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Master's Degree Programme

About the programme
Language: English  (See language requirements)  | Place of study: Aarhus  |  Commencement: August / September and January / February (only applicants with a Danish Bachelor's degree)


I had the chance to study at other universities, but I chose Aarhus University because the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center here is very good and has an excellent reputation. The research environment is also excellent. We have a lot of great equipment and enough funding to do our projects. I like to work in this very international environment. With so many people from different backgrounds, we can share very different and interesting ideas.

Shuai Zhang
PhD student in Nanoscience, from China

Nanoscience is an interdisciplinary field of science that deals with understanding and utilising materials and phenomena at the nanoscale – that is, between 0.1 and 100 nanometres. The ability to work on this scale makes it possible to achieve highly improved or completely new functions and properties in a wide range of materials.

The MSc in Nanoscience programme at Aarhus University is open to students with a BSc degree from higher education institutions in Denmark and abroad who have an interdisciplinary background in nanoscience and/or physics, chemistry and molecular biology. The nanoscience degree programme is both practical and research-oriented, and provides the opportunity for completing an MSc project in various areas, including nanomaterials, nanocatalysis, nanobiotechnology, nanomedicine, nanofood, toxicology, and ethical aspects of nanotechnology.

Structure of degree programme

The MSc in Nanoscience programme is 120 ECTS credits. It provides an opportunity to study subjects in the fields of physics, chemistry and molecular biology as well as in specific nanoscience subjects. Through their choice of courses and MSc project, students specialise in one of the disciplines of nanophysics, nanochemistry, or molecular biology, based on their academic qualifications. Students are offered guidance in selecting their individual course programmes from a suite of master’s courses offered by iNANO and the relevant departments. The degree programme concludes with an MSc project.

Interdisciplinary INANO

The degree programme in nanoscience at Aarhus University is based at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center, iNANO. This centre involves researchers employed at the departments of Physics, Chemistry, Molecular Biology and Genetics, and Bioscience as well as a considerable number of associated researchers from Health. The centre’s mission is to build on three basic pillars: top-level international research, education at all levels from BSc to PhD, and innovation and interaction with industry and society at large.

Career profile

Nanoscience graduates are qualified to carry out research and development work in both public and private sectors in medicine, the environment, biotechnology, and the IT and communication industries. Many R&D projects are under way at iNANO in collaboration with approximately 100 Danish and international companies including Danfoss, Grundfos, Haldor Topsøe, Lundbeck, Novozymes, Arla Foods and Aalborg Portland. The iNANO school – part of the iNANO Center – comprises not only an international graduate school, but also associated research groups in physics, chemistry, biology and molecular biology, working in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology. iNANO promotes excellent science and provides an academic environment for PhD students of the highest calibre. Successful applicants will have been within the top 10 per cent of their year group at undergraduate level and will have shown superior academic skills.

Admission requirements

The following Bachelor’s degrees qualify students for admission to the Master’s degree programme in Nanoscience:

  • A Bachelor of Science degree in Nanoscience from Aarhus University.

Other qualifications can provide admission to the Master’s degree programme, provided the university assesses that their level, extent and content correspond to the degrees mentioned above.

In the assesment of whether a bachelor degree qualifies for admission to the MSc in Nanoscience,  Aarhus University considers the following to be important:

  • The bachelors degree programme should provide the applicant with sufficient qualifications to pursue one or more of the specialisation directions at the MSc in Nanoscience. To be able to pursue all specialisation directions the program should include at least 80 ECTS broadly distributed among the following topical areas:
    • Mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, solid state and statistical physics, inorganic and organic chemistry, molecular quantum chemistry and chemical spectroscopy, biochemistry, cell biology, fundamental molecular biology as well as dedicated courses in nanoscience. Furthermore the programme should include at least 15 ECTS mathematical subjects.

Upon admission further requirements regarding composition of the degree programme may be stipulated.

