Antingen stödjer din webbläsare inte javascript, eller är javascript inaktiverat. Denna webbplats fungerar bäst om du aktiverar javascript.

Rules for establishing a subject for programmes at the 3rd-cycle level

Adopted by the Research and Education Board on 25 May 2023
In effect from 1 June 2023
Case number HV 2023/42

1       Introduction

The purpose of these rules is to facilitate and support those actors whose job it is to write applications for establishing a subject area at the 3rd-cycle level. These rules contribute to ensuring that we maintain the high quality of programmes at the 3rd-cycle level. 

These rules deal with subjects within the framework of the authorisation University West (HV) has from the Swedish Higher Education Authority to issue general qualifications at the 3rd-cycle level.  University West is authorised to issue two degrees at the 3rd-cycle level: one is in the field of Work-Integrated Learning and the other is in the field of Production Technology.  

This authorisation means that the university has the right to develop and phase out 3rd-cycle programmes, accept students who apply to 3rd-cycle programmes, establish general and individual study plans, confer general qualifications for doctoral and licentiate degrees, etc.  An institution of higher education does not need to submit a new application to the Swedish Higher Education Authority if the structure or content of the 3rd-cycle programme is changed (see www.uka.se). 

Our current policy document does not deal with applications for authorisation to confer degrees in new research fields at the 3rd-cycle level. That is a separate process, and the application is made directly to the Swedish Higher Education Authority by the university administration.   

2       Establishing a subject area 

New 3rd-cycle-level subject areas can be established within the framework of the field for which University West has authorisation to confer degrees in Work-Integrated Learning and Production Technology. 

2.1      Dividing up responsibilities 

It is the Vice Chancellor who, after receiving an opinion from the Research and Education Board (FUN), takes the decision to establish a subject area at the 3rd-cycle level.   

  • The person responsible for creating a new 3rd-cycle subject area submits an application, together with relevant documentation to the Research and Education Board after securing approval from the relevant departmental leadership and those in charge of the relevant Complete Academic Environment.
  • After any necessary processing, and in consultation with the head of the subject area, the Research and Education Board (FUN) provide the Vice Chancellor with their opinion.
  • The case is then processed and presented to the Vice Chancellor by the responsible administrator. 

2.2      Basis for decisions 

The application must contain the following: 

Title of subject offered on a 3rd-cycle programme

  • Indicate in both Swedish and English the title of the subject offered on the 3rd-cycle programme.
  • Indicate the title of the field of research that the subject belongs under (Work-Integrated Learning or Production Technology). 

Description of the 3rd-cycle subject

  •  Describe the 3rd-cycle subject’s depth, breadth, delimitations, possible specialisations, and how it relates to the research field.
  • Describe the need for establishing a new 3rd-cycle subject and how this subject relates to relevant 3rd-cycle subjects offered nationally and internationally.
  • Account for whether and how the 3rd-cycle subject relates to research and programmes at the 1st and 2nd cycles offered in UW’s complete academic environments.
  • Describe and analyse the 3rd-cycle subject’s longevity. 
  • Describe and argue for the 3rd-cycle subject’s relevance in relation to UW’s visions, goals, and profile.  

Collaboration, resources, and other requirements

  • Describe the 3rd-cycle subject’s national and international networks and collaborations within and outside the academy. 
  • Describe planned research environments and the student welfare situation for 3rd-cycle students studying the 3rd-cycle subject. 
  • Describe what is necessary for the recruiting of 3rd-cycle students nationally and internationally.
  • Describe the human resources available, including their titles, availability, and competence (scientific, professional, and pedagogical) in relation to what is planned for the 3rd-cycle subject as part of a programme. Account for any need to hire more personnel.
  • Estimate what will be needed for the programme in terms of funding and the number of 3rd-cycle students planned for each year. 
  • Describe access to adequate resources at or outside UW and infrastructure that is needed for the programme. Account for any investments that will be necessary.
  • Describe possible forms of collaboration with several actors, within and/or outside UW, whose intention it is to collaborate on the programme being planned. 
  • Describe any other possible needs. 

Attach a proposal for a General Study Plan to the application. 

When the Vice Chancellor has taken a decision to establish the subject area, the Research and Education Board approves the General Study Plan and appoints members of a new or existing subject board.

 

Rules for the phasing out of a programme at the 3rd-cycle level

Adopted by the Research and Education Board on 25 May 2023
In effect from 1 June 2023
Case number HV 2023/42

1       Introduction

The purpose of these rules is to facilitate and support those actors whose task it is to write applications for the phasing out of a subject area at the 3rd-cycle level. These rules contribute to ensuring that we maintain high quality programmes at the 3rd-cycle level. 

These rules deal with subjects within the framework of University West’s authorisation from the Swedish Higher Education Authority to issue general qualifications at the 3rd-cycle level.  University West is authorised to issue two degrees at the 3rd-cycle level: one is in the field of Work-Integrated Learning and the other is in the field of Production Technology.  

This authorisation means that the university has the right to develop and phase out 3rd-cycle programmes, accept students who apply to 3rd-cycle programmes, establish general and individual study plans, confer general qualifications for doctoral and licentiate degrees, etc.  An institution of higher education does not need to submit a new application to the Swedish Higher Education Authority if the structure or content of the 3rd-cycle programme is changed (see www.uka.se). 

2       Phasing out a subject area

Existing subject areas on 3rd-cycle programmes within the framework of the fields of research that University West has the authorisation to confer degrees in: Work-Integrated Learning and Production Technology. 

2.1      Dividing up responsibilities 

It is the Vice Chancellor who, after receiving an opinion from the Research and Education Board (FUN), takes the decision to phase out a subject area that is part of a programme at the 3rd-cycle level.  

