Affordable Masters Degrees in Europe

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Updated: February 29, 2024, Reading time: 15 minutes

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Explore affordable master’s degrees in Europe with our comprehensive guide. Ideal for international students seeking cost-effective options, it addresses financial concerns while highlighting program features. Whether you are exploring quality education without excessive expenses or planning a budget-friendly academic journey, this guide ensures valuable insights for a successful experience.

Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Affordable Master’s Degrees in Europe

Europe offers a plethora of affordable and tuition-free options for students. Here, we highlight six universities that stand out for their academic excellence and economic feasibility.

Graduates in caps and gowns standing in a line

Scuola Normale Superiore

Scuola Normale Superiore, renowned for academic excellence, provides undergraduate programs in humanities, sciences, and political science. Offering specializations in diverse fields, the university stands out as one of the best tuition-free universities in Europe. Their financial coverage includes living costs, including housing and food.

Nord University

As a publicly-funded Norwegian university, Nord University does not charge a tuition fee. Although non-EU citizens need to prove financial capacity, many programs are taught in English, including unique fields like Circumpolar Studies. This makes it an affordable option for international students.

Free University of Berlin

Known for its tuition-free model, the Free University of Berlin is a hub for North American Studies. The university’s English-taught Bachelor of Arts program and reasonable living costs in Berlin make it an attractive option for international students.

University of Göttingen

As part of Germany’s tuition-free university network, the University of Göttingen offers programs in humanities, natural sciences, law, and social sciences. It is an economical choice with a nominal administrative fee and affordable living costs.


Situated in Pisa, Sant’Anna is an affordable university in Europe. With programs in experimental and applied sciences and social sciences, the university offers education with easy installment plans.

Chernivtsi National University

University of Athens

As the oldest university in Greece, the University of Athens offers a range of undergraduate programs. The low tuition cost and the historical ambiance of Athens make it a great choice for those seeking a unique academic experience.

RWTH Aachen University

Specializing in architecture and engineering, RWTH Aachen University charges a modest student body fee. While courses are primarily taught in German, the low fees and reasonable living costs make it an accessible grad school option for international students.

Nantes University

Nantes University in France offers diverse programs taught in English with a minimal fee. The city’s low cost of living adds to its affordability, providing students with a convenient and high-quality education.

University of Paris-Sud

The University of Paris-Sud is a budget-friendly option in the heart of Paris, charging a minimal processing fee. English-taught programs and a rich cultural backdrop allow students to immerse themselves in academia without experiencing a financial burden.

University of Vienna

Founded in 1365, the University of Vienna offers nearly 200 programs, many taught in English. With a manageable processing fee and a rich historical backdrop, it’s a great choice for diverse academic pursuits.

These universities exemplify Europe’s commitment to accessible education, combining academic excellence with economic feasibility. This university provides international students with an enriching and cost-effective educational experience.

A spacious library filled with tables and chairs for studying and reading

Online Learning: University of the People

University of the People is a pioneer in online education, providing non-profit, accredited programs for accessible higher education. Breaking barriers, the institution offers tuition-free degree programs covering diverse academic areas, including bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

The University of the People fosters a global student community with robust programs across various disciplines, with over 20,000 learners from 200+ countries. Its educational approach emphasizes peer-to-peer learning and personalized attention.

University of the People is a leading institute in online education in Europe, making quality higher learning accessible globally.

Why Pursue An Affordable Master’s Degree in Europe?

While pursuing academic and professional growth, obtaining a master’s degree offers unparalleled advantages.

The decision to study in Europe is not merely about getting a degree. It’s also about gaining a transformative experience that significantly enhances a student’s experience of diverse industries and work cultures, increases employability, and opens doors to global opportunities.

Added Value in the Global Job Market

A master’s degree in Europe enriches your resume, making you a sought-after candidate in the global job market. Employers value the adaptability, cultural awareness, and global perspective gained through international education.

Exposure to Diverse Cultures and Languages

Studying in Europe immerses you in multicultural environments, fostering cross-cultural communication skills. Proficiency in multiple languages, a common outcome of this experience, becomes a valuable asset in today’s competitive job landscape.

Research Opportunities and Financial Support

Europe is a hub for cutting-edge research, offering access to renowned institutions and collaborative projects. Engaging in impactful research during your master’s studies enhances critical thinking and prepares you to address real-world challenges.

European universities prioritize financial accessibility, investing significantly in scholarships and financial aid programs. Merit-based scholarships, need-based grants, and research funding are integral components, ensuring a supportive environment for your master’s journey.

