Skip to main content

PhD Programme in Social Sciences

The aim of the PhD programme in Social Sciences is to prepare PhD candidates for a career in research and higher education, as well as for other work that requires advanced scientific expertise and analytical skills.

Publisert: Endret:
Study start:


Admission Requirements:

Applicants with a academic background who have completed a five-year Master's degree (3+2) or (4+1). In order to apply for the PhD programme, you must apply for an available PhD vacancy. We do not accept self-funded PhD candidates.

PhD Programme in Social Sciences is organized in research schools.

Society needs graduates with strong analytical skills. Therefore, our PhD programme will deliver a research education that focusses on academic excellence. The purpose of the PhD program is to educate candidates that are able to conduct research at a high scientific level. Most of the PhD students continue to do research at universities or other research institutions. The candidates are also attractive for public and private employers that make use of research in their operations.

The program is aimed at social science research that focuses on how the benefits and values are formed and applied, how values are apportioned and how the formation and distribution of values may be affected political or commercial. Researchers from the various programme areas contribute to the PhD programme in Social Sciences through their participation in seminars and courses, and also by their supervision of PhD candidates.

The PhD programme in Social Sciences includes the following research schools:

The Research School in Economics and Business Administration (ECOBA) educate researchers who study how people and firms behave and interact within and between organizations and markets

ECOBA builds on the UiS Business School’s Master Programme in Economics and Business Administration, and allow for wide set of research questions related to the broad field of Economics and Business Administration.

Examples are topics related to investment decisions, corporate finance and governance, wage formation and labour markets, environmental, energy and resource economics, motivation and learning, strategic marketing, management and innovation, firm organization and network analysis.

Leader: Professor Mari Rege

Deputy: Professor Aslaug Mikkelsen

The Research School in Politics and Society provides an interdisciplinary research environment for PhD students interesting to study politics, society, media and organizations.

Today’s social science research is faced with a diversity of transformations. Societies are entering the Anthropocene – where the implications of studying politics, society, media and organizations become prominent.

Climate changes, migration and leadership

Climate change poses challenges for sustainable development goals, globalization and digitalization processes alter the conditions for work, communication, health and infrastructure. Social inequality, migration and rising populism puts pressures on social and political processes, raises new questions about resource allocation, and challenges fundamental social and democratic structures.

Private and public institutions and organizations face new demands in aeas of leadership and innovation. The Research School in Politics and Society provides an interdisciplinary research environment for PhD students aiming to tackle these challenges.

Varied topics

The aim of the Research School in Politics and Society (POLSOC) is to create a high quality interdisciplinary research environment at UiS for PhD students whose projects are situated within political science, sociology, organizational-, media and energy and environmental studies.

Suitable topics for sociology PhD students are varied, and reflective of the main areas of research among the sociology staff at the UiS, which all circle around a core of cultural sociology in a broad sense. These topics include social class, gender and inequality; culture; migration and ethnic relations; microsociology; digital sociology.

Students may embark on projects of both qualitative and quantitative nature. The following political science disciplines are covered by the research school: comparative politics, international relations, public administration and management, public policy, political sociology, political theory, and methods.

Societal challenges

Within these broad areas, PhD students will meet an academic staff focusing on topics such as:

Energy and environmental politics and policy, climate policy, sustainability transitions and studies related the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs); public policy at local, regional, national and supranational level; multilevel governance, innovation and reform in the public sector; international organisations and negotiations; interest groups, lobbying and corporatism; public opinion, electoral behaviour and party competition; mediatisation of politics, political communication and political agenda setting.

Media- and journalismconcerns the role of media in society at the individual, organizational- and structural level and covers digital journalism studies, social media and technology studies, political communication, media systems and organisations, as well as documentary production.

Topics for organization-and managementPhD students include process perspectives, innovation and change, leadership, institutional ethnography, organizational complexity, justifications and legitimacy. The empirical fields span across private, public and volunteer sector.

Together, the breadth of subject areas covered by the disciplines embedded in the POLSOC research school reflects the wide application of social science research to societal challenges. The POLSOC research school will offer an interdisciplinary home for candidates aiming to answer such challenges, fostering a research environment founded on scientific excellence, sustainability, and innovation.

Leader: Associate Professor Ann-Karin T. Holmen

Deputy: Associate Professor Hande Eslen-Ziya

Research School in Social Work and Welfare is aiming to promote international research in social change, development, inclusion, social justice, empowerment and the role of the welfare state within these.

The interdisciplinery research school SWEL was launched November 1, 2019. It is a space for early stage researchers working on a doctorate to work as a community of practice with their peers, advisors and other experienced colleagues on projects addressing social problems and challenges in society, development of welfare services and professional practices.