Language requirements

Since English is the language of instruction in all subjects, all applicants are required to provide evidence of their English language proficiency. 
Please see the page on language requirements.

Documentation requirements

Please see the general admission requirements.

Legal right of admission

Students with a Bachelor's degree programme in Nanoscience at Aarhus University have the right to be admitted to the Master's degree programme in Nanoscience on the condition that application is made for admission to the Master’s degree programme no later than three years after completion of the Bachelor’s degree programme. The legal right of admission requires receipt of the application by Aarhus University within the appropriate period of time.

Selection criteria

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:

Academic background

  • Overall grade level – Bachelor’s degree
  • Grades achieved on relevant courses*
  • Relevant courses* (measured in credit units) included in your Bachelor’s degree

* Courses within the subject areas of Chemistry, Physics, Molecular Biology and Mathematics as well as dedicated Nanoscience courses.

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.

Programme structure

The Master’s degree in nanotechnology counts as 120 ECTS credits and includes subjects in the physics, chemistry, molecular biology and biology fields of study, as well as some specific nanotechnology subjects. You specialise by participating in course activities and projects and by writing a thesis. You structure you own individual study programme with the help of a teacher associated with iNANO by choosing courses from a course catalogue. Your programme is based on your academic qualifications and interests and the subjects you studied for your Bachelor’s degree. The plan must be approved by the Board of Studies before you can enrol for examinations.

For more information about the individual courses, go to: kursuskatalog.au.dk/en/

Forms of teaching

At the University of Aarhus, you are in close contact with researchers in a way that you rarely experience at other universities. The door to the professor’s office is always open if you need clarification of the study material, and you are encouraged to ask questions at lectures and during exercises. We make heavy demands on your academic skills and independence. In return, you gain considerable benefits in the form of academic challenges and scientific knowledge, in addition to broad competences.

The teaching at the university focuses on independence, critical thinking and collaboration. Part of the teaching is in the form of lectures that introduce new angles to the material compared with the textbooks. The theoretical and practical exercises take place in small groups where you study relevant issues in depth. Most nanotechnology students also attend courses with a highly experimental content.

The varied forms of teaching, collaboration in groups and the opportunity for close scientific dialogue with the researchers provide you with general competences that are in great demand in the global job market. These competences include abstract, critical and independent thinking, analytical skills and strategic planning. You can use these skills in many contexts – even in jobs you didn’t know you were qualified for.

The teaching is divided into two semesters per year. For an example of a course calendar, go to: studerende.au.dk/en/studies/subject-portals/studies/teaching/teaching-calendar/

PhD programme

If you have the necessary skills and interest, you have the option of applying for admission to the PhD programme. You can apply when you have completed your Bachelor’s degree and one year of your Master’s degree or when you have completed your Master’s degree. In the PhD programme, you start working on a research project and are gradually trained through courses and personal guidance to become a researcher.

For more information, go to: inano.au.dk.

Academic regulations

Student life

There is more to life as a nanotechnology student at the University of Aarhus than subjects and lessons. The versatile and inspiring student life at the iNANO centre takes place at the Departments of Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry and Molecular Biology, and an independent nanotechnology building is planned. Nanorama, the academic and social student association, organises Friday Bars and celebrations as well as study-related lectures and excursions to Danish nanotechnology companies. The different student associations at the university consist of students who meet to discuss issues relating to their degree programme. These organisations influence the academic content of the degree programmes, from department and centre level to the top management levels at the university.

Campus – a unique place

The University of Aarhus is unique, especially because the buildings are grouped in one campus area close to the Aarhus city centre. The campus has many green areas and a beautiful park surrounding a small lake. Here you also find student accommodation and an underground system of corridors, which means that you don’t have to get your feet wet going from the canteen to your study area. There are also lecture theatres and a host of activities ranging from sports days to the regatta on the lake, interesting lectures, a film club, libraries and university celebrations. The campus ensures that you have easy access to the canteen, student counsellors, teachers, the bookshop, the State and University Library and the Friday bar.

