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Third-cycle studies

Aims and objectives

Third-cycle studies are to be based essentially on the knowledge that students receive in first-cycle and second-cycle studies or equivalent knowledge. In addition to what applies to first-cycle and second-cycle programmes, third-cycle programmes shall develop the knowledge and skills required for carrying out independent research (HEO 1:9a).

The qualitative target for a doctoral degree is 240 higher education credits, including an approved doctoral thesis of at least 120 higher education credits. To achieve the qualitative target for a licentiate degree, a doctoral student must complete a programme of at least 120 higher education credits, including an approved scientific dissertation of at least 60 higher education credits. The doctoral student must achieve goals that provide knowledge and understanding, skills and aptitude, evaluative ability and approach (Higher Education Ordinance, appendix 2 – degree ordinance). Local targets for programmes in specific third-cycle subjects are described in the subject’s general syllabus.

Quality assurance and follow-up

The Faculty Boards have established how the process of third-cycle studies will be quality assured and how and when follow-up will take place for aims and objectives to be achieved with quality and efficiency. The perception of the educational process by doctoral students, supervisors and alumni will be followed up through recurrent questionnaires. The Boards have also established how and when supervision of delegated decision rights to Heads of Department will take place (LTU-3180-2007).

Follow-up will take place annually when Heads of Department report to Faculty Boards what quality-improvement measures have been taken in their Departments (LTU-2360-2015). 

Every two years, alt the university´s research subjects are evaluated. The evaluation is made according to a model which include a number of quantitative measures, self-evaluation and dialogue, summary and identification of possble action needs (LTU-4769-2019).

The handbook for third-cycle studies contains internal guidelines, checklists, forms and templates and references to the Higher Education Ordinance and national laws and contribute to the clarification of rules and guidelines for third-cycle studies.