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Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


You will find the answers to many questions in the field of solid-state and fluid mechanics, known by the collective title of applied mechanics. Such questions include: How do you design the blades of a wind turbine? How do you calculate the lifetime of a computer chip or a fuel cell? What surface coatings are suitable for tools, and what should you use for hip-joint implants? How do you analyse the dynamics of a racing car? How do you configure the sail of a boat as efficiently as possible?

These examples demonstrate that applied mechanics is a subject with great scope for interdisciplinary collaboration. Working with the conventional machinery industry is one option, but there are also opportunities for collaborating with manufacturers of composites and materials, the electronics industry, the construction industry and in fields such as biomechanics and biomaterials.

Mechanics is also a basic engineering research discipline that is on the move internationally and is represented at most universities all over the world. This makes a career as a researcher in this field yet another option.

Methods and materials

As a graduate from this programme, you will be capable of understanding and applying advanced calculation methodologies, such as the finite element method (FEM) and multidisciplinary simulation tools. The emphasis of the degree programme is on providing an opportunity to apply theory to practical issues and on providing the expertise necessary to go on to a PhD. The content includes elements such as fluid dynamics (CFD), structural dynamics and modal analysis, and fracture mechanics and fatigue. The basis for these competencies includes continuum mechanics, elasticity theory and plasticity theory.

Dynamics, freedom of choice and projects

The degree programme is structured with a rolling start so that there is a new intake every six months.

The first and the second semester include a number of compulsory courses and elective course packages within the specializations of applied mechanics, material engineering, thermo/fluid engineering and robotsystems. These are offered once a year.

Third semester includes elective courses and the possibility to make a project, which can be completed in collaboration with a company and/or a research group.

As a student on the degree programme, you will regularly be offered half-yearly student development interviews. This is an opportunity to discuss topics such as requests and plans regarding choice of courses, as well as choosing subjects from the faculty’s other departments at Aarhus University.


AU Engineering and research

Career profile

Graduates typically find jobs within R&D departments in industrial companies, but with the backup provided by a graduate engineering degree, you can also pursue a career as a researcher at a university in Denmark or abroad.

Admission requirements

The following Bachelor’s degrees qualify students for admission to the Master of Science in Engineering degree programme in Mechanical Engineering if mathematical competences equal to the courses Applied Mathematics 1 (5 ECTS) and Applied Mathematics 2 (5 ECTS) can be documented:

  • A Bachelor of Engineering degree or Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from a Danish university or engineering college.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees with at least 60 ECTS in the field of mechanical engineering can provide admission, provided that the academic requirements for the Master’s degree are met.
  • Other qualifications can provide admission to the Master’s degree programme, provided the university assesses that their level, extent and content correspond to the degrees mentioned above.

In connection with possible admission, further requirements can be stipulated regarding the composition of the degree programme.

Language requirements

To qualify for admission to English language programmes you must document English language qualifications comparable to an "English B level" in the Danish upper secondary school. See the general English language requirements.

Programme structure

The study structure in Mechanical Engineering consists of a joint basic package of five subjects taken during the first year of studies. In addition, you must choose two of the following specialised study packages plus an optional package that can be more freely chosen as single-subject courses. The programme thus includes a field of specialisation that is composed individually under supervision and amounts to 60 ECTS credits. In the final term, you conclude your studies with a thesis amounting to 30 ECTS credits.

Compulsory courses:

  • Continuum Mechanics (10 ECTS)
  • Finite Element Method (5 ECTS)
  • Mechanical Vibrations (5 ECTS)
  • Fluid Dynamics (5 ECTS)
  • Engineering Modeling Project (5 ECTS)

The degree programme offers specialised study packages in the following fields:


Mechanics of Materials

  • Beams, Plates and Shells (5 ECTS)
  • Advanced FEM (5 ECTS)
  • Optimization Algiorithms (5 ECTS)

Thermo/Fluid Dynamics

  • Engineering and Statistical Thermodynamics (5 ECTS)
  • Advanced FEM (5 ECTS)
  • Control Theory (5 ECTS)

Plates, Control and Optimization

  • Beams, Plates and Shells (5 ECTS)
  • Optimization Algiorithms (5 ECTS)
  • Control Theory (5 ECTS)


Dynamics and Fracture Mechanics

  • Fracture Mechanics (10 ECTS)
  • Computational Dynamics (5 ECTS)

Heat Transfer and Computer Fluid Dynamics

  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (5 ECTS)
  • Heat and Mass Transfer (5 ECTS)
  • Sensing and Sensor Technology (5 ECTS)


  • Robotics (5 ECTS)
  • Computational Dynamics (5 ECTS)
  • Sensing and Sensor Technology (5 ECTS)

Each study package amounts to 15 ECTS credits. By combining these study packages and concluding your studies with a thesis, you can become a specialist in relevant fields of study.

The individual student:

- must have all compulsory courses

- must select 2 full specialisation packages

- can maximum have 10 ECTS point in Mechanical Engineering Research and Development Projects

- can maximum have 10 ECTS point study group courses

For further information on the structure of the programme please see the academic regulations for master's degree programmes.

