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Requirements for the PhD thesis at the Department of Psychology

The guidelines are governed on several levels:

Regulations § 10

The programme description pt. 4

See also Guidelines on evaluation of Norwegian PhD degrees (in Norwegian) ,especially pt. 3.2 on what should be emphasized in the evaluation.

The dissertation will mainly consist of either a collection of articles and an introductory section, or a monograph with a summary.


The dissertation can also be submitted as a monograph. It should then include a brief summary of the dissertation.

Scope of the articles

A more comprehensive introductory part (monograph look) is expected when there are more co-authors on the manuscripts or fewer articles are delivered. It is possible to substantially expand the introductory section to replace one (and, exceptionally, two) scripts. In such cases, this would have to be designed as a monograph that is substantially more extensive and should contain original research material. The candidate himself must be the sole author of the introductory part and in case of extension to monograph.

Since the introduction of the PhD degree, the convention at the Department of psychology has been that 3 articles with the PhD candidate as main author is sufficient in terms of scope. The Department stresses that the number 3 is no definite rule, and the supervisor should counsel the candidate on whether the thesis have the necessary qualities required for submission. Nonetheless, the content of the thesis, and whether it is ready for submission, is ultimately the candidate's own responsibility. Regardless of the number of articles or when it is submitted, it is the evaluation committee that makes the final assessment on whether the thesis satisfies the requirements of the PhD degree.

Introductory section

The introductory section should include a summary of the work and an independent scientific section.

The introductory part introduces the work in a scientific context and gives an overview of the research field, in more depth on methodological issues than is possible in the articles, and gives an overall discussion of the findings presented in the individual articles (how the findings, if any) makes an increased contribution to the field when considered together). It should contain relevant ethical assessments and place the work in a larger scientific context. Where relevant, it should include alternative analyzes and a more detailed methodological review than is possible in the articles when appropriate for discussion and understanding of findings. This section should be considered as an independent scientific work and typically have a scope up to 100 pages including the summary.


The PhD candidate should:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the knowledge front
  • Placing the work in a larger scientific context
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate others' research - and justify their own
  • Discuss how the articles together answer one or more overall issues
  • Where relevant, point to and discuss alternative explanatory models
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the method problems in own and others' research
  • Demonstrate ability to exercise self-criticism
  • Justify implications of the overall results - both practical and theoretical
  • Make relevant ethical assessments

When relevant, discuss and present alternative analytical strategies, complementary results and findings not presented in the articles

The introductory part should be written in English. Alternativley, it can be written in Norwegian if most of the articles are written and published in Norwegian.

In addition to the introductory part, a scientific summary in English will be submitted for publication on the web and as "abstract" in the dissertation.


Times New Roman font, font size 12, standard margins, spacing: 1 1/2 (APA standard).

Remember, except for errata corrections, the format of the submitted thesis must be identical to that of the final print of the thesis. 

Not accepted

Published works cannot be accepted as a part of a thesis if they were published more than 5 years before the candidate was admitted to the PhD program. Works or parts of works accepted as parts of previous exams or degrees cannot be submitted for evaluation. Data, analysis, or research methods used in previous degrees can nevertheless used as a foundation for the thesis.

If the thesis is submitted to another educational institution after it is submitted to the University of Oslo, the evaluation process will be suspended.

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Published Feb. 4, 2020 2:39 PM - Last modified Feb. 4, 2020 4:04 PM