A variety of disciplines

The research school’s candidates have a background in social work and/or other related disciplines, and through their participation in SWEL, collaborate with experienced educators, professionals and researchers from a variety of disciplines such as social work, sociology, pedagogy, psychology, philosophy, social policy, criminology, public health etc.

The research school encourages its members to take an active role in addressing social concerns and injustices both locally, nationally and internationally, and contribute to building a rigorous body of knowledge that makes a different to welfare practices

Advanced research competences

SWEL activities include opportunities to develop advanced research competences through a range of courses and workshops, seminars, formal and informal knowledge exchange opportunities in a collegial and stimulating research environment.

Leader: Professor Ingunn Studsrød

Deputy: Professor Sarah Hean

The aim of The Research School in Radical Interdisciplinarity is to facilitate research that seeks to investigate modes of existences, inequalities, and materialities in temporal perspectives.

ITEM is a collaborative, cross-sectional initiative between the Museum of Archaeology and Centre for Gender Studies. The aim of The Research School in Radical Interdisciplinarity is to facilitate research that seeks to investigate modes of existences, inequalities, and materialities in temporal perspectives.

In these times of ecological and political crises, it is urgent to scientifically scrutinize the past, present and future histories to do with human life, inter-species relations, environments, technologies, and artefacts, to name a few. As such, ITEM interrogates epistemological and ontological questions from a radical interdisciplinary mode of inquiry.  

Across disciplines

ITEM draws on assemblages of knowledges, methods, and empirical material across disciplines such as archaeology, gender and sexuality studies, anthropology, cultural studies, environmental history, conservation studies, geology, critical race studies, and migration studies.

ITEMoffers courses and supervision that are committed to interdisciplinary knowledge production and critical thinking on issues such as of life/death, inequalities, sustainability, human-environment interactions, bodies, identities, the posthuman, technology, migration, kinship, (de)colonization, oppression, racism, resistance, welfare, and politics.

ITEMis at once a research and training platform for PhD candidates and a structured environment for exploratory research engagements at the University of Stavanger. ITEM’smission is to establish itself as an innovative and sustainable research school for the next generation of researchers. We aim to contribute to the frontline of research training excellence nationally and internationally, and to engage collaborative research training activities through mobility and internationalization programs for PhD candidates as well as for faculty members associated with ITEM.

Integration of PhD candidates

At the core of ITEM’sapproach to doctoral training is a commitment to offer PhD candidates a critical foundation research environment devoted to ethical reflections, bottom-up and collaborative participation. ITEM will actively pursue ways to integrate PhD researchers into faculty activities to enhance the knowledge-base and encourage cross-sectional creativity and community. By including PhD candidates in a collaborative research environment, the ITEMcollective will facilitate and create processes of intersectional knowledge production, assuring the highest quality by also cooperating with external expertise. PhD candidates are expected to actively partake in and co-organize research activities.

ITEMoffers robust PhD courses that address vital theoretical and methodological knowledge as well as a diversity of new developments at the international research front. In addition, a key role for ITEMis to provide spaces and forums for collaboration, exchange and discussion. The school will continuously strive to attain a high level of psychosocial work environment for everyone as part of a resilient research environment.  

ITEMis collaborating with The National Research School for Gender Studies and the international PhD school of archaeology, Dialogues with the past.

Leader: Associate Professor Kristin Armstrong Oma

Deputy: Professor Lene Myong

The Research school in Service Leadership, International Business & Hospitality Management educate researchers within all aspects central to the service industries in general, and tourism and hospitality in particular. Our current and future PhD-students conduct research within disciplines like marketing, leadership, international business, service management & innovation, strategy, and managerial decision making, but also specialize in tourism experiences, tourism economics, the digital service economy or hospitality management. In addition, all businesses, industries and public branches within the service sectors are areas of research interest for the school.

Leader: Professor Torvald Øgaard

Deputy: Professor Trude Furunes

Required educational part

The required educational part of the PhD-programme in Social Sciences.

The educational component is compulsory for all candidates on the PhD programme, and must correspond to at least 30 credits. You should apply for approval of the educational component at least 6 months before you hand in your thesis for evaluation.In the application, the candidate must provide a plan for completion of the organized academic training in consultation with the supervisor(s).

The Faculty approves the individual candidate’s required academic training based on the recommendation of the supervisor. It is recommended that the training be completed early in the programme. On their own initiative, candidates must register for assessment in courses by the specified deadlines.

