Third-cycle courses

The third-cycle/doctoral programme includes a course component with the aim to give a general introduction to research and science, in-depth knowledge of the subject, methodological knowledge and skills which are beneficial for the thesis work or what serves as a preparation for a continued research career.

The course component differs between the various general syllabuses associated with each discipline. The general syllabus clearly states which courses constitute the compulsory parts of the doctoral degree.  

Many compulsory courses are arranged by the different research disciplines at the university. However, some courses of common interest are arranged by the Board for Research and Education (FoU-nämnden). 

The planning of the courses should be mutually decided by the student and the supervisor, and temporal planning should be recorded in the individual study plan for the upcoming year. 

Programme components that carry credits

Programme components that carry credits are activities (other than regular courses) that generate credits within the third-cycle programme's course component. These components are normally stated in the general syllabus for each research discipline.

These programme components should be carried out after admission and have to be included in the individual study plan (ISP) in order to be counted as part of the student's third-cycle programme. The examiner appointed to the doctoral student must approve the credits if they are not regulated in the general syllabus. Further, all programme components must be approved by the director of studies associated to each discipline.

Credit transfer

Courses from another university, from previous education or from an education provider outside the university may be subject to credit transfer. According to the Higher Education Ordinance, credit transfer may be possible: ”if the knowledge and skills that the student claims to have are of such kind and scope that they mainly correspond to the education for which they are meant to be creditable. A student may also be credited with the corresponding knowledge and skills that have been acquired in professional activity.” (HF 6 kap, 7 §).

Criteria for courses that can be subject to credit transfer

1. The content of the course should be relevant for the student's education at third-cycle level. It should improve the conditions for carrying out the project component by providing increased knowledge within the subject for the thesis or by serving as preparation within the research profession. The course content that can be credited with (1 to 7.5 credits) shall not have existed in any other course which has been part of or has been credited to the student's education at third-cycle level.
2. The minimum requirement is that the course is at the third-cycle level or at a level that is above the doctoral student's qualification-conferring education within the subject area.
3. The course must be at least on a higher education level if its content is outside the subject area of the student's previous university education.
4. For the possibility to carry out an assessment of the content, scope and learning objectives the course must be thoroughly enough documented.
5. The course must be included in the ISP (the latest revision).

Examples of courses which can be credited with

1. Relevant third-cycle courses at other Swedish universities.
2. Relevant courses at a higher education level in general or specific research methodology above the content of the introductory course.
3. Courses at a higher education level in project management and academic writing.
4. Courses at a research level in the third-cycle subject area.
5. Management courses and teaching-and-learning courses at a higher education level.

Examples of courses which can not be credited with

1. Courses that are included in the qualification for admission to third-cycle programmes.
2. Courses that have the same content as courses already factored into third-cycle programmes.
3. Courses whose content, scope and expected learning outcomes are not documented.
4. Courses where participation/approval is not documented.
5. Courses that are not included in the ISP.

Form for Credit transfer (for a course or other credit-bearing component).