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Doctoral studies

Faculty of Social Sciences

Doctoral studies (PhD) is the highest formal education available. It provides training to become an independent and critically minded researcher, and prepares for work with research and development issues inside or outside the university.

A person holding a degree diploma. Photo.
Photo: Kennet Ruona.

About doctoral studies

Doctoral studies involves a total of four years of full-time study, forming a total of 240 ECTS credits. A programme consists of both courses and thesis, of which the doctoral thesis is to account for at least 120 credits. At the Faculty of Social Sciences you can get a PhD degree in twelve different disciplines.

Admitted doctoral students normally get a salaried position. This means that they will be employed as staff members and will get a salary whilst undertaking the doctoral studies. In return, the doctoral student often provides some departmental or teaching duties.


Admission to the doctoral studies requires one year of studies at the advanced level, and normally a total of three semesters of study of the discipline in question, including a half-semester thesis. The doctoral studies start in September. In September or October each year there is a common introduction during two days for newly admitted doctoral students at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

All vacant positions for doctoral students are publicly announced. Applications are accepted only following a vacancy announcement. The application procedures vary from one department to another - refer to the doctoral studies contacts at this site for further details.

PhD vacancies -

Thesis work and courses

The doctoral thesis should be based on independent research and should be of a high scholarly standard. The thesis can take the form of a monograph or a compilation thesis in which different articles are gathered, together with a summarising chapter.

All doctoral students will be appointed a main supervisor and an assistant supervisor. The main supervisor and the assistant supervisor have the task of helping the doctoral student move the work forward from the idea stage to the finalised manuscript.

The course component includes methodology courses as well as thematic courses, chosen for their relevance to the thesis work. Courses are offered both at the departments and at faculty level. Doctoral students are also encouraged to take courses at other universities, in Sweden or abroad.

The doctoral student as a teacher and as a researcher

As a doctoral student you are also part of the department’s group of lecturers and will be teaching and taking care of administrative tasks. The Director of studies at the department will consult with you early on to find out where your teaching interests lie. Before you are given any tasks as an educator, you will be given a chance to go on a course equivalent to at least two weeks’ training in teaching and learning in higher education.

The departments’ researchers gather regularly to discuss and comment on one another’s production, or to listen to invited speakers. Doctoral students are expected to participate in the seminar activity as much as possible in order to enrich the research environment.


Contact the department's Director of Doctoral Studies for questions regarding a specific subject.

The links below lead to contact information at

Gender Studies
Lena Karlsson

Human Ecology
Henrik Gutzon Larsen

Human Geography 
Henrik Gutzon Larsen

Media and Communications Studies
Magnus Andersson

Political Science
Fariborz Zelli

Åse Innes-Ker

Service Studies
Katja Lindqvist

Social Work
Kristina Göransson

Social Anthropology

Sara Eldén

Sociology of Law
Ida Nafstad

Strategic Communication
Åsa Thelander

Sustainability Studies
Mine Islar