Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

General admission requirements

Admissions officer Annette Larsen answers the most common questions from international applicants interested in our Master's programmes.
Video: Aarhus Universitet

In general, admission to a Master’s degree programme requires successful completion of a relevant and recognised university degree equivalent to a Danish Bachelor’s degree in level and length (180 ECTS).

In addition, you must meet the specific requirements for the individual programme, including language requirements.

The specific admission requirements for each Master's degree programme are stated in the academic regulations of the programme in question, but you can also find them in our Study Guide under the specific 'admission requirements’ for the individual programme.

To facilitate our assessment of your qualifications, you must upload documents to your application which describe the general and specific contents of your Bachelor's degree.

For some programmes you must include course descriptions describing the specific contents of each course included in your Bachelor’s degree programme. For other programmes, especially within the field of humanities, you will also be asked to upload a ‘statement of relevance’ describing which courses from your Bachelor’s degree programme in your opinion are considered relevant to the Master’s degree programme.

Supplementary Bachelor’s courses

As a consequence of the study progress reform, the rules on supplementary Bachelor’s courses have been changed.  The government’s policy is that as a general rule, degree programmes must be organised so as to minimise the need for supplementary courses, but without compromising their academic level. Supplementary courses should therefore be seen as an exception to the normal course of studies. The new ministerial orders which regulate students’ access to supplementary courses have been adopted. How the new rules will be implemented at Aarhus University has also been decided. 

  • Where supplementary courses are permitted, (professional) Bachelor’s degrees may be supplemented with a maximum of 30 ECTS credits in supplementary courses.
  • Supplementary course(s) of a maximum of 30 ECTS credits which are passed before or in the same semester as the completion of the Bachelor’s degree programme may be included in the assessment of the applicant’s basis for admission to a Master’s degree programme.
  • Tuition fees will be charged for supplementary courses. Cases in which the applicant has acquired the necessary competencies as passed components of the standard degree programme are an exception to this.
  • The rules on supplementary courses do not apply to applicants with medium-cycle higher education degrees (MVU), as these applicants must take supplementary courses in order to acquire competencies equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree in any case.

Supplementary courses after graduation from a (professional) Bachelor’s degree in exceptional cases

Taking supplementary courses between Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes, in other words after the completion of the Bachelor’s degree, is only possible in case of Master’s degree programmes with unrestricted admission. In such cases, the following rules apply:

  • Supplementary courses may only be included in the evaluation of an applicant’s basis for admission if the university gives the applicant a guarantee of admission to the Master’s degree programme in question before the supplementary courses are taken.
  • For students who have already acquired relevant competencies through passed supplementary courses or passed elements of a standard degree programme, there is a possibility of substituting the recommended supplementary courses with the already completed courses. Such substitution courses will not constitute part of the Master’s degree programme, but rather will count towards fulfilment of the admissions requirements. In these cases, a maximum of 30 ECTS credits of supplementary courses may be taken.

About the study progress reform

Read more about the study progress reform

Am I qualified for admission?

You must apply for admission to find out if you are qualified for a specific Master’s degree programme

The staff of the Admissions Office is generally unable to determine in advance whether or not you are qualified for admission to a specific Master's degree programme.

This means you must apply for admission in order to receive an assessment of your qualifications for a specific programme, unless something else is stated under the admission requirements for the programme in question.

Generally, admission to a Danish Master’s degree programme requires a Bachelor’s degree within the same specific area of study (except for a few programmes within the humanities that admit students from different areas of study).

There is no list or overview of Master’s degree programmes you can apply for with a specific Bachelor’s degree. To find out which Master’s programmes you can apply for, you have to look at how the admission requirements may match the contents of your Bachelor’s programme.

A pre-assessment of your foreign Bachelor's degree

The Danish Agency for Science and Education provides assessments of non-Danish degrees, diplomas and certificates and information about international recognition of qualifications.

