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Programme structure - PhD

What makes up the educational component? What is common to everyone and what applies to your department?

Structure of the PhD programme

The PhD programme has a nominal length of study of 3 years. A PhD degree requires admission to a PhD programme, and concludes with a public trial lecture and defence.

In addition to writing a doctoral thesis, PhD Candidates must also complete an educational component equivalent to six months’ work, or 30 credits. The educational component is made up of compulsory activities and elective courses/seminars.


The doctoral programme at the Faculty of Humanities is organised as a single PhD programme, but the faculty’s seven departments are responsible for follow-up of the candidates and the education offered to the candidates.

As a PhD Candidate you can participate in education offered at all departments and also make use of external education.

The education offered on the PhD programme and by the individual departments varies from semester to semester. Information about education for doctoral candidates is regularly updated. Please note that requirements in relation to enrolment, active participation and awarding of credits can vary.

It is important that you familiarize yourself with the provisions that apply to the organised research training at the Faculty of Humanities. The PhD programme is regulated by the:

Supplementary provisions for the PhD programme at the Faculty of Humanities:

1) Educational component

The educational component shall, together with the thesis work, provide an education of a high academic standard and include the completion of a scientific research project, training in the dissemination of academic knowledge and an introduction to research ethics, the philosophy of science and scientific methods.

The nominal length of study of the PhD programme is 3 years. The educational component corresponds to 30 credits.

Credits are allocated based on the ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). Thirty credits correspond to six months’ work, i.e. 750–900 hours. One credit corresponds to 25 to 30 hours of work.

Research courses that are included as part of the educational component must be of such a scope that they are worth at least 1 credit. Half credits are not given.

A candidate’s own efforts and active participation are required in order to be granted credits from the programme’s educational component. A theory syllabus, requirements for submission, presentation of own text, critique of other people’s text, and attendance requirements are all specified for the individual courses (seminar/course/conference).

The PhD Coordinator at the department is responsible for approving individual courses and the candidate's educational component as a whole.

See also the departments’ own requirements for the educational component

Only seminars/courses/conferences/etc. that correspond to a total of 30 credits qualify and are documented as part of the candidate’s educational component.

Structure of the educational component of the PhD programme

Educational component in total: 30 credits (ECTS)

Compulsory part

  • General initial courses, Faculty of Humanities

    Credits (ECTS) in total: 5 
    • Introductory seminar, 2 days. 2 credits (ECTS)
    • Theory of knowledge, 2 days. 2 credits (ECTS)
    • Ethics, 1 day. 1 credits (ECTS)
  • Participation in an international conference

    Credits (ECTS) in total: Min. 4
    • International conference with paper/lecture/abstract. 2-4 credits (ECTS)

  • Dissemination

    Credits (ECTS) in total: Min. 2
    • Dissemination course, feature articles, lectures, other. 1-2 credits (ECTS)

  • Thesis seminar

    Credits (ECTS) in total: 4-8
    • General requirements: Presentation of the candidate’s own text at least twice, comments to other texts at least once.
    • See specifications for each department
  • Mid-term evaluation (compulsory from 2013)

    Credits (ECTS) in total: 0
  • Research training courses

    Credits (ECTS) in total: 8-12
    • Compulsory courses at the department, the smallest course scope is 1 credit

Elective part

  • Elective research training courses

    • Internal and external. The smallest course scope is 1 credit. The scope of credits for elective courses will depend on the number of credits that are committed to compulsory courses. Credits (ECTS): 8-12

  • Courses in general skills/generic courses

    • E.g. English language courses, use of reference tools etc. Credits (ECTS): 0

2) Approval and documentation

Candidates are responsible for obtaining approval and documentation for all credit-bearing participation and for the safekeeping of copies of all documentation throughout their PhD education.

Before submitting the thesis for assessment, candidates must complete the documentation form listing all documented courses, seminars, etc. with details of the title, type of participation, credits etc.

The form must be signed by the PhD Coordinator, who will then confirm that the educational component of the PhD programme has been completed.

Candidates must enclose this form with the application for assessment of the thesis. It is not necessary to attach any additional documentation.

Documentation form (rtf) (in Norwegian only)

3) Studentweb

In the online service Studentweb you can update your contact information, obtain an overview of the information connected to your doctoral agreement, as well as access your registered data.

Other courses must be approved by the department in advance before you can get credit for participating. In Studentweb, you will find your number of approved credits (ECTS), so that you can keep track of your educational component. An overview of completed courses can be found under the tab Status and overview.

For every compulsory course, Studentweb will suggest a semester. If the suggested semester does not fit into your plan, please contact the PhD officer at your Department.

We kindly remind you of the importance of updating your contact information in Studentweb. If not, you risk missing out on important information.

To log in, please use Feide (UiO user name and password). You will find more information here.

If you have trouble logging in, questions regarding functionality or data in Studentweb, please contact the research officer at the faculty.

4) Progress reports

All PhD Candidates are required to submit an annual report to the PhD Coordinator at the department. The deadline is 1 December.

Prior to the reporting deadline, candidates will be notified about how and what to report.

Failure to report will result in the candidate losing their place on the programme.

5) Midway assessment

All candidates on the PhD programme at the Faculty of Humanities are subject to a midway assessment.

The midway assessment is a compulsory part of the PhD programme.

The departments are responsible for conducting midway assessments for candidates employed by the department. This includes candidates with an external employer.

At the start of the programme, the department, candidate and supervisor agree on when the midway assessment will take place, in line with the schedule of work, research trips etc.


The purpose of the midway assessment is to assess the progress of the project in relation to planned completion.

The assessment will identify any measures than may be needed to help complete within the nominal length of study and improve the quality of the research work.

The assessment will take place after some of the work has been done, but early enough to allow for adjustments of direction and progress. The assessment will also provide an opportunity to obtain external input to the project.

The midway assessment will be a central and compulsory part of the department’s follow-up of the candidate, in addition to ordinary supervision, annual progress reports and any one-to-one work dialogues.


The midway assessment committee will normally consist of two academics; one of whom should have no connection to the candidate’s department or immediate research environment.

Academics who participate in the midway assessment are not necessarily disqualified from adjudicating before the public defence, but the department must exercise discretion and caution.

If, during adjudication of the candidate’s completed thesis, the department wants to use a member of the midway assessment committee as a member of the adjudication committee, the department must assess the member’s impartiality and comment on the relationship in the committee proposal.

The candidate presents an outline, schedule of work and, where applicable, a status report to the committee, in addition to a draft text (chapter or article).

Part of the midway assessment can be open to PhD candidates and research groups, but only the candidate, supervisor and committee can attend the summing up and concluding parts of the assessment.

The committee concludes its work with a brief written report, which is sent to the candidate, supervisor and the department’s PhD Coordinator.


6) The thesis

The scope of the doctoral thesis must enable it to be written within the framework of the PhD programme, with a nominal length of study of 3 years net.

The thesis may consist of a single work, or several shorter works.

Read more about the scope, articles and abstracts, language and co-authors.


All PhD Candidates must take part in the faculty’s introduction courses. The courses are compulsory and give a combined total of 5 credits.

Various courses are held that are not necessarily credit-bearing, but which can aid the researcher’s work and provide additional skills, including dissemination courses and writing courses.