How and when should I register for the Master's thesis?
You will be registered for the Master’s thesis automatically on the last semester of your Master's degree programme.
If you are writing Master's thesis in a spring semester, the Master's thesis period begins on 1 February. If you are writing Master's thesis in a autumn semester, the Master's thesis period begins 1 September.
Registration for the Master’s thesis is compulsory and cannot be withdrawn. This applies even if you have not passed all prior elements of your degree programme.
You will be registered, so that you can complete your degree programme within the stipulated time of study (22 months (+ 6 months for students with an extension)).
Deadlines for submitting the Master’s thesis
During the second semester of your Master’s degree programme, you should start defining the topic you are interested in writing about in your Master’s thesis.
You also need to start thinking about who you would like as your thesis supervisor, as most students at Arts need to apply for a supervisor by the end of the second semester.
You can find the relevant deadlines for your thesis process here.
It is a good idea to start looking for material well in advance to ensure that you have it when you need it in the thesis process. At the AU libraries and the Royal Danish Library, you can get help when searching for information.
The Student Guidance and Information service also arranges courses and workshops which can help you to plan your thesis process.
How do I find a supervisor?
The procedure for appointing supervisors varies from degree programme to degree programme.
Read more about the degree programme-specific procedures for applying for thesis supervisors
When should I submit my application - and when will I receive an answer?
In the overview of deadlines you can see when you (if you have applied on time) can expect an answer to your application for a thesis supervisor.
Please note: Thesis supervisors must be members of department staff (a professor, associate professor or assistant professor).
Special information for group theses
If you write Master's thesis together with one or more other students, you must complete the application for a supervisor together. Please note that you can only write together if you have the same submission deadline.
Once a supervisor has been assigned to you, you can start the supervision process.
It is a good idea to discuss your topic and working title with your thesis supervisor as soon as you have submitted your application for this supervisor.
Your supervisor is a key figure during the production of your thesis because he/she can assess whether your topic has been delimited sufficiently, and whether it can be produced within the timeframe and academic framework stated in the academic regulations.
Balancing your expectations
It is also a good idea to discuss the supervision process and agree on how, where and when you will meet and the kind of supervision that will be provided.
You and you supervisor should also discuss your expectations and wishes in more general and personal terms. It is important to balance your expectations because the supervision process often varies a great deal.
Remember to use your supervision plan
You and your supervisor need to draw up a supervision plan. This is a general plan for producing your thesis – including the topic area and the plan for the supervision process.
It is a good idea to start with this plan at your first meeting because it can help you to remember the points mentioned above.
The plan does not have to be finalised and submitted until the end of the third semester.
For inspiration on points to discuss, see 'Good advice for the first meeting with your supervisor'.
Especially for group theses
If you are a group writing a thesis together, one of you must fill out a joint supervision plan and write the AU-e-mail addresses of the remaining members in the form. Only the person who sends the supervision plan receives a receipt. Please note that you can only write together if you have the same submission deadline.
During this period you work on your thesis.
You should keep in touch with your supervisor along the way.
See Inspiration for your thesis if you need additional support and supervision during the process.
Specifically for students of Journalism (cand.public.)
If you choose a thesis with a journalistic product (exam form 3), and if you want to produce something that is not a printed article, the design and scope must be discussed with the journalistic co-supervisor and is subject to the final approval of the academic supervisor.
For the sake of the planning of the thesis exams, it is important that you submit the form for appointing an external co-examiner at least 6 weeks before you submit your thesis. If not, we will not be able to have a co-examiner ready to assess your Master's thesis in due time.
If you have not written your AU email (correct) on the form, you will not receive a receipt. If you have written your AU email and still do not receive a receipt, please contact the Study Centre Arts.
Special information for group theses
If you are a group writing Master's thesis together, one of you must fill out a joint form and write the names, student numbers and AU e-mail adresses of the remaining members in the form. Mark on top that it is a group Master's thesis. Only the one who sends the form will receive a receipt. Please note that you can only write as a group if you have the same submission deadline.
Your thesis is to be submitted in our digital examination system.
We recommend that you read the 'Guide to Digital Exams for students', and that you start uploading your thesis well before the deadline.
Digital Exam: Submission procedure, guidelines and login
The Master’s thesis must be submitted by the relevant deadline
Please note that your Master's thesis must be uploaded and submitted by 14.00 on the submission date.
See also: Information about deadlines in connection with the thesis
Please note: If the submission deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, the deadline is automatically extended to the next working day.
The submitted thesis cannot be edited
You should also be aware that the submission of your thesis is final. This means that the submitted thesis is locked when you have submitted it, and that you cannot edit the thesis after having submitted it.
Formal requirements for the master's thesis
Your Master's thesis will be rejected and you will use a examination attempt if your Master's thesis does not comply with the formalities or if you do not enclose your supervision plan as an appendix (and have not previously submitted it via the study portal).
Publication of your thesis
If you want your thesis to be published in the AU Project Library, you must state this in the digital exams system in connection with the submission of your thesis.
Read here about things you need to be aware of before you publish your final paper: Publish i AU's project library
Once you have completed the form, the thesis will be published when it has been assessed with a pass grade.
Submitting a product thesis
If your Master's thesis includes a physical product which cannot be submitted digitally, the physical product must be submitted to Study Centre Arts during opening hours. If you wish to submit outside opening hours, you must contact study Centre Arts, so that you can instead submit the physical product in the Arts Studies administration (Tåsingegade 3, building 1442). All other parts of your thesis must be submitted via Digital exam.
Submitting a group thesis
Information about that you are writing a group Master's thesis is already registered in the Digital Exams system.
Therefore, you don't need to indicate that you are part of a group, or 'form' a group in the Digital Exams system in connection with or prior to your submission.
If you hand in your Master's thesis on 1 June, you will receive your assessment no later than 5 July.
If you submit your Master's thesis between 15 June and 15 July, you will receive your assessment within six weeks due to the summer holiday.
If you hand in your Master's thesis at other times of the year, the assessment time is four weeks.
Theses with an oral defence
The oral defence will take place within the assessment period. The grade will be given after the defence.
The university does not support the possibility of applying for advance approval for unemployment insurance.
You are entitled to receive feedback on your thesis once it has been assessed. Please arrange when and how to do this with your supervisor. This feedback may be in writing, but it no longer constitutes part of the assessment. You cannot complain about the feedback – only about the grade given.
Thesis with oral defence
The defence takes place within the four week assessment period, which starts on the date where the thesis is submitted.
You will be given your grade after the oral defence.
If you do not submit your thesis in your second attempt
If you fail to submit your thesis before the new submission deadline, this will count as another failed attempt to pass the exam. Your third and final attempt to pass the exam will start automatically according to the same rules that apply to your second attempt to pass the exam.
Special information about July
If your thesis is assessed with a non-pass grade between 1 July – 31 July, the period before your next examination attempt (if you have one or more attempts left) starts will be extended. The extension gives you the opportunity to prepare a new supervision plan in collaboration with your supervisor, who will typically be on holiday in July. Your new examination attempt will start on 15 August, which gives you 14 days from 1 – 14 August to prepare and submit the supervision plan. Your submission deadline will be three months later. After 1 August you will receive an information email about your new examination attempt on your master's thesis.
If you do not need the full thesis period, you are welcome to submit your thesis earlier. You must still submit the form "Acknowledgement of submission of the thesis" at least six weeks before you wish to submit your thesis. Please note that at your 2nd or 3rd examination attempt, you will not be able to submit your Master's thesis during the 14 days in which you must prepare and submit a revised supervision plan and thesis formulation.
If exceptional circumstances prevent you from working on your thesis (illness or maternity/paternity leave, for instance), the board of studies may grant you exemption from the submission deadline rule.
It is important that you apply for exemption at the time an exceptional circumstances arise and before the deadline for the examination attempt, you are working on. The Board of Studies see each of the three exam attempts isolated, and can therefore only grant an exemption from the deadline for submission if exceptional circumstances have affected the specific examination attempt, you are working on.
Consequently, in order to assess whether the exceptional circumstances have affected your attempt to pass the exam, it is important that your doctor’s certificate provides documentary evidence of:
Your doctor must only assess how (and how much) your ability to study has been affected by the exceptional circumstances in question. So your doctor’s certificate must not contain an assessment of how long your submission deadline should be postponed.
Read more about applying for exemption.
If exceptional circumstances cause that you will not continue in your Master's thesis group, you must contact your supervisor and get a confirmation (by email) that you are breaking the group up.
You must also notify administrative officer/Master's thesis Coordinator:
And you must send an email to the Study centre Arts, where you attach the confirmation email from your supervisor.
You can only change your supervisor in exceptional circumstances, and you must submit an application to do this.
If your application is approved, you must send an email to Study Center Arts - with an approval email from the Head of Appartment/Master's thesis Coordinator attached - to Study Centre Arts
Your supervision plan will be adjusted. However, the original deadline for submission will remain unchanged.
If your supervisor becomes absent due to illness for a longer period of time, you have the opportunity to be assigned another supervisor.
The general leave of absence rules apply during the thesis period, which means that students may apply for leave of absence with the result that the submission date is postponed by a period equivalent to the duration of the leave. During periods of leave, students cannot receive supervision or the government student grant.
If you become a parent during your Master's thesis process, you have the opportunity to go on parental leave from your studies. You can read more about your options on the page on exemption and parental leave.
You cannot be in a Master's thesis group if you go on parental leave from your studies in the Master's thesis semester, because you will not have the same submission deadline as the other members of the Master's thesis group.