Aarhus as a study centre

The university is not all Aarhus has to offer. As the second-largest city in Denmark, Aarhus has numerous different cultural activities. The well-known Aarhus Festival is celebrated for a week at the beginning of September every year and the streets really come to life. During the rest of the year, you can visit different music venues and concert halls in the city or find entertainment at one of the many theatres in Aarhus. The city’s many museums include ARoS – the major international art museum, which is a spectacular place for visual experiences. If you have had enough of cultural activities, you can ride your bike to the beach in no time or go for walks in the Risskov woods or in the beautiful woods around Marselisborg. The forty thousand young students in Aarhus make up 17.5% of the population, which leaves its mark on city life. Aarhus is a young, dynamic city with plenty of opportunities.

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Meet our students and graduates

Fabiane Fantinelli Franco, BSc in Physical and Biomolecular Sciences from University of São Paulo, Brazil. Master student at iNANO, Aarhus University.

After finishing my bachelor in Brazil I knew I wanted to study nanotechnology at a prestigious university. The master in nanoscience at Aarhus University offered me what I was looking for: a place that combined both specialised courses in nanotechnology and a good quality of life. It presented the opportunity to take part in a highly qualified education at an internationally recognised institute. Additionally, it is located in one of the best countries in the world - Denmark! The possibility of a scholarship was also a deciding factor that distinguished Aarhus University from other institutions.

I am pleasantly surprised and grateful for my invaluable journey here at iNANO. When I first arrived, I was not expecting to have so many different opportunities outside the scope of the course. One such experience was the Dean's Challenge in semester 1. The case competition called on Science & Technology students to actualise their expertise in developing new ideas to tackle social and environmental challenges. This greatly strengthened my interest in entrepreneurship and innovation. Together with two other students, we used this experience and passion to move a classroom project to a business idea. Our team, Team NanoScreen, has received continuous support from the university. The ability to provide a learning environment both in and outside the classroom and course is, in my experience, unique to Aarhus University and iNANO.

My master thesis experiments were performed at the Hybrid Materials Lab in iNANO and it was a remarkable experience. The laboratories are well equipped and the projects are interconnected, facilitating a supportive culture. I have specialised in inorganic chemistry and materials science, however iNANO has a range of distinctive fields you can specialise in. This interdisciplinarity enhances the quality of the research that is developed at the institute. Doing my master at iNANO has contributed significantly to both my professional and personal development.

I strongly recommend anyone interested in nanotechnology to study at iNANO. It is a new institute equipped with first-rate facilities and excellent professionals, offering a range of courses for students to specialise in their area of interest. Furthermore, Aarhus University is ranked amongst the top universities in the world, constantly providing opportunities for students to further engage in their studies and careers, e.g. conferences, specialised lectures and alumni days. It is a place to enrich your knowledge and career, meet new and inspiring people, and immerse yourself in the Danish culture. Nothing better than the month-long julefrokost and spending some hyggelig time with your friends! 

Priyank Shyam, B.Tech. in Nanotechnology from SRM University, India. Master student at iNANO, Aarhus University.

After completing my Bachelor's degree in India, I wanted to pursue an advanced program in nanoscience and simultaneously gain international exposure while doing so. I wanted to pursue a program that would combine intensive classroom-based studies with practical, independent research activities. I found that the Master’s programme in Nanoscience at Aarhus University offered precisely this - here students could directly apply the theoretical concepts learned in the classroom to practical research that solved everyday problems! I also learned that the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO) at Aarhus University was specifically designed to bring together researchers and students from diverse academic fields to work on exciting research problems. The interdisciplinary research conducted at iNANO has far-reaching implications for various global issues. I did not have to think twice about accepting the opportunity to study and carry out research in such an engaging, interdisciplinary environment!

