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PhD studies

World-class research opportunities
World-class research, outstanding research staff and specialised research environments create a breeding ground for PhD studies at Lund University.

Students with green lab coats in lab

Doctoral candidates at Lund University are not only well prepared for successful careers as independent researchers, but they also have strong possibilities to publish their work independently during their studies and to gain significant teaching experience.

  • Lund University offers PhD studies in all eight faculties.
  • There are no tuition fees for PhD studies at Lund University.
  • PhD studies are organised at the department level.
  • You apply directly to the department when they advertise a PhD position.
  • Self-funded candidates should contact the department directly.

PhD programme and licentiate degree

A PhD programme consists of two parts: courses and thesis, forming a total of 240 ECTS credits, in which the doctoral thesis is to account for at least 120 credits. A PhD involves a total of four years of full-time study.

In Sweden a ‘licentiate’ degree equals the completion of half of the coursework, or thesis, required for a full PhD, i.e. a licentiate degree corresponds to two years of full-time study and at least 60 credits have to be awarded for a licentiate thesis. It is equivalent to the MPhil of the British education system.

Funding and financing doctoral studies

The most common form of funding postgraduate study is through appointment to a doctoral studentship ("doctorandtjänst") or a doctoral study grant position (utbildningsbidrag"). The University employs the doctoral candidate as a staff member and pays a salary whilst the doctoral candidate undertakes their PhD studies. In return the doctoral candidate provides some departmental and teaching duties (no more than 20% of a full-time position).

Doctoral candidates may also be funded through external scholarships or international government programmes.

Admission requirements

To be admitted to doctoral studies, you need to have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits must be for Master’s level studies.

In most cases, students will hold a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree, with a major in the same subject as the intended postgraduate study. The major must include a degree thesis presenting the results of independent research.

The quality of your thesis/theses is of particular importance and it is important that you demonstrate a capacity for independent thinking in this piece of work.

Students must have a very good command of English and you may be asked to include proof of proficiency in the form of a TOEFL or IELTS test, if requested by the individual department.

Applying for PhD positions

PhD studies are organised at the department level. The process for applying for PhD positions is specific to each department. There is no set application period for PhD positions. Some departments advertise their positions in spring, while others advertise on an ongoing basis, as and when positions arise.

You apply for a PhD position within a certain subject area. Admission to PhD positions is restricted and competition for advertised positions is usually tough.

Most of the departments advertise their PhD positions on Lund University’s main website, through the doctoral job vacancy page

You should always check the relevant faculty or department’s website pages for any additional notices and specific forms and instructions about their application process.

For the majority of PhD positions at Lund University, you apply online through our online job portal and complete the requirements as advertised for the specific vacancy and in line with the process described by the department. Application documents are sent directly to the department including officially certified copies of documents/certificates/transcripts and other supporting documents, as required for the specific position/particular department. Authorised translations are often needed. You may need to provide additional details of your academic background, e.g. syllabi, course descriptions and literature lists.

If you are self-funded through external scholarships or funding, you should make direct contact with the relevant department.

For additional information or clarification, please review the PhD application information on the faculty webpages or contact the relevant department to discuss opportunities for PhD study and the procedure for applying.

Erasmus Mundus Scholarships

Lund University is a partner in several Erasmus Mundus Action 2 'lots'. If you are from an eligible country you can apply for a scholarship to come to Lund University. Scholarships are available to PhD students and may cover living expenses.

Residence permits

If you require a residence permit, you can only complete your permit application after you receive a letter of acceptance from Lund University. Residence permit applications are dealt with by the Swedish Migration Board.

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