Confidential theses and projects

Students often cooperate with private companies or organisations when writing their theses and reports. These external partners may want to make a written agreement to prevent any third party from getting access to confidential information. 

Aarhus University’s obligations

If a company or an organisation - when cooperating with an AU student on a thesis or report - requests for confidentiality about knowledge acquired by the institution and the student, Aarhus University is obliged to comply with the confidentiality rules listed below. Please note that main part of these rules only becomes effective, if the thesis is marked 'Confidential'.

The following rule applies, if a student writing his/her thesis informs his/her academic supervisor about a secrecy agreement made with a company or organisation:

  • The supervisor is bound to observe professional secrecy about the company knowledge acquired in the supervising process.

Furthermore, if the thesis is marked 'Confidential' because of the above-mentioned agreement, the following rules apply:

  • The submitted copies of the thesis will only be available for the supervisor/examiner, external examiner and the necessary administrative staff, and copies will not be distributed to others.
  • The supervisor/examiner and the external examiner are bound to observe professional secrecy about the company knowledge acquired from the thesis and the oral examination, if any.
  • The administrative staff is bound to secrecy about any company knowledge acquired from the thesis. 

  • The supervisor/examiner has to ensure that the oral examination (if any) is held behind closed doors.
  • If the library receives a copy of the thesis, it will not be available for reading and/or lending.
  • In the case of an appeal in connection with an exam complaint, the thesis will be available for all members of the appeals committee, who will be bound to professional secrecy, as described in item 3. 

Student obligations

Furthermore, there is often a need for a mutual confidentiality agreement directly between the company/organisation and the student. Aarhus University has made a standard agreement which we recommend the student and the company/organisation use. The confidentiality agreement must be signed by the student, the company/organisation, the deparmental programme cordinator and the supervisor 

See Confidentiality Agreement.

Once the confidentiality agreement has been signed by all parties, you must send an electronic copy to tto@au.dk (Technology Transfer Office) for filing and storing.

Please notice, that if the standard agreement is not used the other confidentiality agreement must be approved by TTO (Technology Transfer Office; tto@au.dk) before the supervisor and Aarhus BSS can sign the agreement.     

The following deparmental programme cordinators can sign the confidentiality agreement:

Department of Management:

Department of Economics and Business Economics: