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Sweden Universities and Schools that Accept HND Certificates, Second Class and 3rd Class for Masters Degree Programs

For many international students, the prospect of pursuing a Master’s degree abroad is both exhilarating and daunting. Sweden, known for its high-quality education system, innovative research, and welcoming attitude towards international students, is a sought-after destination for postgraduate studies.

However, applicants often wonder about the eligibility criteria, especially those holding Higher National Diploma (HND) certificates, second-class, and third-class degrees from their undergraduate studies. This post aims to demystify the process and list universities and schools in Sweden that accept such qualifications for their Master’s degree programs.

Eligibility Criteria for Master’s Programs in Sweden

The eligibility criteria for Master’s programs in Sweden are systematically designed to ensure candidates possess the necessary knowledge and skills for their chosen field of study. Below are the key eligibility requirements you should be aware of:

  • Grades and Transcripts: While specific grade requirements can vary between universities and programs, applicants should provide transcripts demonstrating their academic performance. Swedish universities do consider applicants with HND certificates, second-class, and third-class degrees, but additional qualifications or experience might be necessary to strengthen your application.
  • Proof of English Proficiency: Since many Master’s programs in Sweden are taught in English, non-native speakers are required to demonstrate their proficiency through standardized tests such as TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent. Each university and program may set its own minimum score requirement.
  • Subject-specific Requirements: Some Master’s programs may have prerequisites regarding the content of your undergraduate studies. For instance, a Master’s program in engineering might require a certain number of credits in mathematics or physics from your bachelor’s studies.
  • Motivational Letter and CV/Resume: A well-written motivational letter and a comprehensive CV or resume are often required. These documents provide the admissions committee with insight into your academic interests, professional experience, and why you are a suitable candidate for the program.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Typically, one or two letters of recommendation from academics who are familiar with your academic abilities and potential for graduate study are required.
  • Portfolio: For programs in the arts, architecture, and similar fields, a portfolio showcasing your previous work may be necessary.

Understanding and meeting these eligibility criteria are crucial steps in the application process. Applicants are encouraged to thoroughly research the specific requirements of their chosen program and university, as there may be additional prerequisites or documents needed.

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Sweden Universities that Accept HND Certificates, Second Class and 3rd Class for Masters Degree Programs

Finding a university in Sweden that recognizes the value of diverse educational backgrounds, including HND certificates, second-class, and third-class degrees, is crucial for students aiming to pursue Master’s degree programs. These universities understand that talent and potential are not solely defined by top academic grades but can also be demonstrated through practical experience, passion, and a commitment to one’s field of study. Below is a curated list of Swedish universities that welcome applicants with such qualifications for their Master’s degree programs:

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1)  Lund University

Known for its research-driven programs, Lund University offers a wide range of Master’s programs that consider applicants with various academic backgrounds. The university values the unique perspectives and experiences brought by international students, including those with HND certificates or lower-class degrees, contingent upon satisfying program-specific prerequisites and demonstrating potential through other achievements.

2) University of Gothenburg 

With a diverse selection of programs, the University of Gothenburg assesses applicants holistically. They provide opportunities for students with HND certificates and lower undergraduate classifications to pursue further education, especially in programs where practical experience and a robust portfolio can supplement academic credentials.

3) Uppsala University

 Emphasizing innovation and research, Uppsala University is another prestigious institution that offers a path for students with varied educational backgrounds. The university requires detailed documentation of previous education and may request additional materials such as a statement of purpose or letters of recommendation to understand the applicant’s abilities and motivations fully.

4)  Linköping University 

Linköping is known for its progressive educational approach and offers several Master’s programs in fields like engineering, computer science, and social sciences. Applicants with HND certificates or second and third-class degrees are encouraged to apply, provided they can demonstrate competence in their chosen field and meet other specific program requirements.

5) KTH Royal Institute of Technology

As one of the leading technical universities in Europe, KTH has a more flexible admission process for its Master’s programs, particularly in engineering and technology fields. They evaluate the overall profile of the applicant, including work experience, project involvement, and leadership skills, alongside academic qualifications.

