Project-based internship, cand.merc.


Subject to prior approval, a project-based internship can form part of the MSc study programme as part of the electives block. 

A project-based internship includes

  • A stay in a company
  • Participation in the online Career Management Skills course
  • A report and from autumn 2020 an oral defence

The purpose of the project-based internship is to give you the opportunity to apply, and reflect on using, the knowledge, skills and competencies you have acquired through your M.Sc. in Economics and Business Administration specialisation in real life practice. You are thus trained in the role of being a reflective practitioner, who, on the one hand, participates in performing relevant practical tasks and, on the other hand, reflects on them from an analytical position.

A project-based internship involves a stay in a relevant company or organisation for an extended period of time. A project-based internship has three main elements 

  • The analysis and/or solution of one of more specific substantive phenomena or problem(s) determined by the company in collaboration with you and the internal supervisor at Aarhus University (practice element).
  • A reflexive analysis and discussion of the selected phenomena and problem(s) (reflexive element)
  • Completion of the exercises in the online Career Management Skills course

Participation in the online Career Management Skills course will provide you with tools for reflection on your personal and professional competences and how they can be used in practices and to reflect on what you want from your future career and will be able to offer to prospective employers. The online course is offered as an 100% online and self-paced career reflection course with a combination of online exercises, TED Talks, job market insights and optional individual career coaching. A central element in the course is your time in the internship organisation, where you get the chance to reflect on your contribution in the organisation, your work preferences and your compentences. 

The online self-paced Career Management Skills Course gives you a lot of flexibility - because you can do the exercises (almost) whenever you want - as long as you complete all the modules before the deadline if your internship report.  

You will automatically be enrolled in CMS on Brightspace. The online course is accessible from Monday, September 20 (week 38).

The practice-based internship should form a natural part of your MSc study programme and therefore the problems you work on should be in line with that programme. The content of a practice-based internship will thus provide you with a deeper insight into the academic profile of the relevant MSc study programme.

Requirement of participation in all 1st and 2nd semester courses
To obtain the academic depth in the internship the student must have participated in all prerequisite and compulsory courses before the internship is initiated. This means that the student must have used his/her first exam attempt in all prerequisite and compulsory courses.  

Find more information about the project-based internship at Aarhus BSS Career.

You must submit the signed internship agreement before you initiate your internship, but no later than 15 August.  

The objective

The objective of the project-based internship is to obtain a deeper understanding of a subject area or topic. As an internship replaces one or more courses in an MSc study programme, the learning should consist of a deeper academic insight into an area and not just superficial knowledge of the area. The internship should therefore serve as a source of inspiration for the remaining part of the MSc study programme. It should be noted that the aim for the internship is to form a natural part of the profile and the content which the student in question wants to add to his or her studies. The content of an internship will thus provide the student with a deeper insight into the academic profile of the relevant MSc study programme.

Learning outcomes and other requirements can be found in the course description above.

Number of ECTS points and hours

Internships can be approved with a weighting of 20 ECTS:

Project-based internship 444 hours according to 12 weeks of  full time work.*

*) Maximum 40 hours a week.

Only internships equivalent to 444 hours will be approved. You are not obliged to structure the 444 hours as full time work, but you are allowed to structure the hours of your internship over a longer period of time, e.g. if you choose to register for an elective in the same semester. Please note that the internship must be completed before submission of the report (on 4 January).

The final course description for the 20 ECTS project-based internship in the autumn semester of 2021 will be published in the AU course catalogue by mid-April 2021.  


  • If you agree on a longer internship, this will only be a matter between you and the internship company, and the period after 3 January must not be registered in the contract.
  • It is not a requirement that the hours are planned as full-time work. This means that you can choose to distribute the number of hours over a longer period if, for example, you want to take an elective in the same semester.
  • If you agree on an internship with a higher number of hours,  the hours that exceed the 444 hours must not be stated in the internship contract, as these hours will only be a matter between you and the internship site.


Registration for the projectbased internship takes place during the registration period 1-5. May. The registration is done electronically by logging in to -> 'STADS'.

You must submit a scanned version of your internship agreement via your student email to Aarhus BSS Studier as soon as possible and no later than 15 August:

You are only registered for the projectbased internship, when the contract has been received and approved.

If the internship agreement has not been received by 15 August 2021, you will automatically be deregistered from the project-oriented course.

You can then be registered for elective courses, where there are still empty places by contacting Aarhus BSS Studies

Project-based internship agreement

A project-based internship can be included as part of the MSc Economics and Business Administration   electives block if a supervisor has pre-approved the internship. It is the student's responsibility to obtain the internal supervisor's prior approval of the project-based internship.

The supervisor pre-approves the project-based internship by signing the internship agreement.

It is the student's own responsibility to find and enter into a written contract with an internship.

