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Supplementary regulations - PhD programme in Humanities and Social Sciences

Supplementary regulations for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) – PhD Programme in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education

Adopted by

The Faculty Board of the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and   Education

Pursuant to

Regulations for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the   University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway (25 October 2012 with   latest revisions 19 June 2018, ePh.ref. 2011/2871, 2014/4056, 2016/9435,   2017/6565).

Applies from

Prevailing regulation invoked 26 October 2018 (ePh.ref. 2017/2453-4)


PhD-programme in Humanities and Social Sciences – Supplementary   regulations for the degree PhD dated 24 October 2017 (ePh.ref. 2017/2453-4).


This is a translation. The Norwegian version is the official one.


Chapter I General regulations

Point 1: Applicability (cf. Section 1 of the Regulations)

The supplementary regulations concern the PhD programme at the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education (the HSL Faculty), which aims to culminate in the awarding of a PhD degree in the Humanities or Social Sciences. The regulations are supplementary for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, pertaining to admission, completion and finalising the PhD degree at the HSL Faculty.


Point 2: Objective of the doctoral degree programme (cf. Section 2 of the Regulations)

The PhD programme aims at independent research activity resulting in a scientific doctoral thesis at a high academic level. As part of the research training, the PhD candidate must complete an instruction component. The goal of the instruction component is to further develop the scientific training that the PhD student has received through previous studies. It aims to provide the PhD student with skills beyond the ones gained in the work on the doctoral thesis and to aid the student in the preparation of the thesis.

During the course of the study, the PhD students will achieve the following learning outcomes:

KNOWLEDGE – the candidates

  • are in the forefront of knowledge within the theory and methods of their field of study and are able to contribute to its development;
  • can discuss theoretical issues within their field of study at an advanced level;
  • can connect their own projects to broader scientific discussions and consider the use of different methods and approaches in their research.

SKILLS – the candidates can

  • tackle complex scientific challenges by carrying out cutting-edge research projects within their field of study;
  • write different types of academic texts within their field of study and reflect on the writing process;
  • participate in academic discussions and provide constructive feedback on scientific work.

GENERAL COMPETENCE – the candidates can

  • identify, reflect upon and deal with issues connected to research ethics and conduct research with academic integrity;
  • disseminate research and development work orally and in writing through scientific channels and channels targeting the general public;
  • contribute independently to complex and innovative projects.


Point 3: Responsibility for the doctoral degree programme (cf. Section 3 of the Regulations)

The PhD programme in Humanities and Social Sciences is adopted by the Board at the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education and provides supplementary guidelines to the Regulations for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the UiT The Arctic University of Norway.

The Programme Board is the PhD Committee at the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education. The PhD Committee’s mandate and responsibilities are incorporated in the Regulations for the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education.


Point 4: Terminology (cf. Section 4 of the Regulations)


Point 5: Contents of the doctoral degree programme (cf. Section 5 of the Regulations) 


Chapter II Admission, right to study and leave of absence

Point 6: Admission requirements for the PhD programme (cf. Section 6 of the Regulations)

All applicants should have a grade-point average of B (or equivalent) on their Master’s degree in order to be admitted to the PhD programme. The grade-point average also applies to 300 ECTS points integrated five-year Master’s degrees, in which all courses are to be included in the grade-point average. In cases where the old Norwegian grade system has been used, the admission requirement is a grade-point average of 2,5.

An exception may be granted for applicants with a grade-point average of C (or equivalent) on their Master’s degree if the candidates can document scientific work beyond their Master’s degree. Examples of what may qualify as scientific works are published peer-reviewed articles, publishable academic works and academic reports and studies.[1]

The academic character of the PhD project (methodology, perspectives and theories) determines with which research community the project should be affiliated. Therefore, the applicant should, when admitted, have affiliation to the department/centre that the doctoral project belongs to academically, regardless of whether the applicant holds a Master’s degree in a discipline at this department.

Applicants holding a Bachelor’s degree of 180 credits and a Master’s degree from a foreign institution (75 or 90 ECTS) can be admitted after individual assessment. The Master’s degree should contain a major written work equivalent to 30 ECTS and is subject to one of the following additional requirements:

  • an additional subject at the Master’s level. The applicant should have a total of 120 ECTS at the Master’s level.
  • scholarly works that are judged to counterbalance any deficiencies in the formal education (these works may not be included in the PhD programme).


