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Programme structure - PhD

The organized research training consists of an educational component with courses and seminars equivalent to a minimum of 30 credits, and work on a thesis. The educational component will also provide experience with academic dissemination. The nominal period of research work associated with an academic thesis (doctoral thesis) is 2.5 years.


The PhD programme

The education will qualify students for research activity and other employment in which the expected standard of scientific insight and analytical thinking is high. The PhD degree is awarded on the basis of a:

  • completed educational component
  • scientific thesis
  • PhD examination

The PhD examination consists of a trial lecture and public defence of the thesis, also called a disputation.

The organized research training at the Faculty of Educational Sciences is set up as a single PhD programme with three programme options (Education, Special Needs Education and Subject Didactics).

As a PhD candidate, you can participate in the education offered at all departments and you can also make use of external education.

The education offered on the PhD programme may vary from semester to semester. Information about education for doctoral candidates is updated regularly. Please note that requirements regarding enrolment, active participation and awarding of credits can vary.

It is important that you familiarize yourself with the provisions regarding the organized research training at the Faculty. The PhD programme is regulated by the:

Educational Component

The educational component is tailored to the candidate to some extent, and is intended to be built around the candidate’s needs in relation to the research.

The educational component will be the equivalent of a minimum of 30 credits, and will include a course in philosophy of science and ethics, a course in qualitative and quantitative methods, and specialization courses.

The faculty has revised the programme plan with effect from 01.06.2018. The courses will be given in more predetermined intervals and at a given semester. The professional offer of courses and seminars may nevertheless vary, as the faculty will also offer a course in connection with stays by visiting researchers etc.

If you take a course outside the Faculty of Educational Sciences, you must apply for it to be incorporated into the educational component. Familiarize yourself with the requirements regarding the educational component, and discuss your plans with your supervisors. Read more about research courses here.

The Faculty of Educational Sciences’ own candidates sign up for courses using StudentWeb. Candidates who have not been admitted to the programme at the faculty must sign up using an online form. Further details can be found in course descriptions.

Courses that form part of the educational component must not be older than two years on the admission date. Together with the work on the thesis, the educational component must provide the necessary academic breadth and specialization.

Framework of the educational component:

The compulsory elements of the educational component will not be linked to specific courses but topics. Topics are organized into groups of 10 credits x 3. This gives the following breakdown:

Compulsory topics/subjects

The Research seminar:                                             2 credits

Philosophy of Science:                                              5 credits 
Research Ethics:                                                       3 credits         

Methodology:                                                            10 credits


Total compulsory topics/subjects                          = 20 credits
Total elective component                                     = 10 credits (sp)
Total educational component                           = 30 credits (sp)

Further information about the educational component can be found at the dedicated information page or in the programme plan

Research seminar

Participation in the research seminar is a mandatory part of the research education, and such participation must be carried out during the first two years of the fellowship period. The intention of the research workshops is to provide for closer follow-up of the PhD fellows throughout the first two years, as well as to create frameworks for academic collaboration.

During the first semester, the candidate's project plan will be presented and discussed. During the seminar, candidates will also have prepared a response to at least one project proposal. Mid-term assessment must be conducted before the candidates can have credits approved for the research seminar. The mid-term assessment can be carried out as an integral part of the seminar, but it can also be carried out outside this framework. In addition to their own project presentation, candidates must participate in a minimum of six gatherings during the research seminar, and must have undergone mid-term assessment to get the seminar approved. The supervisor meets when the candidate has a presentation of the project plan/independent research plan. In line with current practice, the mid-term assessment is organized in cooperation with the research education coordinator.

The number and duration of meetings are at least 3 two-hour meetings per semester. The project presentation during the first semester is a key element of the research seminar as it is very important that the fellows relatively quickly develop and specify the project plan for which they were admitted to the programme. Project presentations and mid-term assessments are also key elements of the seminar. In addition, it may be appropriate to address relevant academic topics, or more generic themes, such as conference presentations/poster presentations.

The seminar leader(s) will report participation in the seminar to programme manager after each semester.

The Thesis

The thesis will be an independent, scientific work that meets international standards in terms of ethical requirements, academic level and methods. Requirements for theses are stipulated in the rules. Theses at the Faculty of Educational Sciences are normally written in Norwegian or English. Further information about the thesis.


Work on the thesis is supervised. All PhD candidates at UiO normally have two supervisors. The supervision is regulated by the admission and supervision agreement and the ethical guidelines. The admission and supervision agreement is signed by the parties involved: the candidate, supervisors, unit management and the faculty’s Pro-Dean of Research. If the candidate receives external funding, the funding body will also be a party to the agreement. Further information about supervision.

PhD examination

The PhD examination consists of a trial lecture and a public defence of the thesis (disputation). The trial lecture must be passed before the public defence of the thesis can be held. Further information about adjudication.

Progress reports

You must submit written progress reports: it is the department’s responsibility to ensure that annual reports are submitted by the candidate and supervisors. When the department has received all of the reports, a summary will be prepared and sent to the faculty. Any significant deviations from the candidate's schedule or other special matters must be specified and remarked on in the summary.

Midway assessment

All PhD candidates at the Faculty of Educational Sciences must undergo a midway assessment. The PhD Programme Council has devised guidelines for midway assessments and the final review.

Final Reading

The candidates will conduct a mandatory final reading at which the candidate, supervisor, end-reader and programme coordinator are normally present. Final readings are organized by the academic departments. If the candidate's thesis is not ready for submission and end-reading within the recording period's expiration (possibly an extended recording period), there should be an agreed final reading at which recommendations are made concerning what revisions need to be made before the thesis can be submitted. 

Published Mar. 22, 2016 10:56 AM - Last modified May 31, 2022 2:27 PM