Such assessments are very useful if you live in Denmark but completed your qualifying degree in a non-EU/EEA-country. If you do not live in Denmark, you should NOT apply for an assessment from The Danish Agency for Universities and Internationalisation. 

The assessment offered by The Danish Agency for Science and Education is a brief statement saying what your foreign qualifications correspond to in Denmark: Which educational level and, if possible, which field of education. It does not guarantee admission to specific programmes, as you must always meet the admission requirements of the desired programme.

To see if your Bachelor’s degree corresponds to a Danish Bachelor’s degree in level and length, you can use this link to find information about your own country

Restricted admission

New agreement to extend the legal right of admission

The Danish Parliament has signed an agreement to extend the legal right of admission to three years. However, as the Danish universities do not know the details of the agreement, Aarhus University is not yet able provide any specifics regarding the implementation of the agreement. Read the agreement and the press releases on the (Danish) web page of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

The rules that currently apply are described below. This page will updated once the new regulations are implemented.

Restriction on entry

Some Master’s degree programmes have restricted admission, which means only a limited number of student places are available for a specific programme. For those programmes, only the most qualified applicants will be selected for admission according to the selection criteria announced for the programme.

In case of restricted admission, the selection criteria used to select among the qualified applicants will appear under the specific "admission requirements" of the individual Master's programme in the Study Guide.

Your chances of being admitted to a specific Master’s programme depend on the number of applicants this year and the level of qualifications of all the applicants. As the number of applicants varies from year to year, we cannot comment – based on previous year's records - on the likelihood of admission.

If you already hold a Master’s degree you can find more information about your possibilities of being admitted to a second Master’s degree programme under Students already holding a Master’s degree.

English language requirements

All applicants without a legal right of admission to English language Master's degree programmes must provide documentation of English language qualifications identical or comparable with an 'English B level' with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the Danish upper secondary school ('gymnasium').

Please note that Danish language Master’s programmes may also have and English B requirement.

English B language qualifications can be documented as follows:

  • English B level (Danish upper secondary school level) with a minimum GPA of 3.0 without rounding up.
  • TOEFL
    English B – Test result of at least 83 (internet-based test).
    Aarhus University does not accept the TOEFL ITP or paper-based tests.
    When you sign up for a TOEFL test, you must request the test center to add Aarhus University as a recipient of your test result in order for us to verify your test result.
    The Aarhus University TOEFL code is 8935.
  • IELTS
    English B– IELTS Academic test result of at least 6.5 points equivalent of C1 level. 6.5/B2 level is no longer accepted.
  • Cambridge English Qualifications
    English B –  Cambridge English Advanced (grades A, B and C) or Cambridge English First (grade A) or 180 points as a minimum on the Cambridge English Scale.
    Once you have received your test results, you must upload them to your application. In addition, please share your test scores with Aarhus University through the Candidate Results Website (https://candidates.cambridgeenglish.org/), so we can verify your test score online.
    You must share your results with Aarhus University via the Candidate Results Website (candidates.cambridgeenglish.org). To access this website you must register using your ‘Candidate ID’ and ‘Secret Number’ (obtained from your exam centre). We do not accept test results that cannot be verified through the Cambridge website.
  • A Nordic/Duborg/International Baccalaureate (from the IB diploma programme)/European Baccalaureate (from the “ScholaEuropaea”) entrance examination with an English level in Denmark with a GPA equivalent of 3.0 on the Danish 7 scale as a minimum.
    See a comparison of the Nordic subject levels. Please note: This overview is updated once a year in the beginning of March and changes may therefore be announced shortly before the application deadline.
  • A completed high-school diploma/Upper Secondary School Leaving Examination, English language Bachelor’s or a Master's degree from USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Scotland or Ireland. The applicant must provide documentation that the programme was taught in English.
    Please note that applicants with an English language qualifying examination or degree programme from all other countries than the above mentioned must submit a test.

