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Approval of PhD courses

1. Approval procedure

  • The following guidelines determine the Faculty of Social Science's procedures and policy on approval of courses as PhD-level courses within the different programme options, including their credit value.
  • Specific internal or external courses are approved by the person or committee responsible for the courses at the individual Departments. This cannot be delegated to the individual lecturer or supervisor.
  • Pre-approval of academically relevant external courses can be given when practical to do so, provided the necessary documentation is submitted. To ensure external courses meet the Faculty requirements with respect to scope and academic level outlined in pt. 3 and 4 below, the approval may be conditional. In this case, necessary documentation proving fulfillment of these requirements must be submitted after the course.
  • Appeals of the approval outcome are processed by the PhD Programme Committee.
  • An approved PhD course taken within the same subject field at another academic institution shall credit the candidate with the same amount of credits as a course taken at the home institution (Act relating to universities and university colleges, § 3-4).

2. Approval of Master's level courses and courses taken before admission

  • Courses that have counted towards a Bachelor's or Master's degree cannot also count as a PhD course.
  • Courses should under normal circumstances be taken during the period the candidate is admitted to the PhD programme. Courses taken before admission can still be approved as a part of the PhD degree, but this requires an application submitted upon admission to the PhD programme.
  • Such courses cannot have been taken more than two years before the date of admission, and they can count towards a maximum of 10 credits(25 credits in Economics).

3. Academic level required for approval of PhD courses

  • Main lecturer and person responsible for the course must hold a senior academic level (must have at least a PhD or equivalent)
  • The course must be attended predominantly by junior researchers or established researchers/teachers. This nevertheless does not exclude courses attended by a few Master's students with relevant projects.
  • The "passed" mark required for approval is equivalent of a Master's level with grades between A and B. Under certain cases courses offered on a Master's level may be approved as PhD courses. This is clarified in the individual programme plans, and the grade earned must be at least B.

4. Calculating credits for PhD courses

The approval evaluation uses as a base-line that 1 credit corresponds to 25-30 hours of work. Accordingly, 3 credits corresponds to about 2 weeks of full time-work. The justification for this method of calculation is that full-time studies for one semester that runs over the course of 20 weeks may give up to 30 credits. The calculation includes time spent on:

  • Preparations for lectures through reading course material etc. (Whether the course uses a predetermined syllabus, or if the course requires preparatory work with particular literature or source material, will be taken into consideration),
  • preparations of own presentations or exercises that must be undertaken in the course,
  • participation in the lectures themselves, and
  • supplementary work after the course (documentation and evaluation undertaken by the candidate).

The extent of preparatory and supplementary work should be specified in the course descriptions. The individual Departments may in their programme plans specify norms and guidelines to be followed in their own courses, based on the above.

5. Documentation of the educational component

One or more of the following forms of documentation of completion of the individual courses/options during the educational component of the PhD programme is normally required:

  • A prepared written/oral presentation/contribution,
  • Exercises,
  • Contribution to the academic planning and execution of a conference or lecture series,
  • Written examination,
  • Oral examination,
  • Essay or similar,
  • Written report (from a conference, seminar etc.)

The course description should mention method of assessment. The documentation provided by each candidate should be evaluated and approved based on the expected learning outcomes of the course.

These guidelines have been passed after deliberation in the Programme board for the PhD program April 19, 2007. Last update/revision: 30.09.2010. The guidelines applies to all PhD candidates at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Oslo.

Published June 19, 2015 2:29 PM - Last modified Jan. 6, 2016 3:34 PM