Responsible unit: Strategic Planning and Vice-Chancellor’s Office

Contact: Rikard Skårfors

DECISION by the University Board 2014-12-05

Dnr SU FV-1.1.2-3204-14

 

Introductory provisions

Most admissions to doctoral studies at Stockholm University should be to programmes leading to a doctoral degree. Under special circumstances, the scientific area board may decide to allow admissions to a programme leading to a licentiate degree worth at least 120 higher education credits. An assessment that funding can be secured for the time required to complete a licentiate degree, but not a doctoral degree, does not alone constitute such a special circumstance.

In cases where a student has been admitted to a programme leading to a licentiate degree, a new academic review and an analysis of the financial plan will be carried out if the student wishes to pursue a doctoral degree.

Admission to doctoral studies

The rules concerning admission to doctoral studies can be found in Chapter 7, Sections 34-41 of the Higher Education Ordinance. These sections are reproduced below, along with their local implementations at Stockholm University. The term doctoral student also refers to research students who will finish with a licentiate degree.

The scientific area board may delegate or sub-delegate any matter relating to admission to doctoral studies, unless the matter is of such nature that the decision should be made by the board as a whole. Any delegation or sub-delegation should be made in accordance with the decision-making and delegation policy of Stockholm University.

It is essential to the quality of the training that an admitted doctoral student can be offered supervision in the intended field of study, and to a reasonable extent. If not, the application cannot be accepted. 2 (4)

Chapter 7, Sections 34-41 of the Higher Education Ordinance and their local implementations at Stockholm University

General provisions

Section 34 The number of doctoral students admitted to doctoral studies may not exceed the number that can be offered supervision and otherwise acceptable conditions for study, and can be funded as described in Section 36.

Local implementation

"Otherwise acceptable conditions for study" means that the doctoral student will be provided with a work space and the working conditions required to complete the training.

Section 35 Admission to doctoral studies requires that the applicant:

  1. meets the general entry requirements and any specific entry requirements the university may have stipulated, and
  2. is otherwise considered capable of benefiting from the training.

Section 36 An applicant may only be admitted to doctoral studies if he/she will be appointed to a doctoral studentship or receive a doctoral grant. However, an applicant with another type of funding may be admitted if the higher education institution believes that funding can be secured throughout the training and the applicant is able to devote enough time to the training that it can be completed within four years in the case of a licentiate degree or eight years in the case of a doctoral degree.

Local implementation

A minimum level for other types of funding is what might have been obtained in the form of a doctoral studentship, after tax. The scientific area board may specify a higher minimum level for other types of funding for doctoral students within the scientific area. See the section on individual study plans in the Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University for more information.

Admission process

Section 37 Decisions relating to admission are made by the higher education institution. A person who wishes to be admitted to doctoral studies should apply within the time prescribed and in compliance with the procedures determined by the higher education institution.

When a higher education institution intends to admit one or more doctoral students, information should be provided through advertising or equivalent methods. However, information does not need to be provided:

  1. in the case of admission of a doctoral student who is to undergo the training within the context of a position with another employer,
  2. in the case of admission of a doctoral student who has started his/her doctoral studies at another institution, or
  3. under similar special circumstances.

Local implementation

The scientific area board should determine the format of applications and the application date, but may delegate the decision rights to a specific body or department board (or equivalent). Every department that provides doctoral studies should have instructions available regarding the format of applications and established application dates announced in advance (one or more each year). Even in cases where these decisions have been delegated to a specific body or department board (or equivalent), it is the scientific area board’s responsibility to monitor compliance with these regulations. See also the obligations defined in Chapter 5, Section 5 of the Higher Education Ordinance (advertising doctoral studentships) and Section 6 of the Ordinance on Doctoral Grants (1995:938) (applying for doctoral grants).

Section 38 A higher education institution that is authorised to award doctoral degrees in a scientific area may, without the need for a new admission process, allow a doctoral student who has been admitted to another institution to transfer, continue his or her studies, and complete his or her degree at the new institution. However, this only applies if the majority of the doctoral student’s training has taken place at the new higher education institution and within a scientific area in which the institution is authorised to award doctoral degrees.

The rule of the first paragraph also applies if a higher education institution, by virtue of having been designated a university, has been granted the right to award doctoral degrees pursuant to Chapter 1, Section 11 of the Higher Education Act (1992:1434).

General entry requirements

Section 39 A person meets the general entry requirements for doctoral studies if he or she:

has been awarded a master’s level degree,
has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded at the master’s level, or
has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

The higher education institution may permit an exemption from the general entry requirements for an individual applicant under special circumstances.

Specific entry requirements

Section 40 The specific entry requirements posed should be essential for students to be able to benefit from the training. These requirements may comprise:

  1. knowledge acquired through higher education or equivalent training,
  2. specific professional experience, and
  3. necessary language skills or other conditions determined by the programme.

Selection

Section 41 In selecting between applicants who meet the requirements specified in Sections 35 and 36, their ability to benefit from the training should be taken into account.

The higher education institution determines which criteria will be used in the assessment of the ability to benefit from the training.

However, the fact that an applicant is considered able to transfer credits from previous training or professional experience may not alone give the applicant priority over other applicants in the selection process.

Local implementation

The scientific area boards should, in the general syllabus for each subject, determine which assessment criteria to apply in the assessment of a candidate’s ability to benefit from doctoral studies in the subject in question. See also Chapter 6, Sections 26-27 of the Higher Education Ordinance (requirements relating to the individual study plan and its content).