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The course programme for PhD students consists of a number of elective courses and three mandatory courses.

Mandatory courses

The Graduate School of Health offers three mandatory courses for all PhD students enrolled at the graduate school: “Welcome to the PhD study”, “Basic Biostatistics” and "Responsible Conduct of Research". The courses provide basic knowledge that we expect you will need during your PhD programme. Therefore, we strongly advise you to register for these courses in our course calendar as soon as possible after enrollment.

"Welcome to the PhD study"
“Welcome to the PhD study” is a mandatory, half-day welcoming event for all newly enrolled PhD students at Health. At the event, you will be welcomed by the head of the graduate school, receive information about how to use the PhD Planner system throughout your PhD programme, and get the opportunity to meet and interact with your fellow PhD students and representatives from the following:

- The PhD association
- International Centre/International Office
- PhD Career Services
- Technology Transfer Office
- Research Support Office
- PhD student counselling
- PhD administration

The event is held four times a year (February, April, September and November).

"Basic Biostatistics - part 1 and 2" (mandatory only for students enrolled before 1 May 2015)
At the mandatory course “Basic Biostatistics”, you will get a thorough introduction to basic research statistics. The course concludes with an examination and is held twice a year (start February and September).

NB - for students enrolled per 1 May 2015 or after: The course "Basic Biostatistics" is no longer mandatory. Thus, it is up to you to agree with your main supervisor whether you should attend the course. However, participation in PhD courses on advanced statistical topics (e.g. Statistical Analysis of Time to Event Data, Linear and Logistic Regression, Analysis of Variance and Repeated Measurements, Applied Statistical Analysis with Missing Data, Evaluation and Comparison of Methods of Measurements) requires participation in Basic Biostatistics part 1 and 2.

If you need to supplement your knowledge about biostatistics before participating in the course “Basic Biostatistics”, the graduate school offers a preparatory course in the STATA statistics program. The preparatory course is always held just before the course “Basic Biostatistics”.

"Responsible Conduct of Research"
For all PhD students enrolled per 1 January 2016 or later
, participation in the two-day course “Responsible Conduct of Research” is mandatory. The course will be held approximately four times a year, and should be completed before completion of your PhD study.

Generic courses

Every year, the Graduate School of Health offers a considerable number of generic courses in both health science and general disciplines. The courses are all at the same high academic level, but the nature of the courses changes continuously, as the research fields at the Graduate School of Health develop.

GP courses

The graduate school increasingly offers Graduate Programme (GP) courses with a content and selection of topics that primarily target GP students. GP courses are sometimes offered in collaboration with ‘sister GPs’ at other graduate schools of health sciences. A common feature of all the GP courses is that the GPs have a high degree of freedom to develop the courses they offer in accordance with the latest development in the field, and unique opportunities to give priority to special types of equipment or to invite interesting teachers.

Teaching methodology

The graduate school’s overall aim as regards the PhD courses is to ensure a high level of academic and educational quality so you acquire the relevant skills. In addition, we would like to provide you with some interesting learning experiences that are relevant to your academic development and encourage you to seek new knowledge. For many decades, the graduate school's PhD courses have been known for their high quality thanks to the commitment of the course managers.

According to the ECTS rules and regulations, it is a condition for the allocation of ECTS credits that the participant’s work has been assessed to some extent. The graduate school has therefore chosen to focus on participant activities and involvement rather than on a final examination.

Active student participation has many advantages, not least the increase in your learning outcome. Students who take part in formulating relevant hypotheses and possible solutions learn more and are motivated and inspired to continue developing and learning.

Please see the following references if you wish to learn more about active teaching. The references have been created in cooperation with the Centre for Medical Education.


Traditional teaching methods: Introduction to traditional teaching methods (New Jersey)
Active teaching methods: Active Learning, team, PBL, Case mv (New Jersey)


  • Phil Race. The Lecturer’s toolkit. A practical guide to assessment, learning and teaching. Third Edition. London: Routledge, 2007
  • Donald A. Bligh. What’s the use of Lectures? New York: Jossey-Bass, 2000
  • Berit Eika et al. Forelæsningen – en undervisningsform, der er kommet for at blive? Ugeskrift for Læger 2008; 170 (44): 3520-3
  • P. Cantillon. ABC of learning and teaching in medicine, teaching large groups. British Medical Journal 2003; 326: 437-40

Team lessons

  • Donald A. Bligh. What’s the Point in Discussion? Exeter: Intellect, 2000
  • George Brown & Madeleine Atkins. Effective Teaching in Higher Education. London: Routledge, 1998 (ch. 4 om ”Effective Small Group Teaching”)
  • Jane Westberg & Jason Hillard. Fostering Learning in Small Groups. New York: Springer Publishing Company, 1996

Course fees

Participation is free of charge for

  • PhD students and research year students (with enrollment letter) from the Graduate School of Health
  • PhD students from other graduate schools at Aarhus University
  • PhD students from the University of Helsinki
  • PhD students at other Danish universities, in accordance with the open market agreement (20 per cent of the seats).

All other participants are charged a fee of DKK 1,200 per ECTS.

Please note:

Course enrolment is mandatory, unless the course secretary has been notified of cancellation. Cancellations are accepted no later than three weeks before course start. The Graduate School only accepts cancellations later than three weeks before course start due to registered illness, death of nearest relatives etc. In the case of non-attendance of which the course secretary has not been notified, a fee corresponding to the actual fee will be charged.

As a main rule, PhD students cannot register for and participate in the same course more than once. Dispensation from this is possible in case of legitimate non-attendance at the previous course.

The Graduate School of Health has introduced an ECTS limit for courses taken at the graduate school. Consequently, all PhD students can enroll for courses up to max 35 ECTS. If you exceed the limit of 35 ECTS, a course fee will be charged.


As a course participant, you take part in evaluating all courses. You receive the electronic evaluation as a link on the last day of the course.  As part of the graduate school’s quality assurance of the courses, the results of the evaluations are presented to the PhD school management twice a year to allow for corrections in the courses offered and their composition.

Active participation

It is the firm intention of the graduate school that all courses should include elements of active participation, if at all possible. Examples are presentations, group work or report writing.

Course diploma

After the course, you can download a course diploma from the course calendar.

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Revised 16.05.2017