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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)


What should your home contents insurance cost? How many people will survive a particular disease? What are the odds of winning a game of solitaire? 

The two-year MSc in Statistics is open to students from universities in Denmark and abroad. The programme is flexible, allowing students to specialise while at the same time acquiring general competencies in statistics. It is also possible to become a PhD student within the area.

Teaching in the programme is greatly influenced by research, as the lecturers are active researchers. In addition to lectures, the teaching includes theoretical and practical exercises. As a student of statistics, you have the opportunity to specialise in a subject within a broad area, including one of the areas of statistics in which Aarhus University is particularly strong – theoretical and applied statistics, and probability theory. In this context students benefit from the down-to-earth, informal relationship between faculty and students, particularly when working on the thesis in year two of the programme.

Applicants to the statistics programme are expected to have a solid background in mathematical statistics. As the statistics programme at the University of Aarhus is characterized by a heavy focus on theoretical aspects, incoming students are required to have a strong background in advanced probability theory based on measure and integration theory.

Euler's friends

Students in the programme are based at the Department of Mathematics, which has its own canteen, computer rooms, library, and study areas shared by students. But there is time for more than just lectures in the department. A number of student organisations such as Eulers Venner (Euler’s Friends) and the Kalkulerbar (Friday bar) are based at the department, and academic activities, study trips and social functions are organised.

Career profile

There is an undersupply of statisticians. Statistics graduates from Aarhus University are very much in demand and their employment prospects are extremely good, whether in Aarhus, the rest of Denmark or abroad. Statistics students in Aarhus often take student jobs which in many cases lead to permanent employment upon completion of the degree.

Statistics graduates typically work at universities and research institutions, in the pharmaceutical industry, the telecommunications and finance sectors, or in insurance companies. In universities, statistics graduates are often engaged in interdisciplinary work with doctors, biologists or chemists, where they analyse large amounts of data; graduates also teach statistics to these professional groups. In the pharmaceutical industry, statisticians plan clinical trials or design methods for examining whether new drugs have unwanted side effects. In the insurance industry, statistics graduates typically work as actuaries and may contribute to working out tariffs. Common to all these jobs is the requirement for knowledge of a number of complicated mathematical models.

I very soon decided that I would like to work in a company and use what I had learned at university. I considered both the pharmaceutical industry and insurance. It was a company visit to Novo Nordisk that helped me make up my mind about choosing the pharmaceutical industry. I work in R&D as a statistician and am involved in clinical trials of new drugs.

Trine Saugstrup
Graduate, MSc in Statistics 
Statistician, Novo Nordisk 

Admission requirements

In order to be admitted to the statistics degree programme, it is a prerequisite that the applicant has a Bachelor’s degree programme containing at least 30 ECTS mathematical analysis, including 10 ECTS measure theory, as well as at least 10 ECTS linear algebra. In addition, the bachelor's program must contain 30 ECTS mathematical statistics and 30 ECTS probability theory, of which at least 10 ECTS must be based on measure theory.

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

  • A Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics with a specialisation in statistics from Aarhus University.
  • A Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics from the University of Copenhagen

For degrees other than those listed above, Aarhus University must assess whether the level, scope and content of this degree qualify you for the Master’s programme.

Upon admission, further requirements regarding the 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.

Legal right of admission

Students with a Bachelor's degree programme in Mathematics with the special study area Mathematical Modelling at Aarhus University have the right to be admitted to the Master's degree programme in Statistics 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.


Please see the general admission requirements.

Download appendix for your application

If you apply for admission with an international Bachelor's degree, you must fill in this appendix and upload it in the application portal. The appendix serves to help the Admission Board assess your Bachelor’s degree in regard to the admission requirements.

Download appendix

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

* Relevant courses include core courses within the subject areas of Statistics and Probability Theory.

