Doctoral student guide
This is a general doctoral student guide, adapted to fit the procedures and rules of Halmstad University's doctoral education and which is primarily intended for the University's doctoral students.
Doctoral Education at Halmstad University
The University has the right to award doctoral degrees in three different areas: Information Technology, Innovation Sciences, Health and Lifestyle.
Doctoral education in the areas are provided in different subjects. Halmstad University is currently carrying out doctoral education in the following subjects:
- Computer Science and Engineering
- Health and Lifestyle
- Innovation Sciences
- Signals and Systems Engineering
General study syllabus
Each respective subject has a general study syllabus. The general study syllabus provides information regarding the main content of the education, entry requirements, and other important information regarding the doctoral education. The Research and Education Board is responsible for approving the general study syllabus.
The content and scope of the doctoral education
The doctoral education consists of taking courses, educational components, doing research and writing a thesis. Doctoral education culminates in a licentiate degree and/or in a PhD. The licentiate degree is comprised of 120 credits (two years full-time study). A PhD is awarded after the doctoral student has taken 240 credits (four years full-time study). What percentage of the education is achieved by taking courses and what percentage is achieved by writing a thesis varies from subject to subject. This information can be found in the general syllabus. The doctoral education can include compulsory courses. The course, Introductory Course for PhD Students 7.5 credits is a compulsory course at Halmstad University, regardless of subject.
Doctoral education is individual, meaning that the contents of the doctoral education are different for all doctoral students, even for those that are studying the same subject. An individual study plan must be established for each doctoral student. The study plan is to be jointly prepared by the doctoral student, their supervisor and the director of studies. The individual study plan must contain the University's and the doctoral student's commitments as well as a time plan for the student's doctoral education. Each individual study plan has to be approved by Halmstad University's Committee for Doctoral Education. The individual study plan must be followed up each year.
In order for a doctoral student to obtain a licentiate degree or PhD, he/she must have passed all courses that form part of the education under the general syllabus, as well as have finished their licentiate thesis, or doctoral thesis, which must have been orally defended and approved during a licentiate seminar or during a public defence of the doctoral thesis. If there are additional degree requirements for a specific subject, these are presented in the general syllabus. Once the doctoral student has completed the studies and wish to get a degree, he/she must apply for a degree certificate himself/herself.
The aim of doctoral education is for doctoral students to achieve qualitative targets. These qualitative targets describe what knowledge and skills the doctoral student is expected to have upon completing the education. National qualitative targets have been set in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance, Appendix 2 System of Qualifications. See what these targets are in the documents below. Other aims for each respective subject, if there are any, can be found in the general syllabus. The doctoral student and his/her supervisor must also form a common understanding regarding what the qualitative targets entail for that specific doctoral student's doctoral education.
The individual study plan shall state what activities in the doctoral education contribute to the achievement of the qualitative targets.
Qualitative targets for licentiate degree
Knowledge and understanding
For a Degree of Licentiate the third-cycle student shall demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the field of research including current specialist knowledge in a limited area of this field as well as specialised knowledge of research methodology in general and the methods of the specific field of research in particular.
Competence and skills
For a Degree of Licentiate the third-cycle student shall
- demonstrate the ability to identify and formulate issues with scholarly precision critically, autonomously and creatively, and to plan and use appropriate methods to undertake a limited piece of research and other qualified tasks within predetermined time frames in order to contribute to the formation of knowledge as well as to evaluate this work
- demonstrate the ability in both national and international contexts to present and discuss research and research findings in speech and writing and in dialogue with the academic community and society in general, and
- demonstrate the skills required to participate autonomously in research and development work and to work autonomously in some other qualified capacity.
Judgement and approach
For a Degree of Licentiate the third-cycle student shall
- demonstrate the ability to make assessments of ethical aspects of his or her own research,
- demonstrate insight into the possibilities and limitations of research, its role in society and
the responsibility of the individual for how it is used, and
- demonstrate the ability to identify the personal need for further knowledge and take responsibility for his or her ongoing learning.
Qualitative targets for doctoral degree
Knowledge and understanding
For the Degree of Doctor the third-cycle student shall
- demonstrate broad knowledge and systematic understanding of the research field as well as advanced and up-to-date specialised knowledge in a limited area of this field, and
- demonstrate familiarity with research methodology in general and the methods of the specific field of research in particular.
Competence and skills
For the Degree of Doctor the third-cycle student shall
- demonstrate the capacity for scholarly analysis and synthesis as well as to review and assess new and complex phenomena, issues and situations autonomously and critically,
- demonstrate the ability to identify and formulate issues with scholarly precision critically, autonomously and creatively, and to plan and use appropriate methods to undertake research and other qualified tasks within predetermined time frames and to review and evaluate such work,
- demonstrate through a dissertation the ability to make a significant contribution to the formation of knowledge through his or her own research,
- demonstrate the ability in both national and international contexts to present and discuss research and research findings authoritatively in speech and writing and in dialogue with the academic community and society in general,
- demonstrate the ability to identify the need for further knowledge, and
- demonstrate the capacity to contribute to social development and support the learning of others both through research and education and in some other qualified professional capacity.
