Skip to main content
The Graduate School of Health Sciences

Content of the PhD Programme

The PhD programme aims to provide you as a PhD student with the necessary skills that will enable you to become a qualified researcher – that is, a scientist able to conduct responsible and independent research according to the principles of good research practice.

The PhD programme gives 180 ECTS credits, which is equivalent to three years of full-time study. Within this time frame, PhD students will complete a degree programme that includes:

  • A research project carried out under supervision 
  • A course plan corresponding to half a year's full-time study (30 ECTS credits)
  • Establishment of affiliation to one or more other (international) research environments (the duration of the stay must be a minimum of 10 workdays)
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination 
  • Authoring of scientific publication(s)
  • Preparation, writing, and defence of your PhD dissertation

The three years run from the date you are enrolled for the PhD until the date you submit your thesis. It does not include assessment and defence of the thesis or awarding of the PhD degree. Upon satisfactorily completing the programme the PhD student is awarded the PhD degree.

Below, you can find more information about the content of the programme.

A part of the enrolment form is the PhD plan, which must include the following points:

  • An overall plan for the project and programme
  • Agreement on the form of supervision
  • Plan for PhD courses
  • Plan for participation in active research environments
  • Plan for teaching and other kind of knowledge dissemination
  • Agreements on intellectual property rights, if applicable

The PhD Plan is accepted at the time you are enrolled in the PhD programme. Your PhD plan can be changed during your study. These changes should be stated in the half-yearly progress reports.

The research project is the core of the PhD programme. It is through planning, completion and reporting of an original research work that the PhD student achieves both experience with and documentation of the ability to perform research at a high, international level.

PhD research projects must be well planned and scientifically well-founded. The project must be of a quality and relevance that gives the PhD student material for 2-3 articles to be published in international scientific journals that are peer-reviewed (or other type of publication of a corresponding quality and extent).

The research project should be well-outlined and of an extent that corresponds to three years full time studies. During the study periode the student must also complete courses and knowledge dissemination as well as writing the thesis. In practice, this means that the extent of the research project must correspond to two years of full-time employment.

All PhD students must have a main supervisor who must be a permanent member of the Faculty at associate professor or professor level, and must be an active researcher within the field in question. A good working relationship between you and your main supervisor will be essential for the success of your PhD programme.

Read more about all aspects of supervision, the supervisor's tasks and change of supervisors.

PhD students and their main supervisors are kindly asked to formally assess the progress of the PhD project on a regular basis.

Progress reports should be filled in and submitted to the Graduate School every half-year on set dates: 1st of  May and 1st of November.

Read more about the progress report here.

All PhD students mustgain experience with teaching and dissemination of knowledge during their 3-year programme. As an employed PhD student, you can be asked to participate in teaching or other kinds of knowledge dissemination activities for up to 280 hours a year.

PhD students are supposed to participate in active research environments, including research stays at other, primarily international, research institutions. Please note that although it is not a requirement to engage in a stay at an international research institution, it is highly encouraged. The main supervisor/ supervisor team are expected to have a number of contacts as well as national and international networks with whom the PhD student may co-operate in different ways.

Find more information about this topic here.

The standard PhD programme is three years. If for some reason you will not be able to complete the programme within this time, you need to apply for an extension of the enrolment period. Read more here.

In case of illness, parental leave or other circumstances you have the opportunity to apply for leave of absence. Read more about it here.

The PhD programme Faculty of Health Sciences University of Southern Denmark

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

Last Updated 19.10.2023