  • An application to phase out a subject area is submitted to the Research and Education Board by the relevant departmental leadership and those in charge of the relevant Complete Academic Environment.
  • After any necessary processing, and in consultation with the head of the subject area, the Research and Education Board (FUN) provide the Vice Chancellor with their opinion. 
  • The case involving phasing out a subject is processed and presented to the Vice Chancellor by the responsible administrator. 

2.2      Basis for decisions 

The application must contain the following: 

  • The reason for phasing out the subject. This can be, for example, changes to the university’s strategic focus, substantial shortcomings in educational quality, or that the subject has been replaced by a new subject.
  • An inquiry regarding the consequences for 3rd-cycle students who have been accepted and for the entire academic environment.
  • Suggestions for transitional rules regarding accepted 3rd-cycle students to whom the possibility of completing the programme should be provided if at all possible.  

When the Vice Chancellor has taken the decision to phase out the subject, the Research and Education Board approves suspending the General Study Plan. The relevant CAE leadership and department heads are responsible for providing written information to the 3rd-cycle students covering the transitional rules and from what date they no longer will be able to continue their studies in the subject or receive a degree in that subject. 

Rules and Guidelines for Programmes at the 3rd-Cycle Level - The Subject Council

Adopted by the Research and Education Board on 8 September 2022 
Case number HV 2022/166

For every established subject at the third-cycle level at UW, there must be a subject council that is headed up by a chairperson or a deputy chair. The subject council should promote the subject and the programme’s development and quality. The chairperson is responsible for the third-cycle programmes in this subject.

Members

Every subject council has at least five academically competent members and at least one student representative. All of the academically competent members must be active researchers in the subject or in a relevant supporting/overlapping subject. The subject council elects the chairperson and vice chairperson from among themselves. The chair must be a professor or a docent in the subject or in a supporting/overlapping subject. In addition, they must also be permanent employees of UW. The majority of the members should be professors or docents.

The Research and Education Board appoints the academically competent members upon receiving a proposal from the departmental board(s) that will be involved and/or intend to admit licentiate and/or doctoral students in the subject.

The term of office for members is four years and expires alternately so that around half the number of members is renewed every two years.

If any of the appointed members during the term of office is prevented from fulfilling their duties, a new member is appointed to take the place of the outgoing member for the remainder of the term of office with the possibility of extension. The member who is appointed for the remainder of the representative's term of office is asked if he or she wants to be a member of the subject council during the coming term.

Student representatives are appointed by the Student Union.

Areas of Responsibility

In general, the subject council is responsible for raising issues that promote the subject as well as for the subject’s development and quality based upon the needs of the third-cycle programme. In accordance with the UW quality assurance system, the subject council carries out evaluations tailored for the third-cycle programme on request of the Research and Education Board.

Before advertising doctoral or licentiate studentships, the subject council reviews and writes an opinion as to the relevance of the subject and its pertinence with regard to the documents on which the decision to advertise has been based (for example: project description, proposal for advertising the doctoral/licentiate studentship, and similar).

Before admitting any third-cycle students, including transfer students and students who have secured financing through employment by a third party, the subject council appoints at least two academic experts who together form the assessment group and are part of the recruitment group specially formed for assessing and recruiting in the admissions process, in which the management representative and a human resources specialist also participate. The appointed experts may not be biased or have any form of responsible role and/or leadership position in relation to the applicants.

The experts who have been appointed by the subject council are tasked with writing an opinion regarding the applicants’ qualifications in the subject and their ability to benefit from the programme according to the Higher Education Ordinance (HF) 7:35 as well as selecting and ranking the applicants. Their opinion should be included in the assessment report that is submitted to the subject council for approval prior to the Research and Education Board’s decision to admit the student.

Once the students have been accepted, the subject council handles matters regarding approval of the third-cycle students’ individual study plans, individual syllabi, and the transfer of credits in compulsory courses, as well as courses at the first- and second-cycle level. The subject council approves individual and elective courses at the third-cycle level. The subject council also give their written approval of the syllabi and any substantial revisions to syllabi for compulsory courses before these are submitted to the Research and Education Board for approval. Whether the approved course can take place or not is decided by those responsible for economy.

After a request from the third-cycle student and the principal supervisor’s consent and certification that no biases are present in relation to the external reviewer, the subject council decides whether a licentiate seminar and a public defence can take place. The specific form for this purpose should be used. After a proposal from the relevant department,1 the subject council appoints an external reviewer and an examiner/examining committee.

Beyond the above-mentioned areas of responsibility, the subject council should also be of assistance in assuring and maintaining the quality of the subject that is part of a third-cycle programme in accordance with the overall operational scheme and approved quality assurance system. This means that, among other things, they should contribute to the planning process, revisions, follow-up and/or proposals for measures to be taken concerning the following:

  • The general syllabus
  • Syllabi and course offerings, both compulsory and elective courses
  • Course and programme evaluations (continuous, annual)
  • Appointment of supervisor
  • Third-cycle students’ participation in the planning and implementation of their programme as well as taking account of their views

Rules and Guidelines for Programmes at the 3rd-Cycle Level - The General Syllabus

Adopted by the Research and Education Board on 8 September 2022 
Case number HV 2022/166

For each subject that is part of a third-cycle programme, there should be a general syllabus that contains the basic contents of the programme, specific entry requirements, and the other provisions that are necessary (HF 6:27). The template for the UW general syllabus indicates other necessary content. The general syllabus is set by the Research and Education Board after hearing suggestions from the relevant subject council.

