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Degree and public defence of a Doctoral Thesis

The Doctoral Degree

The Doctoral Degree is our highest academic degree, awarded on completion of research studies.

Read more about how to obtain your degree

Doctoral thesis and public defence

The Doctoral thesis, which is the result of the research studies programme, presents the research field and the research findings.

The Doctoral thesis consists either of a unfied research study (monograph) or a number of research papers – articles – with a general introduction to the research field (compilation thesis).

The public defence of a doctoral thesis is a seminar in which the doctoral candidate presents his or her thesis for review. At the public defence there is to be an external reviewer whose task is to closely examine the thesis. The external reviewer presents his or her queries and views on the thesis at its public defence. The public defence also involves an examiner and an examining committee. The doctoral thesis is awarded a grade of pass or fail.

Doctoral degree conferment ceremony

Once a year, the University’s new doctoral graduates are solemnly celebrated in Lund Cathedral – at the doctoral degree conferment ceremony.

Read more about the doctoral degree conferment ceremony

Licentiate degree

A licentiate degree is awarded on completion of a two-year research studies programme. The licentiate degree can also be awarded to a doctoral student who is halfway to a doctoral degree.

Licentiate degrees occur to a varying extent depending on the research field. They are relatively common within engineering but less so within medicine, for example.

Digital components at the public defence of doctoral theses

The basic principle is that the public defence of doctoral theses at Lund University shall take place with all participants physically present at premises provided by the University, but digital components may be included if there is a valid reason for this. The doctoral student and the chair of the public defence must always be physically present. At least one of the doctoral student’s supervisors and two members of the examining committee are also to be physically present, unless special circumstances apply. Other members of the examining committee, other supervisors and the external reviewer may participate digitally. 

If there is digital participation according to the above, the examining committee’s meeting is to be conducted digitally. A link to such a meeting is to be made available to the members of the examining committee as well as the external reviewer and supervisors.

Decisions on digital components at a public defence are to be taken by the Faculty Board following an assessment of the specific case. The decision is taken in consultation with the doctoral student and principal supervisor. At the time of the notification of the public defence of a thesis, the public shall be informed about any digital components that are to be used. If so desired, a link to the public defence can be shared with the general public with information about digital participation in the defence.

LU Conferences offer digital solutions for public defences and lectures. For more information, contact LU Conferences: bokning [at] service [dot] lu [dot] se.

Further information is available in the Regulations for digital components at the public defence of doctoral theses at Lund University (PDF 110 kB; new window)


Doctoral degree conferment ceremony office
+46 46 222 70 06
promotionsexp [at] rektor [dot] lu [dot] se