A year divided into four terms

The teaching is divided into terms with four terms per year. Each term consists of a block of seven weeks followed by an examination period of 2-4 weeks. An example of the teaching calendar is given here.

When applying for the program you specify which subject of study you wish to follow. For each of the three subjects of study a diagram of the first six terms is established. During each term you are supposed to attend to 3 courses. On the 5th term it is possible for you to attend to a preparation course prior to your Master project which starts on the 6th term and ends on the 8th term.

PhD programme

If you have the necessary skills and interest, you have the option of applying for admission to the PhD programme. In the PhD programme, you start working on a research project and are gradually trained through courses and personal guidance to become a researcher.

Structure, study start summer:


Student life

Forms of Teaching

At the University of Aarhus you are in close contact with researchers in a way that you rarely experience at other universities. The door to the professor’s and associate professor’s office is always open if you need clarification of the study material, and you are encouraged to ask questions at lectures and during exercises. We make heavy demands on your academic skills and independence. In return, you gain considerable benefits in the form of academic challenges and scientific knowledge, in addition to broad competences.

Part of the teaching is in the form of lectures that introduce new angles to the material compared with the textbooks and give you a general overview of the subject. The theoretical and practical exercises take place in small groups where you study relevant issues in depth.

The varied forms of teaching, collaboration in groups and the opportunity for close scientific dialogue with the researchers, as well as the strong relationship with the industrial sector, provide you with general competences that are in great demand in the global job market. These competences include abstract, critical and independent thinking, analytical skills and strategic planning. You can use these skills in many contexts – even in jobs you didn’t know you were qualified for.

Student Life

Student life is hard work, attending lectures and carrying out assignments. However, it also involves contact with other students, relaxing together and social events.

In addition, a number of student organisations arrange academic activities, excursions, celebrations and social functions. The different student associations at the university and the college consist of students who meet to discuss issues relating to the degree programme. These organisations influence the academic content of the degree programmes, from department and centre level to the top management levels at the university and the college. The student council – commonly called DSR (De studerendes råd) – is the focal point for social events and activities for students. DSR has different sub-committees, including the fitness club, music club and mountain bike club.

Harry’s Cellar (Harrys Kælder) is a club for staff and students. This club provides a break at the end of a busy week, where you can knock off with a beer, play electronic darts and backgammon, listen to live music, take part in weeks with a different theme, etc. The university also has a number of popular Friday bars, and the Tågekammeret (the Cloud Chamber) association organises celebrations and social events for all science students.

Campus – a unique place

The University of Aarhus is unique, especially because the buildings are grouped in one campus area close to the Aarhus city centre. The campus has many green areas and a beautiful park surrounding a small lake. Here you also find student accommodation and an underground system of corridors, which means that you don’t have to get your feet wet going from the canteen to your study area. There are also lecture theatres and a host of activities ranging from sports days to the regatta on the lake, interesting lectures, a film club, libraries and university celebrations. The campus ensures that you have easy access to the canteen, student counsellors, teachers, the bookshop, the State and University Library and the Friday bar.

Aarhus as a Study Centre

The university is not all Aarhus has to offer. As the second-largest city in Denmark, Aarhus has numerous different cultural activities. Every year the well-known Aarhus Festival is celebrated for a week at the beginning of September and the streets really come to life. During the rest of the year, you can visit different music venues and concert halls in the city or find entertainment at one of the many theatres in Aarhus. The city’s many museums include ARoS – the major international art museum, which is a spectacular place for visual experiences. If you have had enough of cultural activities, you can ride your bike to the beach in no time or go for walks in the Risskov woods or in the beautiful woods around Marselisborg. The forty thousand young students in Aarhus make up 17.5% of the population, which leaves its mark on city life. Aarhus is a young, dynamic city with plenty of opportunities.

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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.

The degree programme in Applied Mechanics provides many job opportunities since the
applications span a wide range from structural mechanical analyses of large load carrying structures
such as wind turbines to micro mechanical analyses for electrical components or fuel cells. During
the degree programme you will get an opportunity to work interdisciplinary on, for example, robot
technology or technology for the health care sector in cooperation with the other MSc programmes.

The job opportunities are typically within research and development departments at industrial enterprises, and additionally as a Master of Engineering you also have the opportunity to obtain a career within research at a university in Denmark or abroad.

I spent my first year as a structural designer doing computations of the load-carrying structure of the nacelle – the ‘box’ at the top of the tower of a wind turbine. I subsequently got a job as technical project manager in the same department, where I was responsible for the budget and had much more dialogue with different departments at Siemens. I’ve now been appointed team coordinator and am responsible for an eleven-man team, including engineers and specifiers. I regard being a leader as an interesting and challenging job, and I’d like to develop in this area in the future.

Graduate, MSc in Mechanical Engineering
Siemens Wind Power

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Revised 2016.02.15