Rules and Guidelines for Programmes at the 3rd-Cycle Level - The Individual Study Plan

Adopted by the Research and Education Board on 8 September 2022 
Case number HV 2022/166

Every student who has been admitted to a third-cycle programme at UW has an approved individual study plan (ISP) within 60 days of starting the programme. This will be followed up continuously and revised during the planning dialogue between the principal supervisor and the third-cycle student. It is submitted for renewed approval at least once a year.

If the third-cycle student’s post includes working in the department, that part of the ISP is also planned and followed up annually with the appropriate head of division. If the student has secured financing through employment by a third party or is a doctoral/licentiate candidate with work obligations parallel to their studies, this should be planned and followed up with the student’s immediate superior at their place of employment (so-called ‘third party’). and has work obligations at this third party parallel to their research education at UW, this should be planned and followed up with the student’s immediate superior at their place of employment (so-called ‘third party’).

When more substantial changes are made to the plan of study, such as a change of supervisor, or if the student requests it, a revised individual study plan is submitted for approval. Approval of the ISP is obtained from the subject council.2

The individual study plan should contain information about a timeframe, the supervisors, employment, degree of activity, the focus of the thesis, progress made, and whether it meets the national learning outcomes and other concerns in accordance with the established template for ISPs. The principal supervisor together with the third-cycle student are responsible for planning the student’s studies so that these learning outcomes are reached. It should be clear from the matrix for goal achievement (attached to the ISP) how and through which parts of the education the national learning outcomes will be  reached for the licentiate degree / PhD degree.

The principal supervisor, in consultation with the assistant supervisor, the third-cycle student, and the head of department or equivalent per delegation, is responsible for process planning and making suggestions for the updated ISP and its attached matrix for goal achievement. The principal supervisor is responsible for seeing to it that this is done in good time so that a correct, updated ISP is submitted for approval by the subject council and the director of research education at least one month before the previous ISP expires. The proposal is approved by the head of department or equivalent per delegation at the department responsible.

If the principal supervisor has not yet been appointed or is in the process of being changed, the department head in consultation with the subject council will appoint an appropriate person (for ex., assistant supervisor or intended principal supervisor) to process plan the individual study plan together with the third-cycle student.

 

Rules and Guidelines for Programmes at the 3rd-Cycle Level - Third-Cycle Students’ Influence

Adopted by the Research and Education Board on 8 September 2022 
Case number HV 2022/166

Third-cycle students’ right to have an influence on their studies is covered in the university’s Guidelines for Student Influence. Students have the right to be represented in all decision-making and process-planning bodies that deal with issues that in some way have significance for their programme or for other aspects of the student’s situation. For third-cycle students, this means the subject council and the Research and Education Board, representatives are appointed by the Student Union and represent the third-cycle students.

Over and above representation on decision-making and process-planning bodies, third-cycle students have the right to wield their influence over their own education and study situation through follow- up dialogues (see section 4.3), course evaluations, and an annual performance review.

Rules and Guidelines for Programmes at the 3rd-Cycle Level - Admissions

Adopted by the Research and Education Board on 8 September 2022 
Case number HV 2022/166

Admissions to studies at the third-cycle level at UW follow the university’s Admission Regulations, part B. The following directives supplement the Admission Regulations.

Being admitted to third-cycle studies requires that the student secure financing, whether that be through a doctoral/licentiate studentship at the university or through equivalent employment through a so-called third-party, such as another institution of higher learning, a business, or an organisation. A selection is made from among those who apply for a doctoral/licentiate studentship at UW and the applicants are ranked according to the process that follows below. Employment is offered to those applicants who have been ranked highest and admission to the programme takes place at the same time as the decision to employ the applicant. The Research and Education Board make admissions decisions, but the decision to employ the applicant is made by the head of the responsible department.

In addition, an employee of UW who is registered as a third-cycle student in the relevant subject at another institution can request to be considered for admission to third-cycle studies at UW.

Advertising Doctoral/Licentiate Studentships

All doctoral/licentiate studentship vacancies at UW are advertised and filled under competition. The exception to this is any third-cycle programme student who is financed through employment by a so- called third party. That sort of studentship does not need to be advertised.

The department head makes the decision to advertise a doctoral/licentiate studentship after approval from the appropriate subject council. Studentships must always be advertised on the university webpage and bulletin board, as far as possible through Euraxess, the European portal.

Applying

Admission to third-cycle studies is open to applicants who have doctoral/licentiate studentships at UW or whose studies are financed through employment by a so-called third party or through other long-term financial support. In addition to securing financing, the applicant must fulfil basic and specific entry requirements that are identified in the Admission Regulations and the general syllabus for the pertinent subject.

An application to a third-cycle programme must be in writing (using the specific form for this purpose) and contain a complete curriculum vitae, including theses from the first- and second-cycle levels as well as relevant scholarly publications. Criteria for assessment and instructions for compiling evidence of qualifications and other documentation should be established before the vacancy is announced and should be made clear in the advertisement itself.

Selection and Admissions

The applications for admission to a third-cycle programme are handled by the HR department, who also assist the group that is especially formed to deal with assessment/recruiting matters.

Selection from among the applicants who fulfil the entry requirements must be carried out with consideration to the applicant’s ability to benefit from the programme. Criteria for assessment can be found in the Admission Regulations and in the general syllabus. Previous education or work experience that can be counted toward the third-cycle programme does not mean that the applicant has an advantage over other applicants (HF 7:41). Education credits can, however, be seen as qualifications.

The Research and Education Board decisions about admissions to third-cycle programmes. After admission the following takes place:

  • The department head who is responsible makes the decision to offer the applicant employment at UW if they do not have employment through a so-called third party.
  • Admissions are registered in Ladok.
  • The decision is communicated to all applicants within three weeks of it entering into force.