Judgement and approach
For the Degree of Doctor the third-cycle student shall
demonstrate intellectual autonomy and disciplinary rectitude as well as the ability to make assessments of research ethics, and
demonstrate specialised insight into the possibilities and limitations of research, its role in society and the responsibility of the individual for how it is used.
Being admitted to Doctoral Education
The Committee for Doctoral Education (FUU) makes the decisions regarding admission of doctoral education.
The goal of the doctoral education
The doctoral education is intended to lead to a a licentiate degree or a PhD.
Someone who has been admitted to study towards a PhD can obtain a licentiate degree as a stage in their studies. Students who have been admitted to doctoral education to study towards a licentiate degree, and who later decide that they want to continue towards obtaining a PhD, must reapply. Students who have been admitted to doctoral education with the intention to take a licentiate degree and during the study period wants to change the final goal of the studies must make a notification for this, if there are funding opportunities for the entire study period. Before making a decision regarding admission, a discussion with the doctoral student must take place in order to clarify what his/her ultimate goals are with regard to their (licentiate or doctoral) studies.
In order to be admitted into doctoral education, the applicant is required to fulfil basic requirements, and fulfil the special requirements in accordance with the general study syllabus for each respective subject at research level. Furthermore, the applicant must have the ability to acquire the advanced learning of the doctoral education. Below you will find a description of basic requirements in the Higher Education Ordinance. Go to each respective subject's general study syllabus to see what the specific requirements are for each subject.
General entry requirements Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 7. Section 39 A person meets the general entry requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:
- has been awarded a second-cycle qualification
- has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle, or
- has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.
Application for admission
To apply for doctoral education you must use a special application form (see below). Certified copies of grade certificates such as degree certificates, or any other document that the applicant wants to be considered, should be sent along with the application. As basis for an admission decision, the school must, aside from the applicant's documents, present documentation that clearly shows that necessary resources are available (supervision and what else is needed to complete the studies). The documentation must also show how the studies are to be financed. The application also requires that the director of studies makes a decision regarding the entry requirements. The application is signed by the applicant, the Head of School and the Director of Studies before it is handed over to the Committee for Doctoral Education.
Transferring from another university
In the Higher Education Ordinance, it states that a university that has been given the right to award degrees at doctoral level within a certain area is allowed to decide whether a doctoral student that has been admitted to another university is allowed to transfer to that university, continue his/her education there, and graduate from there. However, this is only possible if the doctoral student has conducted the main part of their doctoral studies at the university and within the area to which the right to award a degree relates. Several doctoral students have chosen to transfer to Halmstad University's doctoral education. The same form that is used for new admissions is used for those who are transferring from another university.
Decision regarding admission
It is the Committee for Doctoral Education (FUU) that makes the decision regarding admission to doctoral education. The Research and Education Board have delegated this responsibility to the committee. It is the director of studies for the relevant subject that presents the matter of admission to the committee.
For more detailed information regarding the rules for admission to doctoral education, please read the University's admission regulations.
Difference between being admitted and being employed
It is important to distinguish between the admission and employment of doctoral students. All doctoral students at Halmstad University are admitted as doctoral students, but this does not mean that all doctoral students are employed by the University. A doctoral student can be employed by another university, by a company or by a public organisation while being admitted to doctoral education at Halmstad University.
Being employed as doctoral student
Most of the doctoral students at Halmstad University are employed by the University. Under vacant positions you can see what positions are currently advertised. For more information regarding what it means to be employed as a doctoral student, please see the University's appointments regulations. You can also find more information in the chapter Employment as a doctoral student.
Financing of studies at doctoral level
Doctoral studies at Halmstad University are normally funded through employment, either at Halmstad University (primarily via a doctoral studentship) or at another employer (external employment).
Introduction for doctoral students
As a doctoral student you are invited to complete an introduction for new doctoral students, which is provided digital via our learning platform Blackboard. In the introduction you will get general information about doctoral education and information about the university's organisation and structure. In addition, there is a lot of information and guidance about what you may need to know as doctoral student.
Individual study plan and follow-up
Each doctoral student must have an individual study plan. The individual study plan is a very important document and contains both the doctoral student’s and the University’s commitments.
The study plan contains, among other things, both a time plan and a presentation of milestones that have been achieved during the doctoral education and its connection to learning outcomes. All doctoral students in Halmstad University's doctoral education must use the template used by the entire University:
To help you, there is a guide for an individual study plan with a description of the process and the division of responsibilities, a checklist for the development and follow-up of an individual study plan and suggestions for questions to ask when following up the individual study plan.