A young man leaning on a wall in a graduation gown and tie

What Should International Students Know About Pursuing A Master’s Degree In Europe?

Europe is home to state-of-the-art colleges offering post-graduate degree programs to both European and international students at affordable or no tuition fees. If you are looking to pursue higher studies in Europe, you must have some information on the culture, language, environment, and the requisites of studying in your desired EU state.  

Here are some factors you must thoroughly research and acquaint yourself with before selecting an EU university for a master’s degree.

Health Insurance

International students are typically required to have health insurance coverage for the duration of their stay in Europe. Depending on the country, this can be through a private or national health service provider.

Language Tests

Common language tests include the TOEFL, IELTS, and Cambridge English exams. Some universities may also require other tests or conduct their language assessment.

Knowledge of the Local Language

Many European universities offer master’s programs taught entirely in English, especially in business, engineering, and science, allowing students to study without knowing the local language. However, it is important to have a basic understanding of the local language to blend in, socialize, and avail opportunities outside the classroom.

Visa Requirements

Visa requirements vary by country. They generally include proof of acceptance into a university program, proof of financial resources to cover tuition and living expenses, and health insurance.

Post-Graduate Opportunities

Post-study work opportunities vary by country, with some offering post-study work visas that allow graduates to remain in the country and seek employment for a certain period after graduation.

Living Costs

Living costs in Europe vary widely across countries. It is essential to research the estimated living expenses in your chosen study location, including accommodation, food, transportation, and leisure activities.

A classroom with students sitting in front of a blackboard

Support Services

European universities offer various support services for international students, including orientation programs, language support classes, counseling services, and assistance with accommodation and visa applications.

Financial Aid Options 

Many European universities offer financial aid, scholarships, and grants to support international students. It’s advised to explore specific university websites and financial aid programs.

Language Barrier

While some programs may be in the local languages, many European universities, especially at the post-graduate level, offer courses in English. This helps reduce language barriers and accommodates international students.

Online Education

Many universities in Europe offer online master’s degree programs for international students. These programs can be taken hybrid or completely remote. 

Online education provides flexibility and accessibility. For example, the University of the People offers accredited online degrees with a tuition-free model, fostering a global student community through diverse programs.

Academic Landscape Across Europe

In 2021, almost 18.5 million students were enrolled in European tertiary education – 29.2% of whom pursued master’s degrees.

The academic landscape across Europe is very diverse. Each country offers unique educational advantages. Students have many options, from the historic universities of the United Kingdom and the research-centric institutions in Germany to the modern, state-of-the-art campuses in Scandinavia.

Tuition Fees: EU Citizens vs. Non-EU Citizens

Carefully researching the tuition fees and academic offerings of various universities is crucial for prospective master’s students in Europe. This section discusses the fee structures for EU and non-EU citizens, emphasizing the financial considerations associated with each.

EU CitizensNon-EU Citizens
Equal Tuition Fees Across EU Member States
EU citizens enjoy consistent tuition fees when pursuing a master’s degree within any EU member state. This fosters educational mobility, enabling students to choose programs based on academic merit rather than financial constraints.
Tuition Costs for International Students
Non-EU citizens, while not benefiting from uniform tuition fees, still have the opportunity to access world-class education in Europe. Understanding the specific costs associated with tuition is pivotal for effective financial planning.
Additional Benefits
In addition to uniform tuition fees, EU citizens often have access to additional benefits, including residence permits. These permits contribute to smoother integration into their chosen European country’s academic and social fabric.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
European universities actively support non-EU citizens through various financial aid programs and scholarships. These resources are pivotal in making master’s degrees affordable, ensuring financial barriers do not hinder access to quality education.

The diverse academic realms in Europe open doors to a myriad of opportunities. This section outlines common fields of study, emphasizing each field’s advantages to prospective master’s degree seekers.

A diverse group of professionals sitting in chairs at a conference

Business and Economics

Enrolling in a master’s in Business and Economics expands career horizons by providing students with a well-rounded view of domestic and international economies. International students receive substantial financial assistance, making Europe an attractive destination for pursuing these dynamic master’s degrees.


Prepare for a career in academia with a master’s in Education. Enjoy the unique advantages European universities offer, shaping your understanding of teaching methodologies, education policy-making, educational psychology, and more.