Decisions to admit students to a third-cycle programme and decisions to offer applicants doctoral/licentiate studentships cannot be appealed.3

Applicants who have been hired by a so-called third party can also be admitted to third-cycle programmes. Admissions take place in the same way as for third-cycle students who are offered studentships except that in addition, a separate contract is drawn up between UW and the third- party. In this contract it should be made clear that the third party guarantees the financing of the third-cycle student up to at least 50 percent of the total study period needed for a licentiate or doctoral degree.

Third Cycle Students Transferring from Another Institution

The university can decide that a third-cycle student who has been previously accepted to a programme at the third-cycle level at UW or at another institution may transfer to another third- cycle programme at UW. A condition in both cases is that the third-cycle student’s previous third- cycle studies are judged to be relevant in terms of the university’s degree-awarding powers.

Transferring to continue on a third-cycle programme at UW requires a decision made by the Research and Education Board. This decision is based upon the transfer being in accordance with Admission Regulations, the general syllabus for the programme, and the Guidelines for the Individual Study Plan, as well as the appointment of a supervisor. Financing must be secured in the same way as for admitting a new student to third-cycle studies.

The application should contain and be supplemented by the following:

  • The completed form Application for Admission
  • The completed form Decision to Admit with a favourable opinion from the presumptive supervisor, department head and director of research education
  • A diploma that confirms eligibility to study at the third-cycle level
  • Course completion certificates for third-cycle courses taken at another institution
  • A copy of the acceptance letter from the programme that the third-cycle student is transferring from
  • The most recently revised individual study plan drawn up at UW or at another institution
  • When applying to transfer credits for compulsory courses and courses taken at the first- and second-cycle levels, a separate application must be attached.
  • A copy of the request for non-completion of a programme at another institution or request for non-completion of another programme at UW in the original
  • Attested assessment report from the subject council (in accordance with the above, see 2.3).

All documents in the application and supplementary attachments are submitted to the appropriate research education coordinator for the third-cycle programme who then passes them on for processing before and after a decision is reached. After the subject council has provided an opinion regarding qualifications in the subject and the ability to benefit from the programme, the chair of the subject council or research administration officer plans and presents the matter to the Research and Education Board. Thereafter the Research and Education Board decide if a transfer can take place.

Decisions about admissions go into effect at the same time as the doctoral/licentiate student requests non- completion of his or her third-cycle studies at the university where they were originally registered or at UW. Once the Research and Education Board has approved the transfer, a copy of the non-completion request, or the original, is submitted to the appropriate research education coordinator for further processing by the registrar and the person responsible for Ladok.

Approved Leave from Studies

Approved leave from studies refers to a previously planned, specific period of time, and is a registered absence. After the approved leave, the student continues with their studies.

The application is made on a special form and is decided by the head of department after approval from the relevant subject council. Study breaks must be documented in the individual study plan and provide a corresponding extension of the education period.

During a leave from studies, the third-cycle student is not entitled to use any resources for research education studies, such as supervision or laboratory equipment. See also Section 3.2 regarding an extension of the doctoral/licentiate studentship.

Non-Completion and Changing the Subject for Research

Non-completion means that the third-cycle student discontinues their research education studies and that a new admissions process must be carried out if the student in question wishes to continue their research education studies at a later date. When terminating one’s doctoral/licentiate studentship, which must be done in writing, non-completion is registered by submitting the appropriate form. For third-cycle students who are employed by a third party, non-completion is regulated by their contract and is registered as above.

Changing the subject area of one’s research is treated as a new admission. If the third-cycle student is accepted to the programme for the new subject area, a written notification of non-completion in the previous subject for research is submitted to the research education coordinator for further administration.

Expulsion from Studies

In accordance with the Higher Education Act 4:6–7 as well as the Higher Education Ordinance (2007:989) regarding expulsion of students from higher education, regardless of the level of studies, a student can be expelled from their studies if the student suffers from a mental disorder, if he or she abuses alcohol or narcotics, or is guilty of having committed a serious crime and there is a real risk that the student can injure another person or valuable property in the course of their studies.

If a reason for expulsion should arise, this has to be reported to the head of the department involved. Expulsion issues are dealt with by a national agency called the Higher Education Expulsion Board. The decisions taken by this board can be appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court by both the student and the university. The board can revisit their decision no sooner than two years after it was taken if the student requests it.

Appealing a Decision

The decisions below, which relate to third-cycle programmes, may be appealed in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance 12:2. Most of these decisions can be appealed to the national agency called the Higher Education Appeals Board (ÖNH). Appeals are directed to this board but are submitted to the university via the Registrar’s Office.

  • Decisions regarding the transfer of credits from another programme or giving credit for professional employment
  • Decisions that dismiss a third-cycle student’s request to be excused from a compulsory component of the programme
  • Decisions to discontinue providing resources for a third-cycle student according to Ch. 6, Section 30 of the Higher Education Ordinance, as well as decisions not to return a third-cycle student’s funding in accordance with Ch. 6, Section 31 of the same document
  • Decisions that dismiss a student’s request to receive a diploma or course certificate

Decisions in the above situations have to be in writing and contain information as to how the student can appeal them, as well as how much time he or she has to do so.

Rules and Guidelines for Programmes at the 3rd-Cycle Level - Doctoral/Licentiate Studentships

Adopted by the Research and Education Board on 8 September 2022 
Case number HV 2022/166

Doctoral and licentiate studentships are posts held for a limited time period of four and two years, respectively, provided full-time studies and remunerated by the Swedish state. As with all posts at the university, these posts are regulated by the Civil Service Law (1994:260) (LOA) and its provisions regarding, for example, secondary employment and wrong- doing/misconduct. Employees with doctoral/licentiate studentships are protected by the same insurance policy as other employees at the university, and they have the same right to annual holiday and other leave. Once a year, employees with doctoral/licentiate studentships have the same right as other employees to a personal, performance review dialogue with their immediate superior.

