Project-based internship, cand.merc.

Content

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
  • A report and 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 two 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)

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.  

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:

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.  

NOTE!

  • 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

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

You must submit a scanned version of your internship agreement no later than 15 August.

How to submit your internship agreement:

  • Log in to mystudy.au.dk
  • Select ' Application at your board of studies '.
  • Select ' apply for a preapproval for a course at another educational institution'
  • Attach the Internship agreement (the standard agreement)

Please see this guide, how to fill in the registration form in the system. 

Once you have submitted the internship agreement, you will receive an automatic receipt from the system. You will receive an email from the study administration once your internship contract has been approved.

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, 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 :kandidat.bss@au.dk

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 standard internship agreement, you can find the agreement below. You must use the standard 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 the internship contract.

How to submit your internship agreement:

  • Log in to mystudy.au.dk
  • Select ' Application at your board of studies '.
  • Select ' apply for a preapproval for a course at another educational institution'
  • Attach the Internship agreement

Please see an example of how you fill in the form

Once you have submitted the internship agreement, you will receive an automatic receipt from the system. You will receive an email from the study administration once your internship agreement has been approved.

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

Supervision

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

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, the Kitchen, 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

Acknowledgement
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.

There might be an oppurtunity to have your travel expenses covered. Read more about this on the SU website

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 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 Part 1.

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

FAQ

I have already found an internship and signed a contract with the company. Can I just send this contract to AU?

No, you need to submit the official internship agreement from AU, and have both the company and your internal supervisor sign it, before you can submit it. 

Find more information about the internship agreement here.

Is it possible for me to submit the internship agreement before the 15th of August?

​Yes, as soon as you have the internship agreement ready with all the required information, you are able to submit it. 

How to submit your internship agreement:

  • Log in to mystudy.au.dk
  • Select ' Application at your board of studies '.
  • Select ' apply for a preapproval for a course at another educational institution'
  • Attach the Internship agreement (the standard agreement)

Do I need to submit a new internship agreement, if my contact person in the company has left before, I have finished the internship?

No, as long as the internship agreement with the company is still valid, you do not need to hand  in a new agreement.

What happens if my internship is cancelled for some reason?

You can contact the study administration and sign up for elective courses which still have avalible spaces. Contact kandidat.bss@au.dk if this happens.

What if I fail my first exam attempt?

The new deadline is avalible in the course description. You either need to change the report based on comments from your supervisor or write a new report. Please find all the details in the course description. 

Can I receive salary for my work during my internship?

​No, as a student, you are not allowed to receive salary from their internship company, but you are allowed to receive up to a maximum of 3000 kr. as acknowledgement.

When is the earliest date the internship can begin?

In order to begin your internship, you need to have used an exam attempt in all of your compulsory courses . This means that the internship period is allowed to begin from the 1st of July.

Is it possible to write the internship report in a group?

 No, the internship report is an individual report. See more in the course description

How do I know, which job to apply for?

​One important thing to keep in mind is that: The practice-based internship must form a natural part of the student’s MSc study programme and therefore the problems worked on must be in line with that programme. See more in the course description

The internship must have an exact duration of 444 hours. Does that mean that an internship with 13 weeks duration of 40 working hours each week will be denied?

You can be in the company for more than 12 weeks, but the contract cannot be for more than 444 hours. You can make an agreement with the company to be there for longer, but that is between you and the company. 

When is the date for the oral exam published?

The date for the oral exam is publihed shortly after the handin date. 

Can I use the internship report as a stepping stone to the thesis?


A number of students use the project-oriented course as a stepping stone to the thesis. The challenge is that you must not reuse elements from the internship report. You must refer to your  internship report in line with all other sources in your thesis. It is also important that the thesis can stand alone, as the examiner will not have read the internship report