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The Graduate School of Health Sciences

Course information

Your PhD plan should include an overview of the courses you plan to take as part of your PhD programme. The course plan will be reviewed when you apply for enrolment into the programme, but you can revise it during your study period.

You must participate in courses equivalent to six months of full-time study (30 ECTS).

The course plan must include the two mandatory courses "Introduction to health research" and "Responsible conduct of research", which must be completed within the first year of study.

Any of the courses offered by the Graduate School's graduate programmes and courses offered by other Danish and foreign universities can be part of the course plan. Other courses require individual approval from the Graduate School. All courses must be chosen in consultation with your supervisor so that your courses are tailored to your research.

See the course archive for inspiration to your course plan.

Or check out our upcoming PhD courses at the Graduate School of Health Sciences.

The Graduate School offers two mandatory courses, which should be completed within the first year of study:

Introduction to the PhD program at Health Sciences, SDU - 1 day, 0.7 ECTS.

  • The Graduate School will enroll the new PhD student in this course at the time of enrollment to The Graduate School.
  • If you have not compleated the course, please contact The Graduate School on


Responsible Conduct of Research - 4 modules / 2 days, 2 ECTS

  • The new student will need to enroll in this by them self, please se our Upcoming Courses for more information

According to the agreement between the Danish universities concerning Open Market to PhD Courses, PhD students enrolled at a Danish university have free access to PhD courses hosted by other Danish universities. The courses on our website are all part of the Open Market agreement.

You can find an overview of the Open Market PhD courses here.

Further, we are a part of Nordic Doctoral Training in Health Sciences (NorDoc), which means PhD students enrolled at the doctoral schools/faculties of health sciences in the Nordic countries can participate in the courses in this database for free.

Courses provided by other SDU Faculties, SDU Departments or The Central Administration at SDU (incl. medarbejderkurser) is not part of the Open Market Agreement and is considered as external courses. 

Please note that courses you take at other universities are not automatically registered, so you will need to send your course certificate to in order to obtain ECTS credits for the course.

Your participation in PhD courses conducted by other universities or other instutions at SDU are not automatically registered in your files. 

To obtain ECTS credits for external courses, please send us yoour course certificate to Only PhD courses (or equivalent level) can be approved.

You can apply for approval of courses taken up to three years before your enrolment as a PhD student.

PhD courses held by the Graduate School of Health Sciences at SDU are automatically registered.

To obtain ECTS credits for non-PhD courses, it is essential:

  • that the course is relevant to the PhD project
  • the course is on par with a PhD course
  • OR the course is on par with a Masters course AND a similar course is not offered by Graduate School or other Graduate Schools in Denmark AND  that the course is crucial for the completion of the project
  • That the course contains an assessment
  • the certificate must include the number of course lessons or a precise specification of ECTS credits given by the course provider
  • the course cannot be a part of the medical specialist training (Main training or the like)
  • the course should not have been completed more than 3 years ago
  • the final decision on credits will be based on the above requirements and a specific assessment by the Graduate School

When applying for credits for non-PhD courses, you must enclose:

  • a course description and programme as an attachment
  • the number of hours and amount of ECTS credits given by the course provider
  • a specification of the course level (PhD or Master)
  • a course certificate

Please contact the course provider, if you are missing some of the above information and enclose it to your application.

The application should be send to

Please note that a maximum of 10 ECTS can be given for courses on Master (KA) level and they will need approval by the Head of the Graduate School

Participation in international congresses and symposias, where you give an oral presentation or present a poster, may be approved as a course element with 2 ECTS points. Please be aware that only the first auther can obtain ECTS for the presentation and multiple presenters cannot get ECTS for the same presentation (despite presenting in collaboration). You can apply for this three times, for a total of six ECTS.

Non-active participation in conferences do not qualify for ECTS.  

To apply for credits, please send documentation on participation to the Graduate School. Valid documentation could be official conference programme/abstract book from which your name and presentation title appears and/or acceptance letter stating that your abstract has been chosen for poster/oral presentation.

It is possible to apply for credits for activities that have been completed up to three years prior to enrolment as a PhD student.   

The Graduate Schools of Health Sciences at the University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University and University of Southern Denmark have agreed on a common policy for calculating and allocating ECTS credits for PhD courses. 

Calculation of ECTS credits

  • 1 ECTS credit equals 25 work hours; in reality, we use the rule of 10:1, which means that 1 course lesson (= 1 hour) gives 0.1 ECTS credits, assuming a preparation factor of 1.5.
  • The ECTS calculation includes scheduled lessons, obligatory home assignments and exams.
  • ECTS credits for Summer Schools are calculated in the same way as for the PhD courses.

Recognition of ECTS credits

  • When you participate in PhD courses offered by other Danish universities, foreign universities or comparable institutions, the number of ECTS credits is determined by that institution.
  • For other courses, the Graduate School calculates the ECTS credits according to the calculation above.

Example 1:

A traditional "attendance course" with lectures, practical exercises and workshops begins at 9am and ends at 5pm on the same day . This is 8 course lessons incl. breaks = 0.8 ECTS credits 

Example 2:

A course consisting of 4 days of attendance (9am-4pm) and a 4-hour written exam followed by 1 hour of rounding-off:

  • Attendance days = 4 * 7 hours incl. breaks = 28 hours = 2.8 ECTS
  • Final day = 5 hours = 0.5 ECTS
  • In total = 3.3 ECTS credits

Do you have a suggestion for a new PhD course? Please send an e-mail to the Graduate School (

The e-mail should contain:

  • Name of course leader
  • Description of course content
  • Rough outline/programme

We will then take it up on the next meeting in the PhD committee and then get back to you.

Please be aware that course proposals for the following year's course programme should be sent to us before June.

You can browse in our course archive to get inspiration and see which courses have previously been conducted.


How to apply for subsidy for PhD courses

The PhD programme Faculty of Health Sciences University of Southern Denmark

  • Campusvej 55
  • Odense M - DK-5230
  • Phone: 6550 4949

Last Updated 07.11.2023