7 Education processes

Published: 22 December 2009

The rules for third-cycle studies are regulated by the Higher Education Ordinance Ch. 6 Sections 1-12 and 25-49. LTU has established local rules and guidelines. 

The scope of a programme shall be stated in higher education credits, for which full-time studies during one normal study year of 40 weeks correspond to 60 higher education credits. The programme is completed with a doctoral degree of 240 higher education credits, or with a licentiate degree of at least 120 higher education credits. The programme for a licentiate degree is the equivalent of two years’ full-time studies, and for a doctorate degree four years’ full-time studies. Employment as a doctoral student normally involves 80% of working hours for education and 20% for departmental duties.  A licentiate degree should then be taken within two and a half years and a doctoral degree within five years.

7.1 Introduction of new doctoral students

At the university level the HR-division offer newly admitted doctoral students an introductory course for one day per spring and autumn.

At the departmental level, an introduction of doctoral students is arranged that is adapted to the department’s activities.  A doctoral student guide  (senior doctoral student) will be appointed as a support for the newly admitted doctoral student.

7.2 Individual study plan

An individual study plan shall be drawn up for each doctoral student. This plan shall contain the undertakings made by the doctoral student and the higher education institution and a timetable for the doctoral student's study programme. The plan shall be adopted after consultation with the doctoral student and his or her supervisors.

The individual study plan shall be reviewed regularly and amended by the higher education institution to the extent required after consultation with the doctoral student and his or her supervisors.  The period of study may only be extended if there are special grounds for doing so. Such grounds may comprise leave of absence because of illness, leave of absence for service in the defence forces or an elected position in a trade union or student organisation, or parental leave. HF 6:29 (2010:1064).

The individual study plan is an important document for both planning and follow-up of the doctoral student’s and the supervisors’ work during the programme. As a support for planning how the qualitative targets for the licentiate degree and doctoral degree are to be achieved there is a special section for that in the template "individual study plan for education at third-cycle level". A target matrix in the form of a template in which different parts of the programme can be related to different parts of the qualitative targets are also available.

Each doctoral student must have an individual study plan in accordance with the template established by the Vice-Chancellor. The principal supervisor, assistant supervisor and the doctoral student shall sign the individual study plan. If the doctoral student is in external employment, his/her immediate superior must take part in the establishment of the individual study plan. At the end of each semester the student and the supervisors follow up plan so that relevant information is recorded in system Ladok.The head of department is responsible for that the individual study is followed up at least once a year. The head of department is ultimately responsible for measures being taken when shortcomings arise. The individual study plan shall be available in the journal system Platina and dates when the plan is followed up are noted in Ladok.

7.2.1 Departmental duties

It is important that the doctoral student and supervisor, in consultation with the head of department, clarify what departmental duties involve in terms of time and tasks. The boards have established guidelines (ref 862-06) as follows:

Generally it is considered that a doctoral student should be present reasonably often in the department and participate in joint activities (e.g. departmental/divisional meetings) in the department/division since participation in the research faculty is part of the education. Duties over and above such participation are considered as departmental duties, such as teaching, supervision, other research not included in the student’s own scientific work, administration and other specific tasks.

Departmental duties on average during the period of studies may constitute at most 20% of full-time work over five years if the doctoral student has doctoral employment.

Like local working hours agreements for lecturers at LTU (ref 463-99), the departmental duties of doctoral students shall be planned annually and in consultation with the doctoral student concerned, the supervisor and head of department/division. This may best take place when updating the individual study plan.

Before the doctoral student starts to teach or work with other departmental duties, the individual study plan must clarify what departmental duties involve in terms of time and tasks. It is important that doctoral students are provided with good conditions for getting started with their studies.

When establishing the extent of teaching duties for each doctoral student, consideration must be given to preparation and follow-up work (including examination) required, which is related to the difficulty and level of the course, the character of the teaching and the subject, the structure of the teaching and method, and the doctoral student’s qualifications and experience of teaching in the course or field. The basis for establishing general figures is that one hour’s teaching with preparation and follow-up work normally requires between two and seven hours’ work. Work that does not require preparation or follow-up work is counted as hour-for-hour. A doctoral student shall have the opportunity of participating in scheduling course elements in those courses that the doctoral student will be teaching.”

