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Masters in Greece

by Mark Bennett

Why study for a Masters degree in Greece?

A Masters in Greece represents an opportunity for postgraduate study abroad in a country with an unparalleled intellectual heritage. Having founded the western tradition of academic scholarship over two-thousand years ago, Greece continues to be an important centre of higher learning today. Its university system is a full participant in the consolidation of the new European Higher Education Area, with a degree structure standardised according to the Bologna Process. So, as a Masters student in Greece you will have the opportunity to study for an internationally recognised qualification in a country with a proud tradition of scholarly inquiry into all aspects of the human and natural world. There's also the small matter of spending a year or so living in the heart of the Mediterranean, enjoying fantastic local food and seeing some of the most famous sites in classical antiquity!

Masters degrees at Greek universities

The most famous Ancient Greek schools, such as Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, were in the vicinity of Athens and usually located in and around sacred groves. Greek universities today use a slightly more modern infrastructure, but Athens continues to be a major higher educational hub in the south of the country, along with Thessaloniki in the north. You'll be able to study a Masters in Greece at a range of higher education institutions across the country.

The University Sector and the Technological Sector

Greek universities are organised into two broad pathways according to the kinds of training they offer and the level of research they carry out.

The University Sector specialises in traditional academic subjects with a theoretical focus. It includes general universities with multiple faculties, as well as institutions with expertise in very particular fields. There are around 22 institutions in the University Sector and all are entitled to offer postgraduate programmes at Masters level.

The Technological Sector is more concerned with professional and vocational training, with around 14 general 'Technological Educational Institutes' as well as one institution specialising in pedagogical training. Second cycle (Masters level) programmes are available within the Technological Sector, but their provision is generally more limited than in the University Sector.

The organisation of Greek institutions into these two pathways is designed to match the most relevant expertise and facilities with student goals and social needs. This means that qualifications from either sector are equally valuable and your choice of institution will depend primarily on the field you are interested in as a Masters student in Greece.

International branch campuses

Foreign institutions are allowed to operate branch campuses in Greece, subject to registration with the Greek Ministry of Education. Most are run as small colleges and their programmes are usually tailored to local education needs or to the unique research opportunities offered in the region; for example, the University of Kent at Athens runs an MA in the management of heritage sites. See our guide for more information on studying for a Masters at an international campus.

Structure and content of Masters degrees in Greece

The Greek academic year runs across 12 months, from September to August, comprising two semesters with around four weeks of holiday across Christmas and Easter and a longer summer holiday during June and July. Second cycle (masters level) programmes are required to run for at least one year, but three months will usually be dedicated solely to the research and writing of a dissertation.

The Greek Masters degree

In Greece, second cycle programmes will usually be referred to as 'Postgraduate Specialised Diplomas'. These are equivalent to MA, MSc or other Masters qualifications (according to their field) and are not to be confused with the shorter Postgraduate Diplomas offered in some other countries such as the UK.

Teaching methods will vary between different fields and subject-specialisms, but will comprise large-group lectures as well as smaller seminar discussion groups and supervised practical work. Collaboration with other institutions (or their faculty) is not uncommon as the Greek Postgraduate Specialised Diplomas emphasise expert teaching and professional training.

As a rule, the completion of at least four modules of study (with associated assessments) and an independent dissertation will be required for the award of a Postgraduate Specialised Diploma. Students will usually be assigned a supervisor from their department's academic staff, who will have pastoral responsibility for their progression throughout a programme. In many cases this supervisor will also be involved in overseeing and guiding dissertation research.

Applying for a Masters in Greece

There is no central admissions agency through which you will need to apply for a Masters in Greece. Instead, individual institutions are free to set their own admissions criteria for Greek Masters programmes, with their own deadlines and procedure. In practice, most will have similar requirements. A relevant Bachelors degree (or other equivalent first cycle qualification) will usually be required and, where there is competition for places, applicants may be ranked according to the level of their undergraduate attainment.

Recognition of qualifications from elsewhere in Europe will usually be a simple process. If your first degree was awarded further afield, you may need to confirm its approval with your institution. This should still be relatively easy, however. Greece is keen to attract international students and runs a branch of the European Commission's National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARIC). They should be able to assist with the validation of foreign qualifications. The international and admissions offices at your prospective institution may also be able to provide advice.

Language requirements

University teaching in Greece is usually conducted in the Greek language, but postgraduate programmes are more likely to be offered wholly or partly in English. A push towards internationalisation has also led to universities being established in Greece that offer their programmes entirely in English. If neither English nor Greek is your first language you may be asked to take an international language test or provide an associated certificate, as relevant to the organisation of your course.

Visas and immigration for Masters students in Greece

If you are an EU or EEA citizen, you will not usually require a visa to live and study in Greece as a Masters student. However, you may need to get a residence permit in order to remain in the country for longer than three months.

Students from countries outside the EU and the EEA will usually need to apply for a 'type D' visa in order to enter Greece. Greek embassies or consulates in your home country will be able to offer advice and commence the application process for you. In addition to providing identification documents, your application will need to demonstrate that you have been accepted at a Greek higher education institute and that you have sufficient funds or sponsorship to support yourself during your studies. Some countries outside the EU and the EEA maintain agreements with Greece that negate the requirement for student visas. A list of these is available from the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with other useful immigration information.

Fees and funding for Masters degrees in Greece

A large amount of higher education in Greece is free, but this is more likely to be the case for Greek nationals on undergraduate programmes. Foreign Masters students will usually have to pay towards their tuition and the exact cost may vary according to your citizenship. Where applicable, fees for a year of full-time Masters study will be around €3,625 ($5,000), but some programmes may be as much as €12,000 ($16,500).

Funding for Masters degrees in Greece

A range of options exist to support postgraduates in Greece, with some designed specifically to encourage and assist international students. The Greek government offers a programme of Greek Government Scholarships for Foreign Students and charitable groups such as the Alexander Onassis Foundation offer their own scholarships that may be used to support postgraduates from overseas. The Erasmus+ programme also operates in Greece, where it is partnered with a State Scholarships Foundation for foreign students. You can read more about Erasmus funding for postgraduate study in Europe, here.


Our own postgraduate funding website provides a comprehensive database of small grants and bursaries available to support postgraduate study around the world, including travel bursaries, living cost support, fee waivers and exchange programmes. Click here to start searching for funding to study a Masters in Greece, or elsewhere.

Careers and employment prospects with a Greek Masters degree

Greece takes the future prospects of its postgraduates (and the associated reputation of its higher education system) seriously. The system of mentorship on Greek postgraduate programmes is designed to ensure that all students progress successfully and develop the skills they will need for their future career goals.

of course, a Greek Masters degree can also be an excellent preparation for further study as part of a doctorate or other research programme, particularly if your academic interests lead you to remain in Greece or neighbouring regions. See FindAPhD.com for a guide to studying a PhD in Greece.

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