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Defence of doctoral thesis

This page guides you about how a public defence is planned and what formal requirements there are at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Doctoral studies is comprised of 240 credits, which corresponds to four years of full-time study. For a doctorate (doctoral degree), you must have passed the courses that form part of the programme and the doctoral thesis. The thesis is defended orally at a public event.

The checklist below contains a short summary on what to do when, before and after your public defence.

Please note! The “no later than” dates on the checklist represents the dates when each step should be ready in the process. The supervisor and the Phd student should therefore ensure that the various steps are finalized well in advance of these dates. 

Checklist: before and after public defence (PDF 207 kB, new tab)

The links below provide more detailed information on the different steps:

Book a date and a room for the thesis defence

The public defence of a thesis is to take place during the semester.

The supervisor is responsible for requesting a date for the public defence of a doctoral thesis at least six weeks in advance as well as booking a room for the thesis defence. Contact the faculty coordinator to book a date for the public defence.

Submit proposal for external reviewer, chair and examining committee

The external reviewer, the chair and examining committee are appointed by the dean after a proposal from the department. The proposal should be submitted to the faculty office no later than five weeks before the day of the thesis defence.

The members of the examining committee are required to have the academic titles of associate professors (docents), or professors. The external reviewer must have a PhD degree.

NOTE: The Head of the Department sends the “Framställan” form as a pdf directly to the faculty coordinator without signature. Once it has been checked and registered, it will be sent through EduSign to the Head of the Department and to the Dean for digital signatures.

Forms for proposal can be found on the Swedish version of this page

The guide below explains the procedures of defence of doctoral thesis as well as the roles of external reviewer and member of the examining committee.

Information for external reviewer and examination committee members (PDF 238 kB, ny flik)

The faculty has certain guidelines for the event that an external reviewer or examining committee member is unable to participate at the public defence or presentation of a thesis due to acute illness or force majeure.

See chapter 10.6 in the faculty's regulations for third cycle education (PDF 215 kB, new window)

Design and print the thesis

The doctoral student is responsible for editing the doctoral thesis. The doctoral thesis is to be designed in accordance with Lund University’s graphic profile. The internal printing office, Media-Tryck can help with the design:

More information about templates and other support on the Media Tryck website

The doctoral student is responsible for obtaining an ISBN number for the thesis.

Apply for an ISBN via the University Library website

Please note: The School of Social Work has its own ISBN serial numbers, and doctoral students there are to obtain an ISBN directly from the relevant officer. If the doctoral thesis is part of a series of theses, the department will provide a volume number and ISSN number.

Also keep in mind that:

  • The thesies should include a title page and a document data sheet. The document data sheet is often printed on the reverse of the title page.
  • The department and the doctoral student are jointly responsible for the procurement, production and distribution of the thesis. The minimum amount of printed thesis is 33 copies. The department decides on any additional copies.
  • An electronic version of the thesis is to be sent to Media-Tryck to enable the print-on-demand service and guarantee access to printed copies of the thesis.

Publish the thesis

The thesis must be available in order for academia and the public to be able to examine it before the thesis defence. This is done by the notification (“spikning”) and registration in LUCRIS.

At least four weeks prior to the defence, the PhD student is to:

  • submit three copies of the printed thesis to the reception of Lund University Library (UB).
  • submit one copy of the printed thesis to the faculty office together with the receipt obtained from the UB.
  • register the thesis electronically in LUCRIS (please do not include a signed version of the document data sheet. Google indexes your signature as a separate image, so use an unsigned version or publish in full text without the document data sheet).

Please remember:

  • to submit an abstract in both English and Swedish in LUCRIS.
  • to add "Relations" in LUCRIS e.g. to articles in a compilation thesis or to your degree project.

Log in to LUCRIS 

How to register and publish a full text -

Distribute the printed thesis

The doctoral student is responsible for the distribution of the printed thesis.

  • One copy is to be sent to each of the members of the examining committee and the external reviewer.
  • One copy is to be sent to each of the departments at the Faculty of Social Sciences.
  • One copy is to be sent to the Social Sciences Faculty Library.
  • Distribution to the department networks. 

The department has a list of recipients. Each department decides on the number of copies for distribution within the department, the department networks, and for the students themselves.

NOTE: two extra copies should be available at the department in case the external members of the faculty board request a printed thesis.

Submit the examining committee minutes

The supervisor is responsible for sending the examining committee minutes (in original) to the Faculty Office.

You find templates for the minutes on the Swedish version of this page

Apply for degree certificate

When you have completed the doctoral studies, do not forget to apply for a degree certificate.

Visit for more information on how to apply for a degree certificate


Yvonne Aiello Davidsson
Faculty Coordinator
+46 46 222 43 65
yvonne [dot] aiello_davidsson [at] sam [dot] lu [dot] se (yvonne[dot]aiello_davidsson[at]sam[dot]lu[dot]se)