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Organisation at IMK


The Department is responsible to organize its own courses and seminars, as well as to approve activities and courses taken by the candidate as a part of the PhD's educational component. Credits are awarded 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.

Educational component

All PhD candidates must complete the compulsory introduction courses offered by the Faculty of Humanities (5 ECTS).

In addition, candidates at the Department of Media and Communication must attend the department’s compulsory seminars;

Elective research training courses (national and international)

You may take both UiOs PhD courses and external courses as a part of your PhD training (and get credits for it), provided they are relevant for your research. This is why we strongly advise you to apply for a preliminary approvalbefore you completing your course registration.

If the number of credits is not specified in the course program, it will be estimated on case-by-case basis, depending on the following :

  • Requirements for the syllabus to be read before/after the course.
  • Requirements for active participation and an original paper (as different from presenting a text from your draft thesis)
  • Attendance of any senior researchers, and the ration between seminars and teaching.

Please note that the duration of the course has no effect on the number of credits; but the contents does.

International conferences and seminars (compulsory)

You should have at least four ECTS earned from participating in international conferences (1-4 days). Please note that participation in Norwegian national conferences does not give you credits in this category.

Normally, the participation and paper presentation are credited with 1 ECTS each, i.e. you will be given a maximum of 2 credits per conference. The number of credits depends on:

  • Whether you will present a paper (+), and whether the paper is an original paper written for this course (+) or is a project presentation/previously presented paper (-)
  • Whether there is an opponent and close follow-up of your paper within a workshop framework (+) or a more open, international conference with sessions (-)

Please note that the duration of the conference has no effect on the number of credits. 

Thesis Seminar (compulsory)

Candidates shall present his/her text and receive comments twice (on two different occasions) and comment on other texts at least once. 

Comments on other candidates' text gives 2 credits. You can comment on other candidates' texts twice (max 4 points). 

Presentation of own text gives 2 credits (max 4 points).

You can have a total of 6-8 credits in this category. 

Courses initiated by candidates

You are welcome to suggest a topic and develop a program for a 1–2 day seminar/course provided you have a certain number of participants, and that you organize and coordinate the practicalities (program, invitations, follow up). Normally, the participant list would include other PhD students (4–7 participants is a good number) as well as a senior researcher to read and respond or teach/give a lecture. Credits for participation are given as specified above, with an extra credit for the seminar organiser.

Research dissemination (compulsory)

You should have at least two credits for dissemination to the general public (not specialist seminars or similar), and the department awards up to 3 credits in total. You can earn the credits by participating in the Faculty's dissemination courses or by dissemination activities (public debate participation, blogs, opinion piece on the relevant topic etc.). We suggest that you discuss the appropriate fora for dissemination with your supervisor. If you have any questions please contact the department. It is the Head of Phd who has the final say on whether the particular activity can be regarded as a dissemination activity within the educational component.

Generic courses

Both the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Social Sciences offer various generic courses / skill courses in languages, writing, publishing,  etc.  Some of them do not generate credits, but are still useful for your career and research. Read more on the Faculty's pages. If you want to be sure whether the course, you are planning to take, can be a part of your educational component, please contact us at the IMK. 

Your PhD - your responsibility

As a PhD candidate, you are responsible for keeping track of what you are participating in, how many credits you get and whether you have these courses approved as a part of your educational component. You should also order and keep all the necessary documentation that proves your participation in the mentioned activities, including the certification of the ECTS you receive.

We encourage you to apply for a preliminary approval before you register on courses or similar. Otherwise, you might have a situation when the course is not approved, and you will have to enroll in another. These applications are sent to the Head of PhD research via the following form

We recommend that you take the most of the courses during the first two years of your PhD studies, and that all the activities are completed and approved six months before the planned submission, at the latest.  This will help you to focus on the writing when you really need it.

Please remember that the documentation of your educational component must be completed and signed by the Head of PhD at the Department before the submission. You upload this form together with your thesis, see more information on the Faculty's pages.


Phd Coordinator: Petter Bae Brandtzaeg

Handbook for PhD Candidates

Read the handbook (PDF)

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Published June 17, 2015 4:08 PM - Last modified Mar. 9, 2021 8:33 AM