Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme

Last changed: 12 October 2017

The purpose of SLU’s PhD programme is to offer an education in research that nurtures and promotes the development of independent research skills in candidates.

During their degree, candidates will undertake an original and important research project that is the result of approximately three to four years of full-time or equivalent study and supervised research training.


In the Swedish university system, one week of full-time study corresponds to 1.5 higher education credits (hp). One year of full-time study is equal to 60 hp. A doctorate degree should be completed in four years of full-time study or equivalent, that is 240 hp. For a licentiate degree, 120 hp. The doctoral thesis itself must be equivalent to at least 120 hp, according to the Higher Education Ordinance (Högskoleförordningen SFS 93:100). In practice, the thesis is often equivalent to 180 - 210 credits, while coursework represents 30 - 60 credits.

Within the above timeframes, doctoral education at SLU is flexible and there are no ready-made programmes to be followed, although some disciplines have formalised part of the education by introducing mandatory courses. In general, the supervisor and the student have considerable freedom to tailor the programme to individual requirements. However, it is strongly recommended that all doctoral students participate in some basic courses to acquire general competence.


Each candidate is entitled to supervision throughout their doctoral studies. Candidates should have two to three supervisors, one of whom is the principal supervisor. Normally, the principal supervisor raises funds for each research project. The candidate's supervisor is obliged to set up, in consultation with the candidate, an individual study plan (ISP), describing what they are expected to accomplish during their doctoral studies. Candidates will find this plan a valuable tool for managing their degree. 

PhD councils

At SLU, all PhD students are organised into one of four PhD councils.  Each council is linked to one of the faculties.

LTV Faculty - PhD student council - Alnarps studentkår (ASK)

NJ Faculty - PhD student council - Ultuna studentkår (ULS)

S Faculty - PhD student council - Skogshögskolans studentkår (SHS)

VH Faculty - PhD student council - Veterinärmedicinska föreningen (VMF)

These councils survey the quality of the university's PhD programmes. Read more about the PhD councils.


Directors of study at the LTV-faculty:

Helene Larsson Jönsson, Alnarp. Phone: 040-415370. 
Åsa Klintborg Ahlklo, Alnarp. Phone: 040-415421.

Directors of study at the NJ-faculty:

Elisabet Lewan, Uppsala, Phone: 018-67 26 29
Petra Fransson, Uppsala, Phone: 018-67 18 64

Directors of study at the S-faculty:

Göran Spong, Umeå. Phone: 0730-350641
Petra Fransson, Uppsala. Phone: 018-67 18 64

Director of study at the VH-faculty:

Jan Hultgren, Skara. Phone: 0511-67103


General information on doctoral education: Lotta HanssonLotta Jäderlund