Departmental Duties

Normally, doctoral and licentiate students employed by UW carry out some departmental duties within the framework of their studentship, a maximum of 20 per cent of a full-time post, spread out over the duration of their studies. The scope of departmental duties should correspond to an extension of the duration of employment.

Departmental duties should have relevance for the doctoral/licentiate student’s studies and be planned as well as followed up on in a consultation between the supervisor, the third-cycle student and their immediate superior. This sort of consultation must take place in good time before the annually updated ISP is submitted for approval and finalised by the subject council and director of research education. The duties carried out can consist of teaching, administration, or research. Scope and content should be accounted for in the individual study plan.

A doctoral/licentiate student who teaches within the framework of their departmental duties must have credits in, or at least have begun, an educational science course specializing in higher education. The term ‘teaching’ here refers to a doctoral/licentiate student taking full responsibility for tasks such as planning course lay-out and lectures, labs, seminars, and examination.

A doctoral/licentiate student who has been admitted to studies starting 1 January 2021, can count an   educational science course, worth at the most five HE credits at the second-cycle level, toward the elective courses that are part of the third-cycle programme, or the educational science course can be seen as within the framework of departmental duties after approval from the student’s superior.

A doctoral/licentiate student who has been admitted starting 1 January 2021 or later, can count credits in an educational science course toward the compulsory courses on the third-cycle programme. If the student wishes, supplementary educational science studies can be carried out within the framework of departmental duties after approval from the student’s superior.

Extending Employment

Decisions regarding the extension of doctoral/licentiate studentships are taken by the head of department after consultation with the Research and Education Board, which, when necessary, at the same time hands down a decision on an extension of the period of study (see also Section 2.5 about approved leave from studies and duration of studies).

An extension of the duration of studies decided by the head of department is documented in the individual study plan. At least one month before the doctoral/licentiate studentship was to have ended, the head of the department informs the human resources officer of the length of the extension.

Additional costs resulting from the extension of the studentship are normally covered by funding from the department involved. An extension of a doctoral/licentiate studentship is not advertised.

Rules and Guidelines for Programmes at the 3rd-Cycle Level - Third-Cycle Programmes

Adopted by the Research and Education Board on 8 September 2022 
Case number HV 2022/1664             
 

Courses on Third-Cycle Programmes

Courses that are part of a third-cycle programme are normally always at the third-cycle level. An examiner for a course at the third-cycle level is appointed by the head of the department who, after being proposed and approved by the subject council, is assigned responsibility for the course by the steering group for research education. The examiner for a course at the third-cycle level must be a professor or a docent in the relevant subject.

The exact composition of the courses is set down in the individual study plan, with consideration given to the criteria that are specified in the general syllabus, as well as relevance, specialisation, and progress made on the thesis. Depending upon the level of a course, its layout, and specialisation in relation to the general syllabus, work on the thesis and the individual study plan as a whole, it can be worth fewer credits than what is stated in the syllabus. The latter applies mainly to the transfer of credits for any course, individual course, or elective course at the third-cycle level that was taken at another institution.

The subject council is delegated decision-making powers by the Research and Education Board regarding credit transfer for a course and its scope in higher education credits. These credit transfers of courses are approved only if there is a particular reason for doing so.5 This applies to the crediting of both compulsory courses at research level/third-cycle level and elective courses at a level other than the third cycle level. In addition, courses can only be considered for credit transfer and an assessment of relevance if they have not been requirements for admission to the third-cycle programme.

Elective courses are courses outside the compulsory courses and include courses offered at UW, courses offered at other institutions of higher learning and individual courses. When the individual study plan is revised, a syllabus and transcripts of credits earned must be attached for courses taken at other institutions. Within the framework for elective courses in third-cycle programmes there is also a possibility to take an individual course and to have credits in a course at the first- or second-cycle level transferred. In both cases the layout and specialisation of the courses must be deemed relevant to the general syllabus, work on the thesis, and the individual study plan as a whole. In addition, any individual course and credit transfer at the first- and second-cycle level cannot together add up to more than 15 HE credits of the total credits in elective courses. Before an individual course can begin, a separate syllabus must be submitted for approval and finalised by the subject council.

As is the case for elective courses taken at the third-cycle level at other institutions, an individual syllabus and a separate application for credit transfer must be attached to the annual submitted updated individual study plan. All documentation is compiled and submitted to the appropriate research education coordinator before approval and finalisation as well as after further administration.

In conjunction with a transfer from another institution, the director of research education hands down a decision after receiving a favourable opinion from the subject council regarding possible inclusion of elective courses and the transfer of credits in compulsory courses.

Supervision

Every third-cycle student must have two up to three supervisors, one of whom is appointed to be the principal supervisor. The decision regarding supervisors is made by the subject council in conjunction with approval of the individual study plan. The third-cycle student has the right to    change supervisors without providing a reason. A new supervisor is appointed within 60 days.

When changing supervisors, the individual study plan is updated. The third-cycle student must be given the resources to pursue studies on the programme with the specialisation that was specified in the previous study plan. The director of research education in consultation with the head of department and the subject council assist in a change of supervisors.

The principal supervisor must be a docent or a professor and the assistant supervisor must have at least a doctoral degree (or equivalent foreign degree) in the relevant subject for the specific doctoral/licentiate project. It is the supervisors’ compiled scholarly competence that determines the way the supervisory group is put together. If necessary, a person with expert competence can be appointed for a limited part of the dissertation work. The third-cycle student’s views must be weighed in when making the decision about a supervisor and every effort should be made to have a gender balance in the supervisory group.

