Studying in Poland
Poland's higher education system consists of state (public) and non-state institutions. As well as general universities, there are a variety of higher education institutions including universities of technology, medical universities, universities of economics, agriculture and life sciences, pedagogy, arts, physical education and maritime universities.
The Polish higher education system is regulated by the State Accreditation Committee which monitors and controls educational standards in Polish institutions.
A full list of universities and other higher education institutions with contact details can be found at the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. The Jagiellonian University in Krakow is the second oldest university in Central Europe and was founded in the 14th century.
What courses can you study?
The structure in the UK of first degree, masters and doctorate-level qualifications is also followed in Poland. Course lengths are similar to those in the UK although a masters may take around two years to complete.
Courses are available in the subjects that can also be found in the UK and many institutions offer courses in English. You may need to prove your proficiency in the language during the application process. If you wish to study in Polish you typically need to pass the State Certificate in Polish as a Foreign Language.
You can search for courses that are taught in English across all levels at Study in Poland.
How do you apply for postgraduate study?
Typically you'll need to have completed a first degree for entry to a masters course and will need a masters qualification, or equivalent, for study on a doctorate degree.
A transcript of your results will have to be sent to the university along with a completed application form. Some institutions may require further documentation such as letters of recommendation and personal statements, while others may set up aptitude tests as part of the application process.
Entry requirements and application procedures can vary between universities so you should contact the institutions directly to find out further information. The academic year starts in October and ends in June. You should apply as early as possible and contact the university to find out about any specific closing dates.
Fees and scholarships
Tuition fees may vary between universities so you should contact the institution directly for specific details. However, in general the minimum fees that will have to be paid are as follows:
- €2,000 per year for professional higher study, masters degrees and language courses;
- €3,000 per year for apprenticeships and doctoral, postgraduate, vocational and specialist courses.
Living expenses in Poland are low and you should allow approximately €300–€600 per month for accommodation, food and transport. See Study in Poland for further information.
Scholarships may be available through programmes such as Erasmus+. If you are completing an Erasmus+ Joint Masters Degree (JMD) you may be eligible for an Erasmus+ EU grant. You may also be able to apply for a Polish Government Scholarship. More information is available at the Bureau for Academic Recognition and International Exchange (information is in Polish).
Individual universities may also offer their own scholarships for those who show academic excellence. Contact institutions directly to find out more.
Are there any exchange programmes?
UK students on both under and postgraduate degree programmes may be interested in studying in Poland through Erasmus+. This programme is open to all subject areas, but check with your institution's study abroad/exchange coordinator to see which countries they have links with and in what subject areas.
Will your qualifications be recognised in the UK?
Following the Bologna Process and the creation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), a postgraduate course from Poland is directly comparable to the UK equivalent.
Do you need a visa to study in Poland?
EU citizens don't need a visa in order to study in Poland. However, if your course lasts for longer than 90 days, you'll need to register with the local 'voivodeship' office which will issue you with a temporary residence card.
Non-EU citizens may need a visa to be able to study in Poland and will also need to get a residence permit to stay for longer than 90 days. If you're from a non-EU country, contact the Polish embassy in the country where you're currently living for information on whether you require a student visa or see Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.
AGCAS editors, June 2014