In addition, the following applies:

  • The test result must not be more than two years old at the time of application.
  • Both IELTS and TOEFL are offered in Denmark. TOEFL is specifically offered in Aarhus.
  • Current exchange students should be aware that they must also document their English language qualifications when applying for a full degree programme.
  • You must upload your test result or your receipt for registration to the test to your application through the application portal. See the documentation checklist.

Application before you have passed your English language test

It is possible to apply for admission before you have taken your English language test and obtained the required result. In that case, you must upload documentation that you have signed up for a test and that you will upload your documentation later. Please state you expected result date.

When you have passed your English language test, you must upload your test result to your application. See the documentation deadlines.

If you are considered academically qualified for admission, you will receive a letter of admission conditioned on the submission of a sufficient test score before the announced deadlines.

Legal basis

The Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science’s Ministerial Order no. 107 of 12 February 2018 (including later amendments) on Admission to and Enrolment in Master's degree (Candidatus) programmes at Universities and Higher Education Institutions within the Fine Arts under the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. The Admission Order can be found here: https://www.retsinformation.dk/Forms/R0710.aspx?id=198309 (available in Danish only).

Danish language requirements

Students holding a foreign university degree applying for a Master’s degree programme taught in Danish must be proficient in Danish both orally and in writing.

It is a requirement for admission that you have passed Studieprøven i dansk som andetsprog (the “Study Test in Danish as a Second Language”) or the former “Danskprøve 2”.

Exemptions

Students from the Nordic countries who have had Danish, Norwegian, Swedish or Icelandic on the highest level as part of their entry qualification (high school) are not required to pass a Danish language test. See the Nordic entry qualification subject levels.

Danish citizens with foreign entry qualifications (e.g. International Baccalaureate) are not required to pass a Danish language test if they can document that they have passed the Danish primary and lower secondary school leaving examination (Folkeskolens Afgangsprøve or Folkeskolens Udvidede Afgangsprøve).

The Study Test in Danish as a second language ("Studieprøven")

Studieprøven must be successfully passed with grade 2 in each of the four disciplines according to the new Danish 7-point grading scale, or if you have passed the test before 1 September 2007, grade 6 according to the former 13-point grading scale.

Please note that for some programmes the applicant is required to obtain a specific minimum grade in some or all of the four examination disciplines. This information will be stated under the specific 'admission requirements’ for the individual programme.

Studieprøven can be replaced by a written and oral examination at Higher Preparatory Examination (HF) level.

For further information and registration for "Studieprøven", please contact: LærDansk Language Centre.

Legal right of admission

What is the legal right of admission?

The legal right of admission to a Master’s degree programme was extended to three years as of 1 January 2019.

A completed Bachelor’s degree from a Danish university entitles the graduate to admission to a Master’s degree programme that is an extension of the completed Bachelor’s degree.

The Bachelor’s degree programme and the Master’s degree programme must be completed at the same university. The academic regulations for the specific Master’s degree programme will state which of the university’s Bachelor’s degrees gives you a legal right of admission.

When do you have a legal right of admission?

To exercise the legal right of admission, you must apply to a Master’s degree programme no later than three years after you completed your Bachelor’s degree. The three-year period is calculated starting with the summer intake immediately following the completion of your Bachelor’s degree and ending immediately after the summer intake three years later.

The right to admission can only be exercised once. You can withdraw a submitted application for admission at any time before the acceptance deadline on 15 June as long as you have not accepted an offer of admission. If you accept an offer of admission, you will have exercised your legal right of admission. This also applies also the case if you change your mind after accepting an offer of admission before the acceptance deadline.

If you completed your Bachelor’s degree before 1 January 2019, the extension of the legal right of admission does not apply to you. If you apply to a Master’s degree programme, you will be treated on equal terms with other applicants without a legal right of admission.

2019 was a transitional year with special deadlines
In 2019, it was possible to withdraw your acceptance of an offer of admission to a Master’s degree programme to which you had a legal right of admission until 31 July 2019 and still keep your legal right of admission, as the rules applied retroactively from 1 January 2019. 

