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Information about academic regulations


What are academic regulations, and what is their purpose?    

The purpose of academic regulations is to present degree programmes correctly and explain what people should expect of them. The target group comprises students, teachers and any other interested parties. Academic regulations also reveal a correlation between the individual exams, academic objectives, course objectives and overall qualification profile of each degree programme, as well as ensuring that the level of each programme complies with the qualification framework and European standards. 

Academic regulations are important documents in terms of managing academic and educational practice. They are a signal to the rest of the world about what are regarded as core qualifications and core competences in a given degree programme, as well as describing the way in which learning takes place and how it is assessed.

Academic regulations also contain the rules on which degree programmes are based. The compulsory sections of academic regulations are predefined by ministerial orders issued by the ministry.

More information about the production of academic regulations.

More information about the formal rules for academic regulations.

Contents of academic regulations

Academic regulations are divided into the following sections: 1. About the degree programme, 2. Degree programme structure, 3. General rules, and 4. Changes in the academic regulations, which you can read more about below.    

About the degree programme

The section entitled “About the degree programme” describes the academic direction and main subject areas of a degree programme and contains its qualification profile.    

Degree programme structure

The section entitled “Degree programme structure” contains a study diagram revealing the structure of the degree programme, as well as descriptions of the purpose, academic objectives, assessment criteria, forms of examination and forms of teaching of the courses concerned. It also explains the progression and alignment between the various parts of the degree programme.    

General rules

The section entitled “General rules” is updated once a year and describes the current rules applying to the degree programme. More information about the formal rules for academic regulations.    

Changes in academic regulations  

The section entitled “Changes in academic regulations” describes the changes made in the current academic regulations since they came into force, and when these changes were made.    

Relationship between the academic regulations and the course catalogue

Academic regulations contain all the general information about a degree programme, its purpose, structure, rules, courses and exams. It is important that students and teachers are familiar with the academic regulations because they are legally binding.

The course catalogue contains specific information about the courses that are currently on offer. This information often changes from one year to the next. For instance, there might be new information about elective subjects, current themes, teachers, planning, and the language in which courses are conducted. The course catalogue is based on the descriptions and rules contained in the academic regulations. So the information in the course catalogue can never replace the information in the academic regulations. It will always be additional information.

Readers of the academic regulations

The academic regulations are not only the legal basis of a degree programme but also a framework for academic and educational practice. So they are read by many different people. Academic regulations must give their readers a clear understanding and overview of the degree programme concerned. Here are the main groups of readers:

  • Students (both current and future students)
  • Teachers (permanent staff, external teachers and new teachers)
  • Co-examiners
  • Employers
  • Administrative staff, including exam planners, student counsellors and case officers

Clear communication

Academic regulations are read by many different people, so it is important to consider the best way of communicating to them all. The following points should be explained clearly:    

  • The knowledge, skills and competences that students gain during the degree programme. This is important because it will help the students to use their competences after graduation, as well as showing employers what competences the students possess.    

  • The titles of courses and the content and purpose of the degree programme. This information should be designed for students, teachers and employers. This is important so that students know what to expect and teachers know how to approach their teaching.    

  • The forms of examination and academic objectives. This information should be expressed in a manner that enables co-examiners and assessors to assess student performances, as well as giving administrative staff the information needed to plan exams. Descriptions of forms of examination must also contain the information needed to help students prepare for exams, expressed in a manner which also ensures their legal rights.    

Background of academic regulations

In recent years, the circumstances applying to university teaching (and therefore to academic regulations as well) have changed. Among other things, this is due to the Bologna process, the idea of learning-oriented academic regulations, a political focus on the quality system, and the financial situation in the world of education. These changes also have consequences for the way in which the Faculty of Arts designs its academic regulations, and consequently the vice-dean for education has reviewed the faculty’s degree programmes and defined the requirements arising from this new situation. The faculty’s academic regulations must:

  • Focus on competences rather than on content
  • Focus on learning rather than on teaching
  • Ensure alignment between the purpose, academic objectives and forms of teaching and examination
  • Focus on practical forms of teaching and examination, and on innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Ensure that the students are given feedback
  • Incorporate various stakeholders in the development of the teaching
  • Focus on communicating the relevance of our degree programmes and the courses they contain so the students understand the connection between their degree programme and the transition to employment
  • Ensure that our degree programmes are characterised by flexibility and progression
  • Encourage the students to work hard

Among other things, the new requirements are the result of: 

The Bologna process

During the past 20 years, the Bologna process in the European Union has played a particularly significant role in ensuring that university degree programmes in Europe adhere to common standards. The aim is that the knowledge, skills and competences gained at Bachelor level in Denmark (for instance) should correspond to the level gained at Bachelor level in the rest of Europe. This can be achieved by using the qualification framework for programmes of higher education. Our academic regulations must ensure that the qualification profile and therefore the academic objectives of our degree programmes reflect the definitions and standards outlined in the qualification framework.

The focus must be placed on learning

Academic regulations at the Faculty of Arts must be learning-oriented, which means that the teaching, working methods and forms of examination must focus on student learning processes. If the focus is placed on learning, decisions about academic regulations will be based first on what is best for learning; and then on what is best from the perspective of teachers, departments, stakeholders, the institution in question and students. It is not always easy to strike a balance between these often conflicting interests. SNUK can help our departments to meet these challenges during the production of academic regulations.

Political focus on the quality system

Our departments are not alone in wanting to create the best possible university degree programmes. There is also increasing political focus on the quality system of these programmes. The quality system monitors degree programmes once a year in terms of the following parameters: drop-out rate, progression, teaching activity, teaching evaluation, study environment, percentage of teaching done by researchers, and employment rates. As a result, the status and plans of action of our degree programmes with regard to these parameters must be taken into account when drafting and revising academic regulations. This is because if changes need to be made in any of these parameters, the academic regulations are often the best place to do this. In particular, it is important to focus on the intensity with which the students approach their studies and the relevance of our degree programmes in relation to future employment opportunities. When developing academic regulations, it is therefore important that their structure promotes the opportunities of students to complete their degree programmes within the prescribed time. It is also important that the relevance of our degree programmes and the courses they contain is communicated clearly to the students so they understand the link between their degree programme and the employment opportunities available to them on various labour markets.

The financial situation

In view of the financial situation in the world of education (the government’s degree programme resizing initiative and demand for two percent cuts in education over a number of years), there is a need to keep an eye on the resources invested in academic regulations – not only in terms of the teaching and exams involved, but also in terms of the administrative tasks required. Consequently, during the development of academic regulations it is important to remember that the consumption of resources is subject to approval before such regulations come into force.    

Principles for producing academic regulations

Academic regulations should be worded in a manner that lays down the rules but also allows opportunities for development and variation. To ensure that the decisions made when drafting academic regulations are both coherent and consistent, our departments might find the following principles useful:    

  • Make student learning processes your top priority

  • Adopt a knowledge-based approach based on evaluations, annual status reviews, plans of action, the review of our study environment, the study of employment opportunities, and knowledge of what supports learning, motivation and relevance.
  • Design long-lasting academic regulations, which are not simply tailor made to suit the specific academic profiles of the teachers or preferences which are currently represented in the degree programme concerned.

Are you looking for Academic Regulations at Arts?

All academic regulations can be found here and the course cataloque here.