Annual update of the study plan
The first individual study plan must be finished no more than three months after the doctoral student has been admitted, and it is the principal supervisor’s responsibility to ensure that this is carried out. After this, the individual study plan is to be updated at least once a year. If necessary, the study plan can be followed up with shorter intervals. The study plan must also be updated prior to application for the licentiate seminar or for the public defence of doctoral thesis. The Committee for Doctoral Education handles all individual study plans and is the body that approves them.
How the University implements follow-ups
All doctoral education areas at the University have a director of studies that is responsible for monitoring each doctoral student’s study environment and academic performance.
The director of studies is responsible for ensuring that follow-up meetings regarding the doctoral student are carried out each year. These meetings should be attended by the director of studies, the principal supervisor, at least one second supervisor and the doctoral student.
Credit transfers (Doctoral Education)
In accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance, a student who is attending a university within the country can transfer the credits of completed courses to another university.
Credit transfers cannot be carried out if there is a substantial difference between programmes. The course credits which you are planning to transfer should essentially correspond to the course that you are supposed to be credited for. Students are also allowed to have relevant knowledge obtained in a working environment taken into consideration.
Appealing a decision
You can appeal against a university’s decision regarding transferring course credits (in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance) to the Higher Education Appeals Board. The appeal must be in writing. In the written communication, you must specify which decision is being appealed (state the reference number). The appeal must be addressed to the Higher Education Appeals Board and sent to Halmstad University. The registrar at Halmstad University Box 823, 301 18 Halmstad, must have received your written communication no later than three weeks after you received the decision.
When a doctoral student transfers between universities
When a doctoral student transfers to the University's doctoral education, the doctoral student in question must apply to transfer the training modules that are reported in Ladok so that these are credited for the education in Halmstad. Extracts from Ladok must be attached to the application.
The principal supervisor makes a decision regarding credit transfers by means of a list which presents the modules that are to be credited.
Approved leave and non-completion (Doctoral Education)
Approved leave is meant to be for a limited time with the intention that the student returns to his/her doctoral studies. Non-completion is a termination of the doctoral studies, where the doctoral student must apply for admission again if the student wishes to resume the studies.
If there are special grounds, the University can allow admitted doctoral students to continue their studies after an approved leave of absence. Approved leave is determined as an interruption of studies which the student has reported to the University. The leave must be set for a fixed period of time. Special grounds which allow you to continue your studies after leave can be social, medical or other mitigating circumstances such as caring for children or student union assignments.
The University's doctoral education committee makes the final decision regarding the leave.
Upon resuming the studies, the doctoral student must update the individual study plan, along with his/her supervisor and director of studies and send it to the Committee for Doctoral Education.
Students are permitted to report that they have stopped studying and can request to be unregistered from the doctoral education.
In order to resume studies after having notified non-completion, the doctoral student must reapply for doctoral education and be readmitted.
Supervision for doctoral students
A doctoral student must have at least two supervisors, and one of them must be the principal supervisor. Other supervisors are referred to as second supervisors.
The supervisors main task is to support the doctoral student in developing into an independent researcher with a scientific approach. The supervisors plan the doctoral education alongside the doctoral student. The plans are to be documented in the individual study plan (ISP) which must be updated at least once a year. Alongside the doctoral student, the supervisors are responsible for regularly discussing and following-up how the doctoral student's studies is developing, and adjusting the plans accordingly. Throughout the planning, the supervisors shall ensure that the doctoral education corresponds to the qualitative targets so that these are reached by the end of the doctoral education.
Requirements for doctoral level supervisors
Anyone who is employed at Halmstad University as a Docent (Associate Professor) or a Professor, and who conducts research as a part of their employment, is eligible to be a principal supervisor. In certain cases it is enough that the principal supervisor has significant and documented ties to Halmstad University. Eligible to be a second supervisor are thoose that are employed by the University and have a PhD. Even persons who do not have their principal place of employment at Halmstad University are eligible to be a second supervisor if they have a PhD.
More information regarding the requirements that have to be reached in order to become a principal or assistant supervisor of doctoral education at the University is presented in the guidelines.
The principal supervisor's responsibilities
In accordance with the University's guidelines regarding doctoral education, the principal supervisor is responsible for:
- establishing an individual study plan no later than three months after the doctoral student has been admitted,
- making decisions regarding a course's credit value and transferring credits.
- making sure that the Committee for Doctoral Education receives a complete application regarding the public defence of doctoral thesis/licentiate seminar. This includes documentation presented by the principal supervisor, such as a justification of the choice of the examination board or the examiner and opponent, and a supervisor declaration (regarding defence of a doctoral thesis).
Change of supervisor
A doctoral student who requests it, has the right to change supervisor according to the Higher Education Ordinance.
The doctoral student directs the request to change supervisor to the relevant director of studies. The concerned School will then prepare a proposal for a new supervisor.
Follow-up of supervision
Follow-up of the supervision in the doctoral student's education takes place in conjunction with the update of the individual study plan (ISP). If shortcomings in the supervision is raised by the doctoral student this will be addressed primarily in the regular follow-up procedures. If this is not possible, a more detailed individual study is to be developed by decision of the Committee for Doctoral Education.