In any case, both supervisors should have undergone supervisor training or acquired commensurable skills in another way. If the assistant supervisor is lacking supervisor training, they should acquire such training within two years of beginning their duties as a supervisor.

Supervisors can be recruited from other institutions of higher learning or from other organisations provided that the supervisor is associated with UW through a specifically created position or contract. Normally, the principal supervisor’s primary place of employment should be at UW.

The minimal scope of supervision hours in an employee’s post is calculated to be ten percent annually for a full-time doctoral/licentiate studentship, and this is divided between the supervisors. When the doctoral/licentiate studentship is only part-time, the time allotted for supervision is usually decreased.

If the third-cycle student to a significant degree neglects to fulfil their obligations as stated in the individual study plan, the Vice Chancellor can retract the right to supervision and other resources that are part of the third-cycle programme (Higher Education Ordinance 6:30). Resources may not be retracted during the time that a third-cycle student is employed on a doctoral/licentiate studentship. The third-cycle student can apply to have these rights reinstated (Higher Education Ordinance 6:31).

The principal supervisor has responsibility for scientific quality and methodology. In addition, the principal supervisor is responsible for the following:

  • together with the assistant supervisor and the third-cycle student, planning the third-cycle study programme so that the nationally established learning outcomes are achieved
  • ensuring that the assistant supervisor and the third-cycle student are well informed of the national and local regulatory systems for third-cycle programmes
  • continuously discussing and revising the individual study plan in consultation with the third- cycle student
  • ensuring that the planning seminar, the mid-way review, and the final review have been prepared and carried out in accordance with the regulatory system
  • guiding and supporting the third-cycle student with networking and conversations about career
  • ensuring that the public defence and the licentiate seminar are prepared and carried out according to the current regulatory system.

Follow up: Research Education Studies

Follow-up Dialogue

To ensure that the nationally established learning outcomes are achieved, the principal supervisor has a continuous follow-up dialogue with the third-cycle student. If there are substantial deviations, analysis of what lies behind them should be carried out and a plan of action established. This work- in-progress dialogue should always take place in connection with the annual review of the individual study plan.

The Planning Seminar

The planning seminar is held within one year of the third-cycle student’s admission to the programme. At the seminar, the structure, research questions, methodological approaches, and plan for execution of the work on the thesis is ventilated. The presentation and material are reviewed by a discussant who has been appointed by the principal supervisor. Normally the discussant is a docent or a professor in the relevant subject and an employee of the university. The third-cycle student is responsible for composing a summary that is made available when the seminar is announced.

When a planning seminar has taken place, there is follow-up, just as with the all of the work-in- progress seminars: the actual date that the seminar took place is stated in future updates of the third-cycle student’s ISP. When the first updated ISP subsequent to the planning seminar has been submitted to the appropriate research education coordinator, approved by the subject council, and finalised by the director of research education, this work-in-progress seminar will be registered as completed in Ladok.

The Mid-Way Review

The mid-way review is scheduled when half of the time for the student’s research has passed. At this seminar the work on the whole thesis is ventilated. Documents for the seminar include both published materials, a planned manuscript, on-going research, and a plan for continuing work up until the public defence. The presentation and material are reviewed by a discussant who is appointed by the principal supervisor. Normally the discussant is a docent or a professor in the relevant subject and an employee of the university. The third-cycle student is responsible for composing a summary that is made available when the seminar is announced.

After the seminar, the discussant provides a written assessment in the form of a protocol with recommendations for the third-cycle student’s continued work on the thesis. The protocol is submitted to the appropriate research education coordinator for further administration and registration.

If the third-cycle student is to be assessed for a licentiate degree, the mid-way review is replaced by a final review.

The Final Review Before a Licentiate Seminar

The final review takes place before the licentiate seminar, and it is at this point that the licentiate thesis, as it is intended to be published (monograph or compilation thesis including the articles and the introductory chapter), is ventilated. Normally the final review seminar is scheduled at least two months before applying for a licentiate seminar (for the application for a licentiate seminar, see below). This seminar is also seen as supporting the third- cycle student’s continued studies toward a PhD, if that is planned.

The seminar is led by a chairperson who has been appointed for this purpose. The presentation and material are reviewed by a discussant, who has been appointed by the principal supervisor. Normally the discussant is a docent or a professor in the relevant subject and an employee of the university.

The third-cycle student is responsible for composing a summary that is made available when the seminar is announced.

After the seminar, the discussant provides a written assessment in the form of a protocol, which contains recommendations for appropriate measures to be taken before the licentiate seminar. The protocol is submitted to the appropriate research education coordinator for further administration and to the examiner at the licentiate seminar.

Final Review Before the Public Defence

The final review takes place before the public defence, and it is at this point that the thesis, as it is intended to be published (monograph or compilation of articles with an introductory chapter), is ventilated. Normally the final review seminar takes place within three months of applying to defend the thesis (for the application for a dissertation, see below).

The seminar is led by a chairperson who has been specifically appointed for this purpose. The presentation and material are reviewed by a discussant who has been appointed by the principal supervisor. Normally the discussant is a docent or a professor in the relevant subject and is employed by another institution of higher learning. The doctoral student is responsible for composing a summary that is made available when the defence of the thesis is announced.

After the seminar, the discussant provides a written assessment in the form of a protocol that contains recommendations for the third-cycle student’s further work on the doctoral thesis. The assessment should include recommendations for appropriate measures to be taken before the public defence. The protocol is submitted to the appropriate research education coordinator for further processing and registration and to the examining committee for the public defence.

The Announcement

Relevant information for the planning seminar, the mid-way review, and the final review before the licentiate seminar and the public defence of the doctoral thesis is sent to the appropriate research education coordinator for the handling of practical matters and forwarding of information to the subject council and the director of research education at least twenty working days before the scheduled event. The department concerned then announces the seminar at least fifteen working days before the scheduled event.

