1 Third-cycle studies

Published: 20 February 2010

 1.1 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 (HEA Ch 1 section 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.

1.2 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. 

Follow-up will take place annually when heads of department report to faculty boards what quality-improvement measures have been taken in their departments. The faculty boards will also analyse key figures for third-cycle programmes. The perception of the educational process by doctoral students, colleagues and alumni will be followed up through recurrent questionnaires.  The boards have established how and when supervision of delegated decision rights to heads of department will take place.

Follow-up and evaluation of third-cycle subject areas take place through the indicators of proportion of external finance, scientific articles and artistic development work, research degrees and the composition of the personnel group.

The handbook for third-cycle studies and administrative regulations, templates and forms all contribute to the clarification of rules and guidelines for third-cycle studies.