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Doctoral education

If you are admitted to a doctoral programme at Lund University you will normally have an employment as a doctoral student with associated benefits. This gives you staff status in addition to your student status. Staff status does not apply if your funding comes from external grants or employment.

Daily matters for employed doctoral students

If you are an employed doctoral student at Lund University, the following information is important for your daily work:

As regular doctoral students have both staff and student status, your terms of employment may differ from those of other university staff. Find out more about what applies to you in terms of working hours, salary, different types of leave, health promotion benefits, etc.

Terms of employment for doctoral students

Working for a public authority

The dual staff–student status also means that you will be assigned two different user accounts: a staff account or 'Lucat ID' and a student account. It is important to be aware of this, as access to various IT services and systems may depend on which account you use.

Your Lucat ID

Your student account –

Supervision and management for doctoral students

As a doctoral student you will have at least two supervisors to guide you through your doctoral programme, as required by the Higher Education Ordinance. One of them will be appointed as your main supervisor.

Your main supervisor is your academic manager and you should contact them with any issues relating to your doctoral studies or doctoral thesis (also called a research thesis or dissertation).

On the other hand, your head of department is responsible for your employment and working environment. They act as your non-academic manager, and you should contact them for any employment-related matters.

Content, structure and organisation of the doctoral programme

There are a number of documents, rules and regulations that determine how the doctoral programme is organised.

General syllabus and individual study plan

The study programme's content, structure, and organisation are influenced by a subject-specific general syllabus and an individual study plan.

In addition to the individual study plan, each research subject has its own general syllabus. This provides information on:

  • the main content and general structure of the doctoral programme
  • any compulsory examinations, and
  • whether it is possible to complete part of the programme with a so-called 'licentiate degree' (see below on this page).

The general syllabus also includes details about entry requirements, such as prior knowledge and skills. In addition, it outlines the selection criteria used by the relevant recruitment committee to rank applicants for specific doctoral positions.

Read more about general syllabi on the faculty websites:

The individual study plan is the most important document for doctoral students. It is a personalised agreement outlining the content and structure of your doctoral studies, developed in consultation with your main supervisor. This plan includes your commitments and those of the University, as well as a time and financial plan.

The individual study plan is a dynamic document that will be regularly updated in collaboration with your main supervisor. It serves as a valuable tool throughout your doctoral studies to help you complete your programme within the specified timeframe (typically four years for full-time study).

The Swedish Higher Education Ordinance governs the individual study plan. It contains rules and guidelines for its development and implementation.

Higher Education Ordinance – the Swedish Council for Higher Education website

Components of the doctoral programme

A complete doctoral programme consists of 240 ECTS, with a doctoral thesis of at least 120 ECTS. Successful completion of all the components of the doctoral programme, such as any compulsory courses or coursework, a thesis and a public defence, leads to the award of a doctoral degree.

If your defence is successful and your thesis is approved, you can apply for your doctoral degree and receive it at the festive and traditional doctoral degree conferment ceremony. You can then call yourself a doctor.

Degree and public defence of a doctoral thesis

Please note that different faculties may have organised their doctoral programmes in different ways. Find links to faculty information below.

If you complete a 120 ECTS research programme at the doctoral level with a thesis of at least 60 ECTS, you will be awarded a licentiate degree

Services and support for doctoral students

Navigating doctoral education can be challenging at times. See the list below for various services and support options for doctoral students at Lund University.

Services and support for doctoral students

Opportunities for doctoral students

Doctoral opportunities at Lund University may include postgraduate research schools, summer schools, travel and research grants, and exchanges. The specific offerings may change. Doctoral students are therefore encouraged to check the links below to stay informed about the opportunities available to them.

For more information about research conferences, visit your faculty/department website.