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Thesis: guidelines

Make yourself familiar with what is expected of a PhD dissertation.

A woman sitting in a office working on a PC. Photo.
Photo: Annica Thomsson

At an early stage

It can be useful to look at what the adjudication committee is asked to evaluate in their report on the dissertation:

The scope of the thesis

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.

  • The thesis can consist of one continuous work or several smaller works.
  • A monograph will normally consist of 200-250 pages.
  • A thesis based on several smaller works or articles shall normally consist of at least 3 works, as well as an introductory chapter/’kappe’
  • 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.

See also the programme plan for the PhD programme at the faculty of Humanities.

Article-based theses

  • Theses that are composed of a number of individual works may be approved as a thesis provided that the parts are related and the relationship between them is clearly explained in an introductory chapter, or in an introduction and a conclusion (known in Norwegian as a ’kappe’).
  • The introductory chapter/’kappen’ of the thesis is not only to summarize but also compile the research questions and conclusions presented in the articles in a holistic perspective.

The Faculty of Humanities' guidelines for article-based theses


If your dissertation is article-based, you may have co-authors on one or several of the articles. In this case the extent of the co-authorship in the individual pieces of work must be identified and documented through declarations from the co-authors. You hand in completed and signed co-author declarations when you submit your thesis for evaluation.

Declaration of co-authorship (in English) (odt)

You can read more about co-authorship at the web pages of the NESH (The Norwegian National Research Ethics Committees)


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.


Accurate information about the sources you have used in your work is important. Here you will find more information about referencing from the University Library.

Reference manager can be a useful tool to handle the large sets of references. PhD on track ( is a resource with information about reference managers and more.


All publications must specify an affiliation to the University of Oslo. This includes externally employed doctoral research fellows.

UiO's affiliation instructions


Published Dec. 21, 2020 10:23 AM - Last modified July 1, 2022 9:59 AM