The Danish Higher Education System

Public higher education institutions in Denmark are regulated by national legislation concerning degree structures, teacher qualifications and examinations. All programmes are accredited by national, independent accreditation agencies and the Accreditation Council. All programmes at Zealand Institute of Business and Technology are accredited by the Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education.

Higher education institutions
Higher education is offered by four types of higher education institutions:

  1. Academies of Professional Higher Education (Erhvervsakademi) offering professionally oriented first cycle degree programmes.
  2. University Colleges (Professionshøjskole) offering professionally oriented first cycle degree programmes.
  3. Research universities (Universitet) offering first, second and third cycle degree programmes in all academic disciplines.
  4. University level institutions offering first, second and third cycle degree programmes in subject fields such as architecture, design, music and fine and performing arts.

Most of the higher education institutions are regulated by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education (types 1-4). The Ministry of Culture regulates a small number of higher education institutions offering first, second and third cycle degree programmes in fine and performing arts (type 4).

Degrees in the Danish Higher Education System:

Danishqualifications levels Ordinary higher educationdegrees Adult/Continuing higher educationdegrees Qualifications Framework for the European Higher Education Area – Bologna Framework European/NationalQualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning– EQF/NQF
AcademyProfession level Academy Profession degree(90-150 ECTS) Further Adult Education (VVU) degree (60 ECTS) Short cycle Level 5
Bachelor’s level Professional Bachelor’s degree (180-240 ECTS)* Diploma degree(60 ECTS) First cycle Level 6
Bachelor’s degree (within the arts) (180 ECTS)
Bachelor’s degree (180 ECTS)
Master’s level Master’s degree (within the arts) (120-180 ECTS) Master degree(60-90 ECTS) Second cycle Level 7
Master’s degree (120 ECTS)**
PhD level PhD degree (180 ECTS) Third cycle Level 8

* Can be obtained through a full regular bachelor’s programme (180-240 ECTS) or a top up bachelor’s programme following an Academy Profession degree.

** A few Master’s programmes are up to 180 ECTS.

Danish higher education institutions use ECTS credits for measuring study activities. 60 ECTS correspond to one year’s full-time study.

Qualifications framework
The qualification levels form the basis for the Danish National Qualifications Framework for Higher Education, which is certified in accordance with the overarching Bologna Framework according to the principles adopted by the European Ministers of Higher Education. Danish higher education qualifications at levels 5-8 of the Danish Qualifications Frame­work for Lifelong Learning (NQF) are also compatible with levels 5-8 of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

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