Education cap

A new Danish act has been passed which—from the summer intake 2017—bars students from taking a second university degree (the so-called education cap). This means that it is no longer possible to complete more than one ordinary full-time higher education degree at the same or a lower level. The rule also applies to programmes with vacant places.


All Danish government-funded fulltime degrees are included in the assessment of whether an applicant has already been enrolled in and completed a study programme at the same or higher level.

At DTU, this means that:

  • Those who have completed an academic Bachelor’s degree, a professional Bachelor's degree or the equivalent thereof cannot start on a new bachelor’s degree programme, regardless of the type.
  • Master’s degree graduates cannot start on a new bachelor’s degree programme (regardless of type) or a new master’s degree programme.

Exemptions for students with a foreign exam

  • The rule does not apply to applicants who have completed a foreign higher education programme. Nor does it apply to applicants who have financed their foreign higher education degree via a study abroad scholarship.
  • In relation to the educational cap higher education degrees from the Faroe Islands and Greenland are regarded as foreign degrees. This group of applicants is therefore not limited by the Danish act barring second degrees.

Positive list (exempt from the Danish Act barring second degrees)
Every two years, the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science determines which study programmes—due to very low unemployment—are exempt from the cap on second degrees.

The positive list for 2017 and 2018 includes a master’s programme at DTU:

  • Master of Science (MSc) in Digital Media Engineering

The full list can be found on the website of the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

Exemption options

You can apply for an exemption if:

  1. You can no longer use your previously completed study programme in the labour market for health reasons. A decision on an exemption will be made based on a medical certificate relating to physical or mental illness, repetitive strain, etc., or as part of vocational rehabilitation processes, etc.
  2. The study programme you completed previously has changed significantly or no longer exists. In other words, if your study programme no longer provides access to the labour market.

An application for an exemption from the Danish Act barring second degrees may be sought only on the basis of the above two sets of circumstances. An application for an exemption and documentation of the grounds for applying for an exemption must be uploaded via the DTU application portal as part of your application for admission. A decision on any exemption will be made in the light of the applicant’s specific circumstances.

If the study programme you completed ended at least six years before the start of study on the master’s programme that you have applied for, you will automatically be granted an exemption from the cap on second degrees. You do not need to apply for an exemption, but instead you must remember to upload your certificate from the tertiary study programme you completed previously via the DTU application portal. A minimum of six years must have elapsed from the date of the certificate to the start of the study programme you have applied for in order for you to be eligible for an exemption.

The full text of the Act, together with a fact sheet, can be found on the website of the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science.