PhD education

About doctoral education

The PhD education is a structured and organized training for researchers in an early phase of their career.

The education is to qualify the candidate for research of international standard and for other work that requires advanced scientific insight and analytical thinking.


Central elements in the PhD education

The duration of doctoral training is 3 years and consists of an original research work and a training component of at least 30 credits ECTS. The research work is documented as a written thesis; a monograph or consisting of a collection of articles including a summary article. The thesis is assessed by a committee of three members: one head of committee from UiB and two external members appointed as opponents. If approved, the thesis is defended and the research findings discussed with the opponents at a public defence. A successful defence entitles you to the PhD degree and your degree diploma will be conferred in a formal PhD award ceremony.

PhD education represents the start of your scientific career. UiB strongly advises you to develop transferable skills and to disseminate your research results during the time you spend as a PhD candidate at the university. 

To sum up, a PhD degree is awarded based on:

  • Approved completion of the training component
  • An approved academic thesis
  • An approved trial lecture on a given topic
  • A satisfactory defence in a public disputation

Learning outcomes

The following are the total knowledge, skill and general competency learning outcomes for fully qualified PhD Candidates at the University of Bergen.


The Candidate

  • is at the international forefront of their subject area, and masters the subject area's theories and/or artistic questions and methods;
  • can evaluate the appropriateness and usefulness of various perspectives, methods and processes in research and in academic and/or artistic projects;
  • can contribute to the development of new knowledge, new theories, methods interpretations and forms of documentation within their subject area.


The Candidate

  • can formulate research questions and topics for academic and/or artistic development;
  • can plan and conduct research and academic and/or artistic projects at a high international level;
  • can analyse and handle complex academic questions and challenge established knowledge and practise within their subject area.

General competencies

The Candidate

  • can identify, analyse and critically reflect on research ethics as these relate to research projects and areas;
  • can conduct research and dissemination with academic integrity and in accordance with the basic values of academic activities;
  • can account for and critically reflect on conflicts of values and interests in their own research area and in the relationship between their own research area and other social actors;
  • can contribute to the management of, and can collaborate on, complex interdisciplinary tasks and projects;
  • can disseminate research and development through highly ranked national and international channels;
  • can participate in debates within their subject area in national and international forums;
  • can evaluate the need for renewal, and can initiate and engage in groundbreaking thinking and innovation.