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


This programme is only offered in Danish.

A global experience

Students joining the MA programme in International Studies can expect a cosmopolitan experience. Academically, the programme provides students with knowledge about core issues of today’s global relations from various disciplinary perspectives and with the theories and methods needed to tackle them. Through project management and internships, students build strong practical skills specifically tailored to understanding global complexities and navigating current events.

Ready to take on the world

The programme is designed for the global job market. Students are prepared with the skills – practical, theoretical, social and cultural – they need to succeed when working in international contexts (either in Denmark or abroad).

The MA in International Studies is a cutting edge take on global affairs that fuses a top-down and bottom-up approach. Students are encouraged to have an open mind while building strong but flexible and transferable knowledge, in preparation for a variety of real world scenarios.

Underpinned by a humanist approach, this degree is a useful complement to a range of Bachelor’s degrees across the humanities, social sciences and international studies.


With an MA in International Studies, graduates are prepared to work around the globe in the public and private sector. They are also qualified for PhD programmes in the social sciences and the humanities. Alumni of the programme are working as diplomats, as project managers at NGOs, international organisations and government agencies, as researchers at universities and think tanks and as consultants at companies in Denmark and internationally. 

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 Danish is the language of instruction, all applicants are required to provide evidence of their Danish language proficiency. As some courses are taught in English, you must also provide evidence of English B (Danish upper secondary school level with a minimum GPA of 3.0).
Please see the page on 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. NGOs, 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

The MA in international studies promises to be a cultural experience as well as an educational one. Expect to hear conversations in many languages and interact with many different personal backgrounds around campus. The department has a large number of international students so you will hear a lot of Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, German and other languages spoken – in addition to Danish and English, of course.

The department has its own classic Danish pop-up Friday bar, organised with students from other international programmes.

Example of a week at International Studies

8-11 Reading
11-14 Lecture in International project management
14-17 Study group work

8-16 Reading

8-11 Lecture in Global politics
12-16 Reading

8-12 Reading
12-15 Lecture in Global society
15-17 Reading

8-12 Reading
12-15 Study group work

Interview with a student

Rachel West is a master student at International Studies

Why did you choose to study your master in International Studies at Aarhus University?

I wanted to study in Europe and at a highly ranked school. The fact that the school was in the world's top 100 universities was highly attractive to me. International Studies seemed like a natural choice for me since I am very interested in international affairs and had studied a similar curriculum in my bachelor's programme.

What has surprised you positively about the programme?

The scholarship offered to students from outside of Europe. It was the deciding factor for me to come to Aarhus. I was also surprised at how the business focus of many of our courses became helpful to me in my student job.

Describe a typical day of study

I would usually read a bit at home a bit before class and sit in the library if I wanted to work on any essays or papers.

Which forms of work/education/teaching do you like in particular?

I really like study groups and I appreciate when professors make assignments for us to complete on a regular basis. That helps me feel like I am on track with the course.

What do you in particular like about the study environment at the programme?

Friday bars are great! :) Aside from that I like the collaborate atmosphere among students. Many students were very willing to work together on assignments and help each other.

Do you have a job outside of your studies?

I have a student job with the Global Learning Solutions department at Vestas Wind Systems. I really love this job and feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Vestas. I have learned a lot about the Danish business culture as well as what it is like to work with an international team.

What is your best advice for students about to start at the master’s programme in International Studies?

Make a lot of time to do readings. The weekly amount of readings really overwhelmed me and it was often hard to keep up.

What would you like to do when you finish your education?

Find a job in Denmark...I am very open to the type of work that I would like to do. I want to live abroad while I am young and able to move around. I would be happy to work with a corporation, NGO, or state organization as long as the work was challenging, interesting, and internationally focused.


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.

The University Park campus – a unique place

The main Aarhus University campus is unique, with buildings closely grouped together and surrounded by nature. The campus is conveniently situated close to 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. Read more about the study environment at Aarhus University.  

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 events that enable you to experience the Danish culture.

Why choose Aarhus? See studyguide.au.dk and get all practical information about being an international student. 

Follow the student life at Aarhus University

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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

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

  • International overview: You gain a thorough understanding of global affairs from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.
  • Interdisciplinary skills: In the international studies programme, you work with a range of different subjects, both academically and applied - and with students from all over the world, making you fit for research as well as for any kind of project-based work environment.
  • Analytical skills: Your comprehensive knowledge of global affairs can be used to work in different fields. The analytical skills you gain make you a flexible and variable colleague and give you high employability.
  • Project management: Your projects and period of practical training will provide you with experience in organising and carrying out projects.

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.


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.