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New academic regulations at medicine following the vision process

The board of studies for medicine has decided to revise both the Bachelor’s and the Master’s degree programmes in order to be able to live up to the faculty's new vision and strategy for the medical degree programme. The new academic regulations come into force from September 2020.

The vision and the strategic foundation for the medical degree programme at AU were prepared in collaboration with a wide range of the degree programme’s stakeholders in 2017. The board of studies for medicine has now assessed that the medical degree programme needs to be revised to match the vision and the strategic foundation supporting it. The board of studies has collected input from teaching staff and students during its work with the new academic regulations, which is still in its initial phase.

Structural changes to the Bachelor's degree programme

The Bachelor’s degree programme must undergo structural changes so it can promote the integration between the biomedical subject areas. This means that new courses need to be developed – including cellular biology, neuroscience and a broader subject within public health. The Bachelor's degree programme also needs ‘spicing up’ with new elements including e.g. understanding of big data and its importance for the development of new knowledge and thus new treatments. There is also a need to create better coherence between the paraclinical subjects and the biomedical subjects, while the instruction in anatomy needs to be rethought so that the use of anatomy becomes clearer for the students.

"For the board of studies, the overall goal is for a progression to take place throughout the Bachelor's programme which ensures that the students attain greater independence and confidence in an academic approach to professional issues," says chair of the board of studies Per Höllsberg, before continuing: "Another of our goals is for the basic scientific core expertise in the Bachelor's degree programme to be directed towards the clinical Master’s degree programme which the Bachelor's programme prepares them for."

The structural changes are thus being undertaken to: ensure a stronger integration of subject areas within biomedicine; to strengthen the public health element; and to strengthen the coherence with the Master's degree programme.

New elective Master’s courses

As a new element, the Master’s degree programme will from 2020 contain a larger selection of elective courses for the students. The courses must ensure that the students develop an academic approach to innovative processes, and they also need to support the students to be autonomous and problem-solving when they meet complex issues.

The elective courses are to be introduced in the first semester of the Master's degree programme and extend from the second to the fourth semester, which is concluded with the Master’s thesis. The elective tracks make it possible for students to immerse themselves in the research process, a clinical Master's thesis or a project-oriented development track. The aim is to create value for patients, the health sector and society in general.

"Introducing an elective course naturally has consequences for other the courses during the first to fourth semester of the Master’s degree programme. The material and time in the clinic need to be prioritised with focus on the generic competences of medical doctors. Together with the academic environments, we continue to work on how to solve this task and the best way to organise the Master's degree programme," says Per Höllsberg.

In future, the professional track will be integrated into the clinical part of the Master’s degree programme. This will strengthen the training in the seven roles of the medical doctor and provide better opportunities to train the students' professional competences in an authentic situation.

The new academic regulations for both the Bachelor’s and Master's degree programmes must also support the coming implementation of more student-activating learning and the increasing use of EDU IT in the teaching to increase the students' learning outcomes.


The process towards 2020

In order to have the new academic regulations ready for September 2020, the board of studies has set up a project organisation that will manage the process and which has been approved by the faculty management team at Health. The process towards 2020 is as follows:

  • The board of studies establishes two project groups to develop the academic regulations for the Bachelor’s degree programme (in Danish only)and the academic regulations for the Master’s degree programme (in Danish only), respectively.
  • The project groups are expected to have a first draft of the new academic regulations for the Bachelor’s and Master's degree programmes ready for recommendation for adoption by the board of studies for medicine at the end of 2018 and the middle of 2019, respectively.
  • The administrative implementation and notification of students will begin after this.
  • The academic regulations are to be formulated so that they can be sent for consultation by the Chairmanship of the External Co-examiners, the Danish Patient Safety Authority and the other universities in autumn 2019.
  • The board of studies for medicine then considers the consultation responses and based on these formulates the final academic regulations, which will then be sent to the dean's office for approval during the winter 2019/2020.
  • From September 2020, the new Bachelor and Master’s degree students will begin under the new academic regulations.

The website of the board of studies for medicine has more information about the revision project, the composition of the project groups and the future work on the academic regulations.


Professor and chairman of the board of studies for medicine Per Höllsberg
Aarhus University, Department of Biomedicine
Mobile: (+45) 5136 2353
Email: ph@biomed.au.dk