Responsible unit: Office of the President

Contact: Tove Holmqvist

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Stockholm University conducts education at first-, second- and third-cycle level. This document reproduces the statutes and rules that apply nationally to education at the third-cycle level. The document also sets out the university-wide local rules that apply generally to education and examination at third-cycle level at Stockholm University.

The fundamental (national) regulations are contained in the Higher Education Act (1992:1434) and the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100). The other laws and ordinances referred to in this document are the Language Act (2009:600), the Work Environment Act (1977:1160), the Ordinance on the expulsion of students from higher education (2007:989), the Discrimination Act (2008:567) and the Administrative Procedure Act (2017:900). The decisions rendered by the Swedish Higher Education Authority (formerly the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education) and the Higher Education Appeals Board, e.g., in response to student complaints, as well as the recommendations drafted by the Swedish Higher Education Authority or the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education in connection with inspection visits are also considered to constitute national rules.

The rules in this document complement the national regulations and also follow the recommendations of the Swedish Association of Higher Education Institutions. The document also refers to numerous decisions of the University Board and the President decisions found in the “Governing Document – Rules and Regulations” at Stockholm University, which is available on the Staff website
(Medarbetarwebben): the “Admission Regulations for third-cycle education”; the “Local system of qualifications for Stockholm University”; the “Local guidelines for transfer of foreign higher education credits”; the “Guidelines for disciplinary matters at Stockholm University”; the “Rules of Employment for the Recruitment and Promotion of Teachers at Stockholm University” (AOSU); the “Guidelines for scholarships at Stockholm University”; the “Rules for student influence”; the “Language policy”; the “Policy to combat harassment under the Discrimination Act”; the “Rules for study and career guidance”; the “Procedure for handling complaints from students regarding education”; the “Procedure for the withdrawal of a doctoral student’s right to supervision and other resources”; the “Procedure for handling suspected deviation from good research practice”, as well as the “Rules and procedures for the establishment and discontinuation of courses and study programmes”; the “Rules for the review of courses and study programmes”; the “Procedures for the conclusion of cotutelle agreements at Stockholm University”, and the “Procedure for the preparation of decisions on educational collaboration (or research collaboration that includes education) that leads to a joint, double or multiple degree”. Reference is also made to the “Studying with a disability” page on the university’s website, as well as the case management handbook of the Legal Secretariat.

A person studying at the third-cycle level is referred to as a “doctoral student”, but in many instances in the general sections of writing in the Higher Education Act and the Higher Education Ordinance, the term “student” is used. These sections are also applicable to doctoral students, unless it is specially specified that they apply only to education and the first-cycle level and second-cycle level. Those admitted to a licentiate programme are also considered to be doctoral students.

Education at the third-cycle level can result in two degrees of varying scope: a licentiate degree (of at least 120 ECTS) and a doctoral degree (of 240 ECTS). The objectives/qualitative targets for these degrees can be found in Annex 2 of the Higher Education Ordinance (the Qualifications Ordinance). The education that leads to each of these degrees consists of a combination of courses and a
thesis/dissertation project. A licentiate degree concludes with a passing grade on a licentiate thesis of at least 60 ECTS credits. A doctoral degree concludes with a passing grade on a scientific dissertation
(doctoral dissertation) of at least 120 ECTS. The doctoral dissertation must be presented and defended orally in public. Stockholm University is not entitled to award degrees in the degree in the fine, applied or performing arts. 

Overall division of resposibilities

Ultimate responsibility for courses and study programmes at the third-cycle level rests with the University Board, which decides on the admission procedure, and with the President, who can decide to retract resources (Chapter 2, Sections 2 and 3 of the Higher Education Act, Chapter 2, Sections 2 and 3 and Chapter 6, Sections 3, 30, 31 and 36 of the Higher Education Ordinance) (see the “Procedure for the retraction of a doctoral student’s right to supervision and other resources” in the “Governing Documents – Rules and Regulations”). In other respects, the President has delegated all decisions about courses and study programmes to the respective area board, which means that each area board is responsible for the courses and study programmes within its area, unless otherwise decided. For further information, see the “Decision and delegation procedure for Stockholm University” in the “Governing Documents – Rules and Regulations”. The area boards thus have overall responsibility for the quality, efficiency, structure, study plans and supervision of the courses and study programmes, as well as for the coordination of courses and the training of supervisors. The area boards are also responsible for the general supervision of education at the third-cycle level.

In addition to the rules in this document, which are decided by the President, the area boards may decide on additional rules for education and summative assessment that apply within the context of each area’s activities. A doctoral student who wishes to point out deviations from these rules should initially contact the head of the department where the doctoral student is admitted but can also contact the student and doctoral student representatives at Stockholm University's student union. See the “Procedure for handling complaints from students concerning courses and study programmes” in the “Governing Documents – Rules and Regulations”.