Students walking outdoors at KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

PhD programmes

Launch your research career with a PhD from Sweden.

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

The Swedish PhD

The main focus of PhD programmes in Sweden is the dissertation. Swedish universities don’t offer taught PhD programmes; rather, programmes are mainly research-based, meaning you’ll 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. Programmes usually consist of a minimum of four years of full-time study, or 240 ECTS credits.

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, you’ll often work as part of a team.

PhD positions are usually offered as paid positions by universities or external funding bodies. This means that if you are offered a position as a PhD candidate, you will not pay fees and will receive a monthly salary.

Learn more

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



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