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Master's Degree Programme

About the programme
Language: English  (See language requirements)  | Place of study: Aarhus  |  Commencement: August / September and January / February (only applicants with a Danish Bachelor's degree)


Mathematics is part of day-to-day life – of using your debit card and navigating with GPS, just as much as making calculations in physics or chemistry or working out the pot odds in an important hand of poker. The two-year MSc in Mathematics programme at Aarhus University is open to students from higher education institutions both in Denmark and abroad.

Research and specialisation

Teaching at the university is greatly influenced by the research conducted here, as the lecturers are active researchers. When students write the MSc thesis during the final year of the programme, they have excellent opportunities to be connected with a group of researchers, so as to be able to participate in the group’s research projects and scientific discussions. Students can specialise in a subject within a broad area, including one of the three areas of Mathematics in which Aarhus University is particularly strong: algebra, analysis, and geometry and topology.

Career profile

A mathematics degree is the key to a huge variety of careers. Aarhus University educates mathematicians for both Danish and international job markets. Graduates from the Department of Mathematics find work across a wide range of fields and institutions – in finance, communication or the wind-power industry in the private sector, as well as teaching in Danish high school. A high proportion of our MSc graduates stay on in academia as PhD students at Aarhus University, elsewhere in Denmark, or abroad.

Read, print and be inspired

Download and print a short presentation of the MA programme in Mathematics.

My team comes into the picture when our customers have to comply with new European Union legal requirements, for example. A typical task could involve developing a new type of billing, i.e. a new invoice form. Here we look at what elements should be included – what is possible, and how do we ensure that the programmes work together? I use mathematics in my job when I use logical thinking, abstraction and in being structured. I hardly code at all, but I use my IT and domain knowledge. At the same time, this job demands both good collaboration skills and the ability to communicate with people in many different fields.

Mette Strudsholm
Graduate, MSc in Mathematics
IT developer, Danske Bank

Admission requirements

A Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Aarhus University, University of Southern Denmark or University of Copenhagen qualifies a student for admission to the Master’s degree programme in Mathematics.

Another Bachelor of Science degree from Aarhus University with subject components in Mathematics equaling 60 ECTS credits, including at least of two of the courses in Algebra, Geometry and Measure and Integration theory (or equivalent), as well as an introductory course in Programming

Other qualifications with subject components in Mathematics of at least 60 ECTS 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.

When assessing whether a Bachelor’s degree qualifies the student for admission to the Master’s Programme in Mathematatics, emphasis is placed on whether it contains at least 60 ECTS broadly distributed among the following topics:

  • Algebra (including: the integers, congruences, linear algebra, theory of groups, rings and fields, homomorphisms, isomorphism theorems, permutations, polynomial rings, quotient rings and field extensions)
  • Analysis (including: supremum property, uniform continuity, series, multivariate differentiability, Lebesgue integration, ordinary differential equations and the residue theorem in complex analysis)
  • Geometry (including: metric and topological spaces, homeomorphisms, completeness, compactness, connectivity and differential geometry: curves, surfaces, the inverse function theorem for differentiable functions of several variables, fundamental forms, curvature and geodesics)

and that the Bachelor Degree programme contains 10 ECTS programming.

Upon admission further requirements regarding composition of the degree programme may be stipulated.

Language Requirements

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


Please see the general admission requirements.

Legal right of admission

Students with a Bachelor's degree programme in Mathematics at Aarhus University have the right to be admitted to the Master's degree programme in Mathematics 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 Abstract Algebra, Complex Analysis, Differential Equations, Elementary Differential Geometry/Topology and Measure and Integration.

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 degree in mathematics counts as 120 ECTS credits and mainly consists of subjects within the mathematics field of study. You specialise by participating in course activities and projects and by writing a thesis. During your very first week, you structure your own individual study programme with the help of a teacher from the Department of Mathematical Sciences by choosing courses from a course catalogue. Your programme is based on your academic qualifications and interests and the subjects you studied for your Bachelor’s degree. The plan must be approved by the Board of Studies before you can enrol for examinations.

For more information about the individual courses, go to:http://kursuskatalog.au.dk/en/

If you would like information about options regarding a Master’s thesis in mathematics working with research groups at the Department of Mathematical Sciences, go to their respective web sites

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 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.

The teaching at the university focuses on independence, critical thinking and collaboration. Part of the teaching is in the form of lectures in small groups, and this introduces new angles to the material compared with the textbooks. You also receive extensive guidance in how to work with examples and projects, and you are given a personal supervisor in connection with your thesis.