Production and distribution of doctoral and licentiate thesis plus communication
Below are the routines and time frame to be followed for the production and distribution of the thesis and the communication around it.
A template for the insert of the thesis and instructions on how to use this template can be downloaded from Halmstad University Press.
The material must be sent to the Communication Department no later than six weeks* before the public defence / licentiate seminar (three weeks* before the dissertation / thesis must be in print format, which, in turn, is three weeks before the public defence / licentiate seminar).
Send the insert and the following information to Grahpic Designer at the Communications Department, with a copy to the relevant Communicator at the School:
- Whether it is a doctoral thesis or a licentiate thesis.
- The title of the thesis.
- Name and affiliation.
- Photo (personal portrait) with a short text for the back. The text is not be longer than 500 characters in the font Adobe Garamond Pro, 10 points.
- Optional: High resolution image for the first page. 300 dpi and jpeg-format.
A dissertation / thesis consisting of separate appendices and articles must be delivered as one document, i.e. all content must be delivered in a single document with the texts in the correct order, according to the template for the document.
NB! Please respect the six weeks deadline. For a more detailed timetable, please look at the next chapter: the Defence of a Doctoral Thesis / Licentiate Seminar.
The Graphic Designer at the Communications Department uses the compulsory layout templates designed for Halmstad's doctoral and licentiate theses, finalises the printing file, as well as contacts Halmstad University Press (publisher), who gives each dissertation / thesis the required International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and serial number.
The student is required to give his/her approval before the file is sent to the printers. No test example is printed; therefore, the file that has been approved of by the student is the one that is used for the reproduction of the dissertation / thesis. Before the file is sent to the printers, it has to be approved by Halmstad University Press (regarding the bibliographical information, page numbers etc.).
Production and duplication of doctoral and licentiate theses along with appendices take place through the agency of the University and within its resources. The School in which the doctoral student has carried out his/her doctoral education covers the printing costs as well as other possible production costs relating to the thesis. A minimum of 50 copies of the thesis must be printed.
If additional copies are to be printed, the student must have confirmation from the respective School concerning the decision and the cost of printing from the respective school before the order is made to the Communications Department.
The University does not pay for duplication other than by means of the cheapest form of production or in a greater size or number than that which is stated in the Guidelines for the production and distribution of doctoral and licentiate theses.
3. Distribution list
The Committee for Doctoral Education establishes the distribution list. What copies have to be sent, and to where, is pre-printed on forms which are mentioned below. If you want copies to be distributed to additional departments, this must be indicated on the form's back, and the form must be submitted together with the application for the public defence of doctoral thesis or the licentiate seminar.
- Distribution list – doctoral thesis Pdf, 81.3 kB, opens in new window.
- Distribution list – licentiate thesis Pdf, 104 kB, opens in new window.
In accordance with Swedish law, the printing house must deliver legal deposit copies (so-called “pliktexemplar”). The University library is responsible for cataloguing the electronic legal deposit copies, in accordance with the Legal Deposit Act for Electronic Materials (2012:492).
The Campus Services department (Caretaker’s Office) distributes the doctoral thesis/licentiate thesis to those listed in the established distribution list.
4. Notification of the date of the defence of a doctoral thesis/licentiate seminar and electronic publishing
The thesis must be made public no later than three weeks before the public defence of the doctoral or before the licentiate seminar. This is done by means of the doctoral student registering the thesis in the University's publication database (DiVA), this is called ”spikning”. This also generates a receipt that the ”spikning” has been completed. There is also a notification of the date in the University calendar on the external and internal websites where the public defence of the doctoral thesis/licentiate seminar is to take place. The notification must consist of a place and time for the public defence of the doctoral thesis/licentiate seminar, the doctoral student's name, the title of the thesis, a summary of the thesis, and the name of the opponent.
At least three school weeks before the public defence of the doctoral thesis or before the licentiate seminar, the full-version of the thesis (for compilation theses, only the introductory chapter) must be available on DiVA. For compilation theses, all parts of the thesis have to be registered in DiVA before the thesis is registered and the full-version of the introductory chapter is made available.
Note: DiVA is the primary source for both doctoral/licentiate thesis and public defence of the doctoral thesis/licentiate seminars. The DiVA entries (with links to the full-versions) should always be linked when the University is communicating about the doctoral/licentiate thesis and public defence of the doctoral thesis/licentiate seminar. By promoting the DiVA publication rather than parallel publishing the thesis on other sites, you can make use of the download statistics, as well as ensure the quality of the file's integrity through the use of a checksum.
5. Publication in printed form
Doctoral/licentiate theses (including appendices and articles) are to be made available in print at Halmstad University's library at least three academic weeks before the public defence of the doctoral thesis/licentiate seminar. The Caretakers' Office is responsible for the delivery. Each School determines how the dissertation should otherwise be made available.