Rules and Guidelines for Programmes at the 3rd-Cycle Level - The Licentiate Thesis and the Licentiate Seminar

Adopted by the Research and Education Board on 8 September 2022 
Case number HV 2022/1664           

 

The Licentiate Thesis

To receive a licentiate degree the student needs to have completed all course requirements and have orally defended and received a passing grade on their licentiate thesis at a licentiate seminar that was open to the public. The scope and language of the thesis are stated in the individual study plan.

The thesis may contain contributions from several authors. It should be clear; however, which contributions were made by the author of the thesis. As guidance for the external reviewer and the examiner, a separate accounting over what input the co-authors have had should be attached to the thesis, and this should be signed by the author as well as the principal and assistant supervisors. A copy of the signed accounting is attached when the application for a licentiate seminar is made.

If the licentiate thesis is written in English, there must be a Swedish, Norwegian or Danish title and summary. If the essay is written in Swedish (alternatively Danish or Norwegian) there must be an English title and summary.

Stylistically, the licentiate thesis should follow the graphic profile and instructions for licentiate theses established by the Research and Education Board. ISBN and serial numbers are supplied by the university library.

Requesting a Licentiate Seminar

The licentiate thesis is reviewed and defended at a seminar that is open to the public. It is scheduled to take place during the academic term. Under extenuating circumstances, the licentiate seminar can take place within two weeks of the beginning or end of term.

The subject council decide whether a licentiate seminar will take place and it is this council that appoint a reviewer and an examiner.6 The request for a licentiate seminar is submitted to the subject council by the principal supervisor at least two months before the planned seminar.

The updated individual study plan, protocol from the final review before the licentiate seminar, and any accounting for co-authors of articles that are included in the thesis are attached to this request.

The external reviewer is normally a professor or a docent in the relevant subject area and is employed by another institution of higher learning. The examiner is a professor or docent and may not be a supervisor for the licentiate candidate. The examiner should also chair the seminar employed by University West but may not be a supervisor for the licentiate student. The examiner also chairs the seminar.

Distribution and Publication

The thesis should be made available to the reviewer and the examiner at least 25 working days before the scheduled licentiate seminar.

The reviewer and the examiner should immediately provide feedback to the third-cycle student and their supervisor if they discover any form of irregularity or have any doubts about something in the manuscript. To the extent it is possible, the reading of the manuscript should take place in such a way that this sort of feedback can be provided before publication.

Information about the time and place for the licentiate seminar as well as the summary (abstract), a popular science summary, and other relevant information should all be submitted to the appropriate research education coordinator for publication on the UW website at least 15 working days before the licentiate seminar.

The printers handle the distribution of so-called legal-deposit copies. The third-cycle student is responsible for sending a printed copy to the external reviewer and the examiner. In addition, a printed so-called duty copy is given to the library at University West. The printers are responsible for sending an electronic version of the thesis to the library for registration and publication in DiVA.  The electronic duty copy goes automatically from DiVA to the Royal Library. The third-cycle student distributes copies to his or her own department as well as other interested departments and sends review copies to appropriate journals.

No changes can be made to the thesis after publication.

The Licentiate Seminar and the Grade

The appointed examiner is also the chairperson for the seminar. After the chairperson opens the seminar, the reviewer, the respondent (the third-cycle student), and the supervisors are introduced, and the structure of the seminar is presented. At this point the respondent has the opportunity to comment upon any printing errors/corrections or other details that require explanation.

After an introductory presentation of the licentiate thesis, the defence of the thesis begins, and the external reviewer has the task of orally posing questions to the respondent about the content and conclusions drawn. When the reviewer has finished, the examiner is given the opportunity to pose questions about the thesis to the respondent. When the examiner has finished posing questions, the audience is given the opportunity to ask questions. Thereafter, the chairperson closes the seminar.

Following the licentiate seminar, the examiner hands down a decision in a protocol that specifies a grade of either pass or fail. The protocol is submitted to the appropriate research education coordinator for further administration and registration.

Rules and Guidelines for Programmes at the 3rd-Cycle Level - The Doctoral Thesis and the Public Defence

Adopted by the Research and Education Board on 8 September 2022 
Case number HV 2022/1664           

The Doctoral Thesis

To receive a doctoral degree the student needs to have completed all course requirements and have orally defended and received a passing grade on their doctoral thesis at a public defence. The scope and language of the doctoral thesis are stated in the individual study plan.

The doctoral thesis may contain contributions from several authors. It should be clear, however, which contributions were made by the author of the thesis. As guidance for the external reviewer and the examining committee, a separate accounting over what input the co-authors have had should be attached to the thesis, and this should be signed by the author as well as the principal and assistant     supervisors. A copy of the signed accounting is attached when the request for a public defence is made.

The doctoral thesis can include an examined licentiate thesis. The latter is also part of the doctoral thesis and is defended at the public defence.

If the doctoral thesis is written in English, there must be a Swedish, Norwegian or Danish title and summary. If the thesis is written in Swedish (alternatively Danish or Norwegian) there must be an English title and summary.

Stylistically, the doctoral thesis should follow the graphic profile and instructions for doctoral theses established by the Research and Education Board. ISBN and serial numbers are supplied by the university library.

Requesting a Public Defence

The doctoral thesis is reviewed and defended at a public defence. It is scheduled to take place during the academic term. Under extenuating circumstances, the public defence can take place within two weeks of the beginning or end of term.

The subject council decide whether a public defence will take place and it is this council that appoint a chairperson for the public defence, an external reviewer, and an examining committee. 7 Requests for a public defence are submitted to the subject council by the principal supervisor at least two months before the scheduled public defence.

