Teaching and study methods


Aarhus University has high academic standards and requires that international students meet these standards.

Students are expected to complete 30 ECTS credits per semester and at least the equivalent number of study hours.


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

Many professors require students to make one or two oral presentations during the semester. As these presentations are prepared in groups, it is recommended to find a study group at the beginning of the semester.

As interaction and dialogue between professors and students are highly encouraged, the academic atmosphere may appear relaxed and informal for many foreign students.


Lectures are held for up to 400 students in an auditorium and it mainly consists of one-way communication. The purpose of these lectures is to give the students the necessary theoretical basis for the topics in question.


Seminars are for a smaller group 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. Some seminars are held in continuation of the lectures in which case the students are expected to apply the theoretical tools provided to them in practice.

Practical / Laboratory work

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

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 expect to study for more specific information.


Aarhus University offers more than a 1000 courses taught in English. In this case, 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 should be aware that you are expected to be proficient in both oral and written English at a sufficient level 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 take an active part in the 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 it is a good idea to form or participate in a study group (see below).

A high level of 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.



A study group typically consists of 3-4 students who meet to discuss the academic texts used in class as well as preparing eventual oral presentations together. It is quite common practice for students at the University to join such groups.

Study groups can be beneficial both with regard to 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.


Study Metro 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 for international students to be academically successful, as standards in Denmark may be different from other countries.