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Admission to third-cycle studies

Admission regulations

Higher education institutions shall also ensure that the admission regulations are available. The admission regulations comprise the regulations that apply at the higher education institution to applications, entry requirements, selection, and admission, as well as how decisions are made and how appeal can be made against them. Higher Education Ordinance 6:3

The regulations for admission to third-cycle studies at LTU have been revised and decided by the Board of the University January 14th, 2021.

Guidelines related to Admission Regulations

Notification of doctoral position

Questions about admission are decided by the university. Anyone wishing to be admitted to postgraduate education must apply within the time and in the order determined by the university. When a university intends to accept one or more doctoral students, the university shall inform about this through advertising or an equivalent procedure. However, no information needs to be provided
1. upon admission of a doctoral student who is to undergo the education within the framework of an employment with an employer other than the university,
2. upon admission of a doctoral student who has previously begun his or her postgraduate education at another higher education institution, or
3. if there are similar special reasons. Higher Education Ordinance, 7:37 (SFS 2006: 1053)

At Luleå University of Technology advertising for doctoral positions in a research subject takes place continuously during the year without established advertising opportunities. The minimum requirement is advertising on the university's main bulletin board and website and that the advertisement is submitted to the Swedish Public Employment Service. The application period is normally three weeks.

Exceptions from the requirement of advertising are if the place is intended for a doctoral student with external employment or a personal scholarship financed by a publisher other than the university, or the admission refers to the later part of the doctoral degree.

When admitting a person who is to conduct third-cycle studies within the framework of an employment at Luleå University of Technology, no advertisement is required but information about this is posted on the university´s main bulletin board.

The prerequisite for recruitment to begin is that the responsible Head of Department assesses that there is supervisor competence and capacity, a good work and study environment and funding during the planned training period. The Head of Department appoints a recruitment group with responsibility for recruitment and selection. Even gender distribution must be taken into account in the recruitment group.

Entry requirements

General and special entry requirements

A person has general entry requirements for third-cycle studies if he/she has
1. gained a degree at second-cycle level,
2. fulfilled course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, on which at least 60 credits are at second-cycle level, or
3. in some other way, in Sweden or abroad, has acquired generally equivalent knowledge. The higher education institution may allow exemption from general entry requirements for individual applicants if there are special reasons.  Higher Education Ordinance, 7:39

The demand for special entry requirements must be completely necessary for the student to be able to profit from the programme. These demands may relate to
1. knowledge from higher education or equivalent education,
2. special professional experience, and
3. necessary language skills or other conditions required for the course.
Higher Education Ordinance, 7:40

The general syllabus for each third-cycle subject area describes what special entry requirements apply to admissions for the subject area. 

The selection and admissions process

Selection of applicants from those fulfilling requirements in Sections 35 and 36 shall be made in consideration of their ability to profit from the course. The higher education institution will decide what grounds of assessment will be applied when examining applicants’ ability to profit from the course. The fact that an applicant is judged to have a previous education or professional activity that may be transferred as credits for the course may not on its own give applicants priority over other applicants in the selection process. Higher Education Ordinance, 7:41 (SFS 2010:1064).

The general syllabus for each third-cycle subject area describes what grounds of assessment apply to the selection of applicants.


For postgraduate education, the university may accept applicants who are employed as doctoral students. The university may also accept an applicant who has some other form of study funding, if the university deems that
1. the funding can be secured throughout the training, and
2. the applicant can devote so much of his time to the education that it can be completed within four years in the case of a licentiate degree or artistic licientiate degree and eight years in the case of a doctoral degree or artistic doctoral degree. Higher Education Ordinance 7:36

The Head of Department will decide on the admission of a doctoral student by delegation of the Vice-Chancellor. The admission is registered in Ladok.

Degrees for third-cycle studies

Which degree doctoral student can apply for after completed studies must be cleared before the doctoral student is admitted to third-cycle studies.

Doctoral degree
In the first instance admissions to LTU are with the goal of a doctoral degree.

Licentiate degree
Notification and/or admission to a programme with the goal of a licentiate degree will take place after consultation with the Head of Department and the Chairman of relevant Facultyboard. The Head of Department gives special reasons for admission at licentiate level. Programmes with the goal of a licentiate degree shall be mainly aimed at professional persons who wish to gain professional development in the form of third-cycle studies. If a person wishes to continue studies after achieving a licentiate degree with the goal of a doctoral degree, the person may apply for admission to the later stage of the doctoral degree. However, the time period for doctoral employment is maximised as in Higher Education Ordinance 5:7.

Double degree or joint degree
If the education the doctoral student assumes to be admitted to is a collaboration between LTU and an international university, the degree may be a double degree or joint degree if agreements between the universities exist.

The purpose of a third-cycle educational collaboration that lead to a double degree or a joint degree is to increase internationalisation, foster the prerequisites for working in an international labour market and facilitate a broader skills base and collaborative gains for the universities.

General syllabus

For each subject in which third-cycle courses or study programmes are offered a general study syllabus is required. Higher Education Ordinance 6:26 (2010:1064). A general study syllabus shall indicate the following: the main content of the study programme, specific entry requirements and any other regulations required. Higher Education Ordinance 6:27 (2010:1064).

The general syllabus, is decided by the Chairman of the revant Faculty Board, after proposal by the Head of Department. An approved general syllabus is a requirement for the recruitment and admission of a doctoral student.  A prerequisite for the establishment of a general syllabus is that supervisor competence and capacity fulfil the criteria of the Boards. The drawing up of a general syllabus will take place using established templates. 

The establishment of a third-cycle subject area takes place via the Ladok group, and may only take place after the general syllabus has been established for the third-cycle subject area.