Halmstad University library must receive one copy of the thesis. The archive at Halmstad University shall also have one copy of the thesis.
Halmstad University Press has more information regarding the publication.
6. External, popular communication
At least four academic weeks* before the public defence / seminar, the relevant Communicator, or the equivalent, sends a questionnaire to the doctoral student. This also occurs before some licentiate seminars.
The answers to the questions of the questionnaire must be submitted to the relevant Communicator no later than three term weeks* before the public defence. Even after the questionnaire has been filled in, the relevant Communicator may require to do an additional interview. The answers to these questions often – depending on the focus and results of the research – form the basis of a popular scientific article and usually a press statement that the Communicator formulates and publishes in the appropriate channels. In certain cases, a short amendment may be sufficient. Images and any film clips may need to be taken.
The publication usually takes place before the seminar/public defence. The texts are always published in Swedish, and often in English too.
The notification regarding a seminar/defence is made via the University's calendar and is described in section 4. The Communications Department also publishes the information via the University's Twitter and Linkedin accounts.
To make sure the result is known to different groups in general, it is important that doctoral students, supervisors, among others, contribute in the disseminating of popular scientific material via different networks.
* Please note that ’term weeks’ implies that the weeks between spring term and autumn term are not taken into account, as well as the period around Christmas and New Year. Therefore, please take this into consideration and contact the Communications Department in good time.
Frequently asked questions
- Halmstad University library is responsible for questions and queries concerning DiVA.
- The Graphic Designer is responsible for questions and queries concerning the printing.
- The supervisor(s) is responsible for questions and queries concerning the content.
Public defence of doctoral and licentiate thesis
The doctoral education culminates in handing in a doctoral thesis, or in some cases a licentiate thesis as a part or the end of the doctoral education.
A doctoral or licentiate thesis must be publicly defended in the presence of an expert within the field from another university, known as an opponent. The opponent is chosen (after proposal) by the Committee for Doctoral Education. The Committee also decides (after proposal) on the chairman of the public defence and the examining committee (usually three people). For licentiate seminars, the Committee appoints (after proposal) an examiner instead of the examining committee. The examining committee and the examiner asses the thesis and the doctoral student's defence of the doctoral/licentiate thesis. Based on their assessment, the thesis is either ’Passed’ or ’Failed’.
Plan a date for the licentiate seminar or dissertation
When you are planning a day for a dissertation or licentiate seminar, take a look at the calendar ”Disputation och lic.seminarium (preliminär)” which is available in the calendar function in Outlook. The purpose of the calendar is for you to be able to enter preliminary dates of upcoming dissertations and licentiate seminar to avoid a clash of time. Booking of a room must be done separately, this should be done in good time, contact your principal supervisor about this.
To add the calendar:
In the Outlook client on the computer:
- Go to the calendar
- Click Open Calendar
- Select From Address Book
- Select the Address Book ”Global Address List” or ”Global Calendars”
- Search for the calendar by starting to enter the name ”Disputation och …”, the calendar will then appear
- Double-click the name and
- Click OK
In Outlook on the Web:
- Go to the calendar
- Select import calendar
- Select From directory and start typing: ”Disputation och …”
- Select the hit that appears. If no one comes up, write firstname.lastname@example.org
Applying for the public defence of doctoral thesis/licentiate seminar
The Committee for Doctoral Education decides (after proposal) on the time and place for the public defence of doctoral thesis/licentiate seminar. The principal supervisor is responsible for booking a room for the public defence of doctoral thesis/licentiate seminar. The doctoral student, alongside the supervisor fills out the form Application regarding the public defence of a doctoral thesis, or the Application regarding licentiate seminar.
The application regarding the public defence of a doctoral thesis contains suggestions with regard to dates, examining committee, opponent and chairman of the public defence. This form should be submitted in at least three months prior to the preliminary date set for the public defence. The form is to be submitted during the semester. At this time, a preliminary yet assessable version of the thesis must be available.
The application regarding the licentiate seminar includes suggestions with regard to the date of the licentiate seminar as well as suggestions regarding the opponent and the examiner. This form should be submitted in at least three months prior to the preliminary date set for the licentiate seminar. The form is to be submitted during the semester. At this time, a preliminary yet assessable version of the thesis must be available.
Things to consider before the public defence of doctoral thesis/licentiate seminar
Around 3–4 month before the public defence/lic. seminar
- Update the individual study plan.
- Fill out the distribution list for the doctoral-/licentiate thesis.
- Fill out the Application regarding the public defence of a doctoral thesis or Application regarding licentiate seminar.
3 months before the public defence/lic. seminar
- The application regarding the public defence/lic. seminar should be submitted in at least three months before the intended date of the public defence/lic. seminar. The application must be sent during the semester to the Committee for Doctoral Education to be processed by them. Remember that the Committee for Doctoral Education needs to be sent all the relevant documentation at least one week before they meet to consider your application, which means that all the application's appendices should be finished prior to this.
