Transfer of course credits
PhD courses taken before enrolment can be transferred on condition that they are accepted as PhD courses for the student in question and that they are not part of another degree. The latter condition means that there is a maximum credit transfer of courses taken during a Danish 5-year education for that number of ECTS credits that exceeds 300 ECTS credits for the 5+3 programme or exceeds 240 ECTS credits for the 4+4 programme. For applications for credit transfer of courses from foreign programmes it must be demonstrated that the requested amount is beyond the requirement of the degree (i.e. that the degree could have been achieved without this course), for example by a certificate from the university in question. The maximum credit transfer is 10 ECTS credits.
Evaluation of PhD courses
All PhD courses to be approved in a PhD Programme must be evaluated in one form or another and be documented in order for it to have been passed successfully.
The PhD student is required under § 7, paragraph 2 of the PhD Order to complete PhD courses totalling approximately 30 ECTS credits.
All PhD students must pass research courses (PhD courses) that are approved by the PhD Committee, either pre-approved for the PhD student's research programme or approved as an individual study activity. The total extent of the courses should correspond to approximately 30 ECTS credits.
A PhD student when participating in courses cannot be assessed by the supervisor alone. In these cases there should be the assistance of an external examiner.
Specifically with regard to the 5+3 programme
One year before the end of the PhD programme 30 ECTS credits should be passed. For students on the 5+3 programme at least 15 ECTS credits should be passed after one year.
Specifically with regard to the 4+4 programme
For students on the 4+4 programme at least 10 ECTS should be passed within one year and at least 22.5 ECTS credits must be passed by the time of the qualifying exam.
Composition of the course programme
PhD courses are designed to provide students with academic breadth, and to form a reasonable basis for their doctoral project. The academic breadth is designed to improve the student's job opportunities after obtaining the PhD degree.
Research courses should be at a higher academic level than the qualifying Master's degree, unless special academic considerations require that this principle is waived.
Prior approval should always be sought for the course activity. PhD courses may include:
- Actual PhD courses offered by the Faculty of Science.
- Courses offered by the research education programmes that the Faculty participates in or cooperates with, either in other Danish institutions or in foreign institutions, provided that the application is approved by the PhD Committee.
- The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation's Business Course for Industrial PhD students.
- Other courses particularly relevant for the PhD project, for example courses in IT or statistical methods.
- "Summer Schools" must include active participation by the student or an evaluation (either by the course providers or subsequently by the supervisor and an internal external examiner) in order to be approved.
- Participation in conferences may count as a course activity, but can be included at most twice in one study programme (3 ECTS credits each time).
- The University of Southern Denmark's course in communication for PhD students, which is offered once a year.
- A self study or reading course under the guidance of a lecturer. It is required that some form of evaluation or examination must be included in connection with such a programme.
Each of these items is elaborated under Approval of individual courses.
The programme of courses is tailored to each student's project and research interests. The principal supervisor must ensure that there is sufficient academic diversity in the composition of the courses, and that the planned courses are relevant and of a high academic level.
Upon approval of the PhD courses, as a starting point 1 ECTS credit is awarded per 10 contact hours, taking into account the specific course load. Courses are assigned points in units of 0.25 ECTS credits. A maximum of 15 ECTS credits can be given for a course, as otherwise the study programme would become too narrow.
Up to 10 ECTS credits of supplementary courses can be approved as research courses. A supplementary course is a course outside the student's discipline which is not at PhD level.
If a course has been awarded ECTS credits by the offering institution the PhD Committee may choose to award it the same number of ECTS credits, but could also change the number (for example, ECTS credits could be reduced in line with other regulations if it is a supplementary course and the maximum number of ECTS credits for supplementary courses would otherwise be exceeded).
See PhD courses offered by the Faculty. See information on courses offered by other national or international educational institutions and research training programmes.
Approval of the academic programme and courses
The course programme is part of the PhD plan approved by the PhD Committee. Often it is not possible to give a fully detailed course programme as research courses are often offered with relatively short notice, and it is then up to the principal supervisor and the PhD student regularly to identify relevant courses so that the PhD plan can be carried out.
The departments provide a range of courses pre-approved by the PhD Committee as PhD courses for all PhD students at the Faculty of Science of the University of Southern Denmark.
If the Department wishes to offer new courses, these should also be approved in advance by the Committee. Application for approval must contain the following information about the course:
It is not necessary to seek approval for pre-approved research courses offered by one's own institution. The PhD School Secretariat must, however, be notified when the course is passed. Pre-approved research courses are shown on the PhD School website.
Approval of individual courses
PhD students can seek approval for summer schools, external courses and similar to be recognized as PhD courses before or after the course takes place. Final approval requires that the course is assessed with a satisfactory result. Approval is sought using a special form. On the form it must be indicated who is the provider of the activity and what number of ECTS credits is being proposed. The form is signed by the student and the principal supervisor. An academic description or similar should be included as well as any documentation demonstrating that the activity has been completed/passed.
When the activity is completed, documentation showing that the activity has been completed/passed should be forwarded to the PhD School Secretariat, which will record the activity in the PhD system.
When giving approval the PhD Committee will decide how many ECTS credits each activity can be awarded in accordance with the following principles:
The Committee has adopted the following rates for week courses:
1 week is awarded 4.5 ECTS credits
2 weeks are awarded 7.5 ECTS credits
3 weeks are awarded 10.5 ECTS credits
4 weeks are awarded 13.5 ECTS credits
5 weeks are awarded 15 ECTS credits
"Summer Schools" with at least 40 hours scheduled per week, which have not been assigned credits by the provider, are normally awarded 4.5 ECTS credits for the first week and 3 ECTS credits for any subsequent week up to a maximum of 15 ECTS credits. If the duration is less than 40 contact hours, the number of credits is reduced proportionately in line with the number of hours.
For "conference participation" the conference must have a minimum duration of 3 days and be followed by an oral presentation, where the PhD student gives an account to the Department (the group) of the most important presentations (5-10) at the conference he or she participated in. The presentation must be witnessed (at least) by the student's supervisor and an internal examiner, both of whom must formally approve the course. Conference participation with subsequent evaluation may be approved with 3 ECTS credits.
The report on journal literature as background for the PhD project can be approved with a maximum of 6 ECTS credits. The literature review task should not be part of the PhD thesis, and because of the nature of the task it cannot be approved in advance. The assignment is evaluated by an internal examination, but not by the supervisor alone. The Department for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has set the size of the literature review at around written 20 pages and a theoretical requirement of 30-50 articles. Students from other institutions should contact their local study committee for guidance.
Foreigners can receive 3 approved ECTS credits for a Danish language course taken as a secondary course.
For courses offered by the research education programmes which the Faculty takes part in, the ECTS credits set by the research programme should be used.
In individual subject areas there may be specific requirements for the composition of the course programme, including requirements that certain courses are included.