Studying a Masters in the Czech Republic means an opportunity to learn at universities that have supported and conducted historic research, but also offer modern, forward-thinking Masters programmes.
On this page you can read all about postgraduate study as an international student at Czech universities. We've included advice on course structure, fees, funding and visa requirements.
With 600 years of higher education history and some of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Central Europe, the Czech Republic (also referred to as Czechia) is an excellent place to study a Masters degree. Famous faculty and alumni at Czech universities include some of the most important and influential artists and thinkers in European history – from novelists such as Franz Kafka to ground-breaking scientific theorists like Christian Doppler and Albert Einstein.
The Czech Republic makes for an attractive postgraduate proposition. These are some of the reasons why you should consider it as a study abroad location:
|Masters Study in the Czech Republic - Key Details|
|Oldest University||Charles University in Prague (1348)|
|Course Length||1-3 years|
|Typical Fees (Domestic / EU)||None (subject to conditions)|
|Academic Year||September to June|
University education in the Czech Republic draws upon a prestigious tradition of higher learning whilst also embracing the major developments that have modernised and enhanced European higher education in recent years.
Czech universities use the three-cycle system established by the Bologna process, with postgraduate Masters level education taking place after undergraduate level Bachelors degrees and before PhD research. The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is also being adopted by an increasing number of Czech institutions, allowing for the easy recognition and facilitation of study and exchange between different universities.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of institution providing higher education in the Czech Republic:
As a Masters student you may find courses to interest you at both types of institution, though the traditional universities are likely to offer more options and expertise in research-focussed disciplines.
Czech higher education institutions may be either public or private, and both types are administered by the Czech Ministry of Education Youth and Sports. Currently there are 26 public and 41 private tertiary education providers in the Czech Republic, as well as two state universities for defence and policing, run by appropriate government ministries.
The history and prestige of the Czech university system is reflected in global rankings, with institutions included in each of the main academic league tables for 2018.
|Top Czech Universities in 2018|
|University||THE 2017-18||QS 2017-18||ARWU 2017|
|Charles University in Prague||401-500||=314||201-300|
|University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague||601-800||-||-|
|Czech Technical University in Prague||601-800||491-500||-|
|Palacký University in Olomouc||601-800||701-750||-|
University league tables can help you in your search for a Masters degree, but you need to know what to look for. Our guide to university rankings for Masters study can help.
The Czech academic year is organised into two blocks, each including a teaching semester, holiday and examination period. Teaching semesters commence in late September / early October and February, with a week's holiday in winter and a longer summer holiday over July and August. Exact dates vary between different institutions, but you should be able to find up-to-date information at your prospective institution's website.
Though a Czech Masters degree takes place within a familiar three-tiered cycle, there are a few ways in which the Czech system differs from some other countries. Firstly, there are two routes to a Masters degree in the Czech Republic. Most institutions offer follow-up Masters programmes taking place within a traditional three-cycle study structure and lasting between one and three years (usually two).
However, it is also possible to study for a longer "non-structured" Masters degree without an existing Bachelors level qualification. This is most common in professional and vocational subject areas such as law, medicine and education. In such cases a student usually studies for between four and six years.
Unusually for Masters-level programmes, your thesis will usually need to be publically defended as part of an oral examination. Don't be concerned by this prospect though: the examination event presents an excellent opportunity to prepare yourself for PhD level work.
MBA programmes are also becoming popular at Czech universities, with the establishment of the Czech Association of MBA Schools (CAMBAS) to oversee future developments in this area. For more information on studying an MBA in the Czech Republic see our sister-site, FindAnMBA.
Though an increasing number of institutions are offering courses in English, most teaching in the Czech Republic still takes place in the Czech language. There are some great incentives to learn some Czech whilst studying abroad though. Developing additional language skills is an ideal way to capitalise on the CV building opportunities offered by overseas study. Additionally, whereas courses in English may incur fees, tuition in Czech is completely free for all students.
By law, tuition at public universities in the Czech Republic is completely free for all students regardless of nationality. However, courses taught in foreign languages (including English) may incur fees.
You might also have to pay certain admission and administrative fees. If you take more than a year longer than expected to complete your course, you’ll have to pay tuition fees (this is currently a minimum of CZK 9,810 per year)
Private universities usually charge fees as normal and these range from CZK 40,000 to CZK 300,000 per year, depending on the course or institution in question. Costs for foreign language programmes at public universities are similar.
A wide range of scholarships and other funding packages are available to international students studying in the Czech Republic.
Individual universities in the Czech Republic may also offer funding and support to international Masters students. Check with your institution to find out what assistance is available to you and what its eligibility criteria are.
At most Czech universities the deadline for applications is usually February or March, though specialist arts institutions may take applications as early as November. You should make your application directly to the university or universities you are considering (there is no restriction on the number of simultaneous applications you can make).
Admission to a traditional follow-up Masters degree will require you to have completed a Bachelors degree in an appropriate field. Non-structured programmes will instead require evidence of satisfactory secondary education and examination performance, together with any additional preparatory qualifications or experience required for courses in professional fields.
Recognition of qualifications from foreign (non-Czech) universities must be formally confirmed through a process of application and review. However, because the Czech Republic participates in the Bologna system, this is usually a simple process. Your university's international office will be able to advise you on the procedure necessary for confirming recognition of most international degrees.
Some Czech universities set entrance examinations, but this is less likely to be the case for foreign postgraduates. You should get in touch with your prospective institution and see what specific assessment (if any) they require of prospective students.
If you are a national of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland or any EU member state you will not need a visa to study for a Masters degree in the Czech Republic.
Other international students will need to apply for a student visa. It can take up to 60 days to issue a Czech visa and you will need to have confirmed your place at a university before beginning your application.
The first port of call for a visa application should be the Czech embassy in your home country, but your university may also be able to advise you during this process. The Czech immigration service has some helpful information.
In most cases an application for a Czech student visa will require you to submit the following:
Within three days of arriving in the Czech Republic you should register your presence at an office of the Czech Foreign Police.
Because the Czech higher education system operates within the Bologna process and employs the ECTS credit system, your Masters degree should be recognised internationally. Your time spent living at the heart of Europe will also be valuable to you if you decide to seek work or study opportunities elsewhere on the continent.
By the time you have completed your course you will have demonstrated your ability to acquire and employ advanced subject knowledge, undertake independent research and take part in a formal presentation and examination.
What's more, you'll have done all of these things whilst living abroad in a foreign country, proving your adaptability and enhancing your skills in all sorts of tangible and intangible ways. You might also have taken the opportunity to learn part of a second language, making you even more attractive to employers doing business internationally.
Last updated - 07/02/2018