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Rules and regulations

Information about the regulation of doctoral education based on The Swedish Higher Education Act, and Rules and Regulations for Doctoral Studies at University of Gothenburg.

1. General
2. Funding, call, selection, admission, and employment
3. Generic Syllabus
4. Individual Study Plan
5. Supervision
6. Courses
7. Follow up and revision
8. Doctoral degree, and Licentiate degree
9. Organisation
10. Miscellaneous

1. General

The education towards a doctoral degree is normally completed on a full-time basis over four academic years (240 ECTS), with a possibility to complete a licentiate degree after two years (120 ECTS). For part-time students, the study time is extended, in proportion to the reduced study intensity, with a maximum of eight years. Doctoral education consists of courses, which are examined gradually, and by research work leading to a licentiate dissertation / doctoral dissertation. The subject for the individual project is chosen in consultation with the supervisor in connection to admission or as soon as possible thereafter.

Subject areas:

  • Informatics / Information Systems
  • Cognitive Science
  • Applied Information Technology towards Educational Sciences

2. Funding, call, selection, admission, and employment


Admission of a doctoral student may only take place if full funding can be secured for the entire education. As a general rule, doctoral studies are to be funded primarily through employment as a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg, or within a framework where the University of Gothenburg does not serve as employer (external position).


A position as employed doctoral student must be announced in competition. The announcement shall enable increased international recruitment. A position shall be announced during a period of minimum three weeks. Only requirements specified in the Higher Education Ordinance, and the general syllabus may be used in the announcement. Exceptions from these rules may be made when admitting a doctoral student funded by an external employer.


Selection of a doctoral student shall be based on the generic and specific requirements stipulated in the generic syllabus, as well as the assessment of the applicant's ability to assimilate a doctoral education.


Head of department decides on admission. Upon admission, the department shall ensure that an individual study plan is created. Admission may only take place if full funding can be secured for the entire education period (see section 2). A doctoral student will generally be admitted towards a doctorate as a goal. Applicants who are admitted to a PhD degree may, upon application, complete their degree with a licentiate degree.


In the case of a PhD student, the doctoral student may participate in departmental work up to 20%. Departmental work should be designed to be a merit for the PhD student. It may consist of teaching, project management and / or administrative duties. Also work on developing applications for research funding can be counted as departmental work. Departmental work shall extend the study time accordingly. Departmental work must be specified in the student's individual study plan.

3. General Syllabus

See left column

4. Individual Study plan

See left column.

5. Supervision and resources

A doctoral student shall have access to continuous contact with supervisors for discussion and feedback during the progress of the thesis. The doctoral student has the right to such resources as may be deemed necessary in order to be able to complete the education satisfactorily. The necessary resources include access to a workplace at the department, and with the right to use the departments common equipment and services.

6. Courses

See left column.

7. Follow up and revision

The education of the Doctoral students, and the quality of the doctoral education are regularly monitored. The Individual study plan is an important instrument in the follow-up of the progression of the doctoral student, and it is done through talks with the doctoral student, the supervisor, and staff responsible for doctoral education. Another important part of the doctoral student’s progression are the three formal seminars taking place in the beginning (planning seminar), middle (half way seminar), and at the end of the education (final seminar).

Practical guidelines for the formal seminars:
Planning seminarHalfway seminarFinal seminar

8. Doctoral examination and licentiate examination

The licentiate dissertation shall be defended at a public seminar. The department decides that a licentiate seminar may take place, and appoints the opponent. The Deputy Head of Research and Doctoral Education shall receive a notification from the principal supervisor six weeks prior to the planned date of the seminar. The doctoral examiner is usually the chairman of the seminar. Special opponent shall be appointed and he or she is usually external. The licentiate seminar shall be announced with three weeks’ notice, and the dissertation shall be available at that point.

The doctoral dissertation shall be publicly defended. The IT Faculty decides that a doctoral dissertation may be held, and appoints the chairman, opponent and the grading committee. The basis for decision is sent to the faculty office six weeks before the planned date of the defense. The basis for decision is prepared by the department through the Deputy Head of Research and Doctoral Education, principal supervisor, and the doctoral examiner.

9. Organisation

The doctoral education is led by the Deputy Head of Research and Doctoral Education, in dialogue with the faculty of supervisors and doctoral examiners, and with practical support from the department coordinator, and the administrative officer of doctoral education.

10. Miscellanous

Reference is made to applicable laws and regulations governing higher education at Swedish universities, and to the general rules for doctoral students at University of Gothenburg.


Page Manager: Peter Larsson|Last update: 9/5/2019

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