Aarhus University Seal

Aarhus University's rules regarding PhD education


In accordance with section 4(1), section 5, section 6(1), section 7(1), section 8(1), (2) and (6), section 12(1) and (5), section 19(1), and section 25 of Ministerial Order no. 1039 of 27 August 2013 on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions, the following rules have been laid down. 

1. Graduate schools, heads of graduate schools and PhD committees at Aarhus University

1.-(1) The dean establishes and abolishes graduate schools where PhD education takes place, cf. Aarhus University by-laws, section 41(1).

(2) Each graduate school has a graduate school head who is appointed and dismissed by the dean, cf. 41(2) of the by-laws.

(3) The head of the graduate school manages the graduate school, cf. 41(3) of the by-laws, and has the tasks and responsibilities set out in 41(3) of the by-laws.

(4)  The dean appoints a PhD committee, cf. section 42 of the by-laws, with the tasks and responsibilities that are set out in section 16b(2) of the University Act.

2. Admission to PhD programmes

2.-(1) Successful completion of a Master's degree programme is a prerequisite for admission to a PhD programme; cf. section 5(1) of the PhD Order. 

(2) The dean is responsible for determining the criteria on which admission is based (cf. section 6(1) of the PhD Order) as well as the rules governing the admission of students who have not yet completed a Master's degree (cf. section 5(1-2) of the PhD Order).

3. The contents and structure of PhD education

3.-(1) Within the framework laid down in the PhD Order and the Danish Agency for Higher Education’s associated guidelines, the head of the graduate school lays down internal guidelines for the organisation of PhD education, including

1) The structure of PhD education, including the option of following a PhD programme on a part-time basis, cf. section 4(1)of the PhD Order.
2) The form and frequency of regular assessments of the progress of the individual PhD student; cf. section 10 of the PhD Order. In the interests of documentation, assessments must be made in writing and must document which elements of the degree programme have been completed and which elements remain to be completed as well as any approved adjustments to the PhD plan of the student in question.

4. Appointment of supervisors and supervision of PhD students

4.-(1) The head of the graduate school appoints a principal supervisor as well as any other supervisors; cf. section 8(2) of the PhD Order. 

(2) PhD supervisors have a duty to keep informed regarding relevant rules.
(3) The head of the graduate school lays down internal rules regarding supervision of PhD students, cf. section 8(6) of the PhD Order, including:
1) How supervisors are to be appointed.
2)Additional requirements for supervisors.

5. Preparation and submission of the PhD dissertation, cf. section 12(1).

5.-(1) The head of the graduate school lays down requirements regarding the choice of language in the dissertation and the summary. However, the dissertation must contain or be accompanied by a summary in Danish and English, cf. section 12(3) of the PhD Order.


6.-(1) The head of the graduate school may lay down rules regarding notice of submission of the dissertation, including rules regarding extended notice periods in connection with holiday and exam periods.


7.-(1) One copy of the final version of the dissertation must be submitted to the graduate school. The copy that is submitted is the property of the university. All other rights to the dissertation belong to the author. The head of the graduate school may lay down rules regarding the submission of additional copies.
(2) The head of the graduate school may lay down rules regarding any additional formal or procedural requirements in connection with the preparation and submission of the dissertation, including:
1) Any standard declarations or standard forms.
2) Storage of the dissertation.

6. Defence of the PhD dissertation

8.-(1) All members of the assessment committee participate in the dissertation defence.

(2) Under special circumstances, subject to agreement with the  student or the author, the head of the graduate school may decide that a planned defence can be completed with participation of only two members of the assessment committee, cf. section 19(3) of the PhD Order.

(3) The head of the graduate school lays down additional rules regarding how the defence is to be held, cf. section 19(1) of the PhD Order.


9.-(1) The PhD defence is announced on the university website and in other media if desired.

7. Dispensations

10.-(1) The rector may offer a dispensation from these rules under special circumstances.

8. Entry into force

11.-(1) These rules come into force on 15 January 2014.

(2) At the same time, Aarhus University’s rules of 5 June 2010 regarding PhD education are repealed.