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PhD programmes

Launch your research career with a PhD from Sweden.

Swedish research is wide-ranging and well-respected internationally, making Sweden a strong option for your PhD studies.

The main focus of PhD programmes in Sweden is your dissertation, a major piece of research to which you will devote a significant portion of your time as a PhD candidate. Unlike in some other countries, Swedish universities do not offer taught PhD programmes. Rather, PhD programmes are mainly research-based, meaning that you will spend most of your time performing research toward your dissertation. Theoretical studies in the form of small courses or seminars are also an important component.

Dissertations can take the form of a monograph or a body of smaller pieces of scholarly work built up throughout the PhD period. All PhD students receive individual tutoring and theses are publicly defended. Some departments may require that the thesis be part of an ongoing project within the department. In the fields of technology, natural science and medicine, researchers often work as part of a team.

Swedish PhD programmes usually consist of a minimum of four years of full-time study, or 240 ECTS credits.

In Sweden, PhD positions are offered as paid positions by universities. This means that if you are offered a position as a PhD candidate, you will not pay fees and will receive a monthly salary from the university where you are employed. Admissions are highly competitive; a master’s degree from a Swedish university is often an advantage.

See How to apply for more information on finding a position and applying.

For more information on PhD studies in Sweden, please see the Handbook for Postgraduate Students produced by the Swedish Council for Higher Education.


Handbook for postgraduate students

The Swedish Council for Higher Education's guide for PhD students.

PhD level - how to apply

How to apply for doctoral studies in Sweden.


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