Master's Degree Programme
|About the programme |
Language: English (See language requirements) | Place of study: Aarhus | Commencement: August / September (no winter intake)
Climate change and population growth pose a huge, multifaceted, worldwide challenge to agricultural production. Food production needs to be increased in scale and efficiency, while at the same time animal welfare, the environment and natural resources need to be protected. A degree in agrobiology will equip you to play a part in finding solutions to these problems.
Students must choose one of four tracks...
... and tailor their degree with elective courses on top of the mandatory courses of their track. Finally the master’s thesis can be completed either in a university research context or a company R&D environment. The MSc in Agrobiology builds on solid, biological knowledge of sustainable animal and plant production, set in the perspectives of health, welfare, product quality, and environmental impact. Graduates will be well equipped to work with both producers and end-users in agricultural production, and to communicate effectively about their field in the public arena.
The international character of the challenges facing agricultural production and the science underpinning the MSc in Agrobiology make the international perspective an intrinsic part of this degree and its learning environment. The programme hosts international students from all over the world, and many students take advantage of the opportunity to study outside Denmark for a semester at one of our partner universities or as part of our double-degree programme in Organic Agriculture and Food Systems, www.eur-organic.eu. The double-degree status of this programme means that students receive both a master’s degree from Aarhus University and a master’s degree from the partner university at which they choose to complete the rest of the degree. Read more about this programme on its individual programme page.
Students on the programme have a strong basis within their track, combined with an individual profile through choice elective subjects. This creates very flexible career opportunities in the agricultural and food sector, both nationally and internationally. Typical job opportunities will be in consulting services for primary production, in agriculture and food-related industries, in teaching and research or in public administration and bodies such as the EU.
The field of Agricultural Sciences at Aarhus University belongs to the elite among agricultural science institutions worldwide and carries out cutting edge research. The core areas of research are: Climate and natural resources, environment and bioenergy, organic farming, food quality, farm animal production and plant production.
Sustainability is a fundamental principle. The goal is to seek solutions that contribute to environmentally and economically sustainable development of the agricultural and food industries.
Agricultural Sciences at Aarhus University ranks 9. in the 2021 US News Best Global Universities Ranking and 2. in the 2020 Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities, in which Food Science and Technology ranks 2. and Agriculture and Forestry at AU ranks 37. in the 2022 QS World University Rankings by Subject.
The following Bachelor's degrees qualify students for admission to the Master's degree programme in Agrobiology:
The following other degrees can provide admission to the Master's degree programme in Agrobiology:
Upon admission further requirements regarding composition of the degree programme may be stipulated.
Since English is the language of instruction in all subjects, all applicants are required to provide evidence of their English language proficiency.
Legal right of admission
Students with a Bachelor's degree programme in Agrobiology at Aarhus University have the right to be admitted to the Master's degree programme in Agrobiology on the condition that application is made with a view to continuing directly from the Bachelor's degree programme to the Master's degree programme. The legal right of admission requires receipt of the application by Aarhus University within the appropriate period of time. Read more about legal right of admission.
As the Master’s programme only admits a limited number of students each year, meeting the admission requirements does not in itself guarantee admission to the programme.
Allocation of student places is based on an overall assessment. In evaluating qualified applicants, the admissions committee assess applicants on the basis of the following criteria:
* Relevant courses include core courses within the subject areas of Agrobiology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Cytology, Zoology, Botany, Mathematics, Statistics and Probability Calculus.
Please note that grades obtained after the time of application cannot be included in the assessment of grade level.
The admissions committee assess each applicant on the basis of the information provided in diplomas, transcripts, and course descriptions.
Admission for professional bachelors
Professional bachelors can be admitted to the degree programme under the condition that they follow a special study program containing bachelor’s level courses in statistics, chemistry, genetics or molecular biology. These courses are only offered in Danish, so applicants must document Danish proficiency equivalent to high school Danish level A. This may be in the form of official documentation that all 3½ years of the professional bachelor was taught in Danish. The rest of the courses in the study programme will be taught in English, and applicants must also document English proficiency equivalent to high school English level B. You can read more about the documentation of language proficiency here: https://masters.au.dk/am-i-qualified-for-admission/english-language-requirements
Date of programme start
Professional bachelors start on the programme in the Spring semester, but must apply for admission to the entire programme in the preceding summer admission period. You can find information on deadlines elsewhere on this page. The extent of the programme is 120 ECTS, and students admitted with this study program can expect to graduate in January.
