Doctoral Studies

A brief introduction

The program of post-graduate studies in sociology includes two consecutive levels, leading to the degrees of Filosofie licentiat and Filosofie doktor (PhD), respectively. The duration of studies leading to the highest degree (PhD) is normally four years. (The normal four-year period may be extended if compensated time is spent on, for example, teaching undergraduate courses).

The program is organized around two main parts.

•The first part (75 credits or eighteen months of full-time studies) consists of courses (see below), including a pre-thesis paper.
•The second part consists of work on a thesis for obtaining the degree of Filosofie doktor (an additional 165 credits). It is also possible to take a Filosofie licentiat degree (60+60 credits)
Theses must be written in Swedish, English, German or French, and must be publicly defended before a dissertation committee which evaluates both the thesis and the defense.
Courses and seminars are given in both Swedish and English. There are no separate courses specifically for foreign students. Swedish language courses for foreigners are offered at special institutes. Although highly recommended, knowledge of the Swedish language is not required for application to the program. Most course reading are in English. Alternative literature in English, German or French is available in most subjects when the standard literature is in Swedish. English can be used in oral examinations and examination papers.

Application and admission

Admission to the program of post-graduate studies takes place every other year. Normally, there are many students applying to our programme, but only a few are admitted. For information about application and admission se further How to apply.


Pre-dissertation work within the doctoral program totals 75 credits, including lecture courses, seminar series, reading courses as well as work on the dissertation proposal. Usually, though not necessarily, each subject amounts to 7.5 credits, which corresponds roughly to 1,000 pages of reading. Examination may be oral but a course paper is often required. Pre-dissertation work is organized as follows:
•Compulsory courses: Introductory course (7,5 credits), Methods – qualitative and quantitative (15 credits), Theory of Science/Sociology of Knowledge (7.5 credits), Sociological theory – classic and contemporary (7.5 credits) and Social psychological theory (7,5 hp). The program starts with the Introductory course. This course covers academic socialization, expectations of a research training and a number of doctoral theses are discussed and critically examined at seminars. The second part of the course consists of developing the individual dissertation proposal. The proposal is presented and discussed at seminars at the end of the first semester.
•Seminars: It is compulsory to actively attend seminars during the education (7,5 credits)
•Other courses: Subjects are often, though not necessarily, studied as individual reading courses or as reading courses within one of the department’s special seminars. After approval from the Handledarkollegium (The Board of Supervisors) graduate courses at other universities both in Sweden and abroad may be taken as alternatives to the courses offered at the Department.

Filosofie licentiat (Fil.lic.)

In addition to 60 credits including the compulsory courses an examination paper (60 credits) is required for obtaining the degree of Filosofie licentiat.

Filosofie doktor (PhD)

To obtain the degree of Filosofie doktor, a doctoral dissertation (165 credits) must be submitted. The thesis may take one of two alternative forms, namely (a) a monograph, or (b) a collection of articles, related to one single area of research. In both cases, the dissertation is published and judged in terms of its original contribution to the advancement of sociological theory and methodology. The thesis must be publicly defended before a dissertation committee and must be written in Swedish, English, German or French.

Additional information

For additional information about the doctoral program, please address all communications to:
Director of Studies for the Doctoral program
Department of Sociology
Uppsala University
Box 624
SE-751 26 Uppsala
Telephone: +46 18 471 51 83