The economics master’s program has interesting subjects to study ranging from more traditional ones to new courses in behavioural economics. A high level of math and software skills can be expected as a learning outcome. There is a nice social engagement program at the department with a beautiful campus with many pretty and silent study spots.View more
I loved my study period and UCPC. I was a bit scared before leaving, since I’m studying Scandinavian studies at the University of Belgrade, but decided to do courses from the Faculty of Anthropology at UCPH, but my experience was great. I felt like the teachers were really competent and had a good approach to the matter we studied. They were very helpful whenever someone had problems understanding something. There was a lot of group work, which I was not used to, but now think it’s a great way to encourage students to engage with the readings and topics discussed. What I also really liked was the social life on campus. There are bars and clubs where students could meet each other. I would recommend UCPH to everyone!View more
TL;DR – Don’t waste your money on this university’s MA degrees.
MA degrees are quite useless for job-hunting in Denmark as well, and it doesn’t help that this university’s — or perhaps it’s the country in general — the academic system is built to (a) subject your grades to randomness, i.e. hard work and logical argumentation don’t guarantee getting good grades; (b) protect errant university staff over students, with the appeal procedure being an utter sham; (c) cut ever more corners, with MA students having no thesis defence; and (d) treat non-EU students as cash cows to subsidise the university’s rent, plus probably a myriad of other costs.
What follows is a somewhat high-level elaboration of the above points.
a. If you are used to the Anglo-American style of university, which is basically most of the Westernised world in this era, you would be surprised to learn that the Danish grading system — as implemented by this university — allows for multiple unpredictable variables that can unjustly lower your grades beyond belief. For example, there is always an external examiner involved in grading (together with the course instructor in question), but the Danish Examination Order grants the external examiner more power than the course instructor; this means that someone who wasn’t following the process of the assignment/exam closely has more influence over the final grade than the course instructor. The official justification for this arrangement is that the grading would be fairer, but in my experience, it does the opposite: the grading is inherently unfairer this way. Even in academia, a piece of writing has to be targeted at the person who will be reading it; and because you don’t usually know the identity of the external examiner until much later (e.g. 2–4 weeks before submission), it is difficult to prepare your assignment or exam in a way that would align with the preferences of the course instructor AND the external examiner.
For non-EU citizens who mostly live and die by their grades (if the goal is to successfully enter huge international companies after higher education), this unfair grading system can really screw up your job prospects and livelihood in Denmark because you don’t benefit from the Danish welfare state as much as the EU/EEA citizens do. European students (especially the Nordic ones) can afford to treat grades as “just numbers/letters on a piece of paper” because even if they get bad grades on their transcripts and have difficulty finding proper full-time jobs, they know that the Danish welfare state would financially support them.
b. In relation to point (a), perhaps the most unpredictable variable in assignment/exam grading at this university is the quality of the graders themselves. As a native English speaker from Asia, I had to take an English proficiency test to apply for my MA degree programme — and I scored almost full marks for that test. However, some of the Danish instructors and examiners I have gotten during my studies here seem to be people who cannot argue (or even spell) properly in English… and they can get away with it. It’s the typical Western mentality that someone from the West must be better in English than someone from Asia.
Anyway, I went through the appeal procedure multiple times for some unfair grades that I received, with one particular appeal involving a course instructor who would very likely score lousily on an English proficiency test. To cut a long story short, no matter how much logic and specific evidence I used in my appeal argumentation, the university always sided with the university staff about whom I was complaining. The errant staff in question could rely on fallacies (e.g. cherry-picking of facts) and imprecise statements to explain why they gave my essay a bad grade, and they wound up being always right in the eyes of the university… because why oppose your own people, right? Oh, and let’s not forget that it is difficult for Danish people in the public sector to get fired — which is probably the main reason why they can get away with giving bad grades for no good reason, AND not face any significant consequence for doing so.
In short, the appeal procedure is an extreme waste of time and energy. It is a sham process whereby the student would be fighting against a system that is built to favour university staff by default.
c. The University of Copenhagen is so cheapskate that MA students don’t get to do the thesis defence due to cost-saving measures. It has been this way for years (and apparently it’s the same with BA students), and the official justification is that their teaching staff don’t have enough hours (time = money) to spare for thesis defences. What is weird is that certain normal courses get an oral “defence” as part of the final exam, but then the higher-stakes MA-thesis course gets no defence… yeah, go figure.
You may think that the lack of an MA thesis defence is good because it means less work on your part, but when you consider what I have explained in points (a) and (b), this very lack of an MA thesis defence is what could royally screw up your job-hunting prospects as a non-EU foreigner in Denmark. The MA thesis grade is the first grade from the top in your degree transcript, so if you are unlucky enough to be on the losing end of points (a) and (b), you would end up applying to jobs with an ugly degree transcript: one that shows an unfairly low grade at the very top of the list of grades. And of course, HR personnel and hiring managers would not know (or bother to understand) that low grades from the University of Copenhagen could be the result of an inherently unfair grading system and/or the involvement of incompetent instructors-cum-examiners.
Also, you only get a digital version of your MA degree upon graduation. The official reason from the Danish government is that this digitisation of degrees helps to modernise Danish society — but at this point, you probably can already tell this is just another cost-saving measure. This university will only continue to cut corners, and although the degree-digitisation affects non-MA students as well, MA students will — as non-STEM people — obviously take the brunt of these cuts.
d. Non-EU students are treated as cash cows at this university. Many years ago, education used to be free for non-EU students in Denmark (just like how it has always been free for EU students), so one thing you have to get used to nowadays is that Denmark is economically similar to the USA (and other US-like societies) in its practical perception of foreigners as another revenue stream for schools. While the tuition fees for MA degrees at this university are not as astronomical as those in the USA, the financial cost is still rather significant for middle-class people from non-EU countries; and it was as though I was paying for something that is free.
