Programme plan - PhD at The Faculty of Humanities
§Programme plan for the PhD programme in humanities at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Oslo
Adopted by the Board of the Faculty of Humanities 8 March 2013.
1 Name, scope, and goals of the PhD programme and qualification awarded
1.1.1 The PhD programme in humanities
1.1.2 The PhD programme has a nominal duration of 3 years.
The educational component corresponds to six months’ work or 30 credits.
1.1.3 Degree that can be achieved: Philosophiae doctor (PhD)
1.1.4 Basis for the conferral of the degree
The PhD degree is conferred on the basis of:
- completion of the programme’s educational component
- a scientific thesis
- a PhD examination
The PhD examination includes a trial lecture and a disputation (public defence of the thesis), cf. Section 2 of the Regulations for the Degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the University of Oslo.
1.1.5 Goals of the PhD programme
The PhD programme shall educate independent researchers of high international standard in the field of humanities, in accordance with recognized scientific and ethical principles. The education shall qualify candidates for research and other work requiring high levels of scientific insight and analytical thinking.
1.1.6 Learning outcome – knowledge, skills and general competence
After completion of the programme, the candidates are at the forefront of their discipline. The PhD graduates possess insight into and a grasp of key issues related to the philosophy of science and research ethics, and they have mastery of the research methods employed in their field. They are able to assess the appropriateness and application of various methods and processes in research and development projects, and can contribute to the development of new knowledge, new theories, methods and interpretations in their discipline.
PhD graduates are able to formulate scientific lines of inquiry and plan research and development work. They can undertake research and scientific development work of a high international standard. They can engage in complex discipline-related issues and challenge established knowledge and practices in their academic field. Furthermore, PhD graduates can supervise others who undertake research work related to their own academic field.
PhD graduates can identify relevant issues pertaining to ethics, and undertake their research in accordance with established codes of conduct and principles for good research practices.
PhD graduates can participate in, and contribute to, development of their own academic environment.
PhD graduates can communicate research results through recognized and relevant channels. They can participate in debates within their academic field through international forums and can communicate knowledge and research results to various audiences, inside and outside academia.
A PhD graduate can identify and communicate the relevance of research for the development of knowledge and social progress.
2 Admission to the programme
2.1 Admission requirements
To be admitted to the PhD programmes at the University of Oslo, an applicant must have completed at least five years of higher education (i.e. a master's degree or equivalent), or equivalent studies that have been recognized by the Faculty as forming a sufficient basis for admission. In their respective PhD programmes, the faculties may stipulate additional requirements for admission, cf. Section 5.1. of the Regulations for the Degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the University of Oslo.
2.1.2 Specifically for the Faculty PhD programme
To be admitted to the Faculty’s PhD programme, and applicant must normally have completed a five-year master’s degree or equivalent studies. In particular cases, the Faculty may grant admission on the basis of a one-year master’s programme, after an assessment of the scope and quality of the studies completed.
Applications are assessed according to the following criteria:
- Qualifications: The applicant’s academic background and grades, study progression, time since graduation and relevant academic activities.
- Project quality: The scientific quality of the project, relevance for research and innovation, academic relevance to research groups at the Faculty of Humanities, affiliation with academic networks outside the Faculty and feasibility within the framework of the PhD programme and the position as a PhD candidate.
- Applicants must have command of spoken and written English.
A precondition for admission of candidates is that the programme can provide supervisory competence and capacity within the field in which the candidate will write his/her thesis.
The programme is open to interdisciplinary projects based on one or more of the scientific disciplines encompassed by the programme. Candidates with projects within adjacent fields or disciplines can be admitted to the programme on the basis of individual evaluation.
The admission period for the PhD programme will normally be 3 years.
2.2 Application deadline
Candidates can apply for admission to positions as a PhD Candidate announced by the Faculty or one of the Faculty’s units, or apply for admission on the basis of external funding.
2.3 Requirements to the project description
The project description must be prepared according to the Faculty’s template.
The project description must give an account of:
the project’s main goal; the project’s background; the project’s relevance to research at the Faculty of Humanities; theoretical framework; research problems/questions and expected results (hypotheses); methods; plan for dissemination of the PhD project; and a plan of progress.
