Dispensation and Special Permission

Dispensation

Remember the deadline

If you apply for a dispensation, you must apply by 15 March at 12:00 noon unless you document that the matter took place after this deadline.

It is possible to apply for dispensation from a number of admission rules in case of special, documented circumstances.

You can assume that you will not be given dispensation if your reason is oversight, misunderstandings, lack of knowledge of the rules or similar circumstances.

Types of dispensation

The most common types of dispensation are:

  • Special permission (applies for applicants who do not hold a qualifying entry examination)
  • Specific admission requirements – credit for comparable academic qualifications
  • Special circumstances - if special circumstances have influenced your qualifying exam
  • Bonus for early study start– if you have been prevented from applying for admission before the 2 year time limit
  • Previously enrolled in the same programme (Read more about admission)
  • Other types of dispensations – supplementing more than one subject after 5 July and extension of deadlines

The decision in a dispensation case is made on the basis of an individual and concrete evaluation. Therefore it is not possible to tell whether or not your dispensation will be granted beforehand.

If you are granted dispensation, you are not necessarily guaranteed a student place. Typically, a dispensation will only be valid within the current year. This means that if you apply for admission in another year, you will have to apply for a new dispensation – however we kindly ask you to upload your previous dispensation in that case.

Legal basis

The possibility of being granted a dispensation has been provided by the Ministry in the relevant ministerial orders and in the rules and regulations of Aarhus University.

You can find more information here:

How to apply

You need to fill out a special application form in order to apply for dispensation. You can find out which form to use when you read about the specific types of dispensation types below.

The application for dispensation and your documentation must be uploaded to your application on www.optagelse.dk no later than 15 March at 12:00 noon.

It is important that the dispensation application clearly states what type of dispensation you apply for and your reason for applying for dispensation. Also remember that you must upload documentation for the special circumstances that you want us to take into consideration in the evaluation of your dispensation application. When you read about the specific types of dispensations below, you can find information about what types of documentation that are relevant in your case.

Dispensation application feedback

You will receive feedback to your dispensation application separately, but you will not receive the final letter of admission/rejection before 28 July. In a few cases, the case work of your dispensation application will take longer time. This means that you may receive a letter of rejection or a letter of admission to one of you lower priorities on the 28 July and after that date you will receive the final feedback on your dispensation application. If this is the case, you will always receive information about the procedure from Aarhus University.

Dispensation to apply with special permission

Application deadline regarding dispensation to apply with special permission is 15 March at 12:00 noon.

If you do not hold a qualifying exam, the university can grant you dispensation to apply for admission with special permission. Special permission is granted based on a concrete and individual evaluation of your application in which we will consider the following:

  • If you have general as well as programme specific qualifications that are comparable to an upper secondary school exam.
  • If the university deems that you will be able to complete the programme(s) you have applied for

Even though you are granted a dispensation to apply for admission with special permission, you are not guaranteed a student place. The dispensation ensures that your application is evaluated on equal terms with other applicants in quota 2. It is not possible to apply for admission in quota 1 with a special permission because you do not have a convertible grade point average (GPA).

Please note that programmes with limited student places often only will have few student places in quota 2.

Criteria

When we evaluate your application for special permission, we take the following criteria into consideration:

Relevant Education

Normally, you can only expect to be granted special permission, if you can document that you have completed parts of a relevant theoretical or practical education/training of a considerable duration. Please note that the education/training must not be completed if the education/training is a medium-cycle post-secondary degree or higher level degree (because of the law on limiting double degrees)

Examples of relevant educations are:

  • Medium-cycle post-secondary degree (such as teacher or nursing training in Denmark)
  • Parts of an upper secondary degree

 

Written production

Upper secondary written projects are considered an advantage. They can be written as part of the relevant education.

Examples of written projects are:

  • Bachelor’s thesis (please note that a completed Bachelor's Degree will limit your possibilities of applying for admission)
  • Written projects in the upper secondary school (”SSO", "SRP”)

 

Relevant general upper secondary  school courses

It will also be an advantage, if you have finished and passed general upper secondary school courses such as Danish level A, History level B and Social Science level C.