The internship agreement must include:

  • A description of the work tasks. The description of the tasks must be of such a nature, that it is possible to determine the academic relevance and level of the project-based internship.
  • An indication of when the project-based internship takes place
  • Extent of the project-based internship (in working hours)
  • Information about the internship location and the name, etc. on external supervisor (company contact person)

The agreement can only be approved, when the above is fulfilled and there are:

  • Signature from the internship company
  • Signature and approval from supervisor
  • The student's signature
  • End date (no later than January 3)
  • The student's CPR number

Before starting the project-based internship, but no later than 15 August, you must send a scanned version of the internship contract via your student email to Aarhus BSS

You are only registered for the project-based internship, when your agreement has been submitted and approved.


The host company appoints a contact person (external supervisor). The external supervisor has the overall responsibility for the student during the internship and enters into an internship agreement with the student. At the end of the internship the external advisor can be asked to assess if the student has completed the internship in a satisfactory manner.

Regardless whether the report is handed in the first time for the ordinary exam or for the reexam, supervision takes place only in the time before the date stipulated for handing in for the ordinary exam. 

The student is responsible for finding an internal supervisor who must be employed as an academic member of staff at BSS. The internal supervisor must:

  • Approve the internship/the internship agreement
  • Approve the problem formulation, delimitation and table of contents of the internship report and provide guidance in connection with the preparation thereof

  • Assess the report

We recommend that you find inspiration for finding an internal supervisor in the supervisor lists

Career Management Skills workshops

You will be enrolled in the online CMS course with fellow students across different M.Sc. programmes. The online groups consist of maximum 30 students.  During the course, you will have the opportunity to share experiences with your fellow students, learn from each other and each other’s work places, work tasks and learning outcome. You will also learn more about how you contribute to an organisation, what your own key competences are, what matters to you and which organisational type matches you the most. 

The online course is designed as a flexible and not time-consuming course - because we are aware of that you spend the most of your day at the internship. The course objective is increasing your self-awareness on a work-life level. You will be guided trough 9 career and life reflection exercises combined with optional individual career coaching and one 1-hour online workshop.

The workshops will be held by Aarhus BSS Career Read more here.

Statements from former CMS participants: 

“I have become better at describing my competences and how I can contribute to an organization”

“I have learned to use my managers to help describe how I contribute – also in the future jobs”

“It was really useful to meet with the other students and experience that we could help and provide useful advice to each other, so CMS was really time well spent.”  

Research internship

You can also do a research internship and develop your academic competences by working as an unpaid research assistant/research intern. The department constitutes the “company”, and the same rules apply as for other internships. For mere information please see the course description. You can find the course description in the course catalogue by searching for "Project-based Research Internship". 

Project-based Internship in Your Own Startup

If you are about to start a business, you have the opportunity to participate in the Project-based internship in your own startup. You can read more about the academic content and exam in the course description.

In order for you to be registered for a projectbased internship in your own company, you must:

  • Make an appointment with a supervisor. See the course description for information on who can be your supervisor.
  • Join a course at an incubator. It can be, for example, Studentervæksthuset Aarhus, but other incubation environments are also possible.
  • Be affiliated with an incubator mentor (who is your external supervisor) and have an incubator job at least two days a week.
  • Follow workshops at the incubator
  •   Submit an internship contract

Rules regarding your student grant and loan

Companies that affiliate students in project-based internships can give them an acknowledgement to show their appreciation. Students can accept acknowledgements up to a maximum of 3000 Danish kroner per month besides their monthly student grant (SU).

A project-based internship forms part of your education as it is an integrated part of the courses constituting your degree programme. Therefore, students are eligible to receive SU while they take part in a project-based internship. Please note, as a student you cannot accept a salary during your project-based internship. This also applies if you give up your SU.
Students cannot expect to receive a permanent monthly acknowledgement from the company. Furthermore, you cannot make an agreement on beforehand that ensures a monthly acknowledgement
However, the student and the company can make an agreement from which it appears that the student can receive an acknowledgement for her/his efforts.

Legislation and salary
A number of countries (e.g. France and Germany) have legislation that requires companies to disburse a salary to students when they work for the company as part of a project-based internship. 

Students can receive the salary constituted by law, if they participate in a project-based internship in one of the countries where salaries are required.
However, it is important to emphasize that the student cannot receive SU while they also receive a salary from the place of internship.
Students must at all times be able to document that it is a legal requirement before they are allowed to receive salary in connection with a project-based internship.    

Handing in the internship report and oral defence

The internship report must be submitted at the latest on 4 January. The oral defense will take place during the second half of January.

If you are registered for the internship, you will receive a notification regarding the oral defence prime January    

Please note that the internship must be completed before submission of the report.

The report must be uploaded to WISEflow.

The front page of the internship report must include the following information:


  • Name of the student
  • Student registration number
  • Programme
  • Name of the supervisor
  • Number of characters (including spaces) for both Part 1 and Part 2

Information regarding assessment and reexaminations can be found in the course description.

Erasmus grant

Students doing an internship as part of their M.Sc. programme can apply for an Erasmus grant.

Erasmus grants for internships are administered by Aarhus University's International Center.

In the following link you will find more information about Erasmus Work Placement