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Postgraduate studies in Human Work Science

Published: 8 January 2009

This means that the Since its inception in 1974, Human Work Sciences at Luleå University of Technology has examined 108 doctors. The first thesis was presented 1980.

Content, scope and structure

PhD-students enrolled in our postgraduate education usually take their doctorate in human work science. A PhD-student typically work in one or more of our research projects and write her/his articles and thesis as part of this. How our PhD-program is organized is described in the general syllabus for postgraduate education at human work science. For each PhD-student an individual study plan are monitored by the student and supervisors at least once a year. In addition there is deeper follow-ups at half time (licentiate) and 90% seminars. Each PhD-student has at least two supervisors. Exam objectives are described in the Higher Education Ordinance and the “Learning outcomes for third-cycle education in human work science.” Postgraduate studies in human work science leading to a doctoral degree includes four years of study (240 credits) and consists of courses of totally 60-120 credits and a dissertation about 120-180 credits.

Courses and scientific work

The student’s composition of courses provides a broad theoretical base in the scientific field of human work science and deeper specialisation in the field of the dissertation as well as relevant general research skills, abilities and attitudes. Among the courses philosophy of science and scientific methodology are included. Most PhD-students also include courses on scientific writing, academic publishing, ethics and some form of “The classics of Human Work Science”. The usual scope is 2-3 courses per year. Postgraduate courses are organised by researchers at human work science or by other researchers at the university. It is also possible to take courses at other universities. Some courses include lectures, seminars and workshops together with other PhD-students. Other courses have large elements of self-study.

The scientific work is done individually and usually based in research projects. This is reported in the form of a dissertation (doctoral thesis). It can be designed as a monograph (book) or a compilation thesis (kappa + articles). Dissertation manuscripts must before completion be presented at research seminars or be subjected to similar scrutiny. Frequently used seminars are: First year seminar (25%), middle/licentiatseminarium (50%) and final review (90%).

The doctoral thesis will be defended orally at a public defence. The grade takes into account the contents of the thesis and the defence of the thesis. The rating (pass/fail) for a doctoral thesis is decided by an examining committee, which is appointed for each thesis.

National Graduate School in Human Work Science

In cooperation with FALF, Forum for working life research, we participate in a national graduate school in human work science. It consists of a number of postgraduate courses, one per term, arranged at different universities in Sweden.

PhD-students are employees in the research group

The PhD-student who has a PhD-position is an important employee in the research group. Responsibilities for PhD-students include, among other things, to plan and implement their own project, to write their thesis, write and publish articles, read postgraduate courses, to present their own research and discuss the research of others on internal research seminars and national and international research conferences, participate and represent the research group in networking and other external cooperation activities and assignments; present their own research in popular science contexts and actively participate in the group’s meetings, discussions, assignments and other projects. In the end of the PhD education it the work can also include to participate in the writing of research proposals, plan for further research and the own career after graduation.


Many PhD-students teach undergraduate courses and/or take on special assignments within the department or research group. This summed and “added” to the student's time management.

Eligibility and selection

All our PhD-positions are advertised and applied for in competition. General admission to postgraduate level: 1) a degree at advanced level, 2) completed course requirements of at least 240 credits, including 60 credits at advanced level, or 3) in some other way has acquired substantially equivalent qualifications. See the Higher Education Ordinance and the university’s local guidelines in the admission rules for postgraduate studies.

For selection to postgraduate studies in human work science the following selection criteria usually applies: broad knowledge of human work science, knowledge relevant to the current theis projects, good skills in oral and written communication in Swedish and/or English, as well as personal characteristics relevant to postgraduate studies.