Applicants who are found to be qualified for admittance will be required to have a personal guidance meeting about their particular study program.
In the academic regulations for the programme, you can read more about the content of the individual subjects, how the programme is structured, and the demands that will be made of you as a student. You can also read about the types of exams and the exam requirements.
On the Master's degree programme in Agrobiology you will have to choose one of the following specialisation tracks:
Students following Animal Health and Welfare will specialise within topics such as animal breeding, applied behavioural biology, animal diseases or food science. You will obtain basic insight into the basis for an animal-based food production. On completion of the degree programme you will be able to assess the energy and nutrient requirements of livestock for growth purposes, milk production and reproduction and assess the interaction between management, production, health and animal welfare in typical livestock production systems.
The specialisation is targeted at careers in which knowledge of primary animal production plays a central role (for example as production advisors, teachers in agricultural colleges or in jobs in public administration or research).
If choosing Agronomy and Environment, you will have compulsory courses the first and some of the second semester. Hereafter you can specialise within topics such as sustainability, environment, and agriculture. The core of this specialisation is to work towards solutions that combine the increasing demand for food with sustainable management of nature, the climate, and the environment. You will acquire a holistic understanding of agro-ecosystem processes and the interaction between agricultural production, nature, and environmental management.
The specialisation aims at careers in which knowledge of agriculture, nature, the environment, and climate interactions plays a central role. There are job opportunities in regional environment agencies, municipal nature conservation offices, agricultural advisory services, firms of consulting engineers, educational institutions, NGOs concerned with nature and the environment, engineering firms, and EU institutions, ministries, and other public authorities. Research is also an obvious career path.
If choosing Plant Nutrition and Health, you will specialise within topics such as foods, feed and bioenergy, cropping systems and plant biotechnology. The goal of this specialisation track is to give students a basic insight into the elements of plant growth that are common for all crops.
The degree programme is aimed at careers in which knowledge about primary plant production is a prerequisite, for example as production advisors, in commercial plant breeding, as teachers at agricultural and technical colleges and in research, but the line will also form a good basis for jobs in public administration where expertise in plant production will be an advantage in, for example, local administration and governmental organisations.
This specialisation track is divided into two: Animal Health and Welfare or Plant Nutrition and Health, combined with a focus on organic agriculture. The approach is characterised by a high degree of interdisciplinarity with emphasis on project work and on contact to farms and research.
Graduating from this specialisation track can lead to employment opportunities in areas supporting the development of organic farming and food production. This includes advisory work, teaching, research and management.
You can also choose Organic Agriculture as a double degree programme.
Below you can see the structure of the programme - please notice that there is a study programme diagram for each of the specialisation tracks.
The double degree programme in Organic Agriculture and Food Systems is no longer offered from the summer intake 2024 and onwards
"I have really enjoyed the programme(….). I think Aarhus and Denmark are fantastic so I hope that I can find a job or a PhD position here in Denmark - preferably in the area of organics and animals, especially organic piglets" - Julia Gajo, the first student at Aarhus University to complete a double degree in Organic Agriculture and Food Systems (EUR-Organic). Read more about Julia.
Five leading European universities in the field of agriculture and life sciences have developed the MSc programme in Organic Agriculture and Food Systems (EUR-Organic).
The EUR-Organic double degree programme in Organic Agriculture and Food Systems offers a comprehensive and integrative education in all areas of organic farming, including the processing and commercialisation of organic food. The core of EUR-Organic comprises areas of specialisation that enable the students to profit from the particular and complementary strengths in teaching and research of the partner universities.
In offering the programme jointly, the partner universities can offer a wide range of elective and compulsory modules on organic agriculture and food systems and create added value for students in teaching and research, for example in the wide range of topics for the Master’s thesis. Students are challenged by different thematic approaches throughout the course of their studies: while the University of Hohenheim (Germany) focuses primarily on the food chain, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Austria) emphasises the system approach of organic farming. Warsaw University of Life Sciences (Poland) offers a specialised study profile on organic food processing and marketing; while ISARA-Lyon (France) specialises in agroecology. At Aarhus University (Denmark), EUR-Organic is a distinct line under the MSc in Agrobiology, where students can focus on either animal health and welfare or plant nutrition and health.
