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University of Gothenburg

Sweden Sweden


THE World Ranking: 201



Anyone who knows much about Sweden will have heard of Gothenburg. It’s one of the country’s most ancient, most famous cities. The city that once belonged to the Vikings is now the place where students go to attend the University of Gothenburg, one of the best options in northern Europe.


With a current total of 39,000 students enrolled and over 5,000 employees, the University of Gothenburg (GU) is a major institution. Ranked as the 185th best university in the world by Times Higher Education and boasting one of the best business, economics and law schools in Sweden, students can expect an excellent education at GU.


Students can also expect to have access to hundreds of years of history and culture. With seven campuses and sites across and outside the city centre, the experience of living in Gothenburg will be as interesting, as the experience of getting an education at GU.


Lecturers and tutors at this university are very talented and very dedicated to student success. The standards don’t slip between programmes and courses, they always remain very high. The same is true for research and researchers at GU. The university has lots of Centres of Research and Excellence, is leading the way in Sweden in several subject areas and has strong employer links in and out of the area.


Offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses, including international programmes taught in English, GU is a worldwide university that wants every student to feel welcome, whether domestic or international.


At GU, some students are accessing over 30,000 archives and electronic content sources in the well-equipped library, while other students are getting better and better at their chosen sport in the well-equipped sports facilities. There’s a path to success for anyone and everyone at this institution, with good facilities and teaching standards followed from one side of the course catalogue to the other.


Discover more about studying at GU:


Teaching quality

Entry requirements

Scholarships & funding

University structure


Student support

Graduate outcomes


Teaching Quality

The University of Gothenburg is ranked 185th by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 (THE) and holds the same ranking in the QS World University Rankings 2023. GU also often makes the top ten for subject-specific rankings, clearly showing potential students the high standard of teaching quality.


For example, Best Global Universities ranked GU at number 11 for endocrinology and metabolism studies, while the QS World University Rankings by subject table placed it at number four for dentistry. Other important areas of research and academic achievement at Gothenburg include art and design, neuroscience and behaviour, and clinical medicine.


High quality teaching is always the focus at GU, and that’s a big reason why the university is able to rank so highly. Students leave after a positive learning experience and share that positive experience with others. A good reputation has been created over the years.


However, it’s not just quality teaching that makes GU graduates so successful and GU so unique. The university also deeply values sustainability and the development of society, so these values are reflected in what students are taught. Students learn to be leaders and innovators, one step ahead of where their profession is and looking to where things should be in five or ten years. Students learn that they can have a positive impact on the world.


Lots of members of staff at GU have won internal and external awards, including worthy recognitions for the Faculty of Science. The School of Business, Economics and Law has been accredited by EQUIS, AACSB, and AMBA (known as the ‘triple crown’ of accreditations in Sweden).


Entry Requirements

At GU, there are some general university entry requirements for admission and some course-specific entry requirements, too. The general requirements for undergraduates are completion of secondary school education, including post-16 studies, and a good level of English language understanding. Plus, as of 2009, there’s a requirement for mathematics. All applicants must have successfully completed their equivalent of a Swedish pre-university mathematics qualification.


Postgraduates have similar university requirements to undergraduates but will need to share university qualifications rather than secondary qualifications. The minimum requirement for an MA applicant from the UK, to give an example, is a BA of at least 330 CATS/SCQF points.


All applicants are urged to research the course they’d like to study and find out any and all of its specific entry requirements beyond the university’s general requirements. This will allow students to be 100 per cent sure that they are eligible for admission before applying.


English Score Required

GU teaches courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels in both English and Swedish. There are six BA programmes (including international relations and software engineering and management) fully taught in English and 80 international MA programmes.


Students studying at GU in English will need to meet certain English language requirements. All the programmes ask students to have an English skill level equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary level six, and the university accepts a range of internationally recognised tests to prove a person’s English score, including:


  • The IELTS, with a minimum overall band score of 6.5
  • The TOEFL, with a minimum overall score of 90
  • The PTE, with a minimum overall score of 62


The minimum general English language requirements are the same for both undergraduate and graduate students. Some popular MA programmes taught in English at Gothenburg include computer science, finance and management. Any programmes taught in Swedish require the equivalent of the Swedish upper secondary course.