- When the application is being prepared, there must be a preliminary yet assessable version of the thesis available.
1–2 months before the public defence/licentiate seminar
- The Communicator at the relevant School sends a questionnaire to the doctoral student which will be the basis for a press release and an article. Read more under ’Communication’ in the previous chapter.
- Submit the material for print, see previous chapter (please note 6 term weeks before the public defence/seminar *).
3 academic weeks* before the public defence/licentiate seminar
- The thesis is available in print and is being distributed in accordance with the distribution list.
- The doctoral-/licentiate thesis must be registered in DiVA (link). Through DiVA, the thesis' title sheet is generated in preparation of the notification of the date of the defence of a doctoral thesis (i.e. ’spikning’).
- When all parts of the thesis are registered in DiVA the complete version of the introductory chapter is made available. Please note that the printed and e-published edition have different ISBNs.
- A notification is made in the University's internal and external calendars found on the University's website. This is done by the relevant Communicator.
- Send the answers to the questionnaire and a high resolution photo (personal portrait) to the relevant School's Communicator. Read more under ’Communication’ in the previous chapter.
* Please note that ’term weeks’ implies that the weeks between spring term and autumn term are not taken into account, as well as the period around Christmas and New Year. Therefore, please take this into consideration and contact the Communications Department in good time.
NB! Digital public defence of doctoral and licentiate thesis with regard to Covid-19
At the public defence of a doctoral thesis, the doctoral student, the chairman of the public defence, the members of the examining committee, the opponent and the supervisors can participate digitally or on campus. Other persons are directed to follow the public defence via digital channels.
- When the Office of the Research and Education Board states that a decision has been made regarding a public defence of doctoral or licentiate thesis, the event group at the Communications department will pass this message on to the IT-department. The IT-department also receives a list of persons who will have an active role during the public defence (the doctoral student, the chairman of the public defence, the members of the examining committee, the opponent and thus supervisors). The list should contain names, e-mail addresses and role during the public defence. The list is used to communicate different issues and perform technical tests with individual participants.
- The IT-department is responsible for all technical issues before and during the defence, including web camera and a Zoom-room with sound and view.
- Three weeks before the defence, the IT-department will send a Zoom-link concerning the upcoming defence to the doctoral student and the event group. The doctoral student sends the link to family, friends and colleagues. The event group send the link to the School Communcations Officer in question.
- The members of the examining committee receives, from the IT-department, a separate Zoom-link to have meetings via, in case the whole examining committee can’t be present at Campus during the defence.
- The School Communications Officer publishes the defence in the University calendar, with a link to the defence (see above) and handles the communication in other external channels (web and social media).
- The event group orders, if requested, coffee, water, lunch and other practicalities connected to the public defence.
Actors at the public defence of the doctoral thesis
- Members of the examining committee: Usually three in number. At least one of the members of the examining committee has to come from another university. Each member must be either a Docent (Associate Professor) or a Professor. They award the grade of the thesis as well as the defence of it.
- Opponent: An internationally distinguished researcher within the relevant field who discusses the thesis with the doctoral student and asks questions during the public defence of the doctoral thesis.
- The chairman of the public defence: Should be either a Docent (Associate Professor) or a Professor. The chairman should not be the same person as the student's supervisor, nor a member of the examining committee. The chairman leads the public defence through its different stages.
- Doctoral student: Defends his/her doctoral thesis during the public defence and is often referred to as the respondent of the thesis in the context of the public defence.
Actors at the licentiate seminar
- Examiner: Must be a Docent (Associate Professor) or a Professor employed by Halmstad University. Is not allowed for the examiner to have supervised the doctoral student. Awards the grade of the thesis as well as the defence of it. The examiner leads the seminar through its different stages.
- Opponent: An internationally distinguished researcher within the relevant field who discusses the thesis with the doctoral student and asks questions during the licentiate seminar.
- Doctoral student: Defends his/her licentiate thesis during the licentiate seminar and is often referred to as the respondent of the thesis in this context.
The outline of a public defence of a doctoral thesis
- The chairman of the public defence welcomes everyone, presents the doctoral student, the opponent and the members of the examining committee. The chairman presents any relevant information regarding where the research has been carried out and whether any others have been involved. In addition, the chairman presents how the public defence will be organised.
- The chairman gives the doctoral student the floor and invites him/her to present any eventual errata.
- The doctoral student* presents a summary of the thesis as well as its scientific contributions during approx. 20 minutes. Alternatively, the opponent presents the thesis and compares it relatively to other research in the field. The doctoral student must then be given the opportunity to comment on the opponent's perception of the thesis.
- The opponent discusses the thesis with the doctoral student by asking questions which enables the doctoral student to show his or her expected knowledge and ability to discuss the results. During this part of the defence other listeners may not participate in the discussion.
