Academy of Technologies and Business

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:

  • Academies of Professional Higher Education (Erhvervsakademi) offering professionally oriented first cycle degree programmes.
  • University Colleges (Professionshøjskole) offering professionally oriented first cycle degree programmes.
  • Research universities (Universitet) offering first, second and third cycle degree programmes in all academic disciplines.
  • 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

Danish qualifications levelsOrdinary higher education degreesAdult/Continuing higher education degreesQualifications Framework for the European Higher Education Area – Bologna FrameworkEuropean/National Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning – EQF/NQF
Academy Profession levelAcademy Profession degree
(90-150 ECTS)
Further Adult Education (VVU) degree
(60 ECTS)
Short cycleLevel 5
Bachelor’s levelProfessional Bachelor’s degree
(180-240 ECTS)*
Diploma degree
(60 ECTS)
First cycleLevel 6
Bachelor’s degree
(within the arts)
(180 ECTS)
Bachelor’s degree
(180 ECTS)
Master’s levelMaster’s degree
(within the arts)
(120-180 ECTS)
Master degree
(60-90 ECTS)
Second cycleLevel 7
Master’s degree
(120 ECTS)**
PhD levelPhD degree
(180 ECTS)
 Third cycleLevel 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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