These universities exemplify Sweden’s inclusive approach to higher education, recognizing that potential and expertise can be demonstrated in numerous ways beyond traditional academic achievements. Prospective students are advised to contact the admissions departments of these universities directly for detailed information on specific program requirements and application procedures.

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Sweden Schools that Accept HND Certificates, Second Class and 3rd Class for Masters Degree Programs

While universities often capture the spotlight for higher education opportunities in Sweden, there are also specialized schools that provide excellent Master’s degree programs, catering to students with diverse academic backgrounds. These schools understand that academic paths can vary greatly and recognize the value in practical experience and diverse perspectives that students with HND certificates, second-class, and third-class degrees bring to the table. Below is a list of such schools in Sweden where your unique academic journey can continue and flourish:

1) Malmö University

Offering a variety of interdisciplinary programs, Malmö University is known for its innovative teaching methods and inclusive admission policies. It is an excellent choice for students aiming to blend practical experience with theoretical knowledge, especially in social sciences and technology.

2) Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) 

For students interested in business, economics, or finance, SSE provides a rigorous academic environment. Despite its reputation for high academic standards, SSE values diversity in student backgrounds and experiences, making it a viable option for those with HND certificates or lower undergraduate grades, as long as they demonstrate strong potential and motivation in their application.

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3) Blekinge Institute of Technology

Specializing in engineering and IT, this institute offers programs that blend technical expertise with innovation. Recognizing the importance of practical skills in these fields, they welcome applications from students with varied educational credentials who are passionate about technology and innovation.

4) Umeå Institute of Design 

Renowned for its design programs, this institute is part of Umeå University and offers highly specialized Master’s programs in industrial design and related fields. A portfolio plays a critical role in the application process, allowing candidates with HND certificates or lower-class degrees to showcase their creativity and skill set.

5) Dalarna University

 With a focus on sustainability and intercultural understanding, Dalarna University offers a range of programs suitable for students with diverse academic records. They provide a supportive learning environment where practical experience and a global perspective are highly valued.

These schools exemplify Sweden’s holistic approach to education, where emphasis is placed not only on academic achievements but also on personal growth, professional experience, and the potential to contribute meaningfully to one’s field of study. 


Can I use HND for Masters in Sweden?

While it is possible to use a Higher National Diploma (HND) as a qualification for admission into a master’s degree program in Sweden, the specific requirements can vary depending on the university and the program. Some universities may require additional qualifications, such as an undergraduate degree or work experience, in order to be considered for admission. 

What are the requirements to study Masters in Sweden?

The specific requirements to study a master’s degree in Sweden vary depending on the university and program you are applying to. However, there are some general requirements that are typically needed for admission. 

Can I apply for Masters with my HND certificate?

Yes, you can potentially apply for a master’s degree with a Higher National Diploma (HND) certificate, although this is dependent on a few different factors. Firstly, you need to check the requirements of the university and program you are interested in. Some universities may have certain academic requirements, such as a minimum grade point average (GPA), as well as specific entry requirements. Secondly, the HND you have achieved may not be an equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in the country you are applying to.

Can I do Masters abroad with a second class lower (2:2)?

In many cases, yes, you can apply for a master’s degree with a Higher National Diploma (HND) certificate. However, it’s important to note that not all universities or programs will accept an HND as an equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. It’s therefore best to research the specific requirements of the universities and programs you’re interested in to make sure your HND is an acceptable qualification. Some universities may also require you to have a certain number of years of work experience, or a certain GPA. 

 Can I do Masters in Germany with a second class lower (2:2)?

Yes, you can apply for a master’s degree in Germany with a second class lower (2:2) degree, although it’s worth noting that acceptance is not guaranteed. In general, German universities require a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) as well as a certain grade point average (GPA) for admission. 


If you’re considering pursuing a master’s degree in Sweden, you’ll be pleased to know that there are a number of top-quality universities that accept HNDs and lower second class degrees for admission. These universities include Uppsala University, Lund University, and the Stockholm School of Economics.

These universities offer a wide range of master’s degree programs in various fields, such as business, law, and medicine. In addition to their world-class education, these universities also provide a number of extracurricular activities, such as student clubs and societies, that can help make your time in Sweden even more enjoyable.

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