Doctoral Studies

We offer a PhD programme within three different academic disciplines, education, curriculum studies and sociology of education A doctoral student is admitted to one of these disciplines through separate processes of application.

The PhD programme is a four-year full-time programme. Normally, doctoral students are enrolled in the PhD programme for five years since they teach 20 percent of their time. The programme comprises a total amount of 240 credits distributed over one component of course modules and one component consisting of the dissertation. In all subjects the course module is 75 credits and the dissertation 165 credits. It is also possible to study towards a licentiate degree (120 credits). The distribution of credits between the course module and dissertation is 45/75 for Education and Sociology of Education and 37,5/82,5 for Curriculum studies.


Research administration

Maisam Ali
E-mail to the administration

Director of studies, advanced level

Gunilla Lindqvist - Education
Maria Rasmusson - Curriculum Studies
David Sjögren - Sociology of Education

In contrast to undergraduate studies, the PhD programme is less structured. Within the course modules in each of the three disciplines, the doctoral student can attend courses at the department, at other departments at Uppsala University or at other universities. Courses are given in different forms, from regular courses with lectures and seminars to reading courses where the student works individually. Doctoral students are given two supervisors who advise the student in planning the studies. The doctoral student is in contact with the supervisors throughout the PhD programme and decisions regarding courses are always taken in collaboration with the supervisors.

Every year an Individual Study Plan (ISP) is established for each doctoral student. The study plan is both an instrument for planning the studies and a document in which the student’s progress is documented.


When an applicant has been admitted to the PhD programme, two supervisors are appointed: one principal supervisor with the main responsibility for the study programme including doctoral thesis work, and one assistant supervisor. At least one of the supervisors must be employed by Uppsala University, at least one must be associate professor, and at least one has to have completed the course “Supervising PhD Students.”

Dissertation and Defence

The dissertation is written either in the form of a uniform, coherent scholarly work (monograph) or in the form of scholarly articles (cumulative thesis). The subject of the doctoral dissertation is decided in consultation with the supervisors.

During the course of the PhD programme the dissertation manuscript must be presented at work-in-progress seminars. The completed dissertation is defended at a public seminar. The PhD degree is awarded when the doctoral student has successfully completed the course component and defended the dissertation.

Announcements concerning admission to the PhD programme will be published at Uppsala University website.

Applicants are usually admitted to the programme once a year.

The applications are assessed by a group of senior researchers from each discipline who rank the applicants in order of the quality of their previous work and their research plan for the dissertation, as well as of their estimated capacity of accomplishing the PhD programme. Applicants are admitted to the PhD programme by the Head of Department under delegation from the Faculty Board.

There are no study fees at the level of the doctoral programme. However, students can only be admitted to the PhD programme if funding for their studies is guaranteed for the whole four-year period.

For the majority of doctoral students, funding is provided by the Faculty of Education in the form of employment during the study period. In rare cases, admitted students can have so-called external funding (e.g. through a research project, an employer outside of the university or another research body). Private funding, e.g. through work, parents or relatives is not accepted.

To be eligible for admission to the programme, applicants must fulfill both requirements for general eligibility and the special requirements that have been stipulated by the Faculty Board. These special requirements differ between the three disciplines.

General eligibility

Applicants must have completed a degree at the advanced level, completed courses of at least 240 credits, at least 60 of which at the advanced level, or the equivalent in some other form in Sweden or abroad. Until June 30, 2015, there are special regulations for applicants who fulfilled the requirements before July 1, 2007. For more information please read respective syllabus for each discipline. Please note that the syllabuses are in Swedish.

Special eligibility – Education

Applicants must have completed courses of at least 90 credits in Education at undergraduate and/or advanced level, or the equivalent in some other form in Sweden or abroad.

Special eligibility – Curriculum Studies

Applicants must have completed courses of at least 90 credits in Curriculum Studies at undergraduate and/or advanced level, or the equivalent in some other form in Sweden or abroad.

Special eligibility – Sociology of Education

Applicants must have completed courses of at least 90 credits at undergraduate and/or advanced level in the humanities or social sciences. These courses must be relevant to the Sociology of Education.

Language requirements

Applicants must have documented proficiency in English and Swedish. For details regarding language requirements please carefully read the call for applications.

Before you fill out and send in your application you should initiate contact with the relevant director of studies, professor or person responsible for subject in order to get oriented about current research within the subject. The following are general guidelines for what an application should include. Always read the call for application carefully as it will outline clearly what to include.


Applications should be submitted electronically through the link in the advertisement. Usually, the application consists of the following parts, but details may vary between calls:

  1. Completed application form for admission to third-cycle studies.
  2. A CV with official transcripts that verify that the applicant has met both the general and special eligibility requirements to be admitted as a doctoral student at the Faculty of Educational Sciences. Copies of official diplomas and grade transcripts.
  3. Scientific papers or essays at the C- or D-level, MA-degree thesis, and if applicable published academic texts that strengthen your qualifications in the discipline you selected. The submitted texts should be in one of the Scandinavian languages, English, French, or German. You may also submit a translated text together with the original. This translation should be in one of the following languages: Swedish, English, French, or German. Please note that you must then provide an official translation.
  4. A five-to-ten-page plan for the dissertation. The plan is an important part of the application. It should be a description of the project you intend to carry out as a doctoral student. The following aspects should be included:
  • Title
  • Aim of the study
  • Problems and questions to be addressed
  • Theoretical perspectives underpinning the study
  • Methodology
  • Data to be collected and analysed
  • List of references

Applications should be submitted electronically, through the link in each call.