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About the programme
Language: Danish/English  (See language requirements)  | Place of study: Aarhus  |  Commencement: August / September (no winter intake)


This programme is only offered in Danish.

Contemporary Aesthetics, Art and Culture

Music, food, dance, pictures, performances, sound and stage productions, audio poetry and storytelling – our culture and daily lives are filled with aesthetic forms of expression, and aesthetics can be found in the objects, relationships and experiences that appeal to us through our senses.

As a student at Aesthetics and Culture, you take an interdisciplinary approach to art and culture in modern society, and constantly find yourself at the interface between culture, aesthetics and art.

In the Master’s degree programme in Aesthetics and Culture, you study the roles of art and other aesthetic phenomena in contemporary culture: in principal, all art forms, high and mass culture as well as design, fashion and advertising as aesthetic forms of expression. In addition, you study theories about the way aesthetic impressions are experienced and appeal to our senses.

You learn to analyse aesthetic cultural phenomena, including the way they are practised in society, and you learn to apply your knowledge in practice. You also examine the parameters that culture places on aesthetic expression in the form of cultural policy, for example. In addition, you learn to analyse the nature of different aesthetic forms and their role in society as well as for the individual – from the quality of the experience to cultural debate and economic impact.

Project organisation and an interdisciplinary, individual profile

As part of your studies, you examine aesthetics and culture in historical, theoretical, analytical and practical perspectives. You acquire interdisciplinary theoretical and practical knowledge about the correlation between culture, art, the business community, politics, values and norms in our society today, in the past and in the future.

  • Project organisation: In a comprehensive contemporary art and culture project, you work with actual current events, phenomena and issues relating to aesthetics and culture, such as: aesthetic phenomena on the Internet, the festival as an art form, art as a contact zone in a globalised world, experience thinking, art and cultural policy, growth layer art, sub-culture and lifestyle, fashion as an art form and vice versa, popular music and the ultra-modern.
  • Practice in the field: You also complete a comprehensive, compulsory field study where you get practical insight, experience and knowledge, as you subsequently test your theoretical and analytical tools in cultural companies and institutions during your field study project. Teaching in Cultural and Organisational Analysis is included in the field study. 

This Master’s degree programme in Aesthetics and Culture also gives you plenty of opportunity for further academic specialisation and shaping of an individual degree profile. This takes the form of your personal choice of field study location in connection with the compulsory field study and moreover in the form of specialisation during the third semester, either through profile subjects or by spending a semester aborad. 

A Master’s degree programme in Aesthetics and Culture gives you the necessary theoretical, analytical and practical skills to work independently and at all levels in different aesthetic and cultural contexts at cultural institutions or in the business sector – either on your own or together with others in connection with production, organisation and communication, or within finance and development.

Admission requirements

A Master's degree in Aesthetics and Culture counts as two years of full-time study (120 ECTS credits) and is divided into two tracks, A1 and A2.

There are different admission requirements for the Aesthetics and Culture programme depending on which track you seek admission to.

Track A1

  • A Bachelor’s degree in aesthetics and culture, dramaturgy, art history, comparative literature or musicology (all from Aarhus University)
  • Another Bachelor’s degree in the humanities with a supplementary subject of at least 45 ECTS credits in aesthetics and culture, aesthetic communication, dramaturgy, visual art, visual culture, visual art and visual culture, comparative literature, rhetoric, musicology, music culture or museological studies
  • Another Bachelor’s degree with a supplementary subject of at least 45 ECTS credits in aesthetics and culture or aesthetic communication

Track A2

  • A Bachelor’s degree in the humanities from a university in Denmark or abroad
  • Another Bachelor’s degree with a supplementary subject of at least 45 ECTS credits in dramaturgy, visual art, visual culture, visual art and visual culture, comparative literature, rhetoric, musicology, music culture or museological studies

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. 

Selection criteria

As the Master’s degree programme in Aesthetics and Culture (due to government legislation) only admits a limited number of students each year, meeting the admission requirements does not in itself guarantee admission to the programme.

In evaluating qualified applicants, the admissions committee assesses each applicant on the basis of the average mark (i.e. GPA) of the Bachelor’s degree at the time of application. Marks/grades obtained after the application deadline will not be included in the GPA. 

The admissions committee assesses each applicant’s marks on the basis of the information provided by diplomas and transcripts. 

Language requirements

Admission to the Master’s degree programme in Aesthetics and Culture requires Danish at A level or similar. You also need to be able to read English and at least one more foreign language.