- The chairman gives the members of the examining committee the opportunity to ask the doctoral student questions.
- The chairman gives all listeners the opportunity to ask questions to the candidate and comment on the thesis.
- The chairman formally closes the public defence.
- The examining committee convenes and reports its decision as soon as possible.
The entire process normally takes approximately 2–3 hours.
*For the area of Health and Lifestyle, the normal case is that the opponent presents a summary of the thesis as well as its scientific contributions.
The outline of a licentiate seminar
- The examiner welcomes everyone and then presents the doctoral student and the opponent. The examiner presents any relevant information regarding where the research has been carried out and whether any others have been involved. In addition, the examiner presents how the seminar will be organised.
- The examiner gives the doctoral student the floor and invites him/her to present any eventual errata.
- After presenting any eventual errata the doctoral student presents a summary of the thesis as well as its scientific contributions during approx. 30–40 minutes.
- The opponent discusses the thesis with the doctoral student during approximately 45–60 minutes by asking questions which enables the doctoral student to show his or her expected knowledge and ability to discuss the results. Alternatively, the opponent presents the thesis and compares it relatively to other research in the field. The doctoral student must then be given the opportunity to comment on the opponent's perception of the thesis. During this part of the seminar other listeners may not participate in the discussion.
- The examiner invites all listeners to ask the doctoral student questions and to comment on the thesis.
The entire process normally takes around 2 hours.
Doctoral level degree
Once you have completed your studies and wish to get a degree, you must apply for a degree certificate yourself.
Applying for a degree certificate
The doctoral student applies for a degree certificate at Student Affairs by filling out the form Applying for degree certificate, research studies.
Before submitting the application for a degree certificate, the doctoral student must make sure that:
- all courses are completed and registered in Ladok,
- the doctoral thesis/licentiate thesis is approved,
- and that the date for the public defence of the doctoral thesis/licentiate seminar is registered in Ladok.
If the information mentioned above is incomplete, please contact the Ladok administrator. Please find contact details in the chapter Ladok.
Both the principal supervisor and you as a doctoral student must agree on which courses are to be included in the exam. You must also both sign the application.
Degrees at doctoral level at Halmstad University
Halmstad University has the right to award the following degrees:
- Degree of Licentiate of Philosophy in the subject Health and Lifestyle, specialisation: Disability Studies, Sports Psychology, Nursing Science,
- Degree of Licentiate of Philosophy in the subject Informatics,
- Degree of Licentiate of Science in Business and Economics, Degree of Licentiate of Philosophy or Degree of Licentiate of Engineering in the subject Innovation Sciences, specialisation: Business Administration, Industrial Management,
- Degree of Licentiate of Engineering in the subject Computer Science and Engineering,
- Degree of Licentiate of Engineering in the subject Signals and Systems Engineering
- Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the subject Health and Lifestyle, specialisation: Disability Studies, Sports Psychology, Nursing Science,
- Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the subject Informatics,
- Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the subject Innovation Sciences,
specialisation: Business Administration, Industrial Management,
- Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the subject Computer Science and Engineering,
- Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the subject Signals and Systems Engineering
Advice and support
There are different ways of ensuring that your rights as a doctoral student are provided for.
In your role as a doctoral student
- Contact your director of studies if you have questions regarding the study environment, follow-up of studies, supervision etc. For contact details go to the chapter Director of studies (doctoral education).
- Talk with your colleagues and other doctoral students. Questions that may be difficult for you to take up as an individual can be taken up as questions of principle by a group.
- Contact the Student Union at Halmstad University. The union has an ombudsman for the students whom you can contact if you feel you have been unfairly treated or if the University is not following the regulations correctly. You can read more about this at the Student Union's website. You can contact the student ombudsman at email@example.com
In your role as an employed doctoral student
- Contact your Head of Department or your Head of School if questions or problems arise with your employment as a doctoral student, or contact the School's contact person from the HR Department or your union.
- Contact your work environment representative at your School if you are employed at the University and you have questions regarding the work environment, conflicts, harassment or victimisation at the workplace. They are there to help you out. You will find contact information for the work environment representatives on the staffnet Insidan.
Directors of studies (Doctoral Education)
Each area of doctoral education at Halmstad University must have a Director of Studies. The Director of Studies is responsible for monitoring each individual doctoral student's study environment and results.
Contact details for the University’s Directors of Studies for doctoral education:
Committee for Doctoral Education (FUU)
The Committee for Doctoral Education (FUU) is a committee under the Research and Education Board (FUN) at Halmstad University.
FUN is responsible for education at all levels and for research at the University. The Committee for Doctoral Education is to monitor the University's doctoral education. FUU has nine members; the doctoral education's directors of studies, members from those Schools that offer doctoral education and doctoral student representatives. The vice chairman of the Research and Education Board is the chairman of the committee.
The committee makes its own decisions regarding meeting times, however it always has to have a meeting at least one week before FUN meets.
