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For a career in programming and software development

About the programme 
Language: English  (See language requirements)  | Place of study: Aarhus  |  Commencement: August / September


Whether your interest is in complex algorithms, machine learning, IT and cyber security, logic and semantics, pervasive computing, or something completely different within the field of computer science, this programme will allow you to specialise in areas of your choice. For more information regarding research areas in computer science at Aarhus University, visit www.cs.au.dk/research.

The Master's programme in Computer Science is dedicated to the highest-quality teaching in an informal learning environment. Our high-profile international teaching staff expect students to take an active part in the programme, and staff-student consultation is always encouraged. The teaching is a mix of lectures and classes, with preparatory work in study groups. The Master's programme is taught in English and our classes have a mix of Danish and international students.

For those interested in studying computer science at Aarhus University find more information below, at www.cs.au.dk/international, or in this short print-able presentation of the Master’s programme in Computer Science.

Internationals at Department of Computer Science Check out this video to find out why Aina (France), Manuel (Romania) and Joao (Portugal) recommends that you do your Master in Computer Science at Aarhus University.

Admission requirements and prerequisites

We expect applicants to have a Bachelor's degree giving a thorough background in basic computer science. This should include computation theory (formal languages and compilation, mathematical logic and undecidability, design and analysis of algorithms, and data structures), programming (object-oriented programming, functional programming, software architecture, and interaction design), and systems (computer architecture, operating systems, distributed systems, security, databases). For students who meet these requirements, our Master's programme offers  several specialisations, such as cryptology, algorithmics, programming languages, HCI, and ubiquitous computing and interaction.

All applicants’ BSc degree will be assessed, and the course basis for admission must reflect contemporary theory and practice. In the assessment of applicants, emphasis is placed on:

  • The Bachelor's degree programme contains computer science subjects to an extent that meets the prerequisites for following a majority of the specializations offered in the Master’s degree programme. To meet the prerequisites for all specializations the following is required:
    • 20 ECTS programming, including object-oriented programming, functional programming and software architecture.
    • 20 ECTS computer systems, including databases, computer architecture, networks, operating systems, distributed systems and security.
    • 20 ECTS theoretical computer science, including algorithms and data structures, logic and computability, formal languages and compilers, optimization and complexity theory.
    • 10 ECTS Human-Computer Interaction and experimental system development.
  • Bachelor's degree programme contains 20 ECTS basic subjects in mathematics, probability theory and statistics.

A bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Aarhus University, University of Southern Denmark or University of Copenhagen gives access to the Master’s degree program in Computer Science at Aarhus University.

Other degrees, which, according to the university's assessment, in level, extent and content correspond to the above-mentioned degrees, may give admission to the Master's degree programme.


There may be requirements for the composition of the study program in connection with possible admission.

Language Requirements

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

Read how to document your language qualifications


Please see the general admission requirements

Legal right of admission

Students with a Bachelor's degree programme in Computer Science at Aarhus University have the right to be admitted to the Master's degree programme in Computer Science on the condition that application is made for admission to the Master’s degree programme no later than three years after completion of the Bachelor’s degree programme. The legal right of admission requires receipt of the application by Aarhus University within the appropriate period of time.

Selection criteria

As the Master’s programme only admits a limited number of students each year, meeting the admission requirements does not in itself guarantee admission to the programme. 

Allocation of student places is based on an overall assessment. In evaluating qualified applicants, the admissions committee assess applicants on the basis of the following criteria:

Academic background

  • Overall grade level – Bachelor’s degree
  • Grades achieved on relevant courses*
  • Relevant courses* (measured in credit units) included in your Bachelor’s degree

* Relevant courses include core courses within the subject areas of Computer Science, Mathematics, Probability Theory and Statistics.

Please note that grades obtained after the time of application cannot be included in the assessment of grade level.

The admissions committee assess each applicant on the basis of the information provided in diplomas, transcripts, and course descriptions.

Programme structure

The master’s programme runs over two years with four semesters. Three semesters are dedicated to specialisations or electives. The last semester is for your master’s thesis, which some choose to write in collaboration with a company. Once enrolled, our study programme manager will help you comprise your master’s programme based on your interests.

Currently**, Aarhus University offers the following specialisations in Computer Science:

  • Algorithmics (30 ECTS)
  • Bioinformatics(30 ECTS)
  • Cryptology (30 ECTS)
  • Data-Intensive Systems (30 ECTS)
  • Human-computer Interaction (30 ECTS)
  • Programming Languages (30 ECTS)
  • Ubiquitous Computing and Interaction (30 ECTS)

You can find more information about the programme structure, and which courses the specializations comprise of here.

**The university expects to offer more specialisations in 2021, but planning is still undergoing.


The teaching style is a mix of lectures and classes all taught in English, with preparatory work in study groups. If you have questions or need help with an assignment, you can meet with the professor or the teaching assistants assigned to the course. The workload is estimated at 45 hours per week – including classes, assignments, and group work. Still, most of our students find time for a student job. For more info on student jobs, check the career section below.

Academic regulations

Student life

The Computer Science department has many spaces for getting together with fellow students outside class, which form an excellent basis for both study-related and social activities. The department and our student associations organise a variety of events and tech talks in collaboration with local and international companies. There is also a popular Friday bar, and the student association organises the annual MLH event AU Hack.

