Academic experience

What you experience at Copenhagen Business School will be new territory to you if you have never studied in Denmark before arriving at CBS, which is why we would like to provide an introduction to the academic aspects of studying here.

 CBS Exchange

The focus of university education in Denmark is not learning by heart, but acquiring valuable skills and knowledge for your future carrier – critical thinking skills and independent thought are highly valued, and you will have both the opportunity and responsibility for making the most out of your education at CBS.

Teaching format
Studying at CBS you will most likely encounter a different academic culture than you are used to in your home country. Studying in Denmark you will be responsible for your own learning, and find that you have to manage your own time wisely in order enhance your learning outside the lectures as well. 
Guidelines for attendance

As a general rule there is no mandatory attendance for teaching activities at CBS. However, for some courses you are required to participate actively during class in order to be registered for the exam. If there are special requirements for the course, these will appear from the course description. Class attendance is not recorded and please also be aware that class attendance does not count toward your final grade either. You grades are neither improved by class attendance, nor are your grades reflected by non-attendance. Your grades are based on your exams 100%.

Attend the teaching activities

Although attendance is not mandatory, we recommend that you participate in teaching activities. If you choose, for example, to take a holiday in a teaching or exam period, it is your responsibility to catch up on what you miss. We therefore recommend planning your holiday outside teaching periods. 

It is your responsibility to get what you want out of your programme. We recommend that you prepare for classes and that you participate actively – for your own sake, not for your lecturer’s sake.

Make use of your lecturers

Your lecturers are your sparring partners and inspirators. Many students do not make full use of their lecturers or are perhaps afraid to ask 'silly' questions. Your lecturers are committed to their field, and they would love to have active and inquisitive students. So do speak to them if there is something you do not understand or need sparring for.

You can contact your lecturers via email or make use of their office hours. Find their contact information and specific office hours on Learn.

Rules for recording classes

As a general rule, you are not allowed to record teaching activities, lectures and the like at CBS. However, you are allowed to make sound recordings provided that you have written permission to do so. If you make recordings without permission it will be reported to the president.

Exam formats

As a student at CBS, you can expect to have any of the following exam types:

  Written exam Combination written and oral exam Oral exam
Home Written project/ assignment/ case    
Home & on-campus  

1) Oral exam based on written assignment

2) Oral exam based on written assignment and curriculum

On-campus exam

Written exam

1) With aids

2) Without aids


1) Based or not based on written synopsis

2) With or without preparation

3) With or without aids

Oral exams

For most inbound students oral exam is a new encounter. An oral exam on the basis of a written project is made up of two parts; both are taken into account when your grade is determined:

  • A written project you have turned in before the exam. This could be a synopsis, a case project or a paper, and it can be written individually or in a group.
  • ​An oral exam that can be a defence of the written product, a broader examination in the curriculum or a combination of both. The oral exam can be held either individually or as a group exam.
An oral exam is an examination in the curriculum:
  • Can start out with you giving a presentation you have prepared in advance.
  • Takes the form of a dialogue between you and the examiners.
  • All of your curriculum can be included in the discussions.
Typically your oral presentation will have the most weight in the assessment.
You should always read up on the exam form in the course description. If you are unsure, you could also speak with your lecturer about it.
You are welcome to see our videos about oral exams under Exams
Group work
Group work is a very important part of the Danish way of teaching. It increases social skills and prepares for jobs in the real world. Most programs at CBS include considerable amounts of project work, even some exams are presented as a group. 
When working in groups you are expected to:
  • Listen and build on other students' perspectives.
  • Show flexibility, adaptability and ability to cooperate.
  • Learn how to work with different personalities and match expectations.
  • Discuss and agree.
Exam aids
To find out which exam aids are allowed during the exam, you check the course description the course catalog for the relevant course in question. Depending on the exam form, students will have access to various exam aids during the exam. The exam can be with or without exam aids. 

There are three different types:
  • No aids – closed book
  • Limited aids
  • All aids – open book
For more information, please see this FAQ about exam aids
For a written sit-in exam which according to the course description is an open book exam: all written and electronic aids, including internet access this applies.
For a written sit-in exam which according to the course description is an exam with limited aids this applies

You will automatically be registered for all exam attempts in the courses you are registered for. If you do not pass an exam, you will automatically be registered for the next exam attempt, regardless of whether you fail to pass, you do not show up, or you withdraw due to illness.
You have 3 exam attempts in total to pass each course. If you do not pass your 3rd attempt you can apply for an exemption for a 4th attempt.
More details are available on our student intranet.
Student academic counseling

During the course of studies at Copenhagen Business School, you may encounter several sorts of new circumstances and CBS is happy to provide you help.

Exchange students

You are always welcome to come to the international programme coordinators at the International Office for advice. Questions should be addressed to or, for the respective level of studies. 

  • Anette Hove Cox and Lotte Vesterlund Hansen, undergraduate exchange students advisors
  • Catherine Layolle, graduate exchange students advisors

We will be able to guide you in most situations but as we are not professional counselors we advice you to contact the Student Counselling Service if you need help with issues such as exam anxiety, study techniques, depression, etc. 

International degree-seeking students

The Study Board of each program at CBS hires an older student to guide students through different problems that might arise throughout the study. The Academic Counselor participates in Study Board meetings and, therefore, has knowledge about how the Study Board handles different situations that may be useful for you to know about. Since the Academic Counselor is a student himself, s/he will often be able to advise you, as s/he may know how other students have solved similar problems. The Academic Counselor is subject to professional discretion.

If you need further help with exam anxiety, study techniques, depression, etc., please contact the Student Counselling Service.

The Danish Grading Scale

The Danish grading scale is compatible with the grading scale of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).

In order to help our partner schools understand the grades that their students have received while on exchange at CBS, we have compiled the distribution of grades given during the academic year 2020-21.

If you are applying to CBS as an international full-degree student, please visit the CBS Admission Office website for Bachelor or Master students to read more about the conversion of grades from your home country.



The page was last edited by: The International Office // 04/08/2022