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Master's thesis

These pages contain information and guidance about your thesis writing process.

Registration for the Master's thesis

As a Master’s degree student, you will be administratively registered for your thesis with no option of withdrawal. The registration is adapted to allow you three examination attempts within the framework of the maximum study time for your Master’s thesis.

In connection with your thesis, you will be administratively registered for both ordinary examinations and first and second reexaminations.

You can still complete courses you have not passed concurrently with your thesis within the framework of the Study Progress Reform’s active enrolment requirements and the maximum study time. If you choose to postpone courses within the thesis period, you are not able to defer the end date of your thesis.

However, the thesis does not have to be the final examination activity of your Master’s degree programme.

In addition to checking that you are registered for the thesis, you must ensure – prior to the formal start date of the thesis – that you have...

  • updated your Master’s contract in the contract generator.
  • prepared a Master’s thesis contract that contains details of the title, thesis statement, assigned supervisor, etc. The thesis contract is drawn up by you and your prospective supervisor, and it must be approved via the contract generator by you, your supervisor and your degree programme coordinator. The contract generator also contains instructions for how to fill in the thesis contract. Fill in the Master’s thesis contract here. You will be notified by e-mail once the thesis registration is in place.

Submission of your thesis

The Master’s thesis must be submitted via Digital Exam.

Deadline for submission in Digital Exam

The thesis must be submitted by 12.00 at the latest on the submission date stated in your thesis contract.

You are personally responsible for submitting your thesis on time. We therefore recommend that you upload and submit your thesis well before the deadline for submission. If your thesis is submitted too late, it will not be assessed.

Your exam will be accessible no later than one week prior to the deadline for submission. You can find relevant details about submitting your thesis in the information about exams at Digital Exam.

Submission format

As a general rule, you should submit your thesis as one complete PDF file. However, you also have the option of attaching appendices in other formats if necessary.

Confidentiality

Some of the master’s thesis’ which is confidential cannot be submitted in “Digital Exam”. You must then submit a printed version. Your supervisor will inform the study administration, whether your master’s thesis can be submitted in “Digital Exam” or not. Further information on this will be given directly to the students involved.

Read more about Digital Exam under 'Examination' > 'Digital Exam' in the menu.

Master's theses commenced in fall 2017 and spring 2018

For students following the stipulated study plan, the following deadlines apply regarding registration and submission of a thesis: 

 

Autumn 2017

Spring 2018

 

30 ECTS

45 ECTS

30 ECTS

45 ECTS

Thesis contract

Approved by the student, main supervisor and programme coordinator in the contract generator

12-06-2017

 

12-06-2017

 

17-12-2017

 

17-12-2017

 

Commencement of thesis

29-08-2017

29-08-2017

29-01-2018

29-01-2018

Submission of thesis

Latest Kl. 12:00

03-01-2018

04-06-2018

04-06-2018

03-01-2019

Last examination date

19-01-2018

22-06-2018

22-06-2018

18-01-2019

* Please notice – If a deadline for handing in falls on a holiday or in a weekend, the next weekday will be the date that applies (at 12:00).

* 45 ECTS only applies for Biotechnology and Chemical Engineering

* Course activity in parallel with the thesis project no longer offers an extended deadline for handing in the thesis.

For students not following the stipulated study plan, you must complete your thesis within the time frame stated above (45 ECTS credits must be completed within 7.5 months). These time frames include assessment (0.5 months), and therefore a 45 ECTS thesis project must be handed in 7 months after commencement at the latest.

Master's theses commenced in fall 2018 and spring 2019

For students following the stipulated study plan, the following deadlines apply regarding registration and submission of a thesis: 

 

Fall 2018

Spring 2019

 

30 ECTS

45 ECTS

30 ECTS

45 ECTS

Thesis contract

Approved by the student, main supervisor and programme coordinator in the contract generator

12-06-2018

 

12-06-2018

 

17-12-2018

 

17-12-2018

 

Commencement of thesis

27-08-2018

27-08-2018

28-01-2019

28-01-2019

Submission of thesis

Latest Kl. 12:00

03-01-2019

04-06-2019

04-06-2019

03-01-2020

Last examination date

18-01-2019

21-06-2019

21-06-2019

20-01-2020

 

* Please notice – If a deadline for handing in falls on a holiday or in a weekend, the next weekday will be the date that applies (at 12:00).

* 45 ECTS only applies for Biotechnology and Chemical Engineering

* Course activity in parallel with the thesis project no longer offers an extended deadline for handing in the thesis.

For students not following the stipulated study plan, you must complete your thesis within the time frame stated above (45 ECTS credits must be completed within 7.5 months). These time frames include assessment (0.5 months), and therefore a 45 ECTS thesis project must be handed in 7 months after commencement at the latest.

Good advice regarding your thesis process

Make an early start on your considerations about the thesis

You should perhaps start as early as the commencement of your Master’s degree – think about possible directions for your thesis and make enquiries about a potential main supervisor and co-supervisors. Please note that your main supervisor must be tenured at Aarhus University, and that your thesis must be completed at Aarhus University.

To clarify the direction of your thesis, you can look for inspiration in courses you find interesting, and talk to selected course coordinators or your degree programme coordinator. You can find more inspiration for your choice of topic at AU STUDYPEDIA.

You should also make up your mind as to whether the thesis will be business-oriented and completed in collaboration with a company, and whether you would like and are able to work on a group thesis.

Clarify the formal framework of the thesis

  • Find out whether there are special guidelines for the thesis at your department as regards scope and structure, and the option of office space and/or a laboratory. Your prospective supervisor can tell you whether there are specific guidelines at your department.
  • Ask your programme coordinator where and how your thesis should be submitted.
     

