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Education

This section contains information about courses and credit transfers, participation in seminars and conferences, and work on your thesis. You can also read about research ethics and requirements for conducting your work in accordance with good research practice.

Doctoral-level courses at Södertörn University

The general syllabus for your subject states which courses you must take during your period of study. The university’s research areas for doctoral studies and the Baltic and East European Graduate School offer courses at doctoral level.

If you want to teach, there are also courses in teaching and learning in higher education.

Information about doctoral-level courses is available on www.sh.se.

Syllabuses

Every course has a syllabus and the grading scale at doctoral level is always pass (G) or fail (U). Only courses that you pass will be recorded in Ladok. Via the link below, you can search for the syllabus(es) you are interested in.

Before you take a course

You must always check with your principal supervisor before you take a course. The course must correspond to the course requirements in your subject’s general syllabus (ASP) and be documented in your individual study plan. You may need to transfer the credits if you study a course with equivalent content at another university. Credits may also need to be transferred for courses that you study at Södertörn University if they replace a compulsory course in your ASP.

If you want to take a course in teaching and learning in higher education, you should ask your supervisor whether you can take it as an elective course as part of your doctorate.

Credit transfers

Credit transfers are only made on your request. You can apply by using a special form.

Append a course certificate, syllabus or the equivalent, as well as the reading list for the course for which you would like the credits transferred. Give the application to your principal supervisor for approval. The principal supervisor then forwards the form to the administrative officer and then a decision is made in accordance with the school’s delegation of authority. The administrative officer will tell you when the credit transfer has been decided and entered in Ladok.

Credit transfers are usually for courses you study during your doctoral studies, but you can also apply for credit transfers for courses you took before being admitted. However, credits from a course that is included in the entry requirements for your doctoral studies cannot be transferred.

Admitted at another higher education institution

If you are employed at Södertörn University but admitted at another higher education institution, a course administrator will give you a certificate for courses you complete at Södertörn University. Take this, the syllabus and the reading list, to your admitting university to transfer the credits for your course using their routines. The same applies to external doctoral students taking courses at Södertörn University.

Ladok

Ladok is a national system for study documentation that provides support in various areas of education administration. Student Support Services is responsible for the university’s Ladok and Student-Ladok systems, www.student.ladok.se External link, opens in new window., which has an interface that students, teaching staff and other staff can use to access information in Ladok. As a doctoral student, you are registered each semester that you are actively studying and all the courses you take as part of your doctoral education are added to Ladok.

Ladok: certificate of registration and transcript of records

If you want to print out a certificate of registration or transcript of records from Ladok, log in to www.student.ladok.se External link, opens in new window.. If you have problems or need help, please contact your administration officer at the academic school.

Your course examiner is responsible for the courses you pass being registered in Ladok. Please check with your examiner if the course is not registered after a couple of months. Registration should really be done without a long delay.

Tip! Check your transcript of records well before the updates to your individual study plan (ISP). If a course is missing, contact the course examiner so that it can be registered before you start working on the ISP, as this makes it easier to fill in the course section of the ISP.

Ladok: all courses completed

When you have completed all the courses and received all the credits you need according to the general syllabus, they should be approved under the academic school’s routines. The courses must be approved so that you can apply for a degree certificate as soon as possible after you complete your studies and your thesis is passed by the examining committee. Check whether all your courses are listed correctly on your Ladok certificate well before the public defence of your thesis. If anything is wrong or is missing, please contact your administration officer at the academic school.

Ladok: your thesis has passed

When a public defence is completed, a thesis with a pass grade is registered in Ladok by the academic school’s administrative officer. More information, including about the translation of the thesis title in Ladok when applying for a degree certificate, is available at: Public defence, degree certificate and conferment.

The administrative officer will tell you when Ladok registration has been done, and you can then apply for a degree certificate from Student Support Services –provided that all your courses have been completed.

The subject’s seminar series is an important element of the research environment, so it is important that everyone, both researchers and doctoral students, contributes to the seminar culture and helps it thrive through their presence.

Doctoral students are expected to participate in their subject’s seminar series, as well as present texts and research results. This type of seminar series is often called higher seminars or research seminars. You are also welcome to participate in other subject’s seminars if you are interested in a particular theme. Contacts with related subjects, or other subjects, can enrich your studies in many ways.

If you are a doctoral student at BEEGS, you are also expected to participate in CBEES’ seminar series, particularly during your first year. You can get more information from the director of studies at BEEGS. If you are a doctoral student at another higher education institution, you should also participate in the seminar series there.

Discussing the extent of your participation in seminars with your supervisor is important, so that it is realistic and compatible with how you have planned your time. Plan and note your participation in your individual study plan.

If you have any questions about the higher seminar series, you can contact the subject that is responsible for it.

Thesis

To be awarded a doctoral degree, you must write a thesis. Education at doctoral level may also lead to a licentiate thesis, which is either a single scholarly essay or a stage on the way to a doctoral thesis.

One important part of your studies is presenting sections or chapters from your thesis at seminars. Each subject has a plan for these seminars; you need information about this as soon as you start your doctoral studies.

