Guidelines for using papers as a form of documentation at the Faculty of Educational Sciences

Recommended by the PhD Programme Council as per the circulation case with a deadline of 9 May 2014. Approved by the dean on 1 July 2014.

Genre description

Papers in themselves are a loose genre. We will therefore describe the genre requirements in the key criteria in the assessment of the Faculty’s organized research training.

1. Purpose

The use of papers should help to create a reflective and active approach to the issues dealt with in the individual courses, and also contribute to the development of candidates’ own projects. Papers will also be good writing practice for candidates, and­­ will provide them with constructive feedback on the use of literature.


2. Paper requirements

The research question should of a unified nature (or alternatively several research questions that are closely linked), and there should be coherent discussion on the research argument(s) raised. The argument(s) should be structured in a way that demands investigation. The argument(s) may very well be related to the candidate’s own project. Analytical discussion and academic debate are a prerequisite. A loose composition of arguments is not acceptable.

Examples of possible papers include discussions of particular research questions in literature, or more comprehensive overviews of theories in the topics covered in the individual modules. A paper may take the form of a journal article or can be a more open discussion of a research argument. For research methods courses, the paper could contain the analysis of data where the candidate documents his/her understanding and command of the main methodological procedures in the course. 

The paper should demonstrate that the candidate has a good understanding of the research questions and topics covered in the course.

The topic of the paper must be approved by one of the course tutors.

The research question(s) should not extend beyond the scope of the course.

Literature from the course syllabus or other relevant literature for the topic of the course should be drawn on.


3. How many pages and how much literature?

The number of pages and scope of literature in a paper depends on the number of credits that the course is worth, and also to some extent on the type of course. See the Faculty's programme plan for the organized research training.

Submitted documentation includes work with course literature, which can be reference literature for the paper. See the recommended scope in the table below.

The following table is based on the Faculty's programme plan and a national review of the scope of papers relevant for accreditation.

Recommended scope

Recommended scope of literature

Courses with documentation:

Estimated no. of pages in papers

Weekly work in total

(Basis: 75% research+25% required duties)
No. of credits
100–200 pages 2 -5 25–30 hours of work = one week’s work 1 - 2
200 - 300 pages 5 - 7 About 2 weeks 3
300 - 400 pages 7 - 10 About 3 weeks 4
400 - 500 pages 7- 10 About 4 weeks 5
500 -600 pages 10 - 12 About 5 weeks plus 6 +

A paper submitted for approval is assessed by at least one reader, who provides feedback to the author of the paper on whether the paper is approved. The Faculty uses the grading scale pass/fail. The recommended norm for what is needed to achieve a pass will be explained in the course description.

If the paper is graded as a fail, the candidate will be given feedback with advice on how to improve the paper. The author will then have the opportunity to revise the paper with a view to approval within a specified deadline.



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Published May 26, 2016 5:17 PM