Doctoral studies

Do you want to become a doctoral student in medicine or pharmacy?

Doctoral studies is the highest level in the public education system. As a newly graduated doctor, you have excellent prospects for a successful professional life.

You will develop into an independent researcher, ready to tackle complex tasks in academia, industry, healthcare, and government. This involves acquiring strong knowledge in a research area, the ability for independent and critical thinking, and proficiency in scientific methods and approaches.

At the Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy at Uppsala University, you can graduate as a Doctor of Medicine or Pharmacy. You can also receive a Degree of Licentiate after completing half of the programme.

Två officianter med frack, doktorshatt och spira står och tittar ut mot foajen i universitetshuset.

Being a doctoral student involves both studies and thesis work. Studies may include courses, seminars, conferences or literature studies. In your thesis work, you will

  • Plan research projects
  • Design experiments or data collections
  • Collect data
  • Process and interpret data
  • Compile results and discussions in various types of publications and presentations

Finally, you will present your work in a licentiate or doctoral thesis.

Throughout your time as a doctoral student, you will have the support of your supervisors, course teachers and other researchers active in the research field, often nationally and internationally.

For all doctoral students, there should be a general study sullabys and an individual study plan, and during the studies, we make annual follow-ups of the individual study plan.

General study syllabus

There should be a general study syllabus for each subject where doctoral studies are organised. It should describe the main content of the programme, special entry requirements and other necessary regulations. At the Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, there is a general study syllabusfor pharmaceutical sciences and a general study syllabus for medical sciences.

Individual study plan

If you are admitted to doctoral studies, you should also have an individual study plan. It should include the University’s and your commitments and a timetable for your programme. The plan is adopted after consultation with you and your supervisor and should be followed up annually and revised if necessary.

The licentiate degree corresponds to two years of full-time study. The programme concludes with you compiling your work into a licentiate thesis, which is presented at a seminar where an examining committee decides whether or not to approve it.

The doctoral degree corresponds to four years of full-time study. The doctoral thesis is usually a compilation thesis consisting of an introductory chapter (kappa) and one or more articles or manuscripts. You defend your thesis at a public defence, where an examining committee decides whether or not to approve it.

At the Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, it is most common to be admitted to doctoral studies with the goal of obtaining a doctoral degree.

All doctoral students have a principal supervisor and at least one assistant supervisor.

Your supervisor’s main task is to help you develop into an independent researcher with a scientific approach. This is achieved, among other things, by supporting, encouraging and being available for discussions and by ensuring that your thesis work progresses at a reasonable pace so that the work is completed within the stipulated time.

Your supervisor should also facilitate your participation in relevant doctoral courses, symposia and conferences according to the individual study plan and ensure that the annual follow-up and mid-term review are carried out and documented.

To become a doctoral student at the Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, you need to

  • Be eligible
  • Have funding

To be eligible for doctoral studies, you must have:

  • Basic eligibility
  • Specific eligibility for the Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy

Basic eligibility means a second-cycle degree, approved courses of at least 240 credits – of which at least 60 credits are at second-cycle level – or equivalent knowledge acquired in another way, either in Sweden or abroad.

Specific eligibility for doctoral studies at the medical and pharmaceutical faculties means English 6, or equivalent, and education in an area relevant to the subject.

You can finance your doctoral studies by applying for and obtaining employment as a doctoral student at Uppsala University. You can find many positions on the University’s website for vacant positions.

Find vacant positions

If you are interested in a particular subject within medicine or pharmacy, you can also contact a researcher or director of studies at a department. A researcher may have funds - or will apply for funds - to hire a doctoral student, especially if they know there are interested candidates.

You can also conduct your doctoral studies as an employee of the Region with guaranteed time to conduct your doctoral studies, as an employee in the industry or through a scholarship.

You apply for admission to doctoral studies using an online form. Complete the form with the support of your principal supervisor.

Your application is reviewed by your department and then forwarded to the Research Training Committee (KUF) for decision.

The online form is in English and includes help on how to fill in the fields. If you cannot finish in one go, you can save the information and continue later.

More information and instructions for the form
Apply for admission to doctoral studies

Additional information

In addition to the information to be included in your individual study plan, your application should also include

  • The advertisement for the doctoral position
  • Motivation (if the position was not advertised)
  • Certificate of eligibility
  • Research plan
  • Certificate from your employer or head of operations (if the studies are carried out within the framework of employment other than at the University)

All applications for doctoral programmes are processed by the Research Training Committee, which makes an admission decision.

If the Committee approves your application, they will inform you by email.

If you need to supplement your application, the Committee will postpone the decision and inform you by email. Once you have completed your application, the Chair of the Committee will make the admission decision.


For more information, please contact the Research Training Committee.