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Supplementary subject 

About the programme
Language: English  | Place of study: Aarhus  |  Commencement: August / september


Data radically impact our lives, our perception of the world and the world itself. Data and digital infrastructures do not just quantify and represent reality, but are literally world-changing. Data and the digital is thus not just a powerful instrument for analysis, but a transformative force of human and earthly life as such. It matters what and how things are datafied and how they are processed and related in and through digital infrastructures.

Data - a complex cultural phenomenon

Data are not just technical and material, but just as much socially and culturally constructed. As socio-material products, data have socio-material consequences.
To understand and act in a world of data requires people skilled in unpacking and understanding data as a complex cultural phenomenon. It requires skills well developed in the human and social sciences such as interpretation, critical reflection and cultural analysis. And in order to act responsibly in a world of data requires interpretation, imagination, creativity and speculation.

The supplementary subject is for students who witness the increasing role of data in society with both curious interest and critical concern. It is for students who want to take responsibility and be engaged in the making of sustainable and ethical futures, and who know that there are no easy or quick fixes, no simple answers. The supplementary subject is developed from the assumption that learning and knowledge production is an embodied practice, not only an intellectual meditation. Theory and practice are interwoven throughout the programme. Learning and becoming a skilled person in a world of data requires getting your hands dirty.


The supplementary subject explores the following questions:

  • What is data?
  • What are digital objects?
  • Where does data come from?
  • How is data collected, stored, categorized, displayed and archived?
  • What are the social and political implications of data and datafication?

Admission requirements

In order to be admitted to a supplementary subject, you have to be enrolled in a bachelor’s degree programme at a Danish University. Furthermore, the academic regulations of the bachelor’s degree programme have to allow for a combination with supplementary subject. 

ECTS requirements

It is a requirement that you have passed 60 ECTS credits in your core subject before 15 April. Introductory courses are not included when calculating these ECTS credits. 

Level requirements

English B

History B or History of Ideas B or Contemporary History B or Social Science B

If you do not meet the level requirements, you can supplement subject levels.

Restricted admission

40 seats. The number of seats is indicative and can be adjusted continuously by the university.

In evaluating qualified applicants, the admissions committee assesses each applicant on the basis of the average mark (i.e. GPA) obtained in the core subject in the Bachelor’s degree by 15 April. Propaedeutic courses are not included in the GPA.

All Bachelor’s supplementary subjects require a sufficient number of participants. Therefore, we kindly urge you to make up to four applications to make sure you are admitted to a Bachelor’s supplementary subject in case your highest priority is not offered. The same applies if your highest priority has restricted admission and not all qualified applicants are admitted. 

Non-permissible combinations of subjects

You cannot take a supplementary subject in the same field as your central subject. The general rule is that you may not choose a Bachelor’s supplementary subject with the same title as your central subject.

If you are supplementing a subject level in the Danish upper secondary school and do not finish the supplementary subject before August, you have to upload the documentation that you are registered for the supplementary subject to your application for admission no later than 1 August. Deadline for uploading documentation for passed supplementary subject is 5 September.

Academic Regulations

As a student it is important to know the regulations for the chosen supplementary subject: what is the content, how is it structured and what does it require from you?

You can find this information in the academic regulation for the bachelor’s supplementary subject:

Structure bachelor

Student Life

Academic life on Critical Data Studies 

Your everyday life as a student on Critical Data Studies involves a combination of lectures, exercises and individual preparation. Project work, critical reflection, designing and imagining are central features in the supplementary subejct. The academic environment is influenced by the diverse academic backgrounds of the students, and the result is a very dynamic and interdisciplinary environment for students of this supplementary subject.

Social life on Critical Data Studies

  • Fredagsbar.dk: The Friday bar at the Katrinebjerg part of AU is a joint venture between students from the departments housed there. Here, you can enjoy cold drinks and hang out with your fellow students from e.g. Media Studies, Information Studies and Digital Design.
  • PANIK: Party All Night In Katrinebjerg. PANIK is a social committee that throws several parties per year for all students at Katrinebjerg.
  • SAIS: SAIS is an Information Studies student association. SAIS organises lectures in relevant topics, company visits and study tours.  

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The supplementary subject acquaints students with digital tools and techniques in relation to data production and processing and unpacking and reflecting on these to understand how they work and what consequences they have. The supplementary subject moves between the micro and macro by including the student’s own experiences with data and their digital objects and zooms out and investigates the larger societal consequences of data. 

The supplementary subject aims to:

  • Build knowledge and enable students to critically reflect on data and datafication.
  • Provide practical experience in data production and analysis via digital methods, including network analysis, data visualization, data analytics etc.
  • Enable students to explore the impact of data and datafication on everyday life and society through curating, speculative design, conceptual discussions, and ethnography.