Studying as a Doctoral Student

The four years of doctoral studies provide an education in becoming a researcher. The doctoral student is academically supported by two supervisors and an individual study plan. The programme is regulated by a number of provisions, all of which are based on the Swedish Higher Education Ordinance.

 The duration of a doctoral programme is four years and comprises 240 ECTS credits. Of these credits, 75 credits are for courses, some of which are compulsory and some of which are electives. The doctoral thesis project accounts for 165 ECTS credits.

Doctoral studies are guided by an individual study plan, which is established for each accepted doctoral student. The plan includes the commitments of the university and the doctoral student, as well as a timetable for the doctoral candidate’s course of study. It is to be followed up regularly.

During the first semester, the doctoral student attends obligatory courses – a scientific methods course, an introduction, and in-depth studies within their respective specialisation.

Every doctoral student has at least two supervisors, one of whom is their primary supervisor. Supervisors are appointed at the start of the programme by the Research Director, guided by proposals by the Subject Council. A doctoral student is permitted to request a change of supervisor.

Participation in academic subject and field-specific seminars is compulsory throughout the education period.

To receive a doctoral degree, the candidate must receive a passing grade on their doctoral thesis. Doctoral theses are to be defended orally at a slated public defence. The public defence must be attended by an opponent who is not active at the Swedish Defence University.

More information in General Syllabus for PhD Studies: