Universities in Sweden for International Students: Types of Universities, Programs Offered, Student Enrolment

by neha.bhaskar

Sweden is home to more than 50 higher education institutions. Out of these, majority of them are public universities that are owned by the state. For international students who wish to study in Sweden, there are about 10 private institutions that provide degrees in various fields of study.

The top universities in Sweden are given permission by the Swedish Higher Education Authority. This government agency makes sure that that the courses taught in Sweden are of the top-notch quality. Only the courses that are approved by the Swedish Higher Education Authority are allowed to be taught in Sweden.

Top Universities in Sweden as Per QS World Ranking 

If a student has decided to study in Sweden, it becomes an imperative to understand the top universities in the country. Here goes the list of universities to watch out for in Sweden.

UniversityQS World Ranking (2017-18)Average Tuition Fees
Chalmers University of Technology#133USD 17,959
University of Gothenburg#247USD 17,551
Karolinska Institute#187USD 21,905
KTH Royal Institute of Technology#98USD 21,361
Lund University#78USD 15,919
Linköping University#282USD 16, 559
Stockholm University#196USD 16,463
Uppsala University#97USD 25,443
Umea University#294USD 17,415

Types of Universities in Sweden for International Students

There are two types of educational institutions in Sweden that students can choose to study from: University and University Colleges.

The main difference between universities and university colleges in Sweden is that in the case of universities, they need not apply for degree awarding powers to the same extent as university colleges.

Degrees Offered by University and University Colleges in Sweden

Universities in Sweden for international students can give them the following degrees:

  • Professional degrees
  • Applied, fine and performing arts qualifications

University colleges in Sweden can offer students the following degrees:

  • Professional degrees
  • Applied, fine and performing arts qualifications
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Master’s degrees

It is to be noted that it is completely upon the judgement of the Swedish Parliament whether a university college can become a university or not.

Before applying to the top universities in Sweden (to be linked), students need to take a note of the following:

  • A university may not necessarily have the world ‘university’ in its name. Examples of such universities are: Karolinska Institute and KTH Royal Institute of Technology 
  • There are several schools in Sweden that tell students that they are universities or university colleges when it is actually not so. They have not been given powers by the Swedish Higher Education Authority to offer degrees equivalent to the actual universities and university colleges in Sweden. All that they can offer students is diploma level and foundation level degrees.

List of Universities in Sweden

UniversityStudent Enrolment
Uppsala University18,347
University of Gothenburg21,121
Lund University23, 539
Stockholm University22,434
Umeå University13,389
Royal Institute of Technology10,544
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences3,515
Linköping University15,252
Luleå University of Technology6,509
Örebro University7,581
Karlstad University6,717
Mid Sweden University5,946
Malmö University24,000
Linnaeus University11,663

List of University Colleges in Sweden

Here are the names of university colleges for students who wish to study in Sweden:

  • University of Borås
  • University College West
  • Dalarna University College
  • Halmstad University
  • Blekinge Institute of Technology
  • Mälardalen University College
  • Kristianstad University College
  • Swedish National Defence College
  • University of Skövde
  • Stockholm University of the Arts
  • Royal College of Music, Stockholm
  • Södertörn University
  • Royal College of Music, Stockholm
  • University College of Arts, Crafts and Design
  •  Gävle University College

Degree Courses to Study in Sweden 

The top universities in Sweden, divides the course of study for each student into three levels. They are:

  • First cycle – Bachelor’s course
  • Second cycle – Master’s course
  • Third cycle – Doctoral course

Bachelor’s Courses to Study in Sweden

To study a bachelor’s course in Sweden, students need to know the following:

  • This level of study in Sweden does not necessarily require previous university studies
  • The level of study is primarily for beginners just entering higher education
  • In most cases, the duration of study for a bachelor’s course in Sweden is 3 years
  • At the bachelor’s level students can study for these qualifications: Professional qualification, Fine, applied and performing arts qualification and general qualification

Popular Bachelor’s Courses to Study in Sweden

Name of CourseDuration of Study
Degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing3 Years
Degree of Bachelor of Science in Dental Technology3 Years
Degree of Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy3 Years
Degree of Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Laboratory Science3 Years
Degree of Bachelor of Science in Audiology3 Years
Degree of Bachelor of Science in Dietetics3 Years
Degree of Bachelor in Preschool Teaching3.5 Years
Degree of Bachelor of Science in Engineering3 Years
Degree of Bachelor of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics3 Years
Degree of Bachelor of Science in Forest Management3 Years
Higher Education Diploma in Vocational Education1.5 Years

Master’s Courses to Study in Sweden 

To study a master’s course in Sweden, students need to make a note of the following:

  • This level of study in Sweden requires a student to hold a bachelor’s degree from a Swedish or a foreign university.
  • If a student wishes to study a freestanding course in Sweden then he must have completed the same course at bachelor’s level.

Popular Master’s Courses to Study in Sweden

Name of CourseDuration of Study
Degree of Master of Science in Agriculture4.5 Years
Degree of Master of Architecture5 Years
Degree of Master of Science in Engineering5 Years
Degree of Master of Science in Pharmacy5 Years
Degree of Master of Science in Business and Economics5 Years
Degree of Master of Laws5 Years
Degree of Master of Science in Medicine5.5 Years
Degree of Master of Science in Medical Physics5 Years
Degree of Master of Science in Dental Surgery5 Years

Doctoral Courses to Study in Sweden

If a student wishes to study a doctoral course in Sweden, he should make a note of the following:

  • The student should be able to present the thesis proposal in an appropriate manner.
  • Student must have completed master’s course in the same field of study.

Sweden is a country that equips students with a myriad number of courses and universities. Before applying for a university to study in Sweden, the student needs to make sure that the university of his choice has the course which he wishes to opt. 

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