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Masters in Sweden

by Gemma Halder and Study in Sweden



With globally respected universities, large numbers of Masters programmes in English and free tuition for EU, EEA and Swiss students, it's no surprise that Sweden attracts plenty of international postgraduates.

This page offers an introduction to Masters study abroad in Sweden, including advice on universities, courses, applications and living costs. Elsewhere on this site you can read a guide to Swedish university rankings and Swedish Masters fees and funding.


Masters Study in Sweden - Key Details
Universities 35
Oldest University Uppsala University (1477)
International Students 25,360
Course Length 1-2 years
Typical Fees (Domestic / EU) None
Academic Year September to June

Why study a Masters in Sweden?

Studying a Masters in Sweden means having the opportunity to live and study in a country that has always valued individual and collective intellectual endeavour: Sweden is home to the Nobel Prize and its academic research is internationally renowned. Swedish universities are free to structure their own courses and programmes as they choose and there is a vast array of Masters courses on offer. Postgraduate study is therefore flexible and student-centric, with an emphasis on group work. You will also find a diverse student population, with a high percentage of women (60%) and mature students.

A third of Swedes go on to higher education and the country also attracts around 25,000 foreign students each year. English is widely spoken.

Sweden is a modern, highly developed society with liberal attitudes to individual lifestyle choices. Living standards are some of the highest in the world. Although the country is sparsely populated, immigrants make up more than 10% of its nearly 10 million residents. In addition to academic excellence, Sweden offers international students a vibrant cultural hub in Stockholm, sophisticated nightlife in cities such as Malmö and Gothenburg, and the chance to explore its stunning scenery of forests, lakes, mountains and long coastlines.

Universities for postgraduate study in Sweden

The Swedish higher education system consists of universities and university colleges. The structure of Swedish postgraduate degrees conforms to the Bologna Process, in line with other European countries, so your Swedish Masters will be recognised by universities and employers worldwide.

Sweden is home to around 35 universities. There are approximately 900 English-language Masters degrees to choose from. You could also study a Masters degree in Swedish if your language skills are up to scratch.

Swedish university rankings

Despite its comparatively small size, the Swedish higher education system is one of the most respected in Europe - and the world. Find out more with our postgraduate guide to Swedish university rankings.

Swedish Masters degrees

Sweden is a member of the European Higher Education Area and a signatory of the Bologna Process.

This means that its postgraduate programmes follow a recognisable international format. Swedish Masters degrees build upon undergraduate study in a related subject and offer the opportunity to acquire more advanced subject knowledge and conduct more independent work in areas of your own interest and growing expertise.

Masters programmes

A Masters in Sweden can either be a one-year or two-year degree. Usually, this will include about 75% coursework and 25% research for a thesis project.

As in other countries, this thesis will normally be an independent research task, or a substantial practical exercise, depending on your discipline. In addition, Swedish universities have close ties to industry, and often facilitate thesis work at companies or organisations.

Sweden uses the ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) with Masters degrees being worth 60 or 120 ECTS credits, depending on their length.

PhD and research degrees

Swedish PhDs are also available and take about four years to complete.

Search for a Masters in Sweden

Ready to start looking for your ideal study abroad opportunity? Browse and compare Masters degrees in Sweden on FindAMasters.com

Applying for a Masters in Sweden

Sweden is a friendly and welcoming country, with large numbers of international students. But, as with any study abroad experience you should allow plenty of time for your application.

The first step should be to contact your university and confirm their entry requirements. They may also have an international office with staff able to provide specific advice and guidance on your application.

The following are general guidelines for applications to study a Masters abroad in Sweden.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement for Masters courses in Sweden is a completed Bachelors degree.

If you want to study a course that is taught in English and you are not a native speaker, you may have to demonstrate your language skills through the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). For courses taught in Swedish, you may have to take tests or complete a Swedish language course before beginning your studies.

Some universities may also have their own specific entry requirements. You can find out more by viewing individual Swedish Masters degrees in our database

If you are currently studying for a Bachelors or Masters in the UK you may be able to spend time studying in Sweden through the Erasmus scheme. Contact the international office at your university or department to find out more.

English, French and Spanish students are also able to apply for an Erasmus+ Masters loan to study a full postgraduate degree abroad in Sweden.

Application process

Applications for a Masters in Sweden are made through the University Admissions in Sweden online system and you can apply for up to four Masters courses at once. You should print off the cover sheet from the website and send it by post along with copies of academic certificates and any other proof of qualifications, as requested. A letter of intention or essay may also be required by different universities.

Deadlines for most courses are in mid-January.

The application deadline for non-EU students is in mid-January for studies commencing the upcoming autumn term. For EU students not requiring a residence permit, the deadline is in mid-April. Exact deadlines are available for individual Swedish Masters degrees in our course listings. You can also view information on specific course deadlines via the University Admissions Sweden website.

Masters student visas in Sweden

Citizens of EU/EEA countries do not need a visa or residence permit to study a Masters in Sweden.

If you are from a non-EU country and plan to be in Sweden for longer than three months, you will need a residence permit. To be eligible for this you must meet the following criteria:

  • be enrolled onto full-time study in Sweden;
  • have comprehensive health insurance that covers the period you are in Sweden (if you plan to study for less than one year);
  • be able to support yourself financially for the period of study;
  • have a valid passport.

Further information is available from the Swedish Migration Agency.

Masters fees and funding in Sweden

If you are from a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, application and tuition are free. Students from other countries will have to pay an application fee of kr900 SEK ($99.60 USD)as well as tuition fees. Each university sets their own fees, which usually range from kr80,000 – 140,000 SEK ($9,347-16,357 USD) per academic year. Expect to pay significantly higher fees for medicine and art degrees.

The Swedish Institute offers a number of postgraduate scholarships for international students. The number of available scholarships varies from year to year and competition is intense.

Most universities in Sweden also offer scholarships to highly qualified students from outside the EU/EEA. Contact individual institutions for more details.

PostgraduateFunding.com

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 Sweden, or elsewhere.

Swedish postgraduate funding

Looking for more detailed information about the cost fo postgraduate study in Sweden and the kinds of financial support available? Check out our full guide to Masters fees and funding in Sweden.

Postgraduate living costs in Sweden

The currency of Sweden is the Swedish Krona (kr / SEK). Living costs in Sweden are relatively high and Stockholm in particular is more expensive than other towns and cities.

Accommodation

Student accommodation in cities ranges from kr2,500–4,500 SEK ($293-526 USD) per month for a room. For medium-sized and smaller towns, you can expect to pay between kr2,000–4,300 SEK ($234-503 USD) a month.

Swedish universities are not responsible for providing accommodation to students. You should contact your university’s international office or student union as soon as possible after being admitted in order to enquire about finding accommodation. Some unions universities guarantee a certain amount of accommodation for international students - it's a good idea to get in touch with them early to check availability.

You can choose to live in private accommodation (such as a rented apartment) or student dormitories, depending on your preferences. Living in student accommodation will offer more opportunities to meet other international and Swedish students. Private flats are largely advertised on the internet and around universities. Flats may be furnished or unfurnished. If you choose to live in a student dormitory, there are usually between 6-15 single rooms in a corridor (bear in mind that corridors will be mixed-sex). These rooms have basic furnishings with access to a shared kitchen, dining room and often a communal TV room.

Living costs and student expenses

The estimated cost of living for a student in Sweden is kr8,000 SEK ($1,000 USD) per month. Detailed information on the cost of living for students in Sweden is available from the Study in Sweden service.

The following are representative prices for typical student costs and expenses in Sweden:


Groceries
Item Price (kr) Price (USD)
Milk (1 litre) 10.35 1.15
Loaf of bread (500g) 20.50 2.30
Potatoes (1kg) 9.40 1.05
Chicken breasts (1kg) 85.65 9.50
Rice (1kg) 23.15 2.60

Monthly Utilities
Item Price (kr) Price (USD)
Monthly travel pass 750.00 82.95
Broadband internet (10mbps, uncapped) 6,845.00 59.70
Domestic utilities (Electricity, Heating, Water and Waste) 636.95 70.45

Entertainment and Leisure
Item Price (IKR) Price (USD)
Cinema ticket 120.00 13.30
Mid-price bottle of wine 80.00 8.85
Cup of coffee 32.95 3.65
Draught beer (0.5 litre) 60.00 6.65
Inexpensive restaurant meal 95.00 10.50

Note Information in the above tables is based on crowd-sourced data collected by Numbeo. Figures are approximate and provided for comparative purposes only. They do not take account of student discounts and may vary over time or between cities.

After graduation - careers and opportunities with a Swedish Masters degree

Sweden has a vibrant and diverse economy, with many opportunities for international postgraduate to remain in the country and make use of their new skills. You may also consider continuint your postgraduate studies in Sweden at PhD level.

Working in Sweden after your Masters

The exact requirements for this will depend on your nationality:

  • EU, EEA and Swiss students are normally able to live and work in Sweden without restrictions.
  • Other international students are entitled to remain in Sweden as jobseekers for up to six months after their course finishes. If they find suitable work during this time they can apply for a longer term work permit.

For more information on working in Sweden as an international student, visit the Swedish Migration Agency website.

PhD study in Sweden

Sweden is also a popular destination for international PhD students. And, as a Swedish Masters graduate, you'll be well placed to take advantage of some of the great research opportunities on offer at the country's universities.

For more information, see the guide to PhD study in Sweden on FindAPhD.com.

Further information

For more advice and information on postgraduate study in Sweden, visit the official Study in Sweden website.

Search for a Masters in Sweden

Ready to start looking for your ideal study abroad opportunity? Browse and compare Masters degrees in Sweden on FindAMasters.com

Last updated - 11/11/2016

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