In certain cases, we will also consider:

Relevant work experience

Documented work experience of a certain duration that is considered exceptionally relevant for the degree you have applied for, can be considered an advantage. The work experience must be closely related to the desired degree programme.

Specific admission requirements

Even though you are granted a dispensation to apply for admission with special permission, you must also fulfill the specific admission requirements for the desired programme. Normally, the specific requirements must be documented by secondary school courses diplomas or by an Individual Assesment of qualification by the VUC (IKV) (see also Credit for comparable academic qualifications).

Special permission and quota 2 evaluation

If you are granted a dispensation to apply for admission with special permission, your application will only be evaluated in quota 2. Therefore we recommend that you read about the quota 2 criteria for the desired programme(s). You can find information about the specific admission requirements and quota 2 criteria at http://bachelor.au.dk/en/ (you must choose the desired programme and the subsection admission requirements).

Documentation

When you apply for dispensation to apply with special permission, you must upload a dispensation application (use Form A) as well as documentation for the qualifications that you want us to take into consideration when we evaluate your application. Examples of relevant documentation are:

  • Diplomas
  • Upper secondary school course diplomas
  • Course descriptions
  • Documentation for written production (this may appear from your diplomas)
  • Documentation for relevant work experience

Special permission with a Waldorf school report

If you have completed 12 years schooling from a Waldorf school, you normally fulfill the general requirements for a special permission provided that your school report indicates an academic level equivalent to a passed upper secondary degree.

You still need to fulfil the specific requirements for your desired programme(s) by passed supplementary upper secondary school subjects and your application will only be evaluated in quota 2.

When you apply for a dispensation to apply with special permission with a Waldorf school report, you must upload your application for dispensation (use Form A) as well as the following documents:

Documentation

  • Waldorf school report
  • Upper secondary school subject diplomas for the specific admission requirements. 

Specific requirements – credit for comparable academic qualifications

Application deadline regarding dispensation from the specific requirements is 15 March at 12:00 noon.

If you do not fulfill the specific requirements, it is possible to apply for dispensation, if you have other qualifications comparable to the specific requirement. You must be able to document these other qualifications when you apply for dispensation from one of more of the specific admission requirements.

If possible, we strongly recommend that you have your qualifications assessed by VUC (IKV), if you think that you have qualifications equivalent to one of the specific requirements. Unfortunately this assessment is only available in Danish. An IKV certificate that fully recognizes a full subject is considered to equal an upper secondary school subject diploma.

In rare cases, if you do not have an IKV certificate, we grant dispensation from a specific admission requirement on the basis of qualifications from other exams or tests you have passed. In these cases, we evaluate your academic qualifications by comparing the duration, academic level as well as the content of the teaching with the comparable upper secondary subject as it is described in the relevant Ministerial orders for the Danish high school (STX/HF/HTX/HHX).

If you are granted a dispensation, it will only be valid for your applications to Aarhus University and for the desired programmes in the current year. 

Documentation

If you do have an IKV certificate, you do not need to apply for dispensation. Simply upload the certificate to your application at www.optagelse.dk.

In all other cases, you must upload an application for dispensation (use Form B) as well as documentation for the academic qualifications that the dispensation application is based on. Examples of documentation are:

  • Diplomas, certificates or test results (including course descriptions and information about the examination type and duration of the course).

Normally, the university will not accommodate your dispensation application from the specific requirements if:

  • You have achieved good grades in the same subject but on a lower level
  • You have passed other subjects that are relevant to the desired programme you have applied for
  • You have not been able to take the subject as part of your qualifying exam
  • You have been affected by special circumstances
  • You hold a Danish citizenship (regarding Danish A)
  • You have had a stay abroad
  • You have had (relevant) work experience 

Quota 2

We recommend that you examine the quota 2 criteria for your desired programme(s). A dispensation from a specific requirement may affect your quota 2 evaluation, if the quota 2 evaluation for the desired programme includes a subject average of relevant quota 2 subjects (quota 2 grade point average). This is because a dispensation from the specific requirements will be registered as a passed subject without a grade. This is also the case for IKV certificates. You can find information about the specific admission requirements and quota 2 criteria at http://bachelor.au.dk/en/ (you must choose the desired programme and the subsection “admission requirements”).

