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Study planning and follow-up

The two most important documents for you as a doctoral student is the general study plan and your individual study plan. These two documents together regulates the education and should be seen as tools for you to reach the goals of the education. Both documents must be established by the University in accordance with chapter 6, §26-29 of the Higher Education Act in order to ensure the quality of your education.

The general study plan

For each subject in which doctoral education is conducted, there is a general study plan that describes the content of the education, its aims and goals, admission requirements, structure, and otherwise regulate how the programme is conducted. The relevant boards are the bodies that decide on and establish the general curricula.

According to university's guidelines for the general study plans for doctoral studies, the plans should contain this information:

  • the main content of the programme and, where appropriate, the literature that is compulsory in the subject
  • the educational programme's main organisation
  • the previous knowledge required and other conditions beyond the basic requirements apply for admission to the programme (special permission)
  • the regulations on selection that apply for admission to the programme
  • the examinations included in the programme
  • where appropriate, the opportunity to complete a part of the education with a licentiate degree

The general study plans for each doctoral programme are linked below:

The individual study plan

The individual study plan (ISP) is an agreement between you as the student, all your supervisors, and your examiner (if applicable) on the content of your doctoral education.  An important part of the beginning of your doctoral education is, along with your principal supervisor, drawing up an individual study plan. The individual plan should be drawn up within three months after your admission and should be reviewed at least once a year. The purpose of the study plan is to be a document that systematises your education activities and follows your progression through the programme. The progression in this context must be seen as more than just "doing things," and must be linked to learning outcomes in the general curriculum.

The study plan includes information about which courses you plan to take beyond those mandatory to your research topic and which courses from those available from the more general, common doctoral courses you choose to take. The plan also contains information about your research work and possibly other points in order to achieve the objectives of the doctoral degree (or licentiate degree).

The study plan must be signed by you and your supervisor and approved by the examiner (in the event you are in a programme that has examiners). Then the study plan and its updates will be formalised by the relevant board for your programme.

In research, and thus doctoral research programmes, there is necessarily an element of unpredictability. It is important, when the unexpected occurs, that you, with your supervisors, discuss the possible need to adjust your individual study plan to the new situation. Any revisions should then be formalised by the relevant board.

If you as a doctoral student have an employer other than the University of Borås, there should also be an approval by the employer that the time for education is allocated within your employment as well as information about how education is funded