PhD programme and licentiate degree
A PhD programme consists of two parts: courses and thesis, forming a total of 240 ECTS credits, in which the doctoral thesis is to account for at least 120 credits. A PhD involves a total of four years of full-time study.
In Sweden a ‘licentiate’ degree equals the completion of half of the coursework, or thesis, required for a full PhD, i.e. a licentiate degree corresponds to two years of full-time study and at least 60 credits have to be awarded for a licentiate thesis. It is equivalent to the MPhil of the British education system.
Funding and financing doctoral studies
In Sweden, the most common form of funding postgraduate study is through appointment to a doctoral studentship position (“doctorandtjänst”) or a doctoral study grant position (utbildningsbidrag”).
In both cases, the University employs the doctoral candidate as a staff member and pays a salary whilst the doctoral candidate undertakes their PhD studies. In return the doctoral candidate provides some departmental and teaching duties (no more than 20% of a full-time position).
To be admitted to doctoral studies, you need to have completed courses for at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits must be for Master’s level studies.
In most cases, students will hold a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree, with a major in the same subject as the intended postgraduate study. The major must include a degree thesis presenting the results of independent research.
The quality of your thesis/theses is of particular importance and it is important that you demonstrate a capacity for independent thinking in this piece of work.
Students must have a very good command of English and you may be asked to include proof of proficiency in the form of a TOEFL or IELTS test, if requested by the individual department.