PhD Programme in Health Sciences

Duration: 3 years

PhD Programme in Health Sciences

Duration: 3 År

Tromsø, Alta, Bodø, Narvik, Harstad, Hammerfest, Kirkenes
Application deadline
How to apply?

The PhD programme in Health Sciences is a structured research education and consist of independent research work with a doctoral thesis (150 credits) and a training component (30 credits).

Questions about the study

Anine T. Andersen

Senior adviser

  • Telephone: +4777645363
  • Campus: Tromsø

Monica Karlsen

Senior Advisor at the Faculty of Heath Sciences

  • Telephone: +4777623279
  • Campus: Tromsø

Stian Løkken Myrvold


  • Telephone: +4777645741
  • Campus: Tromsø

Kenneth Webb Berg Vollan


  • Telephone: +4777623164
  • Campus: Tromsø

The PhD programme in Health Sciences is a structured research education and consist of independent research work with a doctoral thesis (150 credits) and a training component (30 credits).

The programme is standardized to a three year duration, extended to four year for mandatory duties. Part-time study is possible, with a requirement that at least 50 % of the working hours will be dedicated to the PhD programme.

The PhD programme follows this structure:

  • HEL-8900 Doctoral thesis in Health Sciences (150 credits)
  • Training component (30 credits)

Training component:

Courses within the training component should be at a doctoral level and cover topics including scientific theory, ethics, and communication. The training component is worth 30 credits, with a minimum of 20 credits completed after admission.

Mandatory courses:

  • HEL-8040 Theory of Science, Research Ethics and Research Design (7 credits)
  • HEL-8045 Innovation and Public Research Communication (3 credits)
  • Courses in Laboratory Animal Science are mandatory for candidates with research projects involving the use of laboratory animals.
  • For candidates conducting laboratory research, it is mandatory to complete relevant Health, Safety and Environment courses at UiT.

Optional courses (20 credits):

  • PhD courses from UiT or other accredited institution in Norway or abroad
  • Specialized curriculum may be approved based on a satisfactory course description in line with UiT’s education quality system
  • Courses taken at a Norwegian or foreign research school
  • Scientific communication
  • Popular science representation

Upon successful completion of the PhD programme, the candidate will have achieved the following learning outcomes:


The candidate can:

  • Critically assess scientific methods and research design suitable for addressing various issues within the field of health science
  • Evaluate and analyze scientific-theoretical questions in their own and others’ research.
  • Critically analyze the methodological and acandemic quality of existing knowledge within their specific field of study
  • Assess the need for research and innovation within their own field of study
  • Recognize and analyze ethical issues in research
  • Evaluate the utility and appropianess of different communation channels and methods


The candidate can:

  • Critically reflect upon and justify the choice of research methods in a health science research project.
  • Select, justify, and discuss new issues within their own research area.
  • Develop projects in accordance with research ethics requirements and guidelines (including Health Research Act).
  • Design, execute, and lead a research project at a high international level.
  • Evaluate and utilize various communication channels for their own research project and field of study.

General Competence:

The candidate:

  • Is innovative and pioneering within their own field of study.
  • Actively contributes to networks within their field of study nationally and internationally.
  • Is an active contributor to societal discussions within their field of study nationally and internationally.
  • Communicates and discusses thoughtfully the issues within health sciences.
  • Please note that this is a translation of the learning outcomes provided, and some nuance in the original language may not be fully captured.

A PhD degree in Health Sciences qualifies individuals for a wide range of position both within and outside academia, where candidates are needed to:

  • Be at the forefront of knowledge within their field of expertise.
  • Possess a strong grasp of scientific theory and methods.
  • Contribute to the development of new knowledge, theories, methods, interpretations, or documentation forms.
  • Gain an overview of and analyze complex problem areas.
  • Formulate research questions, plan, and execute research or developmental work.
  • Tackle intricate academic questions, challenge established knowledge and practices.
  • Communicate knowledge from their field to society and engage in academic discussions.
  • Evaluate the need for, initiate, and drive innovation

10 ects 10 ects 10 ects
1. sem. (autumn) HEL-8900 Ph.d.-avhandling i helsevitenskap - 150 stp.
2. sem. (spring) HEL-8040 Theory of science, research ethics and research design - 7 stp.
3. sem. (autumn)
4. sem. (spring)
5. sem. (autumn)
6. sem. (spring) HEL-8890 Ph.d. prøveforelesning i helsevitenskap - 0 stp.
7. sem. (autumn)
8. sem. (spring)
9. sem. (autumn)
10. sem. (spring)
11. sem. (autumn)
12. sem. (spring)

For admission to the PhD programme in Health Sciences, the following requirements are stipulated:

  • The candidate must have completed a five-year Norwegian master’s degree, Norwegian higher-level professional education, or an education deemed equivalent by the faculty. Candidates with foreign higher education will be evaluated in accordance with the Universities and University College Act (§3-5, third paragraph)
  • The candidate must have achieved a grade of C or better on the master’s thesis and as an average for the master’s degree.
  • Foreign candidates must provide evidence of English proficiency that meets the requirement for Norwegian general study competence.
  • The candidate must have satisfactory funding for the study, typically a salary equivalent to that of a research fellow position, including salary, operational funds, infrastructure and indirect costs. Requirement for funding can be waived exceptionally and in special cases for candidates who have passed student research programme. The condition for such an exception is that the candidate is nearing completion of their doctoral work.

For more information about admission to the PhD programme, go to

Teaching methods for courses within the training compoentn may include lectures, seminars and/or guidance through written or oral presentation. The specific teaching methods and extent are further detailed in the individual course description.

For the doctoral thesis, the primary teaching method consist of guidance provided by appointed main- and co-supervisor(s).

At the midpoint of the study period, the candidate’s progress will be evaluated. This mid-way assessment take form of a seminar where the candidate and the supervisor meet with an evaluation committee consisting of two faculty members with a doctoral degree or equivalent. Successfully completing the mid-way assessment is a mandatory requirement to be eligible for submitting the PhD thesis for evaluation, unless the candidate is admitted to an abbreviated PhD programme.

Learning amd assessment methods are described in more details in the course outline for HEL-8900 Doctoral Thesis in Health Sciences

The teaching language for PhD courses in the training component is Norwegian/ Nordic and/or English.

The thesis, including the abstract, should have a consistent language. As a general rule this should be English. Norwegian or another Nordic language may be accepted. The choice of language should be specified in the admission application and approved by the admission committee.

The study program utilizes the following measures for internationalization:

  • English-language teaching and course literature
  • Incorporation of international conference participation with credit in the training component
  • International PhD student enviroment (ToDoS)
  • International exchange agreement and collaboration agreements.

Institute Country
University of Oulu Finland