How to apply?
The PhD degree in Law is conferred on the basis of:
1. approved completion of the required coursework
2. an approved doctoral thesis
3. an approved trial lecture on an assigned topic
4. an approved public defence of the thesis (disputation)
Structure of the required coursework
The required coursework comprises of a compulsory part (20 credits) and an elective part (10 credits). The elective part may be adapted to the individual PhD student. The purpose of the required coursework is to further develop the scientific basis the PhD student has acquired through their master’s degree in Law and to provide the PhD student with a solid academic basis for the work on their thesis.
The required coursework is compulsory for all PhD students admitted to the PhD programme and must be implemented in line with the PhD student’s approved schedule for the PhD programme, normally during the first two years of the programme.
The doctoral thesis constitutes the largest part of the PhD programme and is an independent work that forms the basis of assessment for the PhD degree. The doctoral thesis should deal with a topic in the field of law and be based on knowledge acquired through other courses in the PhD programme. Moreover, the doctoral thesis must produce new knowledge in the field of law and be of such a scholarly level that it merits publication as part of the literature in the field of law.
The course descriptions for the various courses are available in UiT’s online study catalogue: https://uit.no/utdanning.
For supplementary descriptions of the required level, see ‘The level of doctoral degrees in law at the Faculty of Law, University of Tromsø’
Through the required coursework and doctoral thesis, the PhD programme will enable candidates to conduct research in the field of law of a high international standard in accordance with recognised scientific and ethical principles. During the programme, the PhD student will attain the following learning outcomes:
After successful completion of the PhD in Law, the candidate:
- is in the forefront of knowledge within his/her area of law and masters the field’s philosophy of science and methods, as well as has knowledge of interdisciplinary methods
- can evaluate the expediency and application of different methods in research and scholarly development projects and can place his/her own research within a larger academic and research context
- can contribute to the development of new knowledge, new theories, methods, interpretations and forms of documentation in the field of law
After successful completion of the PhD in Law, the candidate can:
- formulate problems, plan and carry out research and scholarly development work of a high international standard
- carry out a complex scholarly research project in the research forefront of law
- challenge established knowledge and practice in the field of law
- participate in scholarly discussions and give constructive feedback on academic work
After successful completion of the PhD in Law, the candidate can:
- identify and reflect on relevant ethical issues and carry out his/her research with a high level of scholarly integrity
- contribute independently in complex, interdisciplinary assignments and projects
- communicate research and development work through recognized national and international channels
- participate in legal debates in international fora and contribute to the Norwegian public debate with research-based knowledge
The PhD programme is designed to qualify students for research activity at a high academic level and for other types of work requiring a high degree of scientific expertise and analytical thinking. The competency to formulate research questions, plan and implement a research project is relevant for legal/jurist positions at the courts, in administration, the business community, the profession of lawyers, Police and the prosecuting authority. A candidate who has attained the PhD in Law is a specialist in their field and is also qualified for numerous other professions and duties in the private and public sector in Norway and internationally.
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The faculty and the PhD students cooperate to create a good academic and social learning environment. The students shall acquire knowledge through their own activities and high demands are placed on active participation, orally and in writing. The teaching methods in the courses are varied and include reading seminars, academic writing courses, project presentation, midway evaluation, academic supervision and article writing, in addition to elective seminars/conferences/activities, compulsory national seminars (DNDS) and a study trip abroad including a preparatory reading seminar.
The instruction is mostly in groups and as reading seminars. Prior to the reading seminar each participant/PhD student is given responsibility for reading one or more articles from the course literature, which they then present to the group. The seminar forms the basis for debate on the topic of the course or related topics, and thus broadens the participants’ academic knowledge within the field of law. The reading seminars are also intended to provide training in critical academic analysis and reflection.
Academic writing course
Prior to the academic writing courses, the participants submit their own texts to be discussed at the course. The text may be an extract from the PhD thesis or a draft of an article. The texts are distributed among the participants and each participant is responsible for introducing and providing feedback on some of the other participants’ texts. Such academic writing courses are offered in both Norwegian and English.
The purpose of the academic writing courses is to provide knowledge about the formal requirements for legal texts, and an opportunity for the participants to receive feedback from someone other than their supervisor on aspects such as how their text works linguistically, structurally and methodically. The academic writing course is also intended to provide training in research dissemination and education through roles such as the introductory speaker/co-introductory speaker and author. The courses play an important part in promoting a good learning environment among the PhD students.
Individual supervision of the work on the doctoral thesis
The most important instruction in the PhD thesis seminar, JUR-8900, consists of individual supervision of the work on the doctoral thesis. The academic supervision constitutes 280 hours, which shall be distributed throughout the project period. A minimum of two supervisors must be appointed, including the main supervisor who shall normally be employed at the faculty.
It is also intended that the PhD students raise research topics/problems from their doctoral thesis in the teaching of the various courses in the required coursework. The purpose of this is to closely link the theoretical instruction to the work on their doctoral thesis.
Moreover, the PhD students are required to hold a project presentation about the work on their thesis at an early stage of their doctoral period. They are also required to undergo a compulsory midway evaluation after approximately two years. The project presentation and midway evaluation are requirements of the course JUR-8004.
Separate guidelines have been drawn up for the various teaching methods: Guidelines for reading seminar, academic writing course, project presentation and midway evaluation
Examination and assessment
The course GEN-8001 is assessed with a written examination, the grade for which is assessed as pass/fail. Passing the other courses in the required coursework requires active preparation for and participation in an academic writing course, reading seminars and other learning activities, as outlined in the course descriptions.
In addition to passing all the courses in the required coursework, the PhD students must submit and gain approval for a statement in which they reflect on the learning outcomes for the courses they have completed and the significance of these for the work on their doctoral thesis.
The language of instruction is in the main Norwegian, but English in certain courses. This is stipulated in the relevant course description. Courses that have Norwegian as the language of instruction may be implemented in English if the composition of and consideration to the student group require this.