Programme structure - PhD
The nominal length of the PhD programme is 3 years, during which time you will write a thesis and take part in research training. The educational component is worth 30 credits and consists of compulsory and elective courses and seminars.
Structure of the PhD programme
The doctorate is awarded based on:
- a doctoral thesis
- an educational component worth 30 credits
- a trial lecture and public defence
The PhD programme at the Faculty of Theology is organized as a single PhD programme and covers all of the faculty’s research fields: biblical studies, church history, systematic theology, ethics and professional ethics, practical theology, diaconal studies, and religious studies.
The scope of a PhD thesis should be such that it can be completed within the framework of the PhD programme, stipulated to 3 years net time for research training. The thesis may consist of a single work (monograph) or several shorter works (article-based thesis). In addition to writing a thesis, you must have approved participation in research training. The educational component is made up of a compulsory part worth 15 credits and an elective part worth 15 credits. The expected learning outcomes of taking a PhD are defined in the programme plan for PhDs at the Faculty of Theology.
Programme plan and regulations
It is important that you familiarize yourself with the provisions that are applicable to the organized research training at the faculty. The PhD Regulations apply to all PhD candidates at the University of Oslo, while the programme plan defines what specifically applies to PhD candidates at the Faculty of Theology.
The PhD programme is regulated by:
Introductory meeting and midway meeting
All PhD candidates will be invited to an introductory meeting with the PhD leader, supervisor(s) and the research adviser. During the meeting, issues such as practical conditions, the educational component, expected learning outcomes, the thesis work, the supervisory relationship, and general participation in the research community will be covered. Midway through the PhD study period, a meeting will be held between the PhD leader, the candidate, supervisor(s), and the research adviser. The meeting will cover the candidate’s progress in relation to the admission period and in relation to the requirements in the qualifications framework. The PhD Coordinator will report on the status of the individual candidates to the Programme Council for PhD studies.
All doctoral candidates are required to submit an annual progress report. This is done in the spring semester, and prior to the reporting deadline you will be told what to report and how. The progress report will provide details of the progress of your research work and of course completion. The main supervisor and co-supervisor will submit their own reports regarding your progress. The progress reports of the candidates will be approved by the PhD leader.
The progress report will be followed up with a progress meeting between yourself and the PhD leader. Any issues regarding progress and problems related to the supervisory relationship will be covered here. In the year that you have the midway meeting, it will replace the annual progress meeting.
Together with the thesis work, the educational component will provide education of a high academic level, with completion of a scientific work, training in academic dissemination, and an introduction to research ethics, philosophy of science, and scientific methods.
The basis for the award of credits is the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). Thirty credits should correspond to six months of work, i.e. 750–900 hours. One credit should correspond to 25–30 hours of work.
Of the 30 credits in the educational component, 15 are compulsory:
- Basic seminar (10 credits)
- Presentation seminar (5 credits)
The remaining part consists of courses that are specific to the thesis and discipline, which are worth 15 credits and can be taken at the University of Oslo or externally. These credits may be earned for example through internal courses, external courses, or conference participation with a paper. Within the 15 credits, University-funded doctoral research fellows may take the University’s education module at the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Oslo and have this approved as 5 credits within the educational component.
You must arrange for the approval and documentation of all credit-bearing participation and ensure the safekeeping of all copies of documentation throughout the doctoral period of study.
The PhD leader will approve individual courses and the candidate's overall educational component. It is a good idea to complete the educational component as early as possible during the PhD programme.
Doctoral research fellows at the faculty
Doctoral research fellows normally hold three year positions at the Faculty of Theology. If you manage to hand in your dissertation within three years of studies, you may be granted the opportunity of a 4th year at the faculty. If you manage to hand in your dissertation within 3,5 years of studies, you may be granted the opportunity of six extra months at the faculty. With 6 months or a year extra, you may be asked to be involved in teaching and examinations. Other academic, administrative, or welfare-related tasks that otherwise would have been expected to be performed by a permanent member of the academic staff at the faculty can also be involved.
The Dean of Studies and the Head of Studies will meet with the doctoral research fellow to plan such tasks. For more information, see the Guidelines for compulsory work in four-year position at the Faculty of Theology.
Please see more information about being a doctoral research fellow at the University of Oslo.
What does it mean to be a PhD candidate with external funding?
As a PhD candidate with external funding you can participate in research activities in the PhD programme and you will be supervised by a staff member at the Faculty of Theology. You will have access to the faculty’s library resources. You will not receive financial support from the faculty, and you will not receive office space.
The normal period of admission is up to 6 years, with a 3-year net organized research training period. In other words, it is possible to do the doctorate on a part-time basis, but it is essential that you work at least 50% on doctoral work during each year of part-time enrollment.
The admission period is defined in the PhD contract upon admission. You must have a valid admission agreement for the duration of the study period. If you need to extend the admission period, you must expressly apply for this.