Special circumstances during your qualifying exam

If you apply for a dispensation because of special circumstances, you must apply by 15 March at 12:00 noon unless you document that the matter took place after this deadline.

If you have been affected by special circumstances that have influenced your qualifying exam, it is possible for you to apply for a dispensation. This dispensation type only applies for applications that can be evaluated in quota 1.

When we evaluate your application for dispensation, we make a concrete overall evaluation. Among other things, we assess whether it is likely that the special circumstances have influenced your qualifying exam significantly. If your application for dispensation is accommodated you are not guaranteed that you will be offered a student place.

We do not grant dispensations on the basis on qualifications obtained by other means. This means that it is not possible to be granted a dispensation on the basis of post-secondary degree education or on the basis of excellent grades in the specific requirements. Likewise, we do not grant dispensation on the basis of immaturity during the qualifying exam, lack of planning or similar circumstances.

The university cannot grant your dispensation from the specific admission requirement on the basis of special circumstances. If you lack one or more subjects to fulfill the specific requirements you can read more about your options in the section about specific requirements.

Documentation

When you apply for a dispensation on the basis of special circumstances, you must upload a dispensation application (use Form C) as well as documentation for the special circumstances. You need to document the type of special circumstances and document that the circumstances have influenced your qualifying exam. Consequently, relevant documentation typically includes:

  • Doctor’s notes or medical records in the case of your own or a close relative’s long-term disease (the course of the disease as well as the extent of the disease must be documented)
  • Statement(s) from specialists in the case of dyslexia or dyscalculia testing or disabilities
  • Statement(s) from psychologist or psychiatrist
  • Police report(s)
  • Preliminary marks from your qualifying exam
  • Lower secondary school diploma (can be relevant, if the special circumstances started by the end of lower secondary school)
  • Statement from student counsellor or principal at your previous school

Bonus for early study start

Application deadline regarding dispensation to extend the 2 year time limit is 15 March at 12:00 noon.

If you apply for admission no later than 2 years after passing your qualifying exam, you will automatically have your grade point average multiplied with 1,08 in quota 1. This means that if you have finished your qualifying exam in the years 2015, 2016 or 2017, you will automatically be assigned the bonus for early study start. 

If you have finished your qualifying exam in 2011, 2012, 2013 or 2014, it is possible to postpone the 2 year time limit, if you can document that you have been prevented from starting an education because of one of the following circumstances:

  • Compulsory military service, including service on compulsory military service-like terms
  • Training and education with a view to as well as dispatch as a part of International operations of the defence.
  • Adoption or parental leave
  • Long-term illness
  • Care of close relatives who are disabled, seriously ill or dying
  • Training for and participation in the Olympic Games or Paralympic Games as an elite or world-class athlete appointed by Team Danmark.

The extension can be given for the number of years that you have been prevented from starting a programme, however no more than 4 years. This means that if you apply for admission in 2017, you need to have finished your qualifying exam no earlier than 2011 in order to apply for dispensation.

Documentation

When you apply for dispensation you must upload a dispensation application (use Form D) as well as documentation that states that one or more of the above-mentioned circumstances have prevented you from starting a programme. Typically, the documentation will include:

  • Certificate of compulsory military service
  • Certificate of deployment by NATO
  • Copy of medical record or other proof of adoption or parental leave
  • Doctor’s note, medical records, statements from psychologist or psychiatrist in the case of long-term illness (the type of the illness as well as the extent of the illness must be documented)
  • Doctor’s note or documentation in the case of taking care of close relatives (disability, seriously illness or dying relative)
  • Contract with Team Danmark or other organisation in the case of training to or participation in the Olympic Games or the Paralympic Games.