7.2.2 University teaching basic courses

Courses in teaching in higher education are offered at LTU.  The head of department and supervisor, in consultation with the doctoral student, may decide whether a course in teaching in higher education shall be taken as a part of departmental duties or as a course with credits in the programme.  The agreement shall be included in the individual study plan.

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7.3 Ladok

The department administrator is responsible for registering admissions and study results in the student documentation system Ladok. Regulations on how the register shall be used can be found in ”Ordinance (1993:1153) on reporting of studies etc. at universities and higher education institutions” .

The principal supervisor is responsible for the departmental administrator reporting course and thesis credits, study activities and types of support on at least two occasions per year so that the information is registered in Ladok after the end of each calendar half-year. 100% studies correspond to a workload of 40 hours/week on average during one calendar half-year. A non-active doctoral student has 0% activity; an active doctoral student has 1% activity or more.

Registered information in Ladok is sent each calendar half-year to Statistics Sweden and the Swedish Higher Education Authority for compilation and publication, nationally and internationally. The statistics make up the basis for political decisions at a national level, the university’s annual report and internal reviews and evaluations.  The salary for doctoral students employed is regulated by a “salary scale”, on which the steps are determined by the higher education credits attained. The head of department decides on new salaries that will apply from the month after attained levels in accordance with Ladok.

Follow-up of the university’s control measurements also takes place during the year on 30/4 and 30/9, which means that updated information must be registered in Ladok before these follow-up dates.

7.4 Internationalisation

Contract between the university and another Higher Education Institution (HEI) concerning third-cycle studies with the goal of a double or joint Degree of Doctor - can be drawn up. The aim of the contract is to establish new collaborative projects and increase scientific productivity. Double degree means that the PhD student is admitted to and studies at each HEI and that the degree certificate specifies that the PhD student has taken a Degree of Doctor at each HEI following cooperation between the HEIs. Two degree certificates are issued. Joint degree means that at least two HEIs organise and run a joint programme that will result in a joint degree and one degree certificate.

A contract concerning double degree/joint degree for an individual PhD student cannot be concluded retroactively, i.e., after the PhD student has been admitted to third-cycle studies (TFN ref 2798-09, RE: ref 1194-13).

Information on which universities Luleå University of Technology has signed a contract with, contract and checklist over what each contract entails for implementation of a programme that will result in a double or joint Degree of Doctor is published under “Internationalisering” [Internationalisation] (staff web) .

7.5 Approved leave from studies

A doctoral student has the right to leave from studies for illness, parental leave, leave to serve in the defence forces, or for positions of trust in union organisations or student organisations. A head of department may grant leave from studies for other reasons after assessing the consequences of the leave on the time frame of the studies and the urgency of the programme.

7.6 Non-completion of studies

When a doctoral student, in consultation with a supervisor, decides not to complete studies before the intended degree is taken, the head of department shall establish by decision that non-completion is a fact.  The department administrator is responsible for registering non-completion in Ladok. Administrative non-completion is registered by the department for doctoral students who have not filed term registration for the last four terms. Before registering administrative non-completion, the doctoral student is informed in writing of what alternatives are available.

7.7 Change of third-cycle subject area

When a doctoral student wishes to change a third-cycle subject area, the doctoral student must apply for a break in the subject area he/she was admitted for. An application for another third-cycle subject area is made on the form Application for admission to third-cycle studies. A new individual study plan is drawn up. More information is evident in section 5: Admission to thrid-cycle studies.

7.8 Ethics

7.9 Doctoral students’ advisor

A doctoral students’ advisor is for doctoral students who feel the need to discuss their work situation, supervisor or other issues with an impartial person. Doctoral students’ advisors are qualified at the docent/professor level. The third-cycle administrator may act as a doctoral students’ advisor in cases where the university’s doctoral students’ advisor is not appropriate due to personal relationships etc.