Faculty of Social Sciences

How to apply for admission

Application for admission to the PhD programme are written on a special form.

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Admission as an employee in a PhD fellowship position at the Faculty of Social Sciences

The Faculty has a separate guide for applicants for PhD fellowships at the Faculty. The assessment criteria are described in the Faculty’s guidelines for assessing applicants for PhD fellowships. Applicants who are offered employment in a PhD fellowship position at the Faculty of Social Sciences will be granted admission when they are appointed. Within one month of the admission decision, the PhD fellow must formalise the admission by signing an agreement on admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Admission for employees with an external employer

Applicants with an employer other than the Faculty of Social Sciences must apply for admission. Before applying to the Faculty, the applicant must contact the relevant department and ask for a potential main supervisor. An application for admission to a PhD education must normally be submitted within three (3) months after the start of the research project that will lead to the PhD degree. If there is less than one (1) year’s full-time work left on the research project at the time of application, the application will normally be rejected.

Application form

The application will be registered at the Faculty, and forwarded to the relevant Department for assessment. 

Applications that are not filled in correctly and that do not contain all the required attachments may be rejected. The application form includes a list of required attachments and a guide on filling in the form.

Applications for admission must include the following attachments:

  • diplomas (for applicants with foreign education, the diplomas for both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees must be provided)
  • CV
  • a summary of the applicant’s master’s thesis
  • a project description of 5–10 pages, including a budget and schedule
  • assessment by the academic supervisor
  • documentation of financing and rights in the event of illness (copy of the appointment letter, employment contract, grant letter)
  • declaration from the employer on the financing of the operating expenses

Applications for admission are processed as they are received.


The application will be assessed by the relevant department which then gives its recommendation to the faculty. The head of department or his/her proxy makes the recommendation.

The department will check whether the application is complete and whether the requirements concerning educational background and financing have been met. If the requirement pertaining to one’s educational background has not been met, but the department nevertheless recommends admission, the reason for this must be mentioned as must whether the candidate should be required to do some additional studying before admission. In addition, the department shall ensure the project description has been properly scrutinized by the proposed main supervisor.

As a part of the assessment process, the department must consider whether the project can be completed within the framework of the funding available to the candidate. If the department recommends admission of candidates whose financial plan does not include funding, a declaration must be appended explaining that the department will make the funding necessary available so the candidate can complete his/her doctorate. The minimum amount is currently 36 000 kroner, but each case must be assessed individually.


Based on the project description the department must write a recommendation in line with Guidelines for Assessing Applicants to Research Fellow Positions at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Bergen. The conclusion – whether the department recommends admission or not – is also written directly into point 12 on the application form. 


If the Department finds that the application is of a sufficiently high academic standard, meets the formal requirements for admission, and that the project is feasible within the time limits of the programme, the department will forward the application with the head of department’s recommendation to the Faculty. Admission decisions are issued by the Dean of the Faculty. On admission, a main supervisor and, if necessary, a co-supervisor/co-supervisors will be appointed. All applicants will be notified in writing of the faculty’s decision.