Bioscience specifics

Choosing subject for Master's thesis

Science Project Shop – possible subjects for Master's thesis

On the webpage Science Project Shop you can read about possible projects in Bioscience – in English and Danish.

Master's theses and abstracts

Here you can read abstracts from MSc theses from Bioscience: MSc theses and abstracts

More information

Find more information about project possibilities in Bioscience within the core areas of research strength. Contact a researcher if you have an idea for a Master's thesis or are interested in a particular research field.

Workplan: requirements and suggestions

Here you can download a word template for the workplan to be included in your online thesis contract. The template includes information about content requirements and suggestions: Workplan Template

Practical information for new students at Bioscience

When your online thesis contract is approved you will be registered by the section secretary and subsequently you will appear on the list of affiliated persons on the section homepage.

In all sections, there is a board with photos of employees and students. Therefore, a photo will be taken or you will be asked to send a photo of yourself to the person responsible for the board.

As a master student you are encourages to participate in section meetings, scientific meetings and social activities. Some sections also have student project seminars once or twice a year with scientific presentations from all affiliated students.

You are expected to keep yourself informed about news and upcoming events on

Office space, computer etc.

When you initiate your project work you will be offered an office space at the research section and get a key to the office and other relevant rooms. If you do not already have a key card with access to the building, please contact the section secretary.

During the project period you must use your own computer unless you have made a special agreement with your supervisor. If you need specific software programmes, please talk to your supervisor.

Laboratory work

It is mandatory to get a guided safety tour by a technician before initiating any work in a laboratory.  In addition, you are expected to keep informed about and adhere to all safety rules for laboratory work, incl. clothing and rules regarding food and beverages in the laboratories where you work and are located.

Most often, you will be assigned a contact lab technician to whom you can ask relevant questions.

Driving in departmental cars

If you need to drive in a departmental car with relation to your Master’s thesis, you need to send an e-mail to Tove Nyholm Bager and she will assist you in obtaining a written authorization. It will take a few days, so please send a mail well in advance. 


It is highly recommended that all Mater’s students, take out an accident insurance on which they state that they are students, since Master’s student are not included in the industrial injury insurance. Please be aware of the fact that some insurance companies make certain reservations when covering for accidents which have occurred in a laboratory.

Formal requirements regarding the thesis

Academic regulations

The academic regulations regarding a Master’s thesis in biology can be found under “Thesis – Biology” in the AU course catalogue and in the Master’s Degree Programme in Biology

Structure of the thesis

It is recommended that the thesis follow the IMRAD structure, like a scientific paper.

Length of the thesis

The lenght of the thesis must be discussed with your supervisor. There are no official rules regarding the lenght, but the length should be appropriate. A 60 ECTS master’s thesis will typically be approximately 40-60 pages.

You can read theses submitted by former master students here: MSc theses and abstracts

Avoid plagiarism

Read advice on how to avoid plagiarism in the webpage Avoid plagiarism – for students

Submission of thesis

Submission deadline in Digital Exam

Regarding 60 ECTS Master thesis projects: You must hand-in your thesis via Digital Exam before the 15th of June, 12:00, if the project is initiated the 1st of September and before 15th of November, 12:00, if project is initiated the 1st of February. If the online thesis contract has been approved before the 1st of October 2019, the deadline for submission is the submission date written in the online thesis contract.

Regarding 30 and 45 ECTS Master thesis projects: You must hand-in your thesis via Digital Exam before 12:00 on the submission date written in the online thesis contract.

Be aware, that you as a student is solely responsible for a timely submission of your thesis. We recommend that you upload and submit your thesis well in advance. A thesis handed-in after deadline will not be evaluated. The submission link will be available in Digital Exam at least one week prior to your submission date.

File format

As a main rule, the master’s thesis report should be submitted as one single pdf-file. However, it is possible to submit attachments as other file types if necessary.

Electronic copy for the Study Portal – Biology

In addition to the online submission via Digital Exam, you must send the master’s thesis (as a pdf-file) and abstract (as a word-file) to Anne Mehlsen. Please, clearly state in the e-mail whether you wish the entire thesis to be uploaded and visible on the Study Portal or only the abstract. Be aware, that only the abstract should be visible on the Study Portal if you are planning to publish a scientific paper based on your thesis results.

Digitial Exam support

Find answers to frequently asked questions regarding Digital Exam here:

Digital Exam

Oral examination and evaluation

The master’s thesis is concluded with an oral examination after submission of the thesis report. The oral examination consists of a lecture within a selected topic associated with the subject area of the thesis, followed by an oral examination within the topic area of the thesis. The main supervisor, the project supervisor, if applicable, and the external examiner agree on the subject of the lecture and this is submitted to the student seven days prior to the examination. The topic area of the thesis is restricted to the literature used, as stated in the reference list for the thesis report or the answer to the thesis assignment.

One and a half hours are set aside for the thesis examination, divided into 45 minutes for the lecture incl. questions and 45 min for an oral examination of the thesis report and the topic area of the thesis.

One single combined mark is awarded in accordance with the Danish 7-point grading scale for the thesis report, lecture and subsequent oral examination. The student’s written expression skills must be included in the assessment.

Supervisor(s) and an external censor participates in the examination.

You can find advice on oral examinations at AU Studypedia – Exams

Graduation celebration

In Department of Bioscience there is a graduation celebration for alle graduate master students once a year at the end of June. The date will be announced on posters and on Biosphere. Also, some students usually announce the event in Facebook.

Information to main supervisor

Be aware that you as main supervisor is responsible for the following:

  • Finding a suitable external examiners
    • Possible external examiners in Biology can be found here:
    • Send information about the external examiner (name) to Anne Olsen (as early as possible). Anne will then contact the chairman for approval
    • You can find information about use of external examiners in theExternal Examiner Portal ST (payment, standards, limits on number of hours, hotel accommodation etc.)
    • After examination, the external examiner must return the examiner package to The examiner package can be found in Digital Exam under the tab ”Show exam information”
  • To agree on a date for the oral examination with the external examiner and student
    • As a main rule, the evaluation deadline is June 30 or January 31 depending on the start date and duration (ECTS extent). The evaluation deadline is the latest possible date for the oral examination (including online evaluation in Digital Exam)
  • Booking a room/location for the oral examination
    • The oral examination must be held at Aarhus University
  • Sending the following information about the oral examination to Anne Mehlsen well in advance:
    • Thesis title
    • Names on master’s student, supervisor(s) and external censor
    • Research section
    • Date, time and location for the oral exam
  • Sending lecture title to the student 7 days prior to the oral examination, e.g. by mail. Remember to discuss this with external examiner and co-supervisors (if applicable).

Supervisor(s) and external censor must evaluate the master’s thesis, incl. oral examination (one single mark) in Digital Exam:

  • All examiners, including external examiner automatically receives an e-mail with a link to Digital Exam when the students has handed-in the thesis report
    • If one or more examiners did not receive this e-mail, it is always possible to login via the webpage: Click ”Login as assessor” and choose either examiner or co-examiner and whether you would like to log-in using WAYF or Nem ID

Supervision: tools and activities

In AU Educate you can find advice and practical examples on how to improve your supervision