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Teaching and study methods


The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is the standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students of higher education across the European Union and other collaborating European countries.   

ECTS indicate the student workload required to complete a course. They reflect the relationship between the amount of work required by each course and the amount of work required to complete a full year of academic study at Aarhus University.

60 ECTS represent the workload of one academic year of study (two semesters), whereas 30 ECTS represent one semester.

ECTS are granted for completed courses only.


Teaching at Aarhus University is generally structured around lectures, seminars and practical exercises. Students are expected to actively participate in academic discussions during class.

Study groups

Study groups are a central aspect at Aarhus University, and it is a good idea to join one at the beginning of the semester. Many professors require students to make one or two oral presentations during the semester, and these presentations are prepared in study groups.

As interaction and dialogue between professors and students are highly encouraged, the academic atmosphere may appear relaxed and informal to some international students.


Lectures are held for up to 400 students in an auditorium setting and consists mainly of one-way communication. The purpose of lectures is to provide the students with the necessary theoretical basis for further course work.


Seminars are for smaller groups of students - on average 20 students. They are based on a dialogue between lecturer and students, and it is expected that students actively take part in the discussions. When seminars are held in continuation of lectures, students are expected to apply the theoretical concept and tools provided to them in the lectures.

Practical / Laboratory work

This teaching form is most common at the Faculty of Science and Technology and the Faculty of Health. An example is the School of Dentistry where the students gain practical experience working in the department's own clinic.

Weekly hours

The number of teaching hours per week differs from faculty to faculty and depends very much on the learning objective. Please contact the faculty or department where you plan to study for more specific information.


Aarhus University offers more than a 1000 courses taught in English, and for these courses, textbooks are written in English. If you are a non-native English speaker, we suggest you take an English language course before coming to Aarhus.

You are expected to be proficient in both oral and written English at a level sufficient for academic studies. Read more about language requirements at Aarhus University.


The dialogue between lecturer and student is central to the teaching at Aarhus University. Students are expected to actively engage in academic discussions during class, and many lecturers require students to make oral presentations once or twice during the course. The oral presentations are often prepared by a group of students, which is why participation in a study group is recommended (see below).

A high level of personal responsibility and active participation is expected of the student. Danish university education is not a guided tour. It is up to the individual student to get the most out of what is offered.

Another distinctive feature of the Danish university education is the academic environment, which may seem informal to foreign students. Professors and other staff members often chat informally with the students and associate with them during breaks.


Study groups are a frequently used feature of Aarhus University student life. A study group typically consists of 3-4 students who meet to prepare for or follow up on classes, discuss assignments, or prepare oral presentations.

Study groups can be beneficial with regard to both studies and social life. They train students in methodological skills such as cooperation, presentation, coordination, etc. So ask around and find out if anyone is interested in joining your study group.


Studypedia is a free, online resource offered in both Danish and English. It outlines helpful study skills, standards and advice on how to write academic papers in Denmark, as well as helpful hints on finding information in Denmark. This is a very useful resource helping international students to be academically successful in Denmark.