The structure of the organized academic training provides room for flexibility tailored to the candidate's needs and the project arrangements, but must include the following three elements: 

  1. 10 ECTS within Philosophy of Science / Research design
  2. 10 ECTS within Methods
  3. 10 ECTS within your specialization area

Academic presentations are obligatory and have to include these elements:

  1. Minimum one annual presentation of progress to the research environment at the University of Stavanger.
  2. At least one presentation at an international scientific conference during the research training period.
  3. At least one popular science contribution during the research training period.
  4. 50%- seminar according to the procedures for 50%- seminars.

The norm for the number of articles is at least three(3) articles, with the candidate as the first author. Main Rule: Two(2) of the articles must be submitted for publication.

All the Research Schools have an opportunity to propose their own guiding standard with requirements for article-based dissertations. The requirements for article-based dissertations may go beyond the requirements stated in the study plan, but not lower than the mentioned ones.

The requirement for article-based dissertations applies to all PhD candidates who are admitted to the PhD program in Social Science. For research schools without their own guiding standards, the rules mentioned above, will apply.

*Research School in Politics and Society (POLSOC):

The number of articles in doctoral dissertation:

  • The norm for the number of articles is at least three(3) articles, with the candidate as the first author.
  • Main Rule: Two(2) of the articles must be submitted for publication, of which at least one(1) must be published or accepted for publication.

*Research School in Social Work and Welfare (SWEL):

The number of articles in doctoral dissertation:

  • The norm for the number of articles is at least three(3) articles, with the candidate as the first author.
  • Main Rule: Two(2) of the articles must be submitted for publication, of which at least one(1) must be published or accepted for publication.

Regulations, guidelines and instructions for the PhD education

Relevant regulations, guidelines and instructions for the PhD Programme in Social Sciences

PhD courses and seminars

The courses are inter- and multidisciplinary, and candidates enrolled in PhD training outside social science research, for instance, in fields such as humanities and educational sciences, medicine and health sciences are encouraged to apply

Candidates admitted to the PhD Programmes at the University of Stavanger should apply through Studentweb

If there are more applicants than the 15 admission places available, a selection will be made based on an assessment of the relevance of the course for the candidate’s research plan and qualifications in the relation to the objectives of the course. The course leaders carry out the selection process. PhD candidates at UIS must register their courses in Studentweb before 15 September for the Autumn semester and 1 February for the Spring semester. PhD candidates do not pay the semester fee.

Not a PhD candidate at UIS but want to take one of our PhD Courses?

External PhD candidates or other with required prerequisite knowledge may apply for PhD courses.

Send application form to PhD coordinator

External applicants should apply for a right to study for a minimum of 3 weeks before the course start date.

PhD program in Social Sciences offers the following PhD courses

PhD Skills Development Courses

Resources and tools

Study plan

You can read more about the different elements in the programme description for the PhD programme in Social Sciences

Welcome to new PhD candidates!

The University of Stavanger aim to make your move to Norway as smooth as possible.

Guide for PhD Education

External PhDs

The PhD board acts by the authority of and gives advice to the Dean of Faculty. The Dean of Faculty has the administrative and academic responsibility for the Faculty's PhD programme.


Vice dean of research: Kristiane Marie Fjær Lindland, Faculty of Social Sciences

Deputy chair:

Vice dean of research: Ragnar Tveterås, UiS Business School

Research School on Politics and Society 

Chair of research school: Associate professor Ann-Karin Tennås Holmen

Vice-member: Associate Professor Hande Eslen-Ziya

Research School in Economics and Business Administration 

Chair of research school: Professor Mari Rege

Vice-member: Professor Aslaug Mikkelsen

Research School in Radical Interdisciplinary: Inequalities, Temporalities, Existences, Materialities

Chair of research school: Professor Kristin Armstrong Oma

Chair at Center of gender studies: Lene Myong, professor

Research School in Service leadership, international business & hospitality management 

Chair of research school: Professor Torvald Øgaard

Vice-member: Professor Trude Furunes

Research School of Social Work and Welfare 

Chair of research school: Professor Ingunn Studsrød

Vice-member: Professor Sarah Hean

Risk management and social safety:

Professor Odd Einar Falnes Olsen

Deputy: Associate Professor Bjørn Ivar Kruke

Ph.d.-candidate appointed by the UiS Business School:

Andreas Fidjeland (observer)

PhD board secretary: Nadya Sandsmark

• Tuesday 26 January

• Tuesday 23 February

• Tuesday 23 March

• Tuesday 20 April

• Tuesday 25 May

• Tuesday 22 June

• Tuesday 31 August

• Tuesday 21 September

• Tuesday 19 Oktober

• Tuesday 23 November

• Tuesday 21 December

The time limit for submissions to the PhD board is 14 days before the meeting date.