Students who had begun a Master’s degree programme in spring 2019 and had completed their Bachelor’s degree after 1 January 2019 could thus choose to exercise the extended legal right of admission instead.

Application deadline

To retain the legal right of admission, you must apply to the relevant Master’s degree programme by the application deadline. See Aarhus University’s application deadlines.

The legal right of admission in relation to degree programmes with restricted admission

You should be particularly conscious of the legal right of admission if you want to apply for admission to a Master’s degree programme with restricted admission. As a legal right applicant, you are guaranteed a place on the Master’s degree programme, and other applicants will not be considered for admission until all legal right applicants have been offered a student place.

These might be applicants who either do not have a legal right of admission or have lost it. They might also be applicants with a Bachelor’s degree from another Danish university or applicants from a foreign university.

All applicants without a legal right of admission are assessed on an equal footing according to the same selection criteria, which will be described in the Master’s guide on the degree programme’s website on admission requirements.

The legal right of admission and tracks with restricted admission

The legal right applies to admission to a degree programme, but please note that you may not have a legal right of admission to degree programme tracks with restricted admission. You should therefore make sure to apply for multiple priorities.

The legal right of admission and rules on multiple degrees

The limitations on multiple degrees mean that as a general rule, it is only possible to enrol in a new post-secondary degree at equivalent (or lower) level six years after completion of the first post-secondary degree.

However, this rule does not apply to you if you were admitted to a Bachelor’s degree programme at Aarhus University no later than 1 February 2017 and have a legal right of admission to the Master’s degree to which you have applied.     

Legal framework

The Ministerial Order on Admission to and Enrolment on Master’s Degree Programmes at Universities and the Higher Artistic Educational Institutions under the Ministry of Higher Education and Science (the Master’s Degree Admissions Order including subsequent amendments).

The ministerial order is available in Danish only. 

Questions?

If you are unsure about how these rules apply to you, you are welcome to contact ma.admission@au.dk

Limitations on taking multiple degrees

On 19 December 2016, the Danish Parliament adopted a new act which limits the number of post-secondary degrees Danish students may take.

The limitations on multiple degrees mean that as a general rule, it is only possible to enrol in a new post-secondary degree at equivalent (or lower) level six years after completion of the first post-secondary degree.

This means that if you have completed a fully government-funded Danish full-time Master’s degree programme, you must wait at least six years before enrolling in a new full-time Master’s degree programme. However, there are certain exceptions.

Exceptions

There are no limits on applying to admission to the eight Master’s degree programmes listed below, which are on the government’s ‘positive list’ of post-secondary degree programmes which are particularly in demand on the labour market.

This means that you are eligible to apply for admission to these Master’s degree programmes at Aarhus University in 2017 and 2018 regardless of when you completed your previous degree programme:

  • Astronomy
  • Civil and Architectural Engineering
  • Computer science
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics – economics
  • Nanoscience
  • Business Economics and Auditing
  • Statistics
  • Nursing

Read more about limitations on multiple degrees and see the positive list on the Ministry of Higher Education and Science website.

Possibilities for exemptions at AU

If you completed your Master’s degree programme less than six years ago, you have the option of applying for an exemption from the rules.

We can grant exemptions in the following situations:

  • If we assess that your health prevents you from using your previous Master’s degree on the labour market.
  • If we assess that your previous degree is outdated, namely if the degree programme has changed significantly in the meantime or has been eliminated entirely.
  • If you were admitted to a Bachelor’s degree at Aarhus University no later than 1 February 2017 and have a legal right of admission to the Master’s degree to which you have applied.

How do I apply for an exemption?

To apply for an exemption, complete this form and upload it to the application system, together with the relevant documentation and your application, under the field ”Have you completed or do you expect to complete a Master’s degree programme before commencement of studies?” Tick the box next to ‘Exemption’.

It is important that you make sure that you collect and submit the right documentation so that we have sufficient information to process your application.

In all cases, documentation of your previously completed degree programmes is required.

