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Competences can be divided into three types:

Your competences

General academic competences

You acquire the general academic competencies when you work with different academic challenges and tools. In your study, it is often not the product you are judged on, but rather whether you are able to critically relate to and reflect on the process you have been through. Including how you have specifically approached challenges towards the product.

What are your general academic competencies?
With your education, you achieve the following general academic competencies:

  • be able to delimit, define and analyze an academic problem using relevant academic theories and methods
  • be able to systematize complex knowledge and data as well as select and prioritize matters that are significant to the topic
  • be able to critically evaluate the various theories and methods of the subject
  • have a precise and consistent application of concepts and be able to engage in dialogue and argue on a basic theoretical basis
  • take a critical stand on sources and document them
  • convey professional issues and solution models so that it becomes relevant and understandable for different target groups
  • be able to handle complex and development-oriented situations and enter into a collaboration, including being able to receive and give constructive criticism
  • be able to work independently, disciplined, structured and purposeful, including also being able to meet deadlines and formalities

You can read more about your general academic competencies in your curriculum.

Subject specific competences

The subject specific competences are the competences that are unique to your programme. They are the ones that separate your professionalism from other programmes’ professionalism, If you’d like a career in research or teaching in your field, then it is among other the subject specific competences you’ll be drawing on.

In your curriculum it is described that you, among others, will acquire the following subject specific competences:


  • can analyse a broad field within American culture, history and politics and communicate both broadly and specifically about American affairs.  
  • has solid insight into,  and an ability to utilise, theories from American studies, as well as methods and practises.  
  • is capable of doing thurough information search an work goaloriented and analytically with concrete problems that is relevant to societal and business affairs in the USA.
  • has fundamental knowledge about USA's international relations, and a more specifik insight into transatlantic relations.
  • gains tools to a solve tasks in both the private and public sector: the corporate world, media, cultural institutions, the educational sector and NGOs.
Personal competences
Your personal competences are about the way you approach a task and how you approach human relationships. For example, you may be particularly good at collaborating, making decisions or working in a structured way.

Your personal competences thus describe your qualities as a person, which has a great influence on how you carry out your work and how you collaborate with others.

It is a good idea to practice putting your personal skills into words. Once you are clarified, you are more attractive to a potential employer. You can better present yourself and assess whether a type of job or workplace is right for you.

Employers are often also at least as interested in hearing about who you are and what motivates you as what you have read.

What are your personal competences?
You can consider how you typically approach a task and approach collaboration as it will tell something about your personal competences. Try to do the following exercise concretely:


Think back to the last time you participated in a project work:

- How did you approach the process from the start?
- What went well?
- What went less well?
- What personal competencies in you were the reason for the things that went well?

It is important that you reflect on the process you go through while acquiring knowledge and competences – both on and off campus.

Employers are highly interested in learning about how you work with a concrete task and solve the challenges you encounter in your life.

The employer is hiring you, not your diploma!

 Therefore, it is very important that you are able to describe how you approach problem solving.

Test your competences in practice
The best way of gaining an understanding of how to apply your knowledge on the job market is to test it in practice during your course of study. You can also do it by through volunteerwork, projects or student jobs, hereby establishing a profesisonal network.

Do you need help figuring out what you can do or want to do?

➤Contact the career guidance.