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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 - 30 hours of work.

Educational component

You should complete a series of training and research activities which altogether make "the educational component" in your PhD education and which in total should make 30 credits. The educational component consists of both compulsory and elective activities, and they are offered by the Faculty, IMK and external institutions.

Compulsory courses at the Faculty

All PhD candidates must complete the compulsory introduction courses offered by the Faculty of Humanities. The courses give a total of 5 ECTS. 

Thesis Seminars, incl IMK compulsory seminars

The IMK Candidates must attend the following department’s compulsory seminars:

In addition, the candidates shall present his/her text and receive comments twice (on two different seminars) and comment on other texts at least once. The IMK arranges thesis seminars on a regular basis, and you can also present your paper on the seminars arranged by the IMK research groups.   


  • Comments on other candidates' text gives 1 credit. You can comment on other candidates' texts twice. 
  • Presentation of own text gives 1 credit. You should present your text at least two times. 

You can have a total of 6-8 credits in this category, including the mentioned compulsory seminars. 

Elective research training courses (national and international)

If the IMK does not have current training courses, we advise you to check the following:

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 registering for a course.

If the number of credits is not specified in the course program, it will be up to the IMK to estimate it 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 4 (four) ECTS earned from participating in international conferences. Please note that participation in national conferences does not give you credits in this category. Neither an ordinary participation in a conference (without paper presentation) gives credits.

Every activity is evaluated individually, and we encourage our candidates to apply for preliminary approval well in advance before the conference has taken place.

The main criteria and factors are as follows:

  • The paper should be an original paper written for this conference. If you present the same paper on several occasions, the credits will be given only once. 
  • Paper presentations on peer reviewed conferences give up to 2 credits
  • Paper presentations without peer-review (abstracts) give normally 1 credit
  • Poster presentation gives normally 1 credit
  • There can be given extra 1 credit if you present a paper on a workshop/panel session with opponents / discussants providing you with feedback on your paper 
  • There can be given extra 1 credit for participation on a workshop/panel session where you, in addition to paper presentation, act as a discussant, comment or give feedback to others' papers. 

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

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 in the "Courses", with 1 extra credit for the seminar organiser. Please discuss your initiative with the PhD adviser / Head of Research in advance.

Research dissemination (compulsory)

You should have at least 2 (two) credits for dissemination to the general public (not specialist seminars or similar). The Department awards a maximum of 3 credits in this category. You can also earn the credits by participating in the Faculty's dissemination courses.

Examples of dissemination activities: 

  • guest lecture (normally, with original contents made for the occasion, with a length at least 30 minutes) 
  • participation in a public debate (tv, radio, streamed event)
  • opinion piece on the relevant topic (normally, at least 1000 words)
  • blogs and podcasts

All the activities will be individually evaluated, however, please have in mind that in order to get 1 credit, you should have invested around 25 hours in the activity, including preparation

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 and how much credits it will give.

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 and/or can not be included in your educational component, but they might be useful for your career and research in general. Read more on the Faculty's pages. If you want to be sure whether a particular course 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 and Research Support: Katerina Houben 

Handbook for PhD Candidates

Read the handbook (PDF)

Published Mar. 9, 2021 8:33 AM - Last modified May 19, 2022 9:20 AM