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The defence progress

The defence is a formal academic discussion of the thesis.


  • The public defence is chaired by the dean or his or her deputy, and begins with an academic procession: the two opponents, the comitee chairperson, the dean/chairperson of the public defence proceedings and the doctoral candidate.
  • The audience stands during the procession.
  • The chair of the committee instructs the other members about the framework for a defence at UiB. The PhD candidate starts by giving a 30-minute introduction of the thesis. The opponents then discuss the thesis (one at the time) with the PhD candidate. In the event that one of the opponents is prevented from participating on the defence date, the chair of the committee must act as an opponent at the defence. The opponents are expected to give an assessment of the academic quality of the thesis and a more thorough examination of the thesis or parts of it. The opponents are equal in status and shall agree on the division of work at the defence.
  • If there are any opponents ex auditorio, they shall speak before the second opponent, so that it is always the second opponent who concludes the public defence.
  • There are no formal rules as to how much time the opponents must or may use on their opposition. Although times will vary widely in practise, it is normal for the first opponent to spend one hour and for the second opponent to spend somewhat less time. It is up to the opponents themselves to decide how long they wish to spend on their opposition
  • Copies of the thesis must be available to the public in the auditorium during the defence.
  • After the defence, the evaluation committee reports the conclusion of the defence to the faculty, which forwards the necessary information to the university board for conferral of the doctoral title on the doctoral candidate.
  • Dress code is formal, national costumes is also acceptable.


Last updated 1.7.2009