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PhD & research

Denmark ranks among the world's top-six countries with regard to R&D expenditure and provides ideal conditions for PhD studies

Danish universities and research institutions welcome international PhD students. The duration of a Danish PhD programme is usually three years. The components of the programme are:

  • Independent research under supervision
  • Courses for PhD students (approximately 30 ECTS credits)
  • Participation in research networks, including placements at other, primarily foreign, research institutions
  • Teaching or another form of knowledge dissemination, which is related to the PhD topic when possible.
  • The completion of a PhD thesis

PhD programmes and courses are offered at Danish universities, which all offer excellent research, library and laboratory facilities for researchers and PhD students in addition to joint partnerships with industry.

Janet Kelly from Scotland is doing her PhD in medical design in Denmark. Find out more about PhD studies in our video section


Search PhD courses in Denmark
See at list of vacant PhD positions in Denmark

Admission requirements

The general admission requirement for PhD programmes is that candidates should hold a degree equivalent or comparable to the Danish two-year Candidatus/Master’s degree. In some areas, a four-year PhD programme is offered to students who have completed a Bachelor’s degree as well as one year of study at postgraduate level.

Be aware that obtaining a PhD position in Denmark is highly competitive. For information about admission requirements and application procedures, contact the relevant university in Denmark or study the list of available PhD positions

Financing and scholarships

A range of funding options is available:

  • Studentships: PhD studentships are advertised by universities, research institutions, business enterprises and public and private foundations. Employment is usually for a period of three years.
  • Industrial PhD fellowships: These fellowships are offered through joint collaboration between a private enterprise and a university. The PhD programme will be conducted as a research project and the PhD student is to facilitate joint collaboration between the university and the private enterprise. The duration of these fellowships is usually three years. Further information is available at The Ministry of Higher Education and Science
  • Self-financed PhD programmes: As a self-financed student you will usually be charged a tuition fee, ranging from 10,000 to 16,000 Euros
  • International financial support: You may also be eligible for scholarships or other international financial support either from your home country or from international organisations such as the European Commission’s research programmes.
  • The Danish institution you enrol at may offer a scholarship programme. Please contact the institution of your interest for further information.
  • EU students are under certain circumstances eligible for a Madame Curie Scholarship or other kinds of EU funding. You will find further information at the European Researchers' Mobility Portal
  • Further information is offered at:

Industrial PhD application deadlines in 2017: 20 March, until 12.00 PM. Within this deadline you can apply for subsidy for Industrial PhD Fellowships in the private sector.
Read more about the Industrial PhD Programme

Visiting Students

PhD students enrolled at a university outside Denmark can apply for admission as a visiting PhD student at a Danish university or research institution. You should contact the institution of your interest for further information on possibilities and procedures. Many universities have special application forms.

Useful links

    Programmes taught in Danish

    This website provides information on programmes and courses taught in English at Danish higher education institutions. If you wish to enroll in a Danish-taught programme you will need to prove a satisfactory level of Danish language proficiency

    International schools in Denmark

    The Danish Ministry for Children and Education provides information on international primary and lower secondary schools and international upper secondary schools in Denmark. The latter offer the International Baccalaureate which gives access to higher education in Denmark and abroad