Student admission to GU is competitive, as it is one of the most popular universities in northern Europe. The admission requirements change from course to course, and so does the rate of tuition students will have to pay. There are some international students who will not need to pay tuition fees. These include:


  • Students with citizenship in an EU/EEA country and Switzerland
  • Students who have been granted a permanent Swedish residence permit
  • Exchange students
  • PhD students in Sweden


Students who don’t fit any of those criteria will be required to pay tuition fees. To give a cost example, postgraduates applying for MA Advanced Phylogenetics in the autumn of 2023 will have to pay SEK 20,667, while undergraduates applying for BA International Relations will have to pay SEK 267,000.


All international students from a non-EU/EEA country will have to pay an application fee of SEK 900. The application process for undergraduate and graduate students is the same:


  1. The student finds a programme.
  2. They check the entry requirements.
  3. They apply to GU (this must be done through the Swedish National Admissions Portal).
  4. They follow and track the application process.
  5. They wait for the result of the selection process.
  6. They pay the first round of tuition fees (if applicable).
  7. They register for their studies, following instructions from the relevant department.


International applicants must provide supporting documentation for university admission. They should check which documents are required for their specific course or programme before applying but will likely need to share things like a passport photo and their academic transcripts, translated into English.


There are two admissions rounds at GU, and all international applicants are advised to apply in the first round. The first round gives students time to pay their tuition fees, receive a residence permit and find housing. This is especially key for non-EU/EEA students, as these steps can take some time.


Scholarships & Funding

GU believes that students of all backgrounds coming together to learn benefits everyone. To help welcome international students and continue to build a varied student community, there are lots of scholarship options available. These scholarships are usually directly subtracted from tuition fees.


University scholarships are available to international students, and so are scholarships and financial awards from external providers. A great example of a scholarship from GU is the Axel Adler Scholarship, awarded to undergraduate and postgraduate students. This scholarship covers the full cost of tuition and is awarded based on academic merit.


To be eligible for the scholarship, students must have applied to GU and paid their fees, they must be planning to live and study on campus, and they must include a CV and letter of motivation explaining their skills and achievements.


The School of Business, Economics and Law offers two department-specific scholarships to fee-paying students: the Richard C. Malmsten Memorial Foundation Scholarship and the Volvo Group Scholarship. The Richard C. Malmsten Memorial Foundation Scholarship covers the value of SEK 100,000 for tuition fees over two years.


The Volvo Group Scholarship is available only to students from the People’s Republic of China, and India. Applicants must be applying for a two-year postgraduate programme in economics, finance, or logistics and transport management. The scholarship will cover 100 per cent of the funding for the two-year course, and the winner will also get some great career and networking opportunities with Volvo Group.


GU also provides travel and research grants to some PhD students. External funding options for international students to explore at both levels of study (undergraduate and postgraduate) include the SI Scholarship for Global Professionals and several options based on an applicant’s home country. Staff at GU’s International Centre can help with lots of queries, including scholarship application/eligibility queries.


University Structure

GU is made up of eight faculties. In these faculties, there are 38 departments (two to seven in each faculty) and around 30 centres of research. The faculties responsible for organising the university’s courses and sharing GU’s core values of collaboration, development and openness are:


  • The Faculty of Social Science (seven internal departments)
  • The Faculty of Science (seven internal departments)
  • The Faculty of Humanities (six internal departments)
  • The School of Business, Economics and Law (four internal departments)
  • The Faculty of Education (four internal departments)
  • The Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts (two internal departments)
  • The Sahlgrenska Academy (two internal departments)
  • The Faculty of IT (two internal departments)


The Centres for Research and Excellence at the GU are designed to manage subject areas and academic disciplines. They are split into three main categories:


  • Economics, politics and social development (including the Centre for Tourism, the Business IT Lab and the Centre for European Research)
  • Health, medicine, maths and natural science (including the Centre for Ethics, Law and Mental Health, the Gothenburg Air and Climate Network and the Marine Infrastructure)
  • Culture, communication and education (including the Centre for Digital Humanities and the Business & Design Lab)


Lots of research areas under these categories are available to students, who can work on exciting new projects and get involved with extracurricular areas of interest as they study. There are also some network research groups split into similar categories.



The whole historic city of Gothenburg is within reach for GU students, but the university facilities are also very impressive. If a student never wanted to leave, they wouldn’t have to. Every campus is a student life centre full of activities and opportunities (from the academic to the extracurricular).


Teaching rooms at GU include lecture theatres of different capacities and conference rooms for smaller groups, so learning is flexible. There are nine libraries for students to borrow books from, study at and print documents in. The library’s digital archives include 28,000 journals and 2,300 ebooks.


