Thesis Desk a.k.a. Specialeplads

Hello Everyone!

It’s been a long time since I last wrote a blog post, and my excuse is that I have to write for my job, I had to write for my internship, and now I’m writing my MA thesis – please forgive me for not wanting to write in my free time too!

But I have something important to tell you, so I am forcing my brain to direct my fingers to type some more words on a screen.

The important thing I want to tell you is that when you are writing your thesis, you can get your own, personal, on-campus desk/study area. It’s called a specialeplads in Danish (speciale = thesis, plads = place/desk/space/seat) and according to the university the English translation is “study carrel”, but I have never once heard anyone call it that out loud.

Whatever it is called by the university, for many of us writing our thesis it is our second home/safe space/prison. I try to sit at this desk for 4-6 hours, 2-3 days a week because there’s something about the environment that encourages productivity and focus. It also makes it easier to keep my thesis from taking over my entire life, since I can leave my books and notes here on campus.

20 cozy desks, as seen from my slightly-warped perspective

My student card gives me access to the room 24/7, and while I feel safe leaving my stuff on the desk (only 20 students have access to the room), there are also lockers in the hallway outside that I could use if I wanted.

I applied for this desk back in October and got access to it midway through January. The application procedure depends on your study program, but for Arts students it involves going to your student self-service portal (STADS) and applying for the desk like you would apply for a course. You can read more about the process here:

Not every person who applies for a desk gets one, but the vast majority do, and it’s definitely something you should keep on your radar if you will be writing your thesis soon. Even if you don’t know whether or not you want a desk, I think you should apply for one. If you get one and decide you don’t want it, you can always tell the university to give it to someone on the waiting list.

Now it’s time for me to get back to work!


About the author: Phoebe is a Californian who fell in love with Denmark and decided to come back by any means necessary. Currently, those means include studying for an M. A. in Linguistics. 


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