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The composition of a course programme

FAQ on courses

You can take PhD courses offered by:

  • The PhD School
  • Research training programmes which the Faculty participates in or collaborates with
  • Other Danish or international institutions, e.g. in connection with change of environment

In addition, you are allowed to take other courses that are particularly relevant in connection with your PhD project, e.g. courses in IT or statistical methods.

Yes. Graduate courses can be included when your principal supervisor deems they are relevant to your project.

If taking one or more graduate courses, please note that they are approved by the PhD committee at half the normal ECTS weighting.

As a PhD student, you can plan an independent study in collaboration with your principal supervisor or other senior colleagues and include it as part of your course programme. You may also want to team up with one or more other PhD students when planning an independent study.

The elements of your independent study should be similar to those of a regular PhD course: Literature, online activities (meetings, webinars or presentations), as well as examination by a senior colleague. If the examination is conducted by your principal supervisor, another internal senior colleague should attend as an external examiner. There are no specific requirements for the format of the test, which may be conducted as an oral interview, a written assignment etc.

Read more about doing an independent study.

For further discussions regarding how to plan an independent study, please contact Chairman of the PhD Committee, Jørgen T. Lauridsen, at

Yes, active participation in seminars, workshops or conferences counts in your course activity. You must provide written documentation of your submission, e.g. a conference programme in which your name appears.

You can apply to have participation in a scientific conference, workshop or seminar approved as a course activity with 1 ECTS. In addition, 1 ECTS can be awarded if you present a paper at the conference. Conference participation with a poster presentation can be equated with the presentation of a paper and counts as max. 2 ECTS. You may apply for a maximum of 2 ECTS for the same conference. As a general rule, a maximum of 2 conferences can be applied for approval.

At least half (15 ECTS credits) of your course programme must consist of actual PhD courses with academic content. Together, communication courses (SDU’s courses in ‘Academic Writing’ and the like) as well as courses in teaching methods may make up a maximum of 5 ECTS of your course programme. The Head of PhD School can make an exemption from the distribution of ECTS credits.

1 ECTS credit corresponds to 25-30 hours of work at PhD level.

Note: Conference participation with presentation of paper can be included with a maximum of 2 ECTS credits. Conference participation with poster presentation can be equated with presentation of paper and can count a maximum of 2 ECTS.

To apply for approval of completed course activity at the PhD School, please use the applicable form. You must submit the form to the PhD School via email.

The PhD School recommends that you apply for approval of at least 15 ECTS courses no later than the first-year evaluation/mid-term evaluation, and that plans have been laid out for the completion of your remaining course activities. We also recommend that all course activities are completed by the second-year evaluation/third evaluation.

You must submit documentation for the course content, e.g. a course description and documentation of completion of the course, e.g. a diploma.

When attending seminars, workshops or conferences, written documentation must be available that documents your participation, such as a conference programme where your name is stated.

More information about courses

  • You have to apply for approval of completed course activities at the PhD School
  • All PhD students must participate in the mandatory course "Responsible Conduct of Research"

Last Updated 08.03.2023