Master's degree programme in International Studies


Get an international perspective on your education

The Master’s degree programme in international studies is aimed at students with a Bachelor’s degree in either a humanistic or a socialscience discipline who would like to add an international dimension to their studies. The purpose of the degree programme is to give you knowledge about international affairs that you can use in combination with your Bachelor’s degree.

New insights and possibilities

Your insight into the globalized world we live in, your ability to identify issues and possibilities, and your ability to analyse them are useful in many different contexts. You can work with import and export in Danish and foreign companies, for example, or at embassies, in international organisations and political institutions.

Globalisation, culture and politics

The international studies programme has been designed in response to the increased globalisation of the job market. Today, employees have to be able to work in a growing number of interdisciplinary contexts with an increasingly strong international dimension. The programme thus includes subjects such as history and cultural analysis as well as international politics and project management. As approximately 50 per cent of the students on this programme come from abroad, there is a strong emphasis on the international dimension, which gives you an opportunity to become comfortable working with people from all over the world. The programme is designed to give you a broad insight into the world in which we live.

Interdisciplinary teaching

The degree in international studies is based at the Department of Culture and Society but draws on the competences of a wide range of staff at Aarhus University. A researcher from the History Section is responsible for the history subjects, while a researcher from the Department of Political Science is responsible for the socio-political subjects.

Customise your degree

During the third semester of the degree programme, you have an opportunity to customise your degree. You can choose to complete project-oriented work and thereby test yourself and your competences in practice or study a subject in depth by taking electives - be it at AU or as part of a semester at a university abroad

The Master’s degree in international studies is designed to add an international dimension to your academic profile; the working language is English and the you work with international affairs. Topics relating to anthropology, history, law, economics and political science are integral parts of the programme. This wide-ranging programme gives you broad competences that will enable you to work in a wide range of organisations: from embassies to Amnesty International or Apple.

Upon completion of the degree, you will receive the title Master of Arts in International Studies.

Read, print and be inspired

Download and print a short presentation of the MA programme in International Studies 2018.

Admission requirements

The Master’s degree programme comprises two years of full-time study (120 ECTS credits) and offers students one track of study, Track A:

  • On Track A, you study international studies for two years.

You can qualify for admission to the programme in different ways.

Track A (120 ECTS points in international studies)

  • A Bachelor’s degree in a social science subject such as law, economics, political science, social science or the like.
  • A Bachelor's degree in a humanities subject with at least 30 ECTS points in anthropology, economics, law, political science, or another social science subject.

Students with 30 or more ECTS points in anthropology must substitute Global Society with an elective subject in accordance with guidance from the Board of Studies.

Examples of Bachelor’s degree programmes which qualify for admission to Track A:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in History and European studies (Aarhus University)
  • A Bachelor’s degree in Literary History and European studies (Aarhus University)
  • A Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Social Sciences
  • A Bachelor’s degree in Political Science
  • A Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Anthropology

The board of studies for the degree programme in question makes the final decision about whether a particular Bachelor’s degree meets the admission requirements, but it is important that you explain in your application why you think your degree meets the requirements.

Language Requirements

Since English is the language of instruction in all subjects, all applicants are required to provide evidence of their English language proficiency.
Please see the page on English language requirements

Selection Criteria

As the Master’s programme only admits 60 students each year and is very popular, meeting the admission requirements does not in itself guarantee admission to the programme. This number is a guideline only and may be subject to change by the university.

In evaluating qualified applicants, the admissions committee assesses each applicant on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Academic background (75%)
  • Average mark (i.e. GPA) – Bachelor’s degree (25%)
  • Average mark (i.e. GPA) – relevant courses (25%)
  • The number of relevant courses* (measured in ECTS) included in your Bachelor’s degree course of study (25%)

* Relevant courses include courses within the subject areas of European, International or Global Studies, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Law, Economy, Anthropology, Political Science, History, Human Geography and other related areas.

Please note that marks/grades obtained after the time of application will not be included in the GPA.

The admissions committee assesses each applicant on the basis of the information provided by diplomas, transcripts and the statement of relevance.

2. Other relevant experience (25%)

  • Relevant work experience**
  • International, cultural or organizational experience

** Work experience in e.g. NGO"s, international organisations, private companies, the public sector.

The admissions committee assesses each applicant on the basis of the information provided by the CV and other relevant documentation.


In addition to the general documentation requirements, you must upload the following documentation to your application:

  • Statement of relevance: a brief statement in English (1-2 pages) which explains:
    • the relevance of your Bachelor’s degree in relation to the Master’s programme
    • your career plans
    • the courses in your Bachelor’s degree which have particular relevance to the Master’s programme
  • You may enclose additional documentation of relevant work experience, letters of recommendation, etc.

Please note that applicants for the Master’s programme in International Studies are NOT required to upload course descriptions.

Programme structure

Academic regulations


Student life

Student life

For most subjects, the teaching takes place in the red buildings in Nobelparken. The department has a large number of international students so you will hear a lot of Russian, Chinese and other languages spoken – in addition to Danish and English, of course.

In recent years, students from International Studies have also voluntarily participated in Harvard WorldMUN in the Hague, Taipei and Singapore and have therefore independently added valuable experiences and competences to their degree programmes.


Student-to-student is your opportunity to ask about being a student at the Faculty of Arts and about Aarhus and Denmark in general to another international student who has already taken the leap and now lives in Denmark and studies for his/her Master's degree at the Faculty of Arts.

You can read more about the student-to-student service and find the list of AU international student ambassadors at Arts here.

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Job functions for grads

This data is derived from AU's 2013/2014 employment survey. This data should not be considered a completely accurate representation of the labour market and job functions for all graduates of the individual degree programmes. It exclusively represent the responses submitted to the survey in the years in question.

Job profile

With a Master’s degree in international studies, you are well equipped to work anywhere in the world. Your interdisciplinary skills and experience with working in intercultural teams are regarded as a strength in many fields. You might work in the following areas:

  • International organisations: You can work in the UN, for example, or different interest groups.
  • Political institutions: You can work in the EU or in Danish institutions such as the Danish Parliament and regional authorities.
  • Private sector companies: You can work with project management, trade, economics or law for both Danish and foreign companies.
  • Teaching: You can communicate your knowledge of international affairs at universities, evening classes, folk high schools, etc.
  • The media: You can relay your knowledge of international affairs via TV, radio, newspapers and books.

You can also choose to pursue a career as a researcher. You have the option of applying for admission to the PhD programme at the faculty’s graduate school. You can apply when you have completed your Bachelor’s degree and one year of your Master’s degree studies or when you have completed your Master’s degree. Click here for more information about PhD degree programmes at the Faculty of Arts.

Competence profile

A Master’s degree in international studies gives you competences in the following areas:

  • International overview: You gain a thorough understanding of international conditions and affairs – political, economical, cultural, legal and historical.
  • Interdisciplinary skills: In the international studies programme, you work with a range of different subjects and with students from all over the world.
  • Analytical skills: Your comprehensive knowledge of international affairs can be used to analyse different international relations, international trade, etc.
  • Organisations: You will learn to analyse organisations and relations, and you will become familiar with management theories.
  • Project organisation and management: Your projects and period of practical training will provide you with experience in organising and carrying out projects.


Upon completion of their degree programmes, students at Aarhus University become part of the university’s alumni network. For more information about the services and activities available, click here.

Career Guidance

Please contact the Student Counselling Office for advice about employment opportunities and the subject profile options of your degree programme.

You can read more about the career services that are available from Arts Karriere who provide information about employment opportunities as well as arranging various events and workshops.