Point 7: The Application (cf. Section 7 of the Regulations)

Candidates applying for a doctoral fellow position at the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education are simultaneously considered for admission to the doctoral programme.

Applicants without a doctoral fellow position at UiT the Arctic University of Norway are required to arrange for a workplace in a relevant research community at the Faculty for a total for 12 months during the admission period. Documentation from the employer that confirms permission for this, must be enclosed to the application for admission.

The deadlines for application to the PhD programme in Humanities and Social Sciences for applicants without a doctoral fellow position are April 1 and October 1. The application should follow a fixed application form.

If the applicant wishes to write a thesis in a language other than those approved in point 19, an application for this should be submitted together with the application for admission.


Point 8: Admissions Committee (cf. Section 8 of the PhD regulations)

The Appointments Committee at the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education serves as the Admissions Committee for PhD students that are employed as doctoral fellows at the Faculty. All candidates should submit an individual education plan and may be required to revise it within one month after they have commenced their position. The completed admission (processing of any revised project descriptions, individual education plan, establishment of the admission period, and possibly the completion of the choice of academic supervisors) is processed by the PhD Committee.

The PhD Committee at the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education is responsible for the admission of applicants that are employed at other units at the university and applicants without a doctoral fellow position at UiT.

For applicants without a doctoral fellow position at UiT, the Faculty receives applications as outlined in point 7 above and forwards them to the relevant department. The relevant department/centre determines whether the applicant meets the admission requirements, assesses the study plan, and recommends academic supervisors. Such academic evaluation at the department/centre level shall be carried out by a minimum of two people. After a recommendation from the relevant department, the PhD Committee makes the final decision of whether to offer admission.


Point 9. Decisions concerning admission (cf. Section 9 of the Regulations)

If there are several candidates for one place (one doctoral fellow position), and the Appointment Committee propose one or several candidates assessed by the exception regulations for admission requirements, such proposition must be argued distinctly in their assessment.

External applicants are required to have their workplace in a relevant research community at the Faculty for å total of 12 months during the admission period.


Point 10. Admission to courses in the instruction component (cf. Section 10 of the Regulations)

Applicants with an experience-based Master's degree (90 or 120 credits) are not eligible for admission to PhD courses. This applies to applicants in Category 4; cf. Section 10 of the Regulations.


Point 11. Contract (cf. Section 11 of the Regulations)


Point 12. Right to study (cf. Section 12 of the Regulations)

If a PhD student is granted a prolongation of the right to study with two years beyond standard study progression regulated by Section 12, and the PhD student has not completed the programme by the time his/her right to study expires, the PhD student may apply for an extension of the right to study for a limited period up till six months to complete the project. The application should be sent to the Faculty, and should contain an explanation for the delay and a plan for completing the programme. The application should be prepared in collaboration with the academic supervisor(s).


Point 13. Leave of absence (cf. Section 13 of the Regulations)

PhD students may apply for a leave of absence beyond Section 13 of the Regulations. The application should be sent to the Faculty and should contain an explanation for the leave and a plan for how to avoid that the leave will affect the work.


Chapter III Doctoral degree programme

Point 14: Doctoral degree programme (cf. Section 14 of the Regulations)

The Faculty will offer a seminar with focus on career guidance at least once in the PhD student admission period as preparation of the PhD student’s further career within or outside academia.


Point 15: The instruction component (cf. Section 15 of the Regulations)

The Faculty has the formal responsibility for the instruction component of the education; the individual educational measures are approved by the PhD Committee.  

The Faculty offers PhD courses in theory of science, research ethics and dissemination, which meet the requirements of the instruction component. These courses are held every year.  Courses in subject-specific theory and methods/academic approaches and perspectives are offered by the departments/centres and may vary from year to year.

PhD students may attend PhD courses organised by the Faculty or other faculties/institutions.  The PhD students are encouraged to attend courses organised by national graduate schools, national PhD courses and PhD courses at other institutions. The instruction component should be completed early in the doctoral programme, preferably during the first two to three semesters.