Programme structure

Academic regulations


In the following graphical presentation of the subject you can see the different modules and courses that, in addition, link to the course catalogue where you can read the course descriptions.

Student life

A multi-aesthetic environment

Aesthetics and Culture is based at the beautifully restored Kaserne – the former barracks in Langelandsgade. The Kaserne provides the framework for the Aesthetic Studies and therefore for Aesthetic and Culture, Comparative Literature, Art History, Dramaturgy, Music Studies and Rhetoric. Consequently, students from the different aesthetic subjects work together to organise different study-related and social events such as a joint newspaper, lecturers, Friday bar and parties. The result is a unique interdisciplinary study environment cutting across all subjects at the department.

Study environment at Kasernen

There are many activities apart from teaching at Kasernen. These activities are a good way to meet students from other year groups and degree programmes and can contribute to making your life as a student more varied.

  • The bar at Kasernen

The Friday bar takes place in the Kasernescenen’s canteen. The bar serves cold beer every Friday from 14.00–20.00 accompanied by aesthetic input. The Friday bar often presents live music and once a month decorates the entrance hall according to a theme and stays open until midnight.

The Friday bar is run by students and is always in need of volunteers to man the bar and be part of the management team.

  • KaserneRevyen

If you like to have fun with a hint of seriousness and you would like to try to collaborate with students from other aesthetic subjects, the KaserneRevyen theatre would be a good choice for you. The theatre endeavours to create a tradition for gathering shared strengths, ideas and abilities. You can make your mark on the KaserneRevyen theatre, which always welcomes new members.

  • Aesthetics seminar

Approximately eight times per semester, lectures are organised with researchers from the Department of Aesthetics and Communication or from other countries where they present their latest research findings. The programme for the seminars is published at the beginning of the term, and seminars take place Thursday from 14.15 to 17.00 in room 124. 

  • Visir

Visir is a paper published by students at the barracks and is a result of the commitment of the students and their interest in writing.  Visir looks after the interests of the students and endeavours to involve as many students as possible – as writers, editors and readers. Everyone is free to speak in Visir. It is not restricted to students of specific subjects and does not use academic jargon. Visir accepts poems and short stories as well as academic articles and essays.

  • Subject-specific associations and magazines

Mobil, Peripeti, Passage, Passepartout, Standart, SPækTAKEL, Impuls, FIMS, Apéritif, Nordisk Museologi, DraFo and Variant.

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Job functions for grads

This data is derived from AU's 2016 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.

Competence profile

As an Aesthetics and Culture graduate, you have competences in the following areas:

  • Aesthetic cultural practice: You can work within aesthetic cultural practice at culture institutions and in the private business sector – as a player or manager within production, organisation, communication, finance or development.
  • Analysis: You can analyse, identify and apply aesthetic meaning potential in relation to the media in which it occurs and in relation to the social context.
  • Communication: You are able to communicate both verbally and in writing.
  • The cultural field You are familiar with contemporary cultural policy at institutions of art and culture, and different organisations within cultural life in Denmark.
  • Work methods: You have experience in working both independently and in teams or groups. 

Job profile

Your potential jobs lie within the art and culture sector, private as well as public, but you can also find work in the consultancy and advertising industry, in the media and education sector as well as in the many growing business areas where competences in aesthetical and cultural analysis are currently in demand and marketable. Aesthetics and Culture graduates currently work in the following areas:

  • Planning, organisation and project management: With a Master’s degree in Aesthetics and Culture, you are qualified for jobs such as a planner or project manager in the world of art and culture, for example in connection with the implementation of cultural projects, administering funds, organisational development, etc.  
  • Entrepreneurship: With special qualifications in project and process-oriented work methods, Aesthetics and Culture graduates are qualified to work as entrepreneurs.
  • The consultancy and advertising industry: With a degree in Aesthetics and Culture, you acquire understanding and awareness of different forms of aesthetic communication and organisation, skills that are relevant and marketable within the consultancy and advertising industry.
  • Communication and teaching: A degree in Aesthetics and Culture strengthens your communication skills. Some graduates therefore choose a career as internal or external communication officers or within sales and marketing or in the education sector in general.
  • Research: As an Aesthetics and Culture graduate, 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. Read more about becoming a PhD student at Aarhus University

Examples of job functions

  • Communication and project management
  • Communication and marketing
  • Culture and leisure management
  • Marketing and press coordinator
  • Communication officer at museums
  • Museum manager
  • Tour/event manager
  • Brand and PR manager
  • Research coordinator
  • Project coordinator
  • Web editor
  • Cultural consultant
  • Associate professor

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.