Compulsory courses

The doctoral studies consist of a faculty-wide portion and an individual portion.

The faculty-wide portion consists of a doctoral programme in medical science comprising 25 credits. For the doctoral degree, credit-bearing modules of at least 30 credits are required.

Compulsory courses/modules

Faculty-wide doctoral programme 25 credits, applies to all doctoral students:

  • Presentation at least one national/international conference (1.5 credits), applies to all doctoral students
  • Course in laboratory animal science, if research with laboratory animals is part of the thesis project
  • Course in Good Clinical Practice (GCP), on clinical human research included in the thesis project
  • Course in statistics, if statistical analysis is part of the thesis project
  • Course in qualitative methods, if qualitative analysis is part of the thesis project

In order to achieve the individual intended learning outcomes, additional subject-specific learning modules may be required, such as elective doctoral courses, active participation in departmental seminars and journal clubs, additional presentation at national/international conferences, research visits to another institution or participation in higher education teaching-and-learning training. Decisions on subject-specific study modules are made in consultation between the doctoral student, supervisor and examiner and are documented in the individual study plan.

Optional credit modules may include:

  • doctoral courses, internal or external, awarded the credit to which each course is credited
  • active participation in departmental seminars and journal clubs, which can provide a total of 3.5 credits
  • participation in national/international conferences with own presentation provides 1.5 credits per conference, max 6 credits total research visit with a research group at another university gives 1.5 credits per week
  • higher education teaching-and-learning training participation (UPL courses or equivalent) provides 1.5 credits per week, maximum 6 credits in total. However, teaching students as a doctoral student does not count for credit.

Structure of the doctoral programme

The programme aims to support individual progression towards the qualitative targets, provide opportunities for exchange across disciplines and departments, and offer a doctoral education on equal terms. The programme is built on three different levels: cohort, base group and individual.

The activities at the cohort level consist mainly of compulsory courses according to the programme schedule. The aim of the cohort level is to support individual progression by providing a knowledge base of generic knowledge and skills and common perspectives for all doctoral students.

The base group level consists of groups of approx. 8 students in the same cohort who are accompanied throughout the course of the programme. The base group level provides a concrete platform for interdisciplinary exchange. The aim is to support individual progression through the application and deepening of knowledge and skills introduced in courses, and where dialogue on the doctoral students' scientific products and challenges can take place in interaction with other doctoral students. The base groups meet 1-4 times per semester outside of course time according to a flexible schedule. The base group meetings take the form of seminars with a predetermined content and based on the scientific work produced by the doctoral students.

The individual level corresponds to each doctoral student's individual doctoral studies, which are preferably carried out at the respective department, with the aim of providing specialised subject and methodological knowledge in the research area. The programme includes only one individual-level credit in the form of a pre-doc exchange. However, the individual level is an important starting point for the activities at cohort and base group level, and as such is formative for the structure and content of the doctoral programme.

Overview of the programme content

The content of the doctoral programme is based on national and local intended learning outcomes. The content can be broadly described in terms of three intertwined pedagogical themes: sustainable development, interdisciplinary competence, and knowledge translation.

Stage I The introductory course introduces the doctoral students to the working methods of the programme and the base group work, as well as the content of the philosophy of science, sustainable development, scientific methodology and scientific communication. These themes will be explored in greater depth during subsequent base group meetings. Stage I also includes a course in research ethics. Base group meetings focus on presentation and discussion of doctoral projects.

Stage II focuses on various forms of scientific communication and interaction, which are introduced in courses on academic writing and oral presentation techniques. These courses will also cover the skills of giving and receiving feedback. At the base group meetings, doctoral students will present manuscripts of articles in their base groups for presentation and discussion. Before the mid-PhD seminar, the base group activities will consist of practice presentations, where the doctoral students also act as reviewers of each other's oral presentations and written summaries. The feedback can be to varying degrees about the specific scientific content of the texts or generic comments on the academic text and presentation.

The doctoral students also carry out a so-called pre-doc exchange in a scientific environment other than their home department. This can be scheduled at any time during the programme, but with a semester off during Stage II to allow for this particular module. The pre-doc exchange can be carried out either through an individually organised exchange at another university within or outside Sweden, or an exchange with another base group member's department, corresponding to a total of at least 1 week full-time. The pre-doctoral exchange at another university provides an opportunity to support internationalisation.

Stage III focuses on activities relevant to the completion of the thesis, the dissertation and the post-dissertation period through courses in proposal writing and knowledge translation, respectively. During the base group work, ideas and early drafts for future applications will be presented and discussed, as well as preparations for the completion of the thesis, with a focus on the structure and general content of the introductory chapter.

Lena Åminne