Study PhD in Europe - A Comprehensive Guide


21 June 2023



When we talk about European countries, the first word that comes to our minds is “beautiful.” Every country in Europe, be it Germany, Italy or France, all are associated with pristine locations, mouthwatering food and excellent educational prospects. Whether it's the academic prowess of Germany or the intellectual heritage of France, European countries offer an educational experience that is unparalleled.

Every year students from different countries choose to study in Europe, given the excellency of the institutes. From bachelor's to PhD, Europe is the students' all-time favourite. Being research-intensive universities, European universities are gaining momentum for their PhD specialisations. If you are also interested in pursuing PhD in Europe, this blog is for you. We have compiled all the information starting with why Europe is the ideal place for PhD to universities, programs, eligibility, etc., just for you. So, sit back and enjoy the blog!


Why Pursue PhD in Europe?

There are several reasons why pursuing PhD programs in Europe can be a great choice. Let us take a look at some of the top reasons. 

  • For international PhD students, many European nations offer grants for research and the ability to pay for living expenses and tuition. This financial assistance can lessen the hardship of attaining a Ph.D., allowing you to concentrate on research.

  • Several research institutions and centres of excellence throughout Europe represent many different academic topics and specialisations. There are many chances for conducting research in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, and technology throughout Europe. Due to the diversity, you can select a programme and research area that fits your interests and professional objectives. 

  • European universities and research institutions frequently foster strong partnerships between industry partners and research institutions. This allows PhD students to participate in group projects, attend conferences, workshops, and develop professional networks. These relationships may also benefit future employment opportunities and team research projects. 

  • A PhD from a reputable European university can improve your job opportunities within Europe and internationally. European institutions are renowned for conducting top-notch research and developing gifted students. Your employability in academia, industry, research organisations, and even entrepreneurship might be improved by the skills and knowledge you learn during your PhD and exposure to a global market.


Top Universities to Study PhD in Europe

Europe, a continent associated with majestic architecture, pristine locations, exotic food and academic excellence, holds a reputation for academic excellence and research projects. European institutions focus heavily on research and innovation while providing high-quality education. As an international PhD research candidate in Europe, you have access to top-notch academics, cutting-edge facilities, and a dynamic academic atmosphere. 


While the list of good institutes for PhD in Europe is long, we have compiled the best ones below. Let’s check them out! 

  • ETH Zurich 

  • Utrecht University 

  • The University of Kent 

  • Copenhagen University

  • Heidelberg University 

  • The Technical University of Munich 

  • The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich 

  • The University of St. Gallen

  • The Free University of Berlin 

  • Leiden University

  • PSL Research University 

  • Erasmus University Rotterdam

  • The University of Paris 

  • The University of Potsdam

  • The University of Cologne 

  • The University of Mannheim 

  • The University of Bonn 


Many other universities are popular for their research-intensive curriculum and PhD specialisations apart from the ones mentioned above. As a research candidate, you must research thoroughly according to your needs and subject area, check research outcomes, get familiar with the faculties and then decide on the institutions. We know you’ll go with the best of the choices!


Best PhD Programs in Europe

While PhD candidates are particular about what they wish to research about, yet, when it comes to pursuing a PhD in Europe, they might need clarification as to which programs are the best there within different specialisations. Universities in Europe are research-intensive and are highly distinguished for their education at various study levels. They have a wide range of programs and research specialisations that students can look forward to while considering to study in Europe. Some of these programs are listed below. 


  • European Politics and Area Studies  

  • Management 

  • Sustainable Energy and Technologies 

  • Doctor of Philosophy

  • Mountain Environment and Agriculture 

  • Food Engineering and Biotechnology 

  • Economics and Finance 

  • Computer Science 

  • Doctor of Business Administration

  • Linguistics 

  • Business Administration

  • Aerospace Engineering

  • Doctor of Juridical Science 

  • Mathematical Sciences 

  • Architecture - History and Project 

  • Artificial Intelligence Technologies for Enhancing Online Customer


While the list of the best PhD programs in Europe is almost endless, but the ones mentioned above are the top choices for many international and domestic students alike. Make sure to browse the courses thoroughly and then decide.


Best Countries for PhD in Europe

The beauty of European countries is simply awe-inspiring, enchanting the soul with its captivating landscapes and cultural richness. Europe is a treasure trove of visual delights, but its allure goes beyond its physical attributes. Europe also stands tall in academic standards and is renowned for nurturing the minds of countless scholars and thinkers. Its renowned universities and educational institutions are bastions of knowledge, where passionate educators ignite the flames of curiosity and intellectual exploration. Whatever you wish to study, European universities have something that feels like it is built just for you. 


While there are many countries that are student favourites to give wings to their study in Europe dreams, the below mentioned are some of the top ones. Check them out. You can also take help from our country counsellors to know more about the countries or apply to universities there. 

  • Germany 

  • Netherlands 

  • Switzerland 

  • France 

  • Italy 

  • Sweden

  • Finland 

  • Australia


PhD Opportunities in Europe

Europe attracts a large number of international students, creating a multicultural and diverse academic environment. Engaging with peers from different countries and cultures can broaden your perspective, foster cross-cultural collaboration, and enhance your intercultural skills. Exposure to different research methodologies and approaches can enrich your academic experience. PhD candidates can later work with universities on certain researchers or open their practice or can go on to work with big organisations using their skills at hand. The average salary after completing PhD programs in Europe is around €49,802 per year, which can increase depending on various factors.


Eligibility Criteria to Pursue PhD in Europe

Universities worldwide have different eligibility criteria based on their curriculum, industry and academic standards. European universities consider every application carefully and look for unique points in each of them. This gives every type of student an edge to get admitted to the university of their choice. Although, it is mandatory to fulfil the set eligibility requirements in order to have a smooth application process. While the exact requirements vary, here are some of them to keep in mind.


  • Having a master’s or any other equivalent degree is a must to apply.

  • Research proposals are needed to assess your application.

  • A set criteria of minimum scores in PG studies.



 Q. Which country is best for PhD in Europe?

A. Among all the European countries, Germany has the best programs and prospects for PhD in Europe and is the favourite in the list. 


Q. How long does a PhD take in Europe?

A. PhD programs in Europe generally take around four years to complete. 


Q. What is the criteria for PhD in Europe?

A. Several colleges typically require a master's degree in the candidate's field of study. However, colleges occasionally will also admit students with a highly regarded bachelor's degree.


Q. Is IELTS required for PhD in Europe?

A. To pursue PhD in Europe, IELTS and other language proficiency tests are often required to gain admission, but still, some European universities allow international Indian students to study without them.



To conclude, PhD in Europe is one of the most sought-after academic degrees with various specialisations. Pursuing PhD programs in Europe can provide you with access to top-notch education, diverse research opportunities, financial support, and a multicultural environment. It can be a rewarding and transformative experience that opens up exciting career prospects while broadening your horizons. Browse programs carefully and then decide based on your learning and future prospects. We wish you luck in your studies!


We hope you enjoyed learning about PhD in Europe. If you would like to get a deeper insight into how to study in Europe, we encourage you to have a word with our team of expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). Our counsellors will provide you with guidance throughout your study abroad journey. Get help with the application process, SOPs and filing for a visa. Visit us and get one-to-one counselling or avail yourself of free video counselling via our website. We will be happy to help you, so please do not hesitate to contact us at or 1800-1230-00011.

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