In order to benefit from this complementary expertise and to get the most out of the programme, it is required that students spend one year at their chosen home university and one year at their chosen host university.
Detailed information about the programme is available online at the EUR-organic homepage, including information about the specialisations offered by the partner universities and the corresponding semester packages. This information is essential to registration by students for courses at both their home and their chosen host university.
The full MSc study programme comprises 120 ECTS: two basic semester packages (2 x 30 ECTS), one specialisation semester package (30 ECTS), and the thesis (30 ECTS). The programme begins with a joint start-up module that is compulsory for all students enrolled in the double degree programme.
All students will study at two different EUR-Organic partner universities. The university at which the student is accepted in the first year of the EUROrganic is referred to as the home university; the university chosen as second university is referred to as the host university.
You are allowed to choose the University of Hohenheim, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Vienna, Austria) or Aarhus University as your home university, but you may choose between all five institutions as host university.
You can apply for an Erasmus+ scholarship for the second year. Please be aware that ISARA-Lyon is charging a tuition fee of 3000 € per year. This means that you must pay 3000 € to ISARA, if you choose this university as your host university for the second year. In addition, according to Erasmus+ regulations it is not possible to apply for an Erasmus+ scholarship when having to pay tuition fee at a partner university.
Work on the student thesis is assigned to the host university, though the thesis may be jointly supervised.
Denmark is a world leader in organic food production, which provides the ideal setting for specialising in this field. The Danish government was one of the first to prioritise organic production, and an increasingly high percentage of food produced in Denmark today is organic. This programme gives students an international profile, network and perspective. Students will be exposed to differing parameters in different countries and agriculture systems around the world, and they will learn from their peers’ different ways of approaching a problem – a perfect preparation for a future career in an increasingly globalised industry.
Graduates can choose from a wide range of careers in supporting organic farming development. Recent graduates have worked in research, with authorities and advisory services in primary production, and even in teaching.
EUR-Organic is joint Master Programme of five partner universities:
The full Master Programme consists of four semesters and the semester packages at the partner universities are structured accordingly:
1st Semester (Home University): Basic Semester Package
2nd Semester (Home University): Basic Semester Package
3rd Semester (Host University): Specialisation
4th Semester (Host University): Thesis
-experienced, photographed and filmed by the students themselves.
With thousands of pictures #AUInternational, #AarhusUni gives insight into the everyday life as a student at AU; the parties, procrastination, exams and all the other ways you’ll spend your time at university.
Carmina Falcato Cabral, MSc in Agrobiology, PhD student at the Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University
On a normal day, you can find me either working in a flow bench inside the lab, under strict sterile conditions, or in the middle of a field somewhere in Denmark sampling roots and soil for my PhD project. That kind of flexibility and know how in a myriad of subjects was something I achieved during my MSc in Agrobiology, where besides the mandatory ground courses on crop nutrition, pest management and plant health, I then had the freedom to choose what to focus on and build up my multidisciplinary expertise.
I really enjoyed the sturdiness of the teaching programme’s ground subjects, such as crop physiology and nutrition, where competences were built from the base with top of the line, actual real world research examples. The discussion based teaching approach of most of the courses was something that I really appreciated, where problems were debated, not only between peers, but also among teachers, giving rise to critical thinking and elevating the scientific level of each course. These discussions were one of the most rewarding points of the programme, and were only enriched by how varied and international the MSc programme is, as the multitude of different cultures allowed an amazing number of approaches to the same problem to come up and to be thoroughly debated.
Nowadays, I strongly rely on the competences and critical thinking that were encouraged during my MSc and apply them in my daily routines, either when planning or executing experiments, supervising and teaching students, or finding answers to problems posed by farmers or peers.
The chart shows the five most common types of work for graduates 1-2 years after finishing their degree. The data is derived from a survey made by Epinion for the Ministry of Higher Education and Science and Aarhus University in 2020.