Ensure a clear match of expectations with your supervisors

  • How many meetings can you expect during the course of the thesis (note that there are no rules for the number of meetings, etc.)?
  • Are there particular stages of the thesis that make it likely to meet frequently/less frequently?
  • What type of guidance do you need and what can your supervisor offer?
  • What part and how much of your text will the supervisor read?
  • What preparation does each meeting require of you (e.g. agenda, draft of text, specific matters of dispute, etc.)?
  • Preferably discuss a draft of a schedule, frequency of meetings and table of contents, so you know whether you agree on the direction and allocation of time.
  • Clarify the aim of the thesis – what would you like to achieve in terms of both the process and the result?
  • Determine whether there are periods during the course of the thesis when your supervisor is absent and thereby unavailable for guidance.
     

Remember to regularly consult your supervisor and co-supervisor(s)

Your supervisor is there to provide assistance with your thesis as regards the academic content and the process. It is therefore important that you are open and honest with your supervisor as far as any challenges, questions or problems are concerned during this period.

Clarify whether there are other relevant people who can provide feedback in addition to your main supervisor and co-supervisor(s)

Preferably find out whether there are others working in the same area such as fellow MSc and PhD students, etc.

Group assignments

Master’s theses at Science and Technology can be prepared as group assignments. The final oral exam is held as an individual exam that follows the guidelines stated in the course description for Master’s theses at Science and Technology. A group can consist of a maximum of three members.

Each individual group member must fill out a thesis contract. Please note that the group must be registered correctly if the thesis is submitted digitally.

Groups can choose

  1. to prepare a joint report in which each member has equal responsibility for all parts of the report. The final grade for the individual student is the overall grade for the individual oral exam and the entire thesis report.
  2. to prepare a report stating who has drawn up the individual parts of the thesis report and has particular responsibility for them. Parts of the report can be prepared jointly. The table of contents in the thesis report must state who is responsible for each individual part of the report. The report’s bibliography can be divided into a joint part and a part for each group member. The final grade for the individual student is the overall grade for the individual oral exam, the parts of the thesis report that are prepared jointly, and the parts that can be attributed to the individual examinee.

Are you having problems with your Master’s thesis?

Is the collaboration with your supervisor not working?

First of all, go and talk to your supervisor. Find out whether you have the same expectations to the supervision process. Many problems arise if there has not been a clear match of expectations right from the start.

You are also welcome to contact a student counsellor and get inspiration on how to go about the challenges, or you can contact the programme coordinator for your degree.

Will you be delayed?

It is important to react immediately if you find your thesis is not running according to plan. If you experience challenges at an early stage of your thesis, you and your supervisor can still manage to make adjustments so you can reach your goal on time. You can contact both your supervisor and a student counsellor if you need to discuss your options.

In case of illness or other unusual circumstances during the thesis period, it is possible to apply for exemption to extend the prescribed period. Submit your application to ST Studies Administration via mit.au.dk (self-service) under ‘Exemptions’. However, you need to be able to prove the unusual circumstances with a medical certificate or other form of public documentation. Contact your supervisor or student counsellor and find out about your options in consultation with them.

What happens if you do not submit your Master’s thesis on time?

If you are unable to submit your Master’s thesis by the deadline, it counts as an examination attempt. You must subsequently have a revised problem formulation approved, after which you will be granted an additional period of three months. If you have still not completed your thesis after these three months, it means you have used one more attempt and the deadline is extended by a further three months to the third and final attempt.

The three-month extension period starts the day after the previous submission deadline has been exceeded. If the original submission deadline was 1 June, for example, the next period begins on 2 June and you must submit your thesis by 1 September at the latest.

In connection with your thesis, you will be administratively registered for both ordinary examinations and first and second reexaminations.

Are you dissatisfied with the completion/result of your Master’s thesis?

As with other courses, you can lodge complaints and appeals about the thesis examination. Contact your supervisor initially and clarify the reasons for the result. After this, you can go to your study portal to find more information if you still wish to lodge a complaint or appeal. See more under 'Examination' in the menu.

Non-disclosure agreements

AU’s pre-approved standard agreement

In connection with writing a thesis in collaboration with external companies it may be necessary that the company and the student sign a non-disclosure agreement.

For this purpose, AU's legal department (TTO) has made a standard non-disclosure agreement. The agreement has already been approved by TTO and can be used in its original version without further approvals. The standard agreement must be signed by both parties and the conditions in the agreement will hereafter apply. You find the standard non-disclosure agreement here:

The agreement must be signed by the student, the company, and the counsellor, and afterwards sent to Jon Søby, joso@eng.au.dk, who provides the Head of Department's signature. Then, the student will receive the signed agreement. The department is responsible for archiving in TTO.

Changes to the standard agreement
If the company wishes to amend/change the conditions in the standard agreement, you must contact Department of Engineering via joso@eng.au.dk. The department will see to that the proposed changes are evaluated at TTO.

Please note that Aarhus University is not responsible for legal advise to students in connection with entering into agreements with external companies. During the preparation of the non-disclosure agreement, Aarhus University has attempted to consider the students; however the students are an independent party in the agreement.


If you have any questions, please contact Jon Søby.

Questions regarding the Master's thesis?

Send an e-mail to studieservice.st@au.dk

Who can help?

Help is available if you have any academic or personal problems during the thesis period. You can get help from:

  • Your Master’s thesis supervisor or degree programme coordinator (find last-mentioned under 'Contact and Study Service ST' in the menu)
  • Student Counselling at Science and Technology (See 'Student Counselling' in the menu)
  • Student Counselling Service – information and guidance for higher education students
  • The AU chaplain (in Danish only)

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