In the UEFA qualification for 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, 41 entrants were drawn into eight groups, from which the group winners advanced to a play-off round. The four winners of the play-off round advanced directly to join Germany (the hosts) in the finals tournament, while the four play-off losers played two further knock-out rounds to determine a nation to play-off with the third-placed CONCACAF nation for a finals place.
This scheme was a significant change from previous editions of qualification as all entrants had the ability to advance to the final tournament. In previous years only those nations belonging to the First Category of European women's football were able to qualify, with a system approximating promotion and relegation between qualification tournaments operating.
Seeding was based on results in 2007 World Cup and UEFA Women's EURO 2009 qualifying. There were five seeding pots, each containing eight teams except for the fifth, Pot E, which had nine and provided two nations for Group 1.
Each seeded team was drawn against an unseeded opponent to play a two-legged tie. The four winners advanced to the finals in Germany. The four losers advanced to the repechage rounds for a chance to qualify against a CONCACAF opponent.
Ties were drawn on 30 August with the first legs scheduled for 11–12 September and the return legs on 15–16 September.
The two winners from the first repechage round met in a two-legged tie on 23 and 27 October. The winner advanced to play the third-placed team from the CONCACAF qualification for a spot in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup finals.