In addition, you must also submit the following documents, depending on the grounds on which you are applying for an exemption:

  1. Documentation of loss of earning capacity, for example in the form of a medical certificate or medical records.
  2. Documentation showing that your previously completed degree programme has changed significantly or been shut down, for example in the form of a statement from your previous educational institution.

Conversion of grades from countries other than Denmark

For some Master’s degree programmes with a limitation on intake, a calculation of the GPA for your entire Bachelor’s degree programme or selected relevant courses may be required.

It will also appear from the selection criteria of the relevant programme whether the calculation of the GPA is based on the grades submitted by the application deadline or based on grades from the entire completed Bachelor’s degree programme by the documentation deadline.

If the calculation of the GPA is based on the completed Bachelor’s degree programme, and an official total GPA is stated on the Bachelor’s diploma, this GPA will be used. Exempt are Danish diplomas with GPAs based on the 13 point grading scale, in which case the individual grades are converted to the new 12 point grading scale (the 7 scale) before the total GPA is calculated. 

Credit courses gained from other programmes or institutions that are transferred to the Bachelor’s programme without the grade are not included in the GPA.

Applicants who apply for admission based on qualifications from non-Danish universities must always upload documentation of the grading system and grading scale used in their home country or at their home university.

Conversion of Danish grades from the 13 point grading scale to the new 12 point grading scale (the 7 scale)

When Aarhus University calculates your GPA for selected courses or your entire Bachelor's degree programme, the individual grade is converted from the Danish 13 point scale to a grade on the Danish 12 point grading scale before the GPA is calculated.

The following conversion scale is used:

13 point scale

12 point scale (the 7 scale)

13

12

11

12

10

10

9

7

8

7

7

4

6

02

5

00

03

00

00

-3

 

If you have grades from both Danish grading scales

Applicants with a combination of grades from the 13 point scale and the 12 point scale will first have their grades from the 13 scale converted to the 12 point scale according to the above conversion table. Then a simple GPA is calculated.

The ECTS grading scale

All new Danish diplomas are assigned with an additional ECTS grade corresponding to the Danish grade in accordance with the ECTS grading scale.

The ECTS grading scale is made by the European Commission and used to compare and convert grading systems between different European countries. The ECTS system consists of 7 grades (A to Fx) and has been the model for the new Danish 12 point grading scale (the 7 scale).

The Grading Scale
Danish Grade Definition ECTS Grade
12 For an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material, with no or only a few minor weaknesses. A
10 For a very good performance displaying a high level of command of most aspects of the relevant material, with only minor weaknesses. B
7 For a good performance displaying good command of the relevant material but also some weaknesses. C
4 For a fair performance displaying some command of the relevant material but also some major weaknesses. D
02 For a performance meeting only the minimum requirements for acceptance. E
00 For a performance which does not meet the minimum requirements for acceptance. Fx
-3 For a performance which is unacceptable in all respects. F

 

Conversion of grades from other countries than Denmark

Apart from the above official comparison between the ECTS grading scale and the Danish 12 point grading scale (the 7 scale), there are no official conversion tables between Danish and foreign grades.

Thus, when assessing applications for admission to Master’s degree programmes based on foreign qualifications, Aarhus University relies on the guidelines laid down by the Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education in the Country handbook (information in Danish only) containing guideline conversion tables for a relatively small number of selected countries.

For countries where no guideline conversion tables exist, Aarhus University will perform a so-called linear grade conversion based on the lowest passing grade and highest possible grade on both grading scales (in Denmark, these grades are 2 and 12, respectively).

The individual foreign grade is calculated to a number with two decimal places between 2 and 12, and based on simple round-off it is converted to a full grade on the Danish 7 scale. This grade is then used in calculating the GPA.

Applicants with a combination of grades from Danish and non-Danish grading scales will have all their non-Danish grades converted to the Danish 12 point scale before the GPA is calculated.

The above calculation method is approved by the Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education.