5 Admission to third-cycle studies

Published: 22 December 2009

5.1 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. Ordinance (2010:1064). The regulations for admission to third-cycle studies at LTU are valid from 01/07/2007 and are adapted to the amended higher education ordinance and the Bologna structure of the educational system.

5.2 General syllabus


For each subject in which third-cycle courses or study programmes are offered a general study syllabus is required. HF 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. HF 6:27 (2010:1064).

The general syllabus, established by the faculty board after proposals by the head of department, 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 in Student service, and may only take place after the general syllabus has been established for the third-cycle subject area.

A general syllabus for each third-cycle subject area is published for each disciplinary domain and department.

5.3 Recruitment

Issues related to admission will be determined by the university. Any person wishing to be admitted to third-cycle studies must apply within the time and in the fashion determined by the university. When a university intends to admit one or more doctoral students, it must provide information about this through advertising or equivalent procedure. However, information is not required
1. for admission of a doctoral student who will take the course within the framework of employment with another employer than the university,
2. for admission of a doctoral student who has previously started a course at third-cycle level at another seat of learning, or
3. if there are other similar special reasons. Higher Education Ordinance, 7:37 (SFS2006:1053)

5.3.1 Notification

Places for doctoral students are advertised for three weeks. The minimum requirement is that the doctoral position is advertised on the university website.  An exception is made from the requirement to notify if the position is intended for a lecturer employed at Luleå University of Technology, a doctoral student with external employment or a personal scholarship financed by another source than the university, or if the admission is for a later part of a doctoral degree.  A prerequisite for starting recruitment is that the head of department judges that there is adequate supervisor competence and capacity, a good work and study environment, and financing during the planned study period.  The head of department will appoint a recruitment group responsible for recruitment and selection.

5.3.2 Admissions with licentiate degree as goal

In the first instance admissions to LTU are with the goal of a doctoral 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 relevant board, where the chairman approves/rejects the reasons proposed by the head of department 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 be admitted to the later stage of the doctoral degree.  However, the time period for doctoral employment is maximised as in HEO 5:7.

5.4 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

5.4.1 General entry requirements

The general entry requirements that apply from 01/07/2007 included a transition regulation, in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance. If an applicant fulfilled the requirement for 120 higher education credits before 01/07/2007, the applicant should be considered as having general entry requirements after that date until the end of June 2015.

5.4.2 Special entry requirements

The general syllabus for each third-cycle subject area describes what special entry requirements apply to admissions for the subject area. Language skills required are described in the special entry requirements.

5.5 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).

5.5.1 Selection

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

5.5.2 Credit transfer from earlier studies

Credit transfer from earlier studies will be examined by the board concerned (at chairman level) within one month of admissions. Credit transfer shall be judged on its contribution to the quality of the studies and may not be a reason for an applicant being given priority in selection. Courses from which a doctoral applicant wishes to transfer credits may not be part of the general or special entry requirements for the third-cycle subject area (refer also to item 8, Courses).

5.5.3 Admission

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 and an individual study plan is drawn up.

On 30/05/2002 the faculty boards decided that it is not permissible for a person already holding a third-cycle degree to be admitted and take a degree in the same subject area, even if the intended studies have a different orientation.

5.6 Doctoral file

The department draws up a doctoral file when admitting doctoral students. Documents related to the doctoral studies are gathered in the file in accordance with the university’s established documentation plan. The doctoral file is kept at the department until the time of the licentiate seminar or public defence of a doctoral thesis. During leave from studies or discontinuation of studies, including the degree examination, the file is transferred to the Archive and the registrar for archiving.