Admission to the PhD Programme

Here, you will find general information about procedures you should be aware of when applying for and being admitted to a PhD programme at the Faculty of Educational Sciences. The deadline for applying is twice a year: 1 April and 1 October. Please be aware that you have to send  your application by ordinary mail.

The doctoral programme at The Faculty of Educational Sciences is a key mechanism for developing promising academic talent in our field. Through this programme the Faculty ensures the necessary academic renewal of our academic staff and also makes a major contribution to meeting the increasing demand for educational expertise nationwide.

The Doctoral Programme in Education, Special Needs Education, Language Education, Science Education, Mathematics Education, School development and Learning and ICT leads to the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD).

The doctoral degree programme requires a full three years admission period as a minimum at the Programme.


The Faculty has a specific application form which has to be submitted together with the project description. Attached to the application form, you need to deliver copies of all documents relevant to your application. When it comes to documentation of your previous education, you also need to contact your University and ask them to send the necessary transcripts and diplomas directly to us. This include both the bachelor's degree and the master's degree. You need to inform us of this in your applicattion, and of course be sure that your University will send the documentation to us before the application deadline.

The Faculty must evaluate your diplomas/transcripts  from abroad to decide if you fulfill the admission requirements.

Every applicant has to deliver an application with all the information necessary and asked for. The Faculty does not accept information from an applicant sent after the deadline.

In order to enable us to assess international education in relation to the standards the degrees must meet, the following documentary evidence as a general rule must be enclosed with the application form as well as what is specified above:

  • general information about education (structure and duration of the course of study, demands made on the student during the course of study, description of the marking system, description of the system of credit) in English (official translation)
  • certificate/diploma transcripts of marks showing marks and credits for the individual subjects (if the place of study does not have a fixed credit system, there must be information from the place of study explaining how great a proportion of a full year of study the different subjects constitute)
  • certificate/diploma(s) for the obtained degree(s) sent us from the universities from which you obtained your degrees.

The recognition of external educational qualifications can be demanding in terms of the work involved and it often takes some time. It is therefore necessary to provide good and thorough documentary evidence of the educational qualifications you wish to have recognised. Applications that are not supported by adequate documentary evidence, will be rejected.

Applicants must obtain the documentary evidence themselves.

More details about the specific evaluation criteria:

Qualification requirements

 A: Education - Academic qualifications

To qualify for applying to the programme, the applicant must have successfully completed a higher (post-graduate level) degree, or obtained competence considered equivalent by the faculty. That means that the academic qualifications of the applicant must be at least equivalent to a Norwegian five year higher education culminating in a two year master's degree and must include a master's thesis. A master's degree will thus not always be sufficient preparation. To be considered for admission, the applicant must have an excellent academic record.

On assessing the quality of the applicant's academic qualifications, particular consideration is made of the grade awarded at master's level, and in particular for the master's thesis. Grade points of applicants at post-graduate level should be within the top 25% in the relevant subject. Applicants with grade points in the lower scale for their subject will not qualify for admission.

Applicants with grade points A or B on the ECTS scale will normally satisfy the quality of the earlier education claim for admission to the PhD programme.

B: Project description

Further, applicants for the PhD Programme are required to produce a well-prepared project description covering the necessary scientific research study leading up to the dissertation. The project description needs to be of 5 - 10 pages in length, including the literature list. In the project description an account shall be given of the issues addressed, choice of methods, a progress plan and information about the funding of the project. It is a condition that the plan is well written with all the necessary information and that it is possible for the evaluation committee to read out of the project plan that it is possible for the applicant to finish the research and the dissertation within the nominal time of three to four years.

There will be no possibility to revise the project description when sent the Faculty for evaluation. If the project description is evaluated not acceptable, the applicant has to apply again at a later date.

C: Funding

The applicant also must submit a realistic time schedule and funding plan for the completion of the doctoral study. Documentation for full funding for three years is a presupposition for admission. Application for funding from Norwegian sources is limited and highly competitive. Neither the Faculty nor the Departments have the capacity to give financial assistance to those who want to apply. You have to work this out yourself. More about funding.

D: Capacity and availability of appropriate supervisors

In addition, admission to doctoral studies is dependent on the Department's capacity of bringing forward available and appropriate supervisors for the candidate's research project. It is important to understand that an applicant can not expect contact with a supervisor appointed by the Faculty before admission to our PhD programme.

English Language qualifications:

International applicants are required to have a good command in English for attending the PhD programme. An applicant must document proficiency in English by taking an internationally recognised test. The requirements are the same as for admission to master's degree programmes.

In general:

If it is judged that the project cannot be completed within the planned time frame the application will be refused. It the academic requirements are fulfilled, the applicant nevertheless retains the opportunity to reapply at a later date.

Further you have to inform the Faculty of your funding sources for the minimum of three years and the maximum of five years. The Faculty does not accept private financial support (own saved money, funding by spouse/family, etc) as a basis for admission to the PhD programme.
An application that cannot provide evidence of secure financial support for a three year period will be refused without assessment of the application (research proposal etc). The applicant must document funding for the whole period of the project, so that the project can be completed within a time period.

Supervisor and academic milieu

It is also important to understand that you can not expect a supervisor appointed from the Faculty before an admission on our Ph.D.-programme. Provided an applicant qualifies for admission according to the above criteria the appliccant's choice of supervisor will be considered. Both the applicant's and a prospective supervisor's wishes will be considered, but the committee will also take into consideration the department's/centre's supervising capacity and the workloads of individual supervisors. In some cases the applicant will be offered a different supervisor than the one applied for by the applicant. Normally two supervisors are assigned to a research fellow, a main supervisor and a secondary supervisor. The University of Oso has established some ethical guidelines for supervisors at the Faculties.

The PhD contract

Admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty is formalized in a written contract signed by the PhD candidate, supervisor, basic academic Department and the Faculty. The contract stipulates the rights and obligations of the parties during the admission period (= contract period). The academic supervisor appointed after the point in time when the candidate was admitted must sign the contract immediately after his/her appointment as supervisor. At least one supervisor must be appointed at the time admission is granted. If you are appointed to a research fellowship position at the Faculty, you must also sign a separate employment contract with the Faculty.

Published Oct 26, 2010 07:40 PM - Last modified Feb 22, 2016 07:22 PM