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20th July, 2020

Where can I study a master’s in the EU?

Want to study a master’s abroad, but unsure where to go? Read our guide to studying a master’s degree in Europe.

Studying a master’s in Europe is perfect for students who want to travel, live in a European city, experience different cultures and potentially save money on their course. Master’s programmes in Europe are consistently ranked as some of the best in the world and are often a fraction of the cost when compared to the UK. So, what are the best universities for studying an EU master’s?

Where to study an MA in Europe

If you want to study an MA in Europe, you should definitely consider these three universities:

1. Free University of Berlin, Germany 

Berlin is one of the cities offering free master’s programmes in Europe, making it a really affordable option, although this may be affected for UK students by the impact of Brexit. It’s also one of the many English-speaking universities in Europe, so you can study there even if you don’t speak German. The university is one of the country’s Universities of Excellence, an initiative launched by the German Council of Science and Humanities and the German Research Foundation.

The academic institution offers lots of different courses, including English Studies, Global History, North American Studies and Visual and Media Anthropology.

The campus is divided into four, with all buildings within walking distance of each other. Berlin is a great city for students who want a laid-back, creative feel and a low cost of living.

2. University of Copenhagen, Denmark 

The University of Copenhagen is Denmark’s top university and is thought to deliver some of the best English-speaking master’s programmes outside of English-speaking countries. It offers MAs in African Studies, Film and Media Studies, Geography and Geoinformatics, Religious Roots of Europe and more. Tuition is free for EU students, and fees are between €10,000-17,000 (£8,616-14,648) per year for international students.

The four campuses are located in and around Copenhagen, which was dubbed the “capital of cool” by Lonely Planet, and the “most liveable” city by ECA International.

3. University of Vienna, Austria 

The University of Vienna is one of the oldest and largest universities in Europe, and offers MAs in East Asian Economy and Society, and Human Rights.

Vienna is an incredible place to live – bursting with culture and music history – and has a manageable cost of living to suit student budgets. Tuition is free for EU students, and MAs cost as little as €726 (£626) per year for non-EU students.

You’ll study in the university’s grand historic building just off Vienna’s famous ring road.

European universities that offer MSc courses

For master’s degrees in Europe in a scientific subject, you should look at these three universities:

1.University of Heidelberg, Germany

The University of Heidelberg is Germany’s oldest university and is known for its science courses. You can study courses including Mathematics, Molecular Biotechnology, Medical Informatics, Economics and Scientific Computing. The tuition fees are €169.25 (£145.84) for EU students, or €1,500 (£1292) per semester for international students, although some master’s courses may have higher fees.

Heidelberg is cosier than some European cities and you’ll probably bump into the same faces regularly. There’s lots going on, like the vibrant bar scene in the city and at the university.

The campus is divided into the Old Town Campus and the New Campus, housing the university’s research and teaching facilities and the three large university hospitals.

2. Paris Sciences et Lettres, France 

Paris Sciences et Lettres is ranked as one of the top 50 universities in the world, despite only forming in 2010. It is known for its physical sciences courses, and offers MSc degrees for around €250 (£215). You can study courses including Chemistry, Physics, Biomedical Engineering and Cognitive Science.

Paris is an attractive place to study, with its love of fashion, art, food and music. It is ranked seventh in QS’s top student cities in the world. The campus is spread across three main sites in Paris.

3. Technical University of Munich, Germany 

The Technical University of Munich is ranked in the top 50 universities in the world, and is known for its engineering and technology courses. You can study an MSc here for between €129–258 (£111-222) per semester, in subjects including Integrated Circuit Design, Communications Engineering, Aerospace Engineering and Biomedical Neuroscience.

The main campus is in downtown Munich, while the sports-related courses are taught at the Olympic Park.

Munich is a beautiful city, with traditional Bavarian architecture and cultural treasures to explore. It’s a fairly cheap place to live, with well-paid student jobs on offer.

Which European universities offer MBAs?

If you want to study a business master’s in Europe, have a look at these three universities:

1. ESMT Berlin, Germany 

ESMT is Germany’s best business school and one of the most prestigious in Europe. It was founded by 25 leading companies and holds the coveted ‘Triple Crown’ – the highest accreditation for business schools worldwide.

For €12,500–43,500 (£10,771-37,482) per year, you can study the university’s Master in Management, Executive Master of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration courses.

You’ll study in a newly renovated building that’s full of history, as it used to house the East German government.

2. Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Erasmus University’s Rotterdam School of Management is ranked 20th in the QS Global 200 Business School Rankings.