Restriction on double education

The restriction on double education means that it is generally not possible to begin a new Bachelor’s, Professional Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programme on a similar or lower level, until six years after completing your latest degree.

This means that if you have completed a Danish Professional Bachelor’s, Bachelor’s programme or another Danish full time education on a similar or higher level, it is not possible to apply for admission at a new Danish Bachelor’s programme for six years. Note that the time between the issue date of the diploma and the starting date of the programme is used for determining the period. Also note that three-year medium length degree programmes following the “old” standard (before being converted to Professional Bachelor programmes), are also affected by the restriction.

The following programmes are exempt from the restriction, meaning that it is possible to apply for admission for these, regardless of when you completed your latest degree:

  • Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Power Technology
  • Bachelor in Computer Science
  • Bachelor in Mathematics
  • Bachelor in Mathematics-economics
  • Bachelor in Nanoscience

These five programmes are open for admission applications, as they are on the government positive list of programmes in particular demand on the labour market.

Read more about the restriction on double education and see the positive list on the website of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science (Link to the list (in Danish) – pdf).

Dispensation
If you have completed your latest degree more than six years ago, applying for dispensation is not necessary. You only need to submit documentation regarding the completion date of your latest degree (on similar or higher level than the degree programme(s) where you are now applying for admission). Based on this documentation, you will receive notification from the University, during the admission process, on whether we can allow you to continue in the process.

If less than six years has passed since the completion of your latest degree, you are able to apply for dispensation from the six-year rule. We may grant you dispensation if we determine that:

  • For health reasons you are no longer able to use a previously completed degree on the labour market.
  • Your degree is obsolete, that is if the degree has changed significantly or has been discontinued completely.

How to apply for dispensation
You must use form E (under ‘Application forms’ further down this page) and upload the form together with relevant documentation and your admission application on Optagelse.dk

It is important that you collect and submit relevant documentation, so that we are able to process your application on an informed basis.

It is always required that you submit documentation regarding your latest completed degree. In addition, we require the following, depending on the nature of your application for dispensation:

  1. Documentation regarding loss of work ability, such as a doctor’s certificate or medical records.
  2. Documentation showing that the contents of your previously completed degree has changed significantly or has been discontinued – for example in the form of a statement from the educational institution where you achieved your degree.

Standby and pre-approved admission – if you were offered a pre-approved study place for 2017
If you were offered a standby place and subsequent offer of a pre-approved admission for a study place in 2016, for the upcoming admission in 2017, the offer is still valid. This is regardless of whether you have already completed a degree programme on the same level or higher.

Other dispensation

Supplementing more than one subject or more than one level after 5 July

If you are taking a supplementary subject after 5 July and thus apply for conditional admission, you are normally only allowed to supplement one subject one level, which must be passed immediately after study start. If you wish/plan to take more than one supplementary subject or supplement more than one level, you can apply for dispensation to supplement two subjects one levels or supplement one subject two levels.

It is important that you read the rules of conditional admission, especially if you apply for a degree programme that has study start in February.

Documentation

When you apply for dispensation, you must upload a dispensation application (use Form D) as well as documentation stating that you are enrolled in the relevant supplementary subjects and levels at GSK/VUC. The dates of the courses (including exam) must be stated at the documentation. If you cannot enroll in supplementary subjects yet, or you have not yet received confirmation of your enrollment, you must upload it to your application as soon as you receive it an no later than 5 July.

Extension of the application deadline or documentation deadline

Usually, it is not possible to submit an application or documentation after the given deadlines.

We only grant dispensation in the case of special circumstances such as an unexpected and urgent break out of a serious illness around the time of the deadline. The circumstances must be documented with a doctor’s note or similar documentation.

The following are not considered special circumstances: Delays, oversights, lacking knowledge of the deadlines.

You must send your dispensation application (use Form D) as well as your documentation to optagelse@au.dk as soon as possible after the exceeded deadline.

Application forms

When you apply for dispensation, you must fill out a special form. You can find out which form to use under each type of dispensation: