Do you want to be a high-school teacher?

This site contains information about the kind of educational profile you need if you want to work as a high-school teacher when you finish your Master’s degree.

You can also read about working at high school – as well as learning more about how to use the competences of a Master’s graduate with a teaching profile not only in the teaching sector, but also in other areas.

Competences required

If you want to find salaried employment as a high-school teacher, you need to have gained teaching competences.

These competences comprise

  • subject-specific competences
  • knowledge of educational theory

Subject-specific competences can be acquired during your degree programme by studying a main subject as well as a subsidiary subject (a Bachelor’s and Master’s supplementary subject corresponding to at least 90 ECTS credits), both of which must be subjects that are taught at high school.

You also need to comply with the minimum academic requirements described in the relevant order issued by the Danish Ministry of Education. Aarhus University makes sure that the degree programmes targeting high-school teaching comply with these minimum academic requirements.

Knowledge of educational theory can be acquired by completing a teacher-training course, which starts within the first two years of gaining salaried employment at a high school.

Subject combinations – which supplementary subject should I choose?

Here are a few useful points to consider when choosing your supplementary subject: 

  • Study the academic content, study requirements and methods of the supplementary subject 

If you intend to teach your supplementary subject at high school, don’t forget that it will be part of your working life for many years after you graduate.

So you should think carefully about what it would be like not only to study this subject, but also to teach it afterwards.

To ensure that you make the right decision, we recommend that you study the academic content, study requirements and methods of the supplementary subject you are interested in. 

  • Find out more about job opportunities for people with your subject combination

One of the important factors in finding a teaching job at high school is whether you choose what are called “large” subjects or “small” subjects.

This is because the size of the subject determines how many teaching hours it generates in high schools. The size of the subject and the number of teaching hours associated with it depend on:

  • whether it’s a compulsory subject or only an elective/specialist subject
  • whether it’s an A-, B- or C-level subject

For instance, if your supplementary subject is a small high-school subject, your chances of finding a job as a high-school teacher will be greatest if your main subject is a large subject. But remember that there are normally more graduates in the large subjects, so there will also be more applicants for jobs involving these subjects.

This is what the structure of your studies should look like...

You need to design your study structure in the right way if you want to gain the competence required to teach at high school.

To gain the subject-specific competence required to teach at high school, you need to:

  • Take a Bachelor’s degree programme in a subject which is taught at high school
  • Take a Bachelor’s supplementary subject in a subject which is taught at high school
  • Continue by taking a Master’s supplementary subject which is an extension of your Bachelor’s supplementary subject. Your Master’s supplementary subject is part of the Master’s degree programme in your main subject (line B) and amounts to 45 ECTS credits (or 75 ECTS credits with an extension)

Supplementary subjects which are not taught at the Faculty of Arts

If you choose a supplementary subject designed for teaching at high school which is not taught at the Faculty of Arts, please note that certain subject combinations will result in an extension of your Master’s supplementary subject by 30 ECTS credits.

Subject combinations which result in extensions.

If your Master’s supplementary subject is extended, the structure of your study programme may not resemble the model above and will have to be structured individually. This is often done following a discussion with the student counsellors for your main subject and your supplementary subject.

More information about extensions and examples of possible study plans.


Profile course: Teaching in Theory and Practice

If you want to find out what it’s like to teach at high school during your Master’s degree programme, you can choose the profile course called “Teaching in Theory and Practice” in your third semester.

On this profile course you will learn how to combine your subject-specific expertise with didactic and pedagogical principles and ideas to plan and carry out courses of teaching. You will also gain concrete experience by actually doing some teaching on placement at a high school.

More information about the profile course called “Teaching in Theory and Practice”.

With a teaching profile you can also ...

Master’s graduates with a teaching profile don’t necessarily have to teach at high school. Your competences can be used to teach in many different contexts. Naturally, you can teach in the education sector in general. But you can also use your competences in other jobs which involve teaching in various ways. Or you can do jobs which do not involve teaching at all.

So our advice is to keep an open mind and stay curious!

Here are some examples of job opportunities in the teaching sector.

Opportunities in the teaching sector

  • Teaching at business colleges, HTX courses or adult education centres
  • Teaching at university colleges, business academies or the Danish School of Media and Journalism
  • Teaching in Danish primary/lower-secondary schools or schools for young people aged 14-18
  • Teaching at Danish folk high schools or evening schools
  • Teaching on private courses
  • Language teaching
  • Teaching and counselling in the employment sector

Teaching, professional dialogue and process facilitation in the consultancy sector

Opportunities outside the teaching sector 

You can also use your competences in jobs that do not involve teaching at all – just like Master’s graduates who do not have a specific teaching profile. The list is long, and there are countless opportunities. An increasing number of organisations and companies are now becoming aware of the value of Master’s graduates in the humanities.

Our job inspiration catalogue shows you what kind of jobs MA graduates do, and what kind of companies or organisations they work for. This is not a complete list, but it should provide you with some inspiration.

Job inspiration catalogue.

Student counselling to discuss your options

We recommend that you book an appointment with one of our career guidance counsellors to discuss ways of using your competences on the labour market.

Book an appointment.


What does the unemployment insurance fund say about jobs for high-school teachers?

“High schools in Denmark are under pressure at the moment owing to cuts, a decline in the number of school-leavers and other factors. The number of temporary positions is increasing, and there is less tendency for these positions to lead to permanent appointments and teacher-training qualifications.

But we believe that the high-school sector will continue to be a big labour market for our members. And the statistics confirm this. It has become more difficult, particularly for graduates specialising in small subjects and subjects (including big subjects) in which there are a lot of applicants.

But fortunately, there are also opportunities for good teachers in many other areas of the labour market. Our members work with a wide variety of tasks in a wide range of sectors (both public and private), and a good proportion of their work consists of teaching.”

Tine Vesth Nielsen, Magistrenes A-kasse, Aarhus