The varied forms of teaching, collaboration in groups and the opportunity for close scientific dialogue with the researchers 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. 

The teaching is divided into two semesters per year.

PhD programme

If you have the necessary skills and interest, you have the option of applying for admission to the PhD programme. You can apply when you have completed your Bachelor’s degree and one year of your Master’s degree or when you have completed your Master’s degree. In the PhD programme, you start working on a research project and are gradually trained through courses and personal guidance to become a researcher. Find more information about the PhD-programme in Mathematics or read examples of current research projects at the Department of Mathematical Sciences

Academic regulations

Programme structure

Student life

As a student on the programme, you are based at the Department of Mathematics, which has its own canteen, computer rooms, library, and study areas shared by students. As a Master’s student, you can get your own desk in an office that you share with other Master’s students. The department also has a number of student organisations such as Eulers Venner (Euler’s Friends) and the Kalkulerbar (Friday bar), through which academic activities, study trips and social functions are organised.

Campus - a unique place

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.

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.

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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.

Graduates from the Department of Mathematics find work across a wide range of fields and institutions – in finance, communication or the wind-power industry in the private sector.

Graduates typically work at universities and research institutions, in the pharmaceutical industry, the telecommunications and finance sectors, or in insurance companies.
In universities, graduates are often engaged in interdisciplinary work with doctors, biologists or chemists, where they analyse large amounts of data; graduates also teach statistics to these professional groups. In the pharmaceutical industry, graduates plan clinical trials or design methods for examining whether new drugs have unwanted side effects. In the insurance industry, graduates typically work as actuaries and may contribute to working out tariffs. Common to all these jobs is the requirement for knowledge of a number of complicated mathematical models that the MSc in Mathematics equips students with.

A high proportion of our MSc graduates stay on for our PhD programme at Aarhus University. Find out more about doing a PhD in Mathematics at Aarhus.

Thomas Lundgaard Schmidt, M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Mathematics, working as a Quantitative Risk Manager at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy

Contrary to what most people think, studying Mathematics is not all about calculation and working with large numbers. Instead, you work with proofs, abstract ideas, and causality. You will experience the proof behind those things you just took for granted during high school, and you will understand how the different branches of Mathematics are related. During my time at the university, I spent a lot of time looking out the window trying to come up with good ideas – most of all, Mathematics is about immersion, and I experienced plenty of room for that as a student. Actually, I did not know what I wanted to use my degree in Mathematics for; I just studied Mathematics, because I couldn’t not study Mathematics.

My experience was that being a student was highly independent, but the study environment was good, and most of my fellow students studied Mathematics out of interest rather than to score a great starting salary after their diploma. The physical space was great with room for group work and the opportunity to get an office with your study group. Moreover, the study environment was very good because the department became the natural 'base' for most students – we spent time there mainly out of interest, not because we had to. It was not considered a problem to stay a couple of hours after class, and when the reading was completed, most people would meet in the Friday bar to finish of the week. It was a relaxed atmosphere with room for everyone. Many students had some geeky hobby, but this was not regarded odd - on the contrary, actually. My Master's courses often included students from different year groups, so it was easy to connect with both older and younger students. In many of my Master’s courses we were only a handful of students, which provided the opportunity to work closely together with the lecturers and experience their academic passion.

My job is about modelling errors in wind turbines: Which mistakes can we expect in a given wind turbine park in a given period of time? Part of the work is pure math: What mathematical model does best describe a particular situation? Additionally, the job contains a lot of data analysis and programming - and it turns out that the abstract way of thinking, which you for example use for implementing a new algorithm, is rather similar to trying to solve a mathematical problem. Last, but not least, in my job I need to be able to explain mathematical models to engineers, for example, and for this, I benefit from my experience with explaining theoretical exercises in class and at oral exams.
The transition from being a university student to working in my first job was abrupt in many ways: From an environment where everybody spoke 'Mathematics', I started in a company working alongside engineers and business people with completely different backgrounds. In my job, there is not always time to immerse myself in a problem; we just have to find a solution that will work within the given deadline. The responsibility you have in a job is also very different, because suddenly your effort affects the company's bottom line and other people's work - not just your own exam results. So yes, it was a bit of a cultural shock to go from university to a job, but I feel that my degree in Mathematics has opened many doors for me.