3 Structure and content of the PhD programme
3.1 Content of the PhD programme
The programme encompasses an educational component and a thesis. The content of the educational component, in combination with the work on the thesis, shall ensure the necessary depth and breadth of academic knowledge.
3.1.2 Specifically for the Faculty PhD programme
The PhD programme encompasses research training in disciplines included in the sciences taught by the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Oslo.
Training for the doctoral degree is organized in a PhD programme.
Each department is responsible for providing their candidates with relevant training options. The general part of the training programme is provided by the Faculty.
3.2 Requirements to the content of the educational component
The educational component shall correspond to at least 30 credits, whereof at least 20 credits shall be earned after admission.
In combination with the work on the thesis, the educational component shall provide training of a high academic standard. The candidates shall complete a scientific project, obtain training in dissemination and an introduction to research ethics, the philosophy of science and research methodology, cf. Section 8 in the Regulations for the Degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the University of Oslo.
3.2.2 Specifically for the Faculty PhD programme
The educational component shall normally encompass the philosophy of science and methodology, research ethics, a thesis seminar and training in communication. The requirements to the candidates’ training programme are specified in the Supplementary rules pertaining to the PhD programme.
3.3 Compulsory programme components
The candidates must:
- obtain training in research ethics, philosophy of science and research methodology
- submit annual progress reports
- prepare an independent research project of international standard
- hold a trial lecture
- defend their thesis in a public disputation
3.3.2 Specifically for the Faculty PhD programme
Requirements to participation, requirements to distribution of credits and provisions pertaining to mandatory elements are specified in the Supplementary rules pertaining to the Faculty’s PhD programme.
Completion of the educational component must be documented. The person responsible for the department’s PhD programme approves the educational component and external courses that are to be given specific recognition as part of the educational component.
The basis for allocation of credits is the ECTS. 30 credits correspond to six months’ work, i.e. approximately 750-900 hours. One credit corresponds to 25-30 hours of work.
All candidates are required to submit a progress report.
3.4 Academic environment
Upon admission, the candidates shall be affiliated with one of the Faculty’s departments. The department must ensure that the candidate is integrated into a relevant and active research environment.
3.4.2 Programme specific
Admission implies that the candidate may be affiliated with an active research community with national and international networks.
3.5 Requirements to supervision
All candidates shall normally have two supervisors with a PhD degree or equivalent competence.
The candidates shall receive individual supervision.
The candidate and the supervisors must maintain contact at regular intervals.
The remit of the supervisors includes providing advice and furthering discussions and assessments related to the preparation of the thesis, cf. Section 7 of the Regulations for the Degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the University of Oslo.
The supervisors shall counsel the candidate on issues of research ethics associated with the thesis.
The supervisors shall ensure that the PhD candidate participates in an active research community.
3.5.2 Specifically for the Faculty PhD programme
In addition to the main supervisor, the candidates shall have one or more co-supervisors.
Normally, the main supervisor must be employed by the Faculty. Candidates who have a main supervisor at another institution shall have a Faculty employee as co-supervisor. The distribution of responsibilities between the main supervisor and the co-supervisor is to be clarified at the commencement of the supervisory relationships.
The candidate and the supervisor(s) are obligated to keep each other informed about all conditions that impinge on the implementation of the supervision.
The supervisor shall, inter alia:
- assist the candidate with academic advice and practical planning of the work, so that the project can be completed within the framework of the PhD programme.
- assist the candidate in the formulation and delimitation of the topic and the research problem.
- assist the candidate with guidance towards the academic literature and sources of data (libraries, archives etc.).
- ensure that the candidate is integrated into relevant academic communities and affiliated with national and international networks.
- stay informed about the progress of the candidate’s work and assess it in relation to the work plan.
- provide the candidate with guidance on issues of research ethics pertaining to the thesis.
- take the initiative for discussions with the candidate on how well the supervision process functions.
- in their work adhere to the Ethical Guidelines for Supervisors at the University of Oslo, adopted by the Senate on 10 June 1997.
The PhD candidate shall, inter alia:
- plan his/her work to ensure that the project can be completed within the framework of the PhD programme.