Computer Science

Europe is the hub of technological advancements in various areas. A master’s degree in Computer Science will help you enter Europe’s digital innovations and technology market. The universities offer unique programs, equipping students with a blend of management practices and data analysis skills rooted in programming.

Health Science

A master’s in health sciences from a European university offers a global perspective on applying technology and mathematics in health services worldwide through European Health Science programs. You become a part of an international community, fostering a unique understanding of various health science practices.

Application Process for European Universities

Navigating the application process for European universities requires understanding specific requirements and timelines.

Language Requirements and Support

International students in Europe face most challenges due to the language barrier. Knowing the language of instruction is crucial for a successful academic and social experience.

Two men working on their laptops

Work Opportunities for Students While Studying in Europe

In several European countries, there are opportunities for students to work part-time while pursuing their studies. These work opportunities are often governed by specific regulations that dictate the number of hours international students are permitted to work per week, typically ranging from 10 to 20 hours.

Engaging in part-time work during studies can offer numerous benefits beyond financial support. It provides students with valuable work experience in an international setting, enhances language skills, and fosters cultural exchange. Additionally, it can contribute to building a professional network that may prove beneficial in future career endeavors.

Students need to be aware of any visa restrictions or limitations their host country imposes regarding employment. Adhering to these regulations ensures compliance with immigration laws and avoids potential legal issues.

Some well-paying jobs for students in Europe are:

To explore work opportunities, students can check with their university’s career services office or seek guidance from international student advisors. They may also find job listings through online platforms, local newspapers, or directly contacting businesses in their interest.

Post-Graduation Opportunities in Europe

Completing a master’s degree in Europe doesn’t just end with academic achievement; it extends into promising career opportunities and pathways to integrate into the European workforce. In fact, in 2022, the employment rate for recent graduates in the EU was 82.4%. International students are encouraged to explore these avenues and plan their post-graduation journey with a long-term view of their career and life in Europe.

Career Prospects

Europe’s educational excellence opens doors to thriving industries such as technology, finance, healthcare, and engineering.

Graduates find themselves well-equipped to enter competitive job markets, benefiting from Europe’s robust economy and international business connections.

Work Visa Regulations and Stay Back Options

Various European countries offer post-study work visas, allowing graduates a grace period to seek employment. For instance, Germany’s Job Seeker Visa permits graduates to stay for 18 months post-studies to find a job.

Countries like the Netherlands and France have similar schemes aimed at retaining skilled international talent.

Supportive Initiatives for International Students

European universities often provide comprehensive career services, including job fairs, workshops, and networking events, to bridge the gap between education and employment.

Internship opportunities during and after studies further enhance employability, offering practical experience and industry connections.

Navigating the Path from Student Visa to Work Permit

The transition from student visas to work permits is easy in many European countries, with specific pathways designed for graduates.

Networking, understanding local job markets, and leveraging university resources are key strategies for navigating post-graduation opportunities effectively.

Staying in Europe

Countries like France and Sweden offer opportunities for graduates to apply for work permits post-study, encouraging talent retention. 

Additionally, networking with alumni and utilizing university career services can enhance job prospects.

Empty chairs in a class room

Frequently Asked Questions

What Scholarships Are Available for International Students in Europe?

For a comprehensive list of scholarships available for international students in Europe, it’s recommended to explore various resources, including university websites, educational foundations, and government portals. 

Some well-known scholarships include the following: 

How Can We Find Accommodation While Studying in Europe?

Many universities offer on-campus accommodation or have partnerships with local housing providers. Websites like Airbnb,, and local rental platforms can help you find short-term rentals or shared apartments. 

Additionally, you can search for rental listings on websites like Craigslist or local classified ads. More ways include students’ accommodation agencies, networking, and social media communities. 

Are There Part-Time Research Projects or Internships Available to Students During their Studies?

Yes, many universities in Europe offer opportunities for international students to engage in part-time research projects or internships. Check with your university’s career services office or academic departments for information on available research positions or internships. They may have listings or connections with research labs or companies offering opportunities for students.

Other ways include faculty contacts, online platforms, networking, and research grants.


This comprehensive guide has unveiled affordable opportunities for students in European universities, providing insights into tuition fees, living costs, and unique programs. Prospective students are encouraged to explore these options, recognizing the wealth of educational possibilities.

Remember that it’s essential for international students to research the school and the culture of the selected country thoroughly.

We’re certain of one thing—your search for more information on picking the best graduate degree or school landed you here. Let our experts help guide your through the decision making process with thoughtful content written by experts.