educational programmes and encompasses education programs in the arts. Education is provided for around 5,000 students at 15 institutions. 

Adult Education System in Denmark

It should also be noted that special programmes and degrees have also developed for further education of adults. This system of further education runs parallel is given great importance in the Danish system with a long standing tradition of learning for adults.

Qualification levels corresponding to those in ordinary higher education are provided through adult education programmes. However, these programmes are distinct in their content and delivery.  These programmes are designed to utilize professional as well as general experience and combine education with a constant working career.

Adult further education programmes are offered by Academies of Professional Higher Education, University Colleges and Universities.

Degrees offered by Danish Higher Educational Institutions

Danish Higher Education System is organized into 4-qualification levels with ordinary or adult further education degree types at each level:

Academy Profession level

The Academy Profession Degree is development based, part-time and full time.

Bachelor's level

This includes research-based Bachelor's Degree and is a full time program. The Professional Bachelor's Degree is development-based and is a full-time course. The Bachelor's Degree in Arts and Fine Arts is research and artistic based full-time. The Diploma degree is development based and part-time.

Master's level

The Master's Degree is known as Candidatus. It is research oriented and full time. The Master's Degree in Arts and Fine Arts is Candidatus and it is research and artistic based. There are full as well as part time options for the latter.

At the PhD level, there are doctoral degrees for students.
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