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 statistics counts as 120 ECTS credits and mainly consists of subjects within the statistics field of study. You specialise by participating in course activities and projects and by writing a thesis. During your very first week, you structure your own individual study programme with the help of a teacher from the Department of Mathematical Sciences 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 in small groups that introduce new angles to the material compared with the textbooks. You also receive extensive guidance in how to work with examples and projects, and you are given a personal supervisor in connection with your thesis.

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 terms with two semesters per year. Each semester is followed by an examination period. 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 http://phd.au.dk/gradschools/scienceandtechnology/programmes/mathematics/ 

Academic regulations

Specialisations on the graduate programme

Students on the graduate programme must choose at least two of out three specialisations. Each specialisation constitutes 30 ECTS of the student’s study programme, and each specialisation includes one mandatory course.

The three specialisations are:

  • Applied Statistics (30 ECTS)
    • Survival Analysis with SAS (10 ECTS) Mandatory
    • Elective course in applied statistics (10 ECTS)
    • Elective course in applied statistics (10 ECTS)
  • Theoretical Statistics (30 ECTS)
    • Statistical Inference (10 ECTS) Mandatory
    • Elective course in theoretical statistics (10 ECTS)
    • Elective course in theoretical statistics (10 ECTS)
  • Probability Theory (30 ECTS)
    • Stochastic Calculus (10 ECTS) Mandatory
    • Elective course in Probability Theory (10 ECTS)
    • Elective course in Probability Theory (10 ECTS)

Student life

You study at the Department of Mathematical Sciences, which not only has classrooms, but also has a canteen, computer rooms, a library, a bookshop, recreational areas and study areas.

As a Master’s degree student, you can get your own desk in an office that you share with other Master’s degree students.

To be a student is exciting and challenging, but also very time-consuming. There is nevertheless time for more than just subjects and lessons. A number of student organisations such as Eulers Venner (Euler’s Friends), the Friday Bar and Tågekammeret (the Cloud Chamber) are based at the department and organise academic activities, study tours, celebrations and social functions. The Danish Youth Association of Science promotes familiarity with science by organising lectures, study tours and more.

The different student associations at the university consist of students who meet to discuss issues relating to the 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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Job functions for grads

This data is derived from AU's 2016 employment survey. This data should not be considered a completely accurate representation of the labour market and job functions for all graduates of the individual degree programmes. It exclusively represent the responses submitted to the survey in the years in question.

Competence profile

With a Master’s degree in statistics, you have the following competences: 

  • You know and master a wide range of mathematical and statistical theories and have detailed knowledge of key disciplines, methodologies and concepts within statistics.
  • You can independently plan, manage and implement projects and apply the results in scientifically relevant decision processes.
  • You can assess the applicability and appropriateness of theoretical, experimental and practical methodologies for the analysis and solution of scientific questions and issues.
  • You can structure your own competence development independently and critically.
  • You are able to systematically and critically familiarise yourself with new subject areas.
  • You can communicate academic questions and issues to both a scientific and a general audience.
  • You can collaborate constructively on a scientific basis to solve subject-related issues.

Job profile

Statistics graduates often find work at universities or other public research institutions, in the pharmaceutical industry, the telecommunications and finance sectors or in insurance companies. A smaller number of our graduates are employed at upper secondary schools.

Statistics graduates at a university most often participate in interdisciplinary work with doctors, biologists or chemists, where they analyse large amounts of data. At times, the graduates also teach statistics to the above-mentioned professional groups. In the pharmaceutical industry, graduates plan clinical trials or design methods for examining whether new drugs have unwanted side effects. In the insurance industry, statistics graduates typically work as actuaries and, in this capacity, can contribute to working out tariffs for motor vehicle insurance, etc. Common to all these jobs is that they require knowledge of a number of complicated mathematical models. During your years of study, you therefore acquire a wide range of competences that give you job opportunities in many different sectors.

There is a considerable shortage of statisticians, and statistics graduates from the University of Aarhus are in great demand. The employment prospects for statistics graduates are therefore extremely good, whether locally, nationally or internationally. Statistics students in Aarhus often have student jobs, and in many cases, this leads to permanent employment upon completion of the degree.