The instruction component must be approved by the PhD Committee before the dissertation can be submitted for evaluation.

The instruction component includes the following components:

  • Theory of science and research ethics. A total of 10 credits.
  • Dissemination. A total of 5 credits.
  • Subject specific theory and methods /academic approaches and perspectives. A total of 15 credits.

Specifically for the CASTL Graduate School:

PhD students admitted to the local CASTL Graduate School follow an alternative study programme in Linguistics. In addition to the instruction component, there are mandatory work requirements, which do not give credits. These components are described here to the extent they differ from the usual programme.


A. Active participation and integration in a research community

For the first two years of the programme for students on a 4-year PhD contract (and the first 3 semesters for those on a 3-year PhD), students are required to participate in two academic `activities’ per semester. The following qualify as activities:

(i) taking a PhD course or participating in a reading group run by CASTL

(ii) active participation in an equivalent course or reading group, as agreed with the student’s supervisors (shorter intensive courses, including  at other institutions, may be considered equivalent)

(iii) teaching (at least half a course for a full semester)

B.  Qualifying Papers

By the end of the two year period, the student is required to have submitted two approved written pieces of work of article length on two distinct topics. These should be of a sufficiently polished quality to be suitable for submission to a level 1 journal in the student’s field and can form the basis of chapters in the student’s projected dissertation, although they do not need to.


Requirements for documentation in order to get the instruction component approved

Documentation required for approval of (credit-giving) PhD courses as part of the instruction component:

  • local, national and international PhD courses that are arranged with credits are normally approved with the stated credit score;
  • an approved participation/paper/examination must be documented by a transcript of records, a course certificate, or similar.

Documentation required for the evaluation of conference participation for credits:

  • The conference should be of scientific or academic character, that is, the topic of the conference should be scientific and the speakers should be academic scholars. The content of the conference should be relevant for the instruction component for which the credits are to be given: subject specific theory and methods/academic approaches and perspectives.
  • Model 1: In order to obtain 3 credits, the conference must extend over at least two days, and the PhD student must have held a presentation of at least 15 minutes. The workload shall be 90 hours, cf. that one credit is equivalent to 30 work hours.
  • Model 2: In order to obtain 5 credits, the conference must extend over at least two days, and the PhD student must have held a presentation of at least 20 minutes. The workload shall be 150 hours, cf. that one credit is equivalent to 30 work hours.
  • The documentation of conference participation and presentation should be supplemented, for example, by the list of participants and the conference programme. The PhD student’s conference presentation should be attached in the form of a manuscript, or similar.
  • Participation at conferences of a shorter duration or participation without holding a presentation will not be approved.
  • Only one conference participation can be approved as part of the instruction component.


Development and enrolment of PhD courses

One credit is equivalent to 30 work hours. For each course, an assessment should be made of the student’s assumed workload for the various course components: reading of curriculum, preparation of duties connected to the course (for example, planning of submission of short project descriptions or the like before the start of the course, planning of presentations, reading of drafts written by fellow students), course attendance, follow-up work, and examination. A small PhD course of less than 5 credits is not recommended due to the total workload for the PhD student. Further is it not recommendable to develop large PhD courses of 10 credits because it gives fewer combination possibilities in category ‘subject specific theory and methods /academic approaches and perspectives’.

The following requirements must be met for a 5 credits PhD course to be approved:

  • The course should last for at least two days.
  • The teaching should be at least 15 hours. Student activity should be encouraged, but any extensive student work during the course should come in addition to the regular teaching.
  • The form of examination should ideally give the students the opportunity to practice genres that are often used in the research and research dissemination of the field.  Examples are: scientific paper, review paper, book review, commentary, blog post, reflection log. It is important that the form of examination be adjusted to the course content and genre.
  • The length of the examination will vary, depending on genre; however, articles should normally be about 15 pages/6000 words.
  • The size of the reading list can vary but should contain a minimum of 700 pages. A PhD course with a smaller reading list can be approved if justified separately.
  • The course leader should have a minimum competence on the level of PhD/Associate Professor.

The departments/centres will once a year be invited by the Faculty to enrol their PhD courses to be announced for the upcoming academic year.