The updated individual study plan, protocol from the final review seminar, and any accounting for co- authors of articles that are included in the thesis are attached to the request.

Distribution and Publication

The doctoral thesis manuscript should be made available to the external reviewer and the examining committee at least 35 working days before the scheduled public defence. If they discover any form of irregularity or doubt about something in the manuscript, the external reviewer and the examining committee must provide feedback to the third-cycle student and their principal supervisor immediately. To the extent it is possible, the reading of the manuscript should take place in such a way that this sort of feedback can be provided before notification of the date of              defence (so-called ‘spikning’) and publication.

A doctoral thesis is made public when the nailing ceremony (so-called ‘spikning’) takes place at the ‘nailing block’ in the lobby of the university at least fifteen working days before the public defence. At the same time, an electronic publication of the date of defence is sent to the library and made public.

No later than this date, information about the time and place for the public defence, a summary (abstract), a popular science summary with a press release, and any other relevant information are submitted to the appropriate research education coordinator for electronic publication at the university website.

Distribution of so-called legal-deposit copies of the thesis is arranged by the printer. The third-cycle student is responsible for sending a printed copy to the external reviewer and to the examining committee. In addition, a printed so-called duty copy is given to the library at University West. The printers are responsible for sending an electronic version of the thesis to the library for registration and publication in DiVA. The electronic duty copy goes automatically from DiVA to the Royal Library. The third- cycle student distributes copies to his or her own department as well as other interested departments and sends review copies to appropriate journals.

No changes may be made to the thesis after the ‘nailing ceremony’/ publication.

The Examining Committee, External Reviewer, and Chair of the Public Defence

A chairperson is in charge of the proceedings at the public defence. There is also an external reviewer present. The external reviewer must be a professor or docent. A grade is decided by an examining committee, which is appointed for each doctoral thesis.

The examining committee consists of three members and a substitute, and they decide among themselves who the chairperson will be. At least three of the members of the examining committee and the substitute must be professors or docents. Only one member of the examining committee may be an employee of UW. Women and men must be equally represented unless there is a particular reason that this should not be the case, and if so, the reason must be stated as an attachment to the decision.

No one who has a conflict of interest in his or her relation to a respondent or supervisor may be appointed to the examining committee. This includes anyone who has worked together with them on a scientific project in the form of co-authored articles or chapters in anthologies during the past five years. Having collaborated on a project more than five years ago can also be considered a conflict of interest if there was very close collaboration. These situations are evaluated from case to case.

The Public Defence, the Examining Committee’s Meeting and the grade

The public defence is opened by the chairperson and begins with an introduction of the external reviewer, the respondent, the members of the examining committee, as well as the supervisors. The way the public defence will be carried out is also presented. At this point the respondent has the opportunity to comment upon any printing errors/corrections or other details that require explanation.

After an introductory presentation of the doctoral thesis, the defence begins, and the external reviewer has the task of orally posing questions to the respondent about the content and conclusions drawn. When the external reviewer has finished, the members of the examining committee are given the opportunity to pose questions about the thesis to the respondent. When the external examiner has finished posing questions, the audience is given the opportunity to ask questions. Finally, the chairperson closes the public defence.

After the public defence, the examining committee meets to assess the doctoral thesis and determines a grade of either pass or fail. The examining committee is only able to make decisions when all three members are present. The decision is made when the majority are in agreement. When deciding a grade, consideration is taken as to the content as well as the defence of the thesis, and how well the content and defence meet the scientific community’s criteria for quality. If parts of the doctoral thesis are the result of a collaboration between the third-cycle student and others, only the input of the third- cycle student is assessed, and the compiled contributions made by the student are graded.

The external reviewer and the supervisors have the right to be present at the examining committee’s meeting and participate in the deliberations, unless the examining committee determines otherwise. The external reviewer and the supervisors never have the right, however, to participate in the final decision

After their meeting, the examining committee provides their assessment in the form of a protocol. The examining committee determines whether they have any reservations that should be reported. It is the chair of the examining committee who announces the result to the third-cycle student and those who were present at the defence. When the result has been announced, the protocol is submitted to the appropriate research education coordinator for further processing and registration.

Rules and Guidelines for Programmes at the 3rd-Cycle Level - The Degree

Adopted by the Research and Education Board on 8 September 2022 
Case number HV 2022/1664           

All administration of degrees at University West takes place in accordance with the local system of qualifications. The instructions in this document should be seen as supplementing that system of qualifications.

The third-cycle student who has fulfilled the requirements for a third-cycle degree will upon request receive a diploma. The degree is either in philosophy or technology, depending upon the field of research, and is either a doctoral degree or a licentiate degree.

The request for a third-cycle diploma is submitted using a specific form and should also include the following:

  • A copy of the entire individual study plan that was finalised following a licentiate seminar or a successful public defence
  • A copy of the protocol provided by the examining committee for a doctoral thesis or the examiner for a licentiate thesis.

Upon receipt of the request for a diploma, a degree officer checks that the student has passed or transferred credits in all the courses listed in the general syllabus and the individual study plan, that the doctoral/licentiate thesis has received a passing grade, and that its scope is consistent with the general syllabus and the individual study plan. If there are questions or anything is lacking in the documentation, the degree officer contacts the third-cycle student and the director of research education.

After a review, a decision is taken to issue a diploma in accordance with current regulations. If the request is denied, the third-cycle student is informed of this in writing and is also informed of his or her right to appeal the decision.

Fotnoter
[1] According to delegation from the Research and Education Board, Daybook nr HV 2019/411.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Higher Education Ordinance: Ch. 12, Section 2, p.1.

Updated