For €28,909–52,000 (£24,910-44,806), you can study its full-time MBA, Executive MBA, or Global Executive One MBA. The campus is just a 15-minute bike ride from the city centre, and has a modern library, shops, cafe, sports centre and even a theatre.

Rotterdam itself has a bustling international student community and a welcoming feel. You can get around the small city easily on a bike and explore from top to bottom.

3. IE Business School, Spain

IE Business School has an excellent reputation. In 2019, QS ranked it first in the world for its Global Online MBA, and the Financial Times ranked it 1st for its Global MBA. Its courses include a Tech MBA, International MBA, Global Online MBA, Executive MBA and Global Executive MBA. You’re looking at between €51,200 (£44,117) and €72,000 (£62,040) to study an MBA there.

The great thing about IE Business School is that the campus is in Madrid’s financial district, so you’ll be in the heart of the action every day. Beyond the financial district, Madrid has a laid-back, happy atmosphere and elegant culture that makes it popular with students.

4. Esade, Spain

Rated the No 1. leader in educational innovation by El Economista, Esade offers a range of MBA programmes to suit the stage of your career you are at and personal circumstances, including full-time, executive, and multi-national MBAs. The University has a diverse range of students with 127 nationalities represented within its 10,000 students. For the full-time MBA course, the fees are €72,000.

Esade is based in Barcelona, a vibrant city on the Mediterranean, so offers a wonderful lifestyle as well as education.

Where can you study an MRes in Europe?

The Master of Research (MRes) isn’t common in the UK, but these three universities in the Netherlands offer them:

1.Tilburg University, the Netherlands 

Tilburg University offers research master’s programmes in Business, Economics, Linguistics and Communication Sciences, Psychology, and Social and Behavioural Sciences. The fee is €2,083 (£1,795) per year for EU students, and €14,604 (£12,584) for international students.

Tilburg is a charming city with a laid-back student vibe, and is well-connected with other cities like Antwerp, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the Hague. The campus is beautifully green and modern, with everything you need for your studies.

2. Maastricht University, the Netherlands 

Maastricht University offers an MRes in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, taught by internationally recognised research experts. It costs €2,083 (£1,795) per year for EU students and €16,800 (£14,476) for international students, and attracts students from around the world.

Maastricht is a fairly small city, which gives it an inviting feel for students. This feeling extends to the campus, which is friendly and multicultural.

3. University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands 

Amsterdam is a wonderful city for students, with its open and care-free culture and arty vibe. You can cycle just about everywhere and easily get to other European cities by public transport.

The University of Amsterdam offers MRes courses in Social Science, International Development Studies, Child Development and Education, and Public International Law, which cost €2,083 (£1,795) per year for EU students and €16,335 (£14,075) for international students. The University of Amsterdam is consistently ranked in the top 100 universities.

So, whatever you want to study, there’s a master’s for you somewhere in Europe.

Making international payments to support your Master’s Degree

Studying overseas means making regular and sometimes large payments such as for tuition or accommodation fees. Getting set up with a low-cost and secure international payments service like PagoFX is a quick, easy and cheap way for you to pay money directly to the University or landlord from your UK bank account. Backed by Santander, one of the world’s most trusted banks, PagoFX offers the real-time exchange rate, low transparent fees and can be used with any UK debit card – there’s no need to have a Santander account to use the service – so you know your payments are taken care of and can focus on getting prepared for your education.

Three quick ways to make moving to Europe easier

The more you prepare, the easier the transition should be once you start studying in Europe. The sorts of things you can do include:

1. Research the city’s traditions, culture and people: Understanding the city you’re moving to will help you settle in and make the most of your time there.

2. Brush up on your language skills: Most people at your university will speak English, but learning the local language is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture and make new friends outside the university.

3. Set up an ‘emergency money’ plan: Knowing that your family or friends back home can send you money will take some of the pressure off. With PagoFX, payments can arrive as fast as within minutes, if sent on a business day before the cut-off time and for certain destinations. You can find out more about payment and cut off times here.


A Master’s degree can be a life-changing asset, helping you further your education and your career. While studying, you want to know that everything is taken care of financially should the need arise. PagoFX by Santander gives you peace-of-mind knowing that you can make international payments quickly with low costs and bank-level security. You can sign up today via the Android or iOS app or at

All course fee information is sourced from the websites of the schools and universities covered in this article. Figures correct as of 1 June 2020. Exchange rate source:

This article is provided as general information purposes only, and is not intended to cover all aspects of the topic. We recommend that you take professional and specialised advice before taking, or refraining from, any action based on the content of this publication, as this article is not intended to constitute expert advice. We do not guarantee, explicitly or implicitly, that the content of this article is accurate, complete or up-to-date. The information in this article does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from PagoFX or its affiliates.