Point 16: Academic supervision (cf. Section 16 of the Regulations)

When applying for admission to the PhD programme, the candidate can suggest academic supervisor(s), but the PhD Committee at the Faculty appoints supervisors following recommendation from the relevant department/centre. Each candidate should have at least two academic supervisors, of whom at least one should be employed within an academic community relevant to the PhD student’s project at a department or a centre at the Faculty. The tutoring resource is 240 hours per PhD student; this resource should be divided between the supervisors in accordance with their agreement.

PhD students who wish to change their supervisor(s) should submit an application with a justification to the department and/or the PhD Committee. In case a PhD student wishes to change supervisor more than once, the application should be accompanied by a detailed plan outlining how the remaining PhD period will be used.


Point 17: Affiliation with a research community (cf. Section 17 of the Regulations)


Point 18: Infrastructure (cf. Section 18 of the Regulations)


Chapter IV Doctoral thesis

Point 19: Requirements for the doctoral thesis (cf. Section 19 of the Regulations)

A monograph should normally be no longer than 300 pages. The PhD student should be the sole author of the thesis.

A collection of research papers must contain a summary article and at least three papers of normal size. Co-authored articles may provide a reason to expand the number of articles. The articles should have a level equivalent to the level required for publication in recognized scientific peer-reviewed journals. This also applies to book chapters.

In a separate part of the doctoral thesis, i.e. the summary article, the PhD student should not only summarise but also explain from an overall perspective the connection between the research questions and conclusions presented in the various papers and, in this way, document the coherence of the doctoral thesis. This shall also include a summary of the contribution to the field of research. Moreover, the summary article should also explain the methodology and theory used in the dissertation if this is not evident from the research papers. If the thesis contains previously published articles, the summary article should also contain any necessary updates so that the thesis as a whole emerges as academically up-to-date. Alternatively, such updates may be incorporated into each article. The PhD student must be the sole author of the summary article. The length of such a summary should normally be between 40 and 80 pages.

The doctoral thesis should follow research ethics rules and conventions for academic quality assurance. For co-authored articles, the criteria of the Vancouver Convention shall normally form the basis. In case of departures from the criteria of the Vancouver Convention, the reasons for this should be outlined in the declaration of co-authorship.


Language of the doctoral thesis:

The doctoral thesis should be written in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, English or Sami. If the student wishes to use a language other than the above-mentioned options, he/she must have made an application concerning this at the time of admission, cf. Point 7.


Doctoral theses including film/audio-visual material/other media:

A doctoral thesis may also include film or other material. In such case, it should be clarified how such material should be viewed in the context of the doctoral thesis. If this is not clear in the actual doctoral thesis, a detailed explanation may be provided in an appendix to the doctoral thesis.


Point 20. Works that may not be submitted (cf. Section 20 of the Regulations)


Point 21. Publication of the thesis (cf. Section 21 of the Regulations)


Chapter V Quality assurance and reporting

Point 22. Quality assurance and reporting (cf. Section 22 of the Regulations)

The Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education shall have one common routine for arrangements of midway evaluation for each PhD student. The arrangement of midway evaluation should be organized by the departments/centres. Midway evaluation is a mandatory requirement for all PhD students admitted to the PhD programme counting from the fall 2018, and must be approved before the student can take the exam (trial lecture and public defence).

The midway evaluation should be conducted in the student’s 3rd-4th or 4th-5th term (depending upon whether he/she is on a 3 year or 4 year admission contract). The midway evaluation should be a mandatory milestone in the course of study, and the term for the evaluation shall not be adjusted in any substantial way to fit the student progress unless particular circumstances (sickness, leave of absence) indicates otherwise. The evaluation should both address the PhD study progress with regard to completing the study on time, and provide the student (and the supervisors) with constructive professional feedback on the submitted material that the student can bring with him/her for the remaining PhD work.

The committee shall consist of two members. At least one of the members should have no connection with the student’s department/centre or close research community.

A conclusion of delayed progress in the PhD study, may cause cancellation of the PhD contract, cf. Chapter VII of the Regulations.

It is optional for the departments/centres to have additional offers for evaluations, e.g. last reading of manuscript before submission of the doctoral thesis.

