Learning and teaching culture

In the Danish educational system, the relationship between student and teacher is often very informal. Photo: Simon Jeppesen, AU Photo

Aarhus University offers four Bachelor’s and 60+ Master’s degree programmes in English, covering a wide range of research areas. There are programmes to suit all interests. All PhD programmes are in English. All programmes are deeply rooted in research and are reviewed on an ongoing basis to meet the highest national and global quality standards.

Active participation in class

Most courses use a combination of large lectures and smaller classroom-based seminars. In the seminars, you are expected to participate, for instance by asking questions, taking part in discussions or giving presentations. Critical thinking and freedom of speech are important at Aarhus University, and it is okay not to share all of your lecturer’s opinions.

Study methods at AU and in Denmark

While course work activities count as part of the final examination grade for most courses, there are rarely visible checkups (e.g. roll calls) on your presence in class. This leaves you with a high degree of freedom to be matched by your own responsibility and self-discipline. Please also note that in some courses class attendance is actually a pre-requisite for participating in the exam. Danish higher education is characterised by an analytical approach. Students are thus not only expected to accumulate and reproduce knowledge but also to compare, analyse and evaluate on an individual basis.

Most courses are followed by both Danish and international students. We hope that the classroom environment will pave the way for social interaction between international and Danish students.

Classroom Culture

As an international student or researcher, you may be surprised by the study culture at Aarhus University. The study culture Denmark is informal, and the hierarchy between lecturers and students is flat and not very strict.

Rather than Ms., Mrs., Mr., Dr. or Professor, most lecturers will ask you to call them by their first name, and students and lecturers are typically on first name terms. Professors and other staff members often chat informally with the students and socialise with them during breaks.