- submit reports or draft versions of the thesis, or parts of the thesis, to the supervisor every six months as a minimum, unless otherwise agreed with the supervisor. Parts of the thesis may be submitted in the context of seminars or group tutorials.
- abide by all agreements concluded with the supervisor regarding submissions, supervision, participation in seminars etc..
- in their work adhere to principles of research ethics applicable to the subject area.
If a PhD candidate or a supervisor finds that the other party fails to adhere to his/her obligations, the party who claims that such a violation has occurred is obligated to raise this issue with the other party. The candidate and the supervisor shall make a concerted effort to find a solution to the situation that has occurred.
A PhD candidate shall normally receive 14 hours of supervision each year for a period of up to 3 years.
The candidate is not entitled to supervision beyond the period of admission.
4 The thesis
4.1 Form and content of the thesis
The thesis shall constitute an independent research work that complies with international standards regarding its academic level, methodology and ethical requirements. It shall help develop new academic knowledge and have an academic standard indicating that it can be published as part of the scientific literature of the discipline, cf. Section 12 of the Regulations for the Degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the University of Oslo.
4.1.2 Specifically for the Faculty PhD programme
The scope of a PhD thesis should be such that it can be completed within the framework of the PhD programme, nominally 3 years net time for research training. A PhD thesis will normally consist of 200-250 pages (550-700,000 characters).
The thesis can consist of one continuous work or several smaller works. A thesis based on several smaller works (articles) shall normally consist of at least 3 works, as well as an introductory chapter. In case of co-authorship, the thesis shall normally encompass more than 3 works. The candidate shall normally be the sole author of at least one of the contributions. The introductory chapter shall explain the candidate's independent contributions to each article, and if the norm of at least one sole-authored article is deviated from, a more comprehensive introductory chapter is expected. The candidate must be sole author of the introductory chapter.
4.1.3 Language of the thesis
It is recommended to write the thesis in English or in the language which is considered as having the highest academic relevance. The Faculty decides what languages are permissible for a thesis. If the candidate wishes to write the thesis in a language other than Norwegian or English, he/she must apply for specific permission upon admission to the PhD programme.
5.1 Adjudication committee
An application for evaluation of the thesis, cf. Section 12 of the Regulations for the Degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the University of Oslo, must be submitted to the Faculty. An expert adjudication committee is appointed to evaluate the thesis and the PhD examination, cf. Section 13 of the Regulations for the Degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the University of Oslo.
6 The PhD examination
6.1 Trial lecture
The purpose of the trial lecture is to test the candidate’s ability to acquire knowledge beyond the topic of the thesis and communicate this in a lecture situation. The title of the trial lecture is determined by the adjudication committee, cf. Section 18.1 of the Regulations for the Degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the University of Oslo.
The disputation (defence of the thesis) is open to the public and must take place at the University of Oslo, cf. Section 18.2 of the Regulations for the Degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the University of Oslo.
7 Diploma and diploma supplement
The doctoral diploma is issued by the University of Oslo, cf. Section 20 of the Regulations for the Degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the University of Oslo.
7.2 Diploma supplement
7.2.1 The diploma supplement is issued by the Faculty, cf. Section 20 of the Regulations for the Degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the University of Oslo, and shall contain information regarding:
- the content of the educational component
- the date and title of the trial lecture
- the date of the disputation
- the title of the thesis
- collaboration with other institutions, if applicable
8 Quality assurance
8.1 Evaluation scheme pertaining to the PhD programme
UiO’s quality assurance system shall help ensure that the PhD candidates complete theses of a high academic standard, and that the training is completed within a period of time which is as close to the nominal time as possible. The system shall also help ensure that the PhD theses from the University of Oslo comply with good research practices and applicable regulations.
PhD candidates and supervisors shall each submit annual progress reports for the PhD project. At the same time, they shall participate in evaluations of the PhD programmes, which are undertaken every five years, as well as in evaluations of the learning environments, which are undertaken every three years.
In their annual plans and reports, the faculties shall give an account of measures and improvements that have been planned and implemented with regard to the PhD programme.