Confidential theses and projects

Students often cooperate with companies or organisations when writing major assignments, such as bachelor's project, project-based internship, and master's thesis – for the sake of simplicity called 'assignments’ in the following. A confidentiality agreement may be required, but only if requested by the company/organisation.

Assignments and declaration of confidentiality

Assignments and declaration of confidentiality

In connection with the student's work on an assignment, the AU supervisor, co-examiner and other persons at Aarhus University (secretaries and other administrative staff) has a duty of confidentiality in accordance with Danish Public Administration Act. It is worth noting that the information provided to the supervisor during the supervision process is subject to confidentiality in accordance with the rules laid down in the Danish Public Administration Act.

Therefore, there is generally no need for a confidentiality agreement if the company/organisation does not request one.

No copies will be distributed by AU to other parties, unless the student, for example, places the assignment on loan via AU libraries, or if the legislation otherwise requires disclosure (e.g. in the case of request subject access to documents).

In the event of an appeal in connection with an examination appeal, assignments will be available to all members of the Board of Appeals, and these will all be covered by the duty of confidentiality, cf. Danish Public Administration Act.

Assignments marked confidential

If an assignment contains confidential information, students must mark it as 'confidential' when submitting the assignment. This is done on the front page of the assignment and must also be chosen by the student in WISEflow for assignments submitted electronically.

When submitting a final assignment (bachelor's project and master's thesis), the student also has the opportunity of not consenting to the assignment being made available via the library. This means that the assignment will not be accessible for reading and/or lending.

For some companies/organisations, marking the assignment as confidential is sufficient, while others will ask for a confidentiality agreement.

If a company/organisation requests a confidentiality agreement, such an agreement can be made between the student, the company/organisation and AU. A confidentiality agreement is thus primarily intended to regulate the student's behaviour towards the company/organisation by obliging the student to process anything that it may have access to with confidentiality.

If the company/organisation wishes to make a confidentiality agreement and if the agreement is acceptable to AU, it can be signed by AU. See more about different types of confidentialoty agreements under the following section.

If a confidentiality agreement is signed, the supervisor/examiner ensures, cf. the Examination Order, that any associated oral examination is closed to the audience.

Types of confidentiality agreements

A confidentiality agreement can be drawn up between the company/organisation, AU and the student in order to comply with the requirements of the Examination Order, if the company/organisation requires it.

As a general rule, AU's standard confidentiality agreement should be used, but in some cases, it may be necessary to use a company-specific confidentiality agreement.

If a confidentiality agreement is entered into, it is the student's responsibility to ensure that it is concluded and signed in good time before the submission deadline for an assignment.

Standard Confidentiality Agreement

Standard Confidentiality Agreement
Standard confidentiality agreement can be found here (the two at the bottom of the page respectively in English and Danish).

The following procedure applies when the standard confidentiality agreement is used:

  1. The student must ensure that the agreement is signed by:
    • The student in question
    • The company in question 
    • The supervisor
  2. The student must subsequently submit the standard confidentiality agreement to the departmental programme coordinator for signing (see below)
  3. Once everyone has signed the confidentiality agreement, the student must, via his/her AU-mail, submit an electronic copy to (Technology Transfer Office) for filing and storing.

Please note that if changes are made to the standard confidentiality agreement, the agreement must be approved by TTO. This will often result in the process of entering into a confidentiality agreement taking significantly longer than when the standard confidentiality agreement is used. It is therefore encouraged, as far as possible, to use the standard confidentiality agreement.

Company-specific Confidentiality Agreement

Company-specific Confidentiality Agreement

If a company makes a requirement for this, a company-specific confidentiality agreement must be used instead. This must be approved by TTO (Technology Transfer Office; on behalf of the university. The supervisor must, via his/her AU-mail, sent this agreement to TTO when signed.

The following procedure applies when the company-specific confidentiality agreement is used:

  1. Students must make the supervisor aware that they are using another agreement than the standard confidentiality agreement
  2. The supervisor must send the agreement to TTO for negotiation/approval on behalf of AU
  3. When the agreement has been approved, the supervisor must send it to the departmental programme coordinator (or, if AU surrender rights, the department head) for signing. The supervisor must also sign the agreement and thereby confirm that he/she is aware of the agreement
  4. The student will then receive the signed contract and must make sure that it is signed by the company
  5. Once the company has signed the contract, the supervisor must return the contract to TTO ( for filing and storing.

It is important to emphasise that the student must familiarise themselves with the content of the agreement – the student must be the one who complies with the agreement. If the student needs advice on the content of the agreement and/or needs to negotiate the terms of the agreement, the student must seek his or her own adviser. AU cannot advise students on any further details of the agreement, nor is able to negotiate on behalf of the student.

Departmental Programme Coordinators

The following directors of studies may sign the confidentiality agreement (Standard Confidentiality Agreement, and Company-specific Confidentiality Agreement where no rights are surrendered):

MSc in Economics and Business Administration,  MSc in Business Administration, Accounting and Auditing, and Business Economics with supplementary subject/MSoc.  

  • Lars Esbjerg: MSc in Economics and Business Administration and Business Economics with supplementary subject/MSoc
  • Frank Thinggard: MSc in Business Administration, Accounting and Auditing

BSc in Economics and Business Administration/Business Economics with supplementary subject