Degrees and Requirements

Education at the third cycle within computer and systems sciences can be completed either with a licentiate degree or with a doctoral degree. 

Licentiate Degree

The degree of Licentiate requires courses of 45 credit points. Credits may be transferred from advanced level, see below under PhD Degree. The thesis – accounting for 75 credit points - should demonstrate that the student has the ability to apply scientific methods and to present research problems and results precisely and adequately.

The process for finalizing and defending the thesis at the final seminar includes steps like proof-reading of manuscript and registration in DIVA. It also includes plagiarism control. There is also a prelic seminar that serves as a quality check before the thesis can be finalized and presented at the final licentiate seminar. 

PhD Degree

The degree of PhD requires courses of 75 credit points.  In total, a maximum of 30 credit points can be transferred from the advanced level courses (of which 10 credit points must be scientific methodology courses) provided that the courses have not been used as entry requirements. The licentiate thesis may, by acceptance of the principal advisor, be partly or fully included in the PhD thesis. A PhD thesis is based on independent research and should document the student's ability to systematically tackle a scientific problem. The quality of the thesis should reach the quality for publication in international, well-established scientific journals, or contributions to well recognised conferences. The thesis should preferably be a collection of scientific papers, where also papers with the student as co-author may be included. It must, however, be explicitly stated what parts of the work have been done by the student. The thesis may also be a traditional monography.

The process for finalizing and defending the thesis at the seminar includes steps like proof-reading of manuscript and registration in DIVA. It also includes plagiarism control. There are also two extra quality checks that take place before everything can be finalized, and that is the predoc seminar and a presentation and discussion in the senior researchers' meeting at DSV (senforsk). 

Read more about the preparations for your thesis defence here:

Course Requirements

The course part of the credits for PhD must include the following mandatory courses:

  • Research Methodology I, 10 credit points
  • Research Methodology II, 7.5 credit points
  • Academic Writing and Presentation, 7.5 credit points
  • Ethical and Societal Aspects in Research within Computer and Systems Sciences, 5 credit points

There are also basic course requirements to ensure that all students, regardless of background, reach a minimum level of knowledge in the main areas of computer and systems sciences.  For students enrolled after March 8, 2011,  the need for supplementary courses will be evaluated by the director of postgraduate studies. The supplementary courses are normally basic level courses. For these courses, only half of the course credits (hp) can be credited in the doctoral program.

  • Supplementary course/s (individually assigned)

Special requirements for Computer and Systems Sciences (DSV)

To ensure that students with licentiate and PhD degrees in Computer and Systems Sciences have basic knowledge in all of the five main areas of computer and systems sciences - systems development, data and information management, human-computer-interaction, programming and information/IT-security - the need for supplementary courses will be evaluated individually upon admission. Director of postgraduate studies informs the supervisor and student about necessary supplementary courses to be included in the individual study plan (corresponding to 7.5 hp per area).

Special requirements for Information Society/Human-Machine-Interaction (HMI)

For students with other academic backgrounds than computer and systems sciences a supplementary course is required for both licentiate and PhD degree in Information Society / Human-Machine-Interaction (HMI):

- Supplementary Course in Computer and Systems Sciences, 15 hp

Even for students with backgrounds in computer and systems sciences it can be necessary to supplement previous education.  Director of postgraduate studies assesses the needs upon admission and informs the main supervisor and student about the current supplementary course/s to be included in the individual study plan. The required supplementary courses may not exceed 15 hp.

Remaining courses may be selected from the course program at DSV, or from other departments and universities. However, in order to be able to include the course credits in the course requirements for the licentiate or PhD degree, or to use the credits as qualification of progress, the course must conform to the individual study plan, agreed by and signed by the principal advisor.