The two years that I have spent during my Master's studies at Aarhus University have been very enriching and fulfilling!
Out of my many experiences, there are a few which exceptionally stand out: To begin with, the flexibility offered to students in designing their individual customized study program was surprising. In the classroom-based courses, I was astonished by the informal manner in which students and teachers referred to each other on a first-name basis. I saw that this lack of power hierarchy clearly encouraged an academic environment within which students could actively engage with the teacher and vastly improve their understanding of the topic. One of the courses that I took in March 2017 – Science-based Innovation and Entrepreneurship – even encouraged me to embark on an entrepreneurial venture along with a few course mates. Since summer 2017, our venture – NanoScreen – has participated in various Danish and international start-up competitions and also won a few awards in them.
Facing the exams was also a unique challenge. Being accustomed to written examinations throughout my academic life, the Danish system of oral examinations presented an academic ‘cultural shock’. I gradually came to appreciate the strengths of such an examination system, which allows examiners to go beyond the rote learning based paper and gain a better insight into the student's individual understanding of the subject matter. Last, but definitely not the least, the focal point of Danish student life – the “fredagsbars” (Friday bars) deserves special mention. These helped provide a relaxing, social environment to forget the stresses of the academic week and bond with fellow students.

I would definitely recommend pursuing a study program at Aarhus University. As an academic institution, Aarhus University effortlessly balances strong scholastic programs along with hands-on practical experiences. The courses are taught by competent professional experts and are constantly updated to keep up with the most recent advances and trends in their respective fields. The academic environment encourages students to go beyond the classroom and engage in active interdisciplinary collaborations with fellow students and researchers. Events, organised by the various departments, keep one’s social life buzzing and active. Beyond the university, even the city of Aarhus prides itself on being a student city and this is perceptibly felt in various spheres of day-to-day life. I think, that being a part of Aarhus University holistically develops a student’s life - enabling them to pursue fulfilling careers in their chosen fields and contribute to the development of society!

Ram Sarusie, MSc in Nanoscience, working as a material specialist at Færch Plast A/S

For me, Nanoscience at Aarhus University was a great fit, because the interdisciplinary structure of the programme suited me well - I love mathematics and science in general, and not only physics or chemistry. I found it fascinating when the boundaries between physics, chemistry and molecular biology were erased, and it was challenging with teaching across the classic disciplines. 
During the programme I had the opportunity to study abroad and chose a one-year exchange at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. I can strongly recommend this! The experience abroad challenged me both academically, but just as much personally. 
At the end of my programme, I wrote my Master's thesis at the Department of Chemistry in 'hydrogen storage in solid materials'; a sustainable solution for a society without fossil fuels. During this, I acquired in-depth knowledge within chemical syntheses and methods of analysis, as well as knowledge about how to behave in the laboratory, experimental set-ups and firefighting courses.

In my job, I work in our Training and Development department as a material specialist, and my daily tasks are managing exciting projects. The projects range from the development of new and innovative solutions, where I must think outside the box, and to optimisation projects, where current processes or solutions have to be improved.
The job involves being able to explain and understand the phenomena we encounter – requiring that you read up on new and old research, and that you can go back to the fundamental physical and chemical laws, that you learned during your education. I have learned that it is not possible to remember everything from all courses from my Bachelor’s and Master’s programme. However, one of the most important things I have acquired during my education is a solid foundation enabling me to find and understand the relevant information – one of the things that the Nanoscience programme has given me with its broad and interdisciplinary range of natural science.
Nevertheless, since the Nanoscience programme is purely theoretical, except from the laboratory work, I sometimes feel that I lack competencies within the engineering and practical part of my job, but I am sure that there will always be parts of any new job that are new to you. Luckily, I feel that my education at Nanoscience has given me the right prerequisites for learning new skills and competences. These skills also helped me when I won the Dean's Challenge in 2016, which is an innovative case competition for science students at Aarhus University.


Job functions for grads

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.