FUN has delegated decision-making responsibility to the Committee for Doctoral Education with regard to the following issues:
- admission of the doctoral student to the doctoral education,
- approval of the doctoral student's individual study plan,
- appointing principal supervisor and second supervisor,
- public defence of doctoral thesis, chairman during the public defence of doctoral thesis, the opponent and the examining committee,
- licentiate seminar, the examiner of the seminar and the opponent,
- approval of course syllabi at doctoral level.
Ladok (Doctoral Education)
Ladok is the University’s study documentation system.
What is documented in Ladok?
The Higher Education Ordinance governs what can be added in the system. There is also a special ordinance concerning the reporting of university studies etc. (SFS 1993:1153)
Regarding doctoral education, Ladok documents information concerning:
- Admission, and the degree which granted you access
- The doctoral student's activity (research conducted in %) and how this has been funded
- Completed courses
- Registration number for the individual study plan
- Credit transfers
- Non-completion of the doctoral education
- Approved doctoral thesis/licentiate thesis
Questions about Ladok
Questions about Ladok are answered by the Student Affairs office, you can contact them by:
Employment as a doctoral student
Those who are employed as doctoral students must primarily focus on their doctoral studies.
A doctoral student is employed until further notice, but only until a certain point in time and never for longer than one year after completing the doctoral education. The first employment may be for a maximum of one year and may then be renewed for a maximum of two years at a time. If a doctoral student so requests, employment may be for work on a part-time basis, but not less than 50% of full-time hours. It is possible to be employed as a doctoral student for eight years at most, but the total employment period may not be longer than the equivalent of full-time doctoral employment for four years. The employment period may be longer than that stated above if there are special reasons, such as a student taking out parental leave.
It is common for doctoral students to have some form of departmental duties alongside the studies, such as administration, research or teaching. Such work may not comprise of more than 20% of full-time working hours, over the entire duration of the doctoral education. It is important to distinguish between the time spent on studies and the time spent working at the department, this shall be regulated in the individual study plan, but other ways may also occur.
The salary for doctoral students is regulated in a local collective agreement, ”Avtal om lönestege för innehavare av anställning som doktorand”, in which the salary is adjusted in accordance with the progress the doctoral student makes in his/her training. This progress shall be stated in the doctoral student's individual study plan where progression is noted.
Halmstad University has the responsibility for all employees' work environment, and this includes doctoral students employed at the University.
Being a doctoral student
This is a collection of interviews with some of our doctoral students at Halmstad University. You can access the interviews by clicking each name.
As a doctoral student, you get the best of both worlds because you are both a researcher and a student. You are responsible for your project, but at the same time, you have a supervisor who will both help and guide you.
If you have questions about healthcare related to your studies as a doctoral student, there are different approaches depending on your situation.
- If you are employed at Halmstad University, contact your manager/Head of Department.
- If you are an employee at a company, municipality, county council etc you should contact your principal supervisor.
- If you do not fall into any of the above categories, you can contact the HR Department for questions about healthcare.
Points of contact in matters of healthcare that are not linked to your studies as a doctoral student:
Health services for physical illness
Call 1177 (+46 771 11 77 00), the 24 hour national healthcare service, for questions referring to suspected illnes, if you need advice quickly. You will get to speak to a nurse directly.
Health services for mental illness
- Call 1177 (+46 771 11 77 00), the 24 hour national healthcare service if you want to get in touch with a psychiatrist.
1177 External link.
- If you suffer from severe anxiety or depression, please contact the emergency services for adult psychiatry via phone. The line is open 24 hours a day.
- Halmstad: +46 35 13 17 00
- Varberg: +46 340 48 18 48
Good research practice and other ethical issues
As a doctoral student, you will encounter several ethical issues. Ethical issues in research can span a wide range, from formal permission in connection to trials involving animals or humans, to issues of misconduct in research.
Good research practice can be described as the overall ethical requirements for how research should be conducted. Serious deviations from good research practice may be, for example, misconduct in research.
Swedish legislation that came into force in January 2020 defines “misconduct in research” as serious deviation from good research practice in the form of fabrication, falsification or plagiarism. Other deviations from good research practice can also be considered serious.
Managing suspicions of serious deviations from good research practice
In case of suspicion of serious deviations from good research practice, the University's Management Order (Högskolans Hanteringsordning vid misstanke om allvarliga avvikelser från god forskningssed) shall be applied. By suspicion means that on the basis on concrete circumstances, serious deviations from good research practice are believed to be committed in research.
More information about good research practice
More information about good research practice and serious deviations from good research practice can be found on the University’s staff website.
Ethics review and personal data in research
The University's staff web site contains links to publications and websites with information on, among other things, how the researcher should deal with integrity sensitive material as well as links to some of the ethical rules and guidelines that apply in research.
Questions about good research practice, ethics review and personal data in research
If you have more general questions about good research practice as well as ethical review and personal data in research, you are welcome to contact the University’s research support: firstname.lastname@example.org