Not only was I paying for the services of certain questionable Danish instructors/examiners, but I was also paying for subpar academic resources. Once, there was a training session for some film production class, and the training was in relation to a piece of video-editing software. The training happened WITHOUT access to a computer lab — can you believe that? It happened as a lecture and live demonstration by (paid) student volunteers, with people in the audience (including me) taking notes as we eyeballed those student volunteers’ clicking within the software’s UI. I remember asking why we didn’t have access to a computer lab for the training (because actually practising is better than eye power any day), and the official excuse was — you guessed it — a lack of resources.
The university’s software library was also mostly useless (in my experience). I tried to use the EndNote version available in the library, and the licence turned out to be expired. In the end, I simply used Zotero, which is freely available on the Internet.
The university’s digital library of academic literature was only slightly better in the sense that it wasn’t mostly useless. Generally, I could find and download most journal articles and e-books that I needed for my academic research; but there were multiple occasions when I found great journal articles that I couldn’t download because the University of Copenhagen wasn’t subscribed to such-and-such academic service. Notably, I could not even access the premium version of the Chicago Manual of Style (a prominent academic reference style) to check for reference rules because the university lacked an online subscription to the manual. On another occasion, I found an excellent journal article from Cambridge University that I could not download but badly wanted, and I had to ask my course instructor (who used to teach at Cambridge University) if he was able to download it for me.
When you also consider that this university has been having rental woes for a long time now (https://uniavisen.dk/en/skyrocketing-rent/), plus what I have explained in point (c), it becomes even clearer why I say that non-EU students are treated as cash cows. Seeing how financially challenged the University of Copenhagen is, I would not be surprised if payments from non-EU students are being used to subsidise non-rental costs as well: #FridayBar fridges in on-campus departmental pantries, maybe?
MORAL OF THE STORY: Paying for an MA degree from this university for the sake of getting your foot in the door of the Danish job market would be a pricey move that could involve infuriating instances of injustice. You should consider alternative ways to enter the Danish job market.View more
Doing a six months exchange programme at the University of Copenhagen was one of the most interesting experiences. All classes are divided in groups of around 20 people which make it easy to learn and be involved. The lecturers are open-minded for discussion and opposite views.
The facilities are beautiful and around the city.
KU was a dream come true! The education quality, and the humbleness of the professors are remarkable! My climate change master’s programme is an excellent combination of both natural and social sciences. Diversity is celebrated and accepted around all the campuses with internationals from around the globe, made my student life experience here beautiful.View more
As an American student, the city of Copenhagen offered a plethora of opportunities for expats like me. The University of Copenhagen was no different; the university provides multiple disciplines that offer professors thriving in their expertise and students from all over the globe, providing an international experience unlike any other. There are chances to explore other disciplines within your study, and with the multiple campus locations, you have the opportunity to explore other parts of Copenhagen. There is also the flexibility of taking courses at other universities, allowing you to focus more in-depth in a field of choice, while also having credits transfer over. There is no better place in Scandinavia to study as an expat, and I greatly recommend this university to those wanting to experience the Nordic lifestyle and education.View more
I was enrolled in a Master in Science at KU and was happy to be accepted even though I did not have a scientific background. I wanted to develop a multidisciplinary profile and it was hard to catch up, but I am very thankful to have been given the opportunity. Classes were interesting, particularly during the second year when I was able to choose my subjects.
The administration is effective and accommodating, and professors are experts in their particular subjects and generally nice. I was however deceived by their teaching skills and the lack of international/multidisciplinary backgrounds among them. Maybe for this reason – and the fact that many fellow students did not have previous work experience – good discussions were generally lacking during classes. I realized (although a bit too late!) that many classes could be skipped by doing only the readings, which did not promote group cohesion.
Similarly, there were few guidance on jobs and opportunities to connect with companies during the master, which is a pity considering the difficulty for skilled internationals to enter the Danish job market.
Also, the focus was very much on Denmark/Europe, lacking a more international perspective, both in the classes’ content and in the student pool. There were many nordic and European students but not so many from other regions, including strikingly almost no black students. I heard a handful of racists comments from other students, who seemed to not even realize they were off-hand. Danish and internationals were also apart most of the time.
If you are an international student, you might want to consider other universities/country options if interested in a more diverse and multidisciplinary experience. However, I would highly recommend this university for people particularly interested in scientific research, as professors’ expertise and focus on investigation is strong.View more
My experience at KU started off great until the first exam. I was told by my professor that I’m not good enough to study at this university.
Before this, I encountered a lack of openness from the group colleagues with whom I was supposed to work throughout one of my courses. I cannot say I was not at fault 100%. I can accept that. But when one of the most “reputed” professors comes up and says disheartening words at your face, you begin to question yourself. These are the same people that should be motivating students regardless.
Such experiences went on even after the block ended. Many professors many courses, and so on. I would say their professors have not modernized along with their advanced infrastructure. Their method of teaching is more like a parrot repeating statements from a PowerPoint.View more
Copenhagen University offers various courses, going from literature to sciences. I really like the fact that the classes are small, not even 30 people in the class. So, there’s a real interaction with the professors, and I feel included. There are different campuses all over the city of Copenhagen, and two I’ve been are just beautiful a real old architecture, but with modernity in classroom and for the material.View more
It is a great place in terms of course quality, atmosphere and spaces for different activities such as individual reflection, group work, walk and talk. During my thesis I had a small office space where I could go and concentrate. It was amazing not having to carry all my books home every day and back to uni the next morning. I definitely recommend studying there.View more