General information about work on a thesis

A thesis for a doctoral degree can either be a monograph or a compilation thesis with a collection of works on a coherent theme. The Regulations for Third-cycle Education at Södertörn University provide general information about work on a thesis:

  • A thesis is intended to document the doctoral student’s ability to autonomously apply scholarly methods to a research question in a specific subject. Work on a thesis generally requires additional literature studies and, in the natural sciences and technology, laboratory work over and above that included on the courses. Part of the thesis work is keeping up to date with the scholarly literature in the thesis’ subject area and participating in research seminars and other activities.
  • A doctoral thesis may be either one cohesive work (monograph thesis) or a compilation thesis made up of separate papers. If the thesis or a paper is jointly authored, the individual contributions must be clearly differentiated during the examination process.
  • Each steering group is responsible for common guidelines for the research area or subject regarding volume, number of manuscripts/publications, etc.
  • The doctoral thesis should be written in Swedish, Norwegian, Danish or English.
  • Applications for exceptions to these languages should be submitted to the Faculty Board.
  • If the doctoral student intends to use a language for his/her thesis that deviates from those stated in the above regulation, this should be stated in the individual study plan.
  • A thesis that is not written in English shall include a summary in English. An abstract in English is to be appended to the thesis.
  • If a thesis has been written in a language other than Swedish, Norwegian or Danish, it shall include a summary (about ½ an A4 page) in Swedish.

To supplement these regulations the library has guidelines for publishing doctoral thesis at Södertörn University [Swedish only]. Contact with the library about printing your thesis is the most important part of the preparations when your manuscript is finished and has a pass grade – so make sure you contact them well in advance and follow their routines and planning!


Subject-specific information

In addition to that stated in the above regulations, your general syllabus may have additional information about theses in your subject, such as how many credits your thesis must cover.

Planning is vital

If you are studying full time, your thesis is should be completed within the four years of your doctoral studentship. This means it is important that you consult your principal supervisor when planning your work, so you always include work on your thesis. Work on your thesis must be conducted in parallel with studying courses. You can use the planning example for four-year doctoral studentships at: Individual study plan.

Your supervisor can provide you with more detailed information about the best format for your thesis.

Thesis seminars

Your subject decides the seminar structure for doctoral students. They are sometimes called doctoral seminars and are often included in your subject’s higher seminar series. In addition to presenting thesis work at normal subject seminars, it is also common to have a planning seminar during your first year and then to present a draft of your thesis at a 50% or 60% seminar, as well as a more complete manuscript at a final seminar. A reviewer and other seminar participants provide feedback so your thesis can be completed in the best possible way.

Presenting various parts of your work during your studies is important, allowing you to benefit from as many opinions as possible about the work on your thesis. Add all the planned and completed thesis seminars to your individual study plan to help you plan your studies.

The reviewers at these seminars should not be the same as at the public defence, nor should they be on the examining committee for the thesis. If you are studying full time, there should be about six months between the final seminar and your public defence.

Suggested reading

Text & stil. Om konsten att berätta med vetenskap by Magnus Linton, Natur & Kultur, ISBN: 9789127823938, 2019.

Planning participation in a conference

Purpose

Participation in conferences and workshops is done in consultation with your supervisor and must be planned and documented in your individual study plan, so that the purpose of your participation is linked to the intended outcome of your studies. As with other aspects of your studies, participation in conferences must correspond to the targets for doctoral education given in the Higher Education Ordinance. See: Qualitative targets for licentiate and doctoral degrees.

Funding

Funding for your participation must also be agreed upon and primarily come from your own expenses. More information about potential funding is found at: Expenses.

Travel order

Please note that you must complete a travel order before you book foreign travel – there is more information about this at: Purchasing, ordering books and travel.

Administering a conference or workshop

Helping to organise a workshop or conference can also be a valuable experience. For more information, see: Departmental duties and activity reporting. If you work with conference administration as part of your departmental duties, you must ensure that the conference organiser has applied for funding for its administration, so all your worked hours count towards an extension to your period of employment.

For information about what you should consider when working with conference administration, see the page Eventstöd [Swedish only].

Research ethics

A part of your research, you must ensure that your project is conducted in accordance with good research practice. You are obliged to follow various regulations; before you start your research you must have the necessary permits and approvals.

Research ethics covers issues of how, in your research, to protect and show consideration for the people affected by the research, e.g. respondents and other people whose identities and statements will be anonymised. This includes aspects such as how the research subjects are selected, what information is provided and how, and how participation affects people during and after the project. One important principle is that the research subjects’ integrity must be protected.

Under Södertörn University’s guidelines for ethical reviews, all employees with responsibility for research, i.e. primary responsibility for projects regardless of the type of funding, employees with specific research time, and principal supervisors for doctoral students, must assess whether there is reason to submit a formal application for ethical review when planning research. If there is any uncertainty on the issue, an application must be submitted to the Swedish Ethical Review Authority.

More information about scientific misconduct and applications for ethical review is available at the page Juridiska och etiska frågor [Swedish only]

Applications and statements regarding ethical reviews must be registered. For more information about registration, please refer to the university’s information management plan (Informationshanteringsplan) or contact the central records officer. See the page Informationshantering [Swedish only].

It is important that doctoral students are informed about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is EU legislation that replaces the Swedish personal data act from 1998. You can read more at: Rättslig vägledning and GDPR för forskare [Swedish only].

Council for Research Ethics

The university has a Council for Research Ethics, which is an advisory body to the vice-chancellor. It has two main tasks:

  • working to increase knowledge at the university about issues relating to research ethics, by training in ethical reviews and the management of research data
  • evaluating and investigating suspicions of scientific misconduct and other deviations from good research practice, as well as advising the vice-chancellor in his decision-making, based on the management procedure for this area established by the university.

The Council for Research Ethics meets at least twice each semester.

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Last updated: 2021-09-14 by Kristina Hanson

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