PhD Programme in Social Science

Duration: 3 Years

Photo: Jørn Berger-Nyvoll
Photo: Jørn Berger-Nyvoll

PhD Programme in Social Science

Duration: 3 Years

Tromsø, Alta, Harstad, Narvik
Application deadline
How to apply?

The PhD study in social science offers research education in several diciplines including business, economics, marked, administration and management

Questions about the study
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The study consists of an instruction component (30 study points) and a research project that shall result in a thesis (150 study points).

The research project constitutes the main part of the study and is done under supervision of two ore more supervisors. Most often the PhD project is part of a larger research project and you will gain support from other research colleguas as well.

The instruction component consists of courses and the composition is individually adjusted. It is manadatory with a course in philosophy of science and ethics, and it is recommended to take SVF-8600 Philosophy of Science and Ethics (6 study points) to meet this requirement.

Candidates who have completed the PhD programme i social science at BFE-fak shall have the following learning outcome defined in knowledge, skills and general competence:


Knowledge – the candidate

  • is scientifically in front of his/her dicipline
  • has insight in relevant research ethic issues
  • has general knowledge about philosophy of science, how to scientifically approch problems and research methods
  • is able to evaluate the suitability and utilisation of specific methods and processes within the dicipline, both when it comes to research and scientifical development projects
  • can contribute to the development of new knowledge, new theories, methods and interpretations within the dicipline


Skills – the candidate

  • is able to prepare scientific publications and communicate scientific results through acknowledged national and international publication channels
  • is able to communicate knowledge and scientific results in a popular scientific format
  • is able to formulate the problems to be adressed, plan and conduct research and scientific development work at a high international level
  • is able to analyse complex scientific problems and challenge established knowledge and practice within the dicipline


General competence - the candidate

  • is able to make decisions on scientific and complex foundations
  • is able to conduct research with scientific integrity and has competence to lead projects and processes in accordance with ethical requirements and codes
  • is able to work interdiciplinary and evaluate his/her research in a larger and general context
  • is able to work in international research communities and attend international debates within the dicipline
  • has competence in leading and organising projects, building networks and general communication

A doctoral degree from the BFE faculty qualifies for high positions in business life, management, business life, higher education and research

Accomplishment of a 3-year Bachelor's degree (180 ECTS) and a 2-year Master's degree (120 ECTS) or a 5-year integrated Master's degree (300 ECTS), or equivalent educations in terms of volume and duration. For applicants with education from other countries than Norway, NOKUT’s GSU-list and land database will be used to evaluate if the education can be equalised to Norwegian higher education.


Candidates who have completed a 90 ECTS Master's degree, may qualify for admission by


  • Writing a thesis of 30 credits subjected to oral examination
  • Writing an article that is published, accepted or submitted to a peer-reviewed scientific journal. The scientific work shall be presented in a relevant forum and an external examiner shall evaluate the quality of the work. The work load shall be equal to 3-4 months.
  • Completing additional relevant master courses (3000-level)
  • Special syllabus is credited according to § 15 of these supplementary provisions.



  • The applicant must have a C or better on the master thesis as well as subjects included in the degree (a total of 120 ECTS), or a C or better from the last two years of an integrated master's programme (120 ECTS). A grade lower than C in one subject can be compensated with a grade better than C in any other subject. If the applicant has two subjects with the grade D or lower, the person concerned is not qualified for admission.
  • For applicants with a foreign education where the assessment of grades differs from the Norwegian grading system, the grades will be subject to individual assessment.


Applicants from many countries must document sufficient English language proficiency equivalent to university admission certification. This can be documented by:


  • Applicants who have accomplished a Master degree with English as the instruction language and have written the Master degree thesis in English are exempted from the English test.
  • Licenced English tests with a high enough score; TOEFL test with a score above 580, IELTS test with a score above 6,5 or other approved English tests 3
  • Other exceptions which appear in NOKUTS language requirement guidelines. Applicants who cannot document exceptions from UiT’s or NOKUT’s guidelines have to document their English qualifications skills with an approved English test.


Should the supervisor committee find that a candidate lacks the necessary knowledge within a certain field, the Research Committee may, on the recommendation of the academic community, instruct the candidate to complete special supplementary courses in addition to the programme's curriculum.

For PhD courses, the instruction and exam language is in English, but it can also be in Norwegian.


The PhD thesis is written in English or Norwegian and the disputation wil be conducted in the same language as in the PhD thesis.


The trial lecture will be conducted in English or Norwegian.


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