The PhD student and the academic supervisors should submit an annual progress report. Failure to submit the progress report may cause cancellation of the PhD contract, cf. Chapter VII of the Regulations. With this report as its basis, the department should hold an annual research meeting with the PhD student. The department creates a department report to be processed by the PhD Committee.


Chapter VI Obligation to report results

Point 23. Obligation to report results (cf. Section 23 of the Regulations)


Chapter VII Termination of contract

Point 24. Voluntary termination (cf. Section 24 of the Regulations)


Point 25. Enforced termination (cf. Section 25 of the Regulations)

The authority to decide enforced termination of doctoral degree training, is delegated to the PhD Programme Board by the Faculty’s Board in case FS 13-2017 Delegation of authority to the Phd Board – Modification of HSL Faculty’s Regulations, 4 May 2017 (ePh.ref. 2017/2453-1).


Chapter VIII Assessment of the thesis

Point 26. Submission (cf. Section 26 of the Regulations)

When the candidate is approaching thesis submission, the main academic supervisor should report to the department and the faculty at least two (2) months prior to the planned date of submission.

The application for evaluation of a doctoral thesis should be sent to the Faculty via the electronic submission system in Munin (UiT’s open research archive), where the doctoral thesis should be attached in pdf format. The application should be accompanied by two short summaries in Norwegian and English. The doctoral thesis is then printed by the Faculty and sent to the Evaluation Committee. If the dissertation is found worthy of public defence, another 60 copies of the thesis will be printed.


Point 27. Appointment of the evaluation committee (cf. Section 27 of the Regulations)

The PhD Committee appoints an expert evaluation committee comprising at least three members in accordance with the requirements outlined in Section 27. The relevant department proposes the composition of the committee. The evaluation committee should ideally be appointed before the thesis is submitted for evaluation.


Point 28. Withdrawal and revision of the thesis (cf. Section 28 of the Regulations)


Point 29. Grounds for obtaining supplementary details (cf. Section 29 of the Regulations)


Chapter IX The committee’s report and consideration of the report

Point 30. Deadlines (cf. Section 30 of the Regulations)

The committee should submit their recommendation as soon as possible, ideally within two months after they receive the PhD thesis for evaluation.


Point 31. Recommendation (cf. Section 31 of the Regulations)


Point 32. Processing of the committee report (cf. Section 32 of the Regulations)


Point 33. Re‐submission (cf. Section 33 of the Regulations)


Point 34. Trial lecture (cf. Section 34 of the Regulations)

The candidate shall hold one public trial lecture on a given topic. The duration of the trial lecture should be 45 minutes. The trial lecture and the defence should normally take place on the same day.


Chapter X The defence and degree award

Point 35. Defending the thesis (cf. Section 35 of the Regulations)

The defence is led by the Head of Department/Centre or his/her representative. The leader of the defence gives a brief presentation of the procedure completed thus far, including the submission and evaluation of the doctoral thesis and the trial lecture. The PhD candidate then explains the objectives and the findings of the scientific investigation. This presentation should have a duration of approximately 15 minutes. The first opponent then commences the discussion, the length of which should be of 90 minutes at most. The second opponent concludes the defence; the duration of this discussion should be no more than one hour.


Point 36. Approval of the doctoral trial (cf. Section 36 of the Regulations)


Point 37. Awarding of the degree, diploma (cf. Section 37 of the Regulations)


Chapter XI Appeals

Point 38. Appealing a decision to turn down application for admission (cf. Section 38 of the Regulations)


Point 39. Appealing a decision to disapprove the instruction component (cf. Section 39 of the Regulations)


Point 40. Appealing a decision not to disapprove a thesis, trial lecture or defence (cf. Section 40 of the Regulations)


Chapter XII Taking effect

Point 41. Taking effect (cf. Section 41 of the Regulations)

The fields of study to the PhD-programme in Humanities and Social Sciences is phased out with effect from 1 January 2019, cf. The University Boards decision on 19 June 2018 concerning the case S 13/18 Organisering av ph.d.-studiet.

[1] Blogs, newspaper analyses, reader’s letters and other academic dissemination works do not count as scientific works in this connection.

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Last updated: 16.01.2019 11:45