The IT city is close to the unique main campus of Aarhus University. The campus is located near the city centre, and student accommodation is readily available as long as you apply on time. There are a range of activities, ranging from running to regatta on the lake, as well as guest lectures, film screenings, and university events taking place throughout the year. To ensure student well-being, counselling services are available for students, to offer support and guidance during their time at Aarhus.

Aarhus as a city

As the second-largest city in Denmark, Aarhus is a young and dynamic place with plenty of opportunities. The 40,000 students at the university make up 17.5% of the city's population, which leaves its mark on city life. An attractive feature of Aarhus is that there are beaches and woods a short bike-ride away, as well as cultural events taking place throughout the year, including the Aarhus Festival in September. The theatres in the city and the ARoS international art museum offer many cultural events.

Follow the student life at Aarhus University

-experienced, photographed and filmed by the students themselves.

 With thousands of pictures #yourniversity gives insight into the everyday life as a student at AU; the parties, procrastination, exams and all the other ways you’ll spend your time at university.

You may also want to follow the Department of Computer Science on Facebook or Instagram.


Computer scientists continue to be in great demand all over the world and in particular in Denmark. Computer science graduates from Aarhus University have an excellent reputation, and are in very high demand to  good and interesting jobs in and around Aarhus and abroad. Recent graduates have been recruited by leading IT companies in areas such as software development, consultancy work, project management, and research.

Moreover, many Aarhus-based IT companies are on the lookout for student employees for part-time jobs. The department has a close collaboration with the industry network Destination AARhus, who helps international IT talents find student- or full-time jobs. The department also has an online ‘jobwall’, and every year we host a career fair (“Kdag”), where students get a unique opportunity to meet more than 50 IT companies.

If you are interested in staying in academia, the department also has a very popular PhD programme. It is possible to apply for admission during your master studies. The PhD programme is open for admission four times a year. All PhD positions at the department are fully funded.

Entrepreneurial students with great ideas

Many of our students are interested in innovation and starting up new companies. At the Department of Computer Science, one of our goals is to support entrepreneurial activities of our students and recent graduates. Therefore, we have created an experimental innovation lab and incubator environment called HatchIt Lab

In HatchIT Lab, you can develop a startup idea in a business-oriented incubation and innovation environment. The lab is located close to the IT research and educational facilities at Aarhus University. Hereby, HatchIT Lab contributes to collaboration between students, researchers and companies. As an open innovation environment, HatchIT Lab supports the sharing of knowledge and experiences between students, entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized businesses and well-established companies.


Meet our graduates

Maximilian Scheid, MSc in Computer Science from Aarhus University, Software developer at Salling Group. From Germany.

I chose AU for the high quality of the programme and for the city. Aarhus is a university city. It’s not like other places. The university is just a part of the city. It makes student life so much nicer. I had a student job here, which I got through Destination AARhus, a local headhunting network for computer scientists and students. During my studies, I had a student job as software developer for Salling Group (Denmark’s biggest retail company). I really liked the job, because I got practical experience in my field of study and they saw me as an equal to the full-time employees, so they trust me with real tasks. After I finished my Master’s degree in 2020 I decided to stay in Denmark, and now I work full-time at Salling group.

Angelo Nicolosi, graduate from Aarhus University

Angelo Nicolosi, MSc in Computer Science from Aarhus University, Lead Software Architect at Danske Bank. From Italy.

I have been studying in three different universities during my education, and Aarhus University has definitely contributed most to my professional formation. It is not only due to the lecturers' exquisite and deep knowledge or to the variety of courses you can choose from; what really makes Aarhus University unique is the study environment. The lecturers are very open to discuss their subjects during lectures, but they are also available at other times - sometimes you can discuss with them during the local Friday Bar. Most of the programmes facilitate and foster teamwork, which is so much more fun and closer to the actual working environments. Last, but not least important, you have 24/7 access to facilities, including libraries, study rooms, etc., if you want to go the extra mile.

Today, I am the technical lead for Digital Customer Experience, a department of around 180 people, at Danske Bank, one of the largest banks in the Nordic region. I have the responsibility for all applications (eBanking, Mobile Bank, Tablet Bank, etc.) used by our private customers (around 2.7 millions), and many internal tools used by our advisors and colleagues (19.700 employees in all).
Moreover, I am currently collaborating in steering the bank transition to a cloud-computing model, setting the standards and best practices for modern application development (microservices, event driven design, etc.).

The knowledge I have gathered during my studies at Aarhus University has been crucial. Especially the love for IT Security and Cryptography, that the lecturers and researchers have been able to transmit to me, has been essential in my everyday work. Get to know Angelo even better here.

International PhD Computer Science Aarhus University

Manuel Ciosici, MSc in Computer Science, Industrial PhD student at UNSILO and Aarhus University, from Romania

I am currently working on an industrial PhD run jointly by Aarhus University’s  Department of Computer Science and UNSILO. My research is in the field of machine learning, and I work on developing algorithms that can extract understanding from natural text written by humans while aligning the research to industry needs. The work and study culture here in Denmark is relaxed and supportive, and I have great access to my supervisors both at AU and in the company, which means that any issues can be quickly addressed and resolved. Actually I always appreciated how easy it was at AU to talk to the professors informally. This makes the atmosphere less stressful and a lot more productive.