What does a PhD degree comprise?

A PhD degree comprises four years of full-time study; however, after two years students can graduate with a licentiate degree. The first semesters consist mainly of studies, and in the later semesters the focus lies on research. Many doctoral studentships also include different forms of departmental duties, in which case the PhD degree takes five years to complete.


A principal supervisor and at least one deputy supervisor are appointed for each PhD student or licentiate student. The programme of studies is planned and executed in close consultation with the supervisors. You will spend most of your period of full-time studies working on your research project, which you will later account for in the doctoral or licentiate thesis. There are also a number of courses included in the programme, according to the subject-specific plan for each third-cycle subject.

Study plan

When you are admitted as a PhD student, an individual study plan will be prepared for you. The individual study plan will among other things specify how the entire period of study will be funded, as well as any sources of funding and the plans for the PhD studentship. 

Guidelines for Third-cycle education, Faculty of Arts

Last modified: 2021-09-27