Students may now use AI for Master’s theses and Bachelor’s projects

Aarhus University is relaxing its rules on the use of artificial intelligence. At this stage, however, the new rules only affect students who are submitting their Bachelor’s project or Master’s thesis this summer.

More students at AU will now be able to use ChatGPT and other forms of generative artificial intelligence (GAI) in their exams. The university’s rules have just been amended so that, during the 2024 summer exam season, students can use GAI in the following forms of assessment:

  • Bachelor’s projects
  • Master’s theses
  • Final exams on continuing and further education programmes
  • Exams for which it explicitly states in the course description that students may use generative artificial intelligence

Only the first step

Until now, students were not permitted to use GAI in their exams unless it was explicitly stated in the course description that they could. The university is now relaxing this rule – but initially only for a small group of students, explains the vice-dean for education at Arts, Niels Lehmann:

“We’ve always known that, at some point, we would need to incorporate GAI into our degree programmes. But we must do this in a way that ensures students and teaching staff have a clear framework and guidelines – on a legal, academic and didactic level. We cannot simply open the floodgates at this stage,” explains the vice-dean, who has been leading the working group tasked with exploring the opportunities and challenges posed by the use of AI in education over the past few months.

Not a free pass

The vice-dean is also clear that being able to use GAI does not amount to a free pass. Students must still reflect on and account for the ways they have used the technology, just as they must quote correctly and provide references if they use AI-generated text. This means that, if they choose to include AI-based tools in their work process, they must adhere to strict requirements. They are obliged to:

  • Clearly state how they have used the tool. They must do this in an appendix which they attach to their exam assignment. They must describe how they have used generative artificial intelligence, including their prompting method. For example, whether they have used it in their preparatory work, to answer questions, to search for information, to give them feedback, to critique their work, or to proofread their text.
  • Provide a reference for any text they use that is not their own – and present this text as a citation. This includes text produced by tools based on generative artificial intelligence. 

The Committee on Education is currently working towards a decision on how and when they can relax the rules further so that AI can be used in other types of examination. But these new rules will not come into force until the 2024/2025 winter exam season.

See AU’s general guidelines on exam cheating

Read the rules for using citations:

See examples of how to incorporate AI into classroom teaching on AU Educate: