PhD programme in Social Sciences

Study programme description for study year 2023-2024


Credits (ECTS)


Studyprogram code



Doctoral degree with nom length of study

Leads to degree

Philosophiae Doctor




6 Semesters



Language of instruction

English, Norsk

Name of the course of study 

Norwegian name of the course of study: Ph.d. i samfunnsvitenskap.
English name of the course of study: PhD in Social Sciences.


A philosophiae doctor (PhD) degree is conferred on the basis of approved completion of the required coursework (the research training component), a PhD thesis, a trial lecture and public defence of the thesis.


The PhD programme comprises 180 credits. The individual education plan or progress plan must be organised such that the PhD programme is planned to be completed within the standard time frame of three years (not including any statutory leaves of absence). The research training component amounts to 30 credits.


The PhD programme in Social Sciences is organisationally rooted in the Faculty of Social Sciences. The PhD programme is operated in cooperation with the UiS Business School and the Museum of Archaeology.


Target group

The PhD programme is aimed at well‐qualified candidates with projects within the social sciences who wish to qualify for the highest level of education in the field.

Admission requirements

Students enrolled in the program must have the equivalent of a five‐year master's degree within the relevant field of study. The weighted average grade of the master's programme must be B or better, and the grade on the master’s thesis must be minimum B. During assessment for admission, in addition to formal competence, the quality of the applicant’s PhD project proposal and relevant academic work will be given weight. Moreover, the admission requirements of the UiS PhD Regulation are in effect.

Applicants who have a master's degree fom another subject area other than social sciences, applicants with a grade basis that can not be calculated, and applicants with a master's degree that is shorter than
five-year, may in special cases be admitted after special assessment by the Doctoral Committee.

Importance will be attached to the academic supervisor’s documented ability to ensure the PhD candidates finish their PhD work.  It must be specified how the department/center intends to follow up the PhD candidate and ensure completion.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes at the level of the study programme are to be described in both variants of Norwegian, bokmål and nynorsk. An English translation is to be included in the Diploma Supplement, which is attached to the application.

Having completed and passed the study programme, the candidate will possess the following learning outcomes:


  • Be in the forefront in terms of knowledge within their specific field of social sciences and have a mastery of the field’s scientific theory and methods.
  • Be able to contribute towards the development of new knowledge, new theories and new methods, when applicable, within the social sciences.
  • Possess broad knowledge in the social sciences.


  • Be able to formulate issues, to plan, conduct and carry out research at the international level.
  • Be able to deal with complex academic issues and critically analyse and challenge established knowledge and research practices within the social sciences.

General competencies

  • Be able to identify ethical issues and perform their research with academic integrity.
  • Be able to participate in and lead complex multidisciplinary work tasks and projects.
  • Be able to assess the need for, take the initiative to implement and carry out development work / be an innovation driver.
  • Be able to present research and participate in debates in national and international forums.

Career prospects

The PhD in social sciences qualifies candidates for private or public sector work that requires a high degree of competence and a good understanding of society.

Course assessment

Quality assurance and evaluation of the programme

The PhD in in Social Sciences is covered by the University’s quality system. 

Compulsory activities to assess the quality and progress of doctoral projects:

  1. Assessment of the project description in connection with approval of a revised project and individual education plan (revised PhD plan)
  2. Assessment of the status of the project and/or research process half-way through the work on the thesis, in the form of a mid-term evaluation (50‐percent seminar)
  3. Annual progress reporting
  4. A 90‐percent seminar will also be held towards the end of the PhD course, before submission of the thesis can take place.

The PhD courses are evaluated by the PhD candidates on a regular basis. The evaluation forms the basis for annual revision of the portfolio of courses. 
A programme report is written every year. The programme report is incorporated into the faculty’s quality report. 

Within the programme, PhD candidates must normally be represented on the committees that work on issues pertaining to the research training programme. In addition, the doctoral committee at the faculty has a representative for the PhD candidates.  

Student exchange

The PhD programme enables the doctoral student to spend at least three months of study time at a recognised foreign education or research institution where it is possible to work on issues related to research work and/or the thesis. Candidates are asked to indicate relevant academic environments and time of study abroad as part of their project plan. If a stay abroad is not possible, a stay at another Norwegian educational institution may be approved, or other arrangements that ensure that the student gains insight into alternative academic and research traditions related to the issues addressed in the thesis ( Cf. The PhD regulation).