GU is also home to the Swedish National Sports University (RUI), where students can combine their academic studies with sports programmes. Talented athletes can fit their studies around training and activity programmes at Gothenburg, travelling easily between the classroom and the student recreation centre.


Almost every GU location has some great food and drink options, like the Mess at the Kristineberg Centre or the cosy cafés on the Haga Campus. Plus, since GU is centrally located, lots of the campuses are close to shopping spots and historic sights, and the whole of Gothenburg becomes a student activity centre. For example, the famous shipyards at Campus Lindholmen are a popular place for students to socialise during study breaks.



Student accommodation near GU isn’t always easy to find. Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden and one of the most popular. In fact, finding a student house can take up to a year, so students are advised to prepare well in advance.


One of the best options in Gothenburg is to rent a room, an apartment or a home. This might mean living with a Swedish family and might give international students a great chance to learn Swedish and get to know a new culture.


There are several ways of finding accommodation in Gothenburg, including Facebook groups and the SGS Student Housing website. Housing costs can be expensive, ranging from SEK 10,558 to SEK 14,926 per month, depending on the area. To make sure that they find housing in cheaper areas, students should start their search early and be willing to be flexible about where they live.


University accommodation and student rooms are offered to exchange students who are part of the Erasmus or Linneaus Palme programmes. Exchange students apply for housing when they apply for their chosen exchange programme at Gothenburg. They have to be nominated by their home university before they can apply.


All international students will need to have residence permits in order to be able to live and study in Gothenburg, so this is another thing that applicants should consider and sort out as soon as possible once they’ve been accepted.


Student Support

All the student services and student support networks at GU are available to domestic and international students. The university is committed to creating an atmosphere of friendship and community, and its full student support programme, complete with student guides, trained counsellors and academic advisors, aims to achieve that.


Feelgood Goteborg City is GU’s provider of student healthcare services, including mental health care focused on commonly experienced student issues like anxiety, stress and depression. The organisation also arranges regular workshops and talks that any struggling student can attend for help and conversation. Feelgood also works as a full healthcare service for international students from non-EU/EEA countries until they can access the national healthcare system in Sweden.


International students can benefit from more student support services by joining a student union. This union will represent their societal and educational needs, as well as organise parties and social activities throughout the whole academic year.


Study support for students with mental and physical disabilities is on offer all the time at GU. There are also academic workshops from the Unit for Academic Language that students can attend. These are usually hosted in libraries and are designed to help improve a student’s academic language and learning strategies.


Graduate Outcomes

The graduate employment rate at GU is high. In 2019, an average of 82 per cent of graduates found employment within 12–18 months of completing their studies. And in 2020, 84 per cent of MA graduates from the School for Business, Economics and Law found employment within six months of completing their courses.


The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for Graduate Employability 2022 placed GU at number 202. That means that it remains comfortably within the top 250 universities globally for graduate employment prospects. With alumni finding success everywhere, from southern Europe to Japan, job prospects are strong, and graduate career options are wide open.


GU offers excellent career services, including one-on-one counselling, coaching sessions and CV feedback. These sessions are 30 minutes and are online with an individual career guide, meaning that they’re accessible from either a library or the comfort of a student’s room. They also provide training on how to write cover letters and come across well in job interviews.


Other employment services include GU’s student portal, where current students can connect with former students and alumni, get career advice and make connections in the working world. There’s also a job ad portal students can use to find out about internships/part-time working opportunities.


Because of its commitments to a sustainable future and social responsibility, GU also welcomes applications from students for jobs at the university. The institution wants to encourage as many students as possible to work with them in creating a better world. But whether graduates decide to apply for positions or halfway around the world, they’re supported by GU every step of the way.


Subjects you can study at University of Gothenburg

  • Applied and Pure Sciences Applied and Pure Sciences
  • Business and Management Business and Management
  • Computer Science and IT Computer Science and IT
  • Creative Arts and Design Creative Arts and Design
  • Education and Training Education and Training
  • Health and Medicine Health and Medicine
  • Humanities Humanities
  • Law Law
  • Social Studies and Media Social Studies and Media

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.

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Key facts and figures at University of Gothenburg


Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023
Source: THE


QS World University Rankings 2024
Source: QS


Academic Ranking of World Universities 2022
Source: ARWU


Student life in numbers

Source: Study in Sweden


Source: Study in Sweden







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