PhD programme in Humanities and Social Sciences

Varighet: 3 år

PhD programme in Humanities and Social Sciences

Varighet: 3 År

Application deadline
How to apply?

Do you hold a master's degree with a good score and wish to embark on a research programme within humanities, social sciences or education, that qualifies you for a future academic career? Do you want to be certified for professions with a high demand for qualifications and skills?
The PhD program in the humanities and social sciences offers a research programme that qualifies candidates for work in academia or other areas in which there is a strong demand for scientific insight and analytical thinking. The research programme is offered in a range of subjects and has different areas of specialisation.

Areas of specialisation within the humanities: Linguistics, literature and culture, archaeology, history, philosophy, religion, theology, documentation science and art history, and more.

Areas of specialisation within the social sciences: Political science, sociology, anthropology, regional planning and cultural understanding, education, tourism, welfare and social work, gender research, indigenous studies, peace studies, and more.

Spørsmål om studiet

Mayvi B. Johansen

Seniorrådgiver / forskerutdanningen

The PhD program in the humanities and social sciences is standardised at 180 credits and is divided between the educational component (30 credits) and the dissertation (150 credits) .

The education component of 30 credits will consist of compulsory and optional PhD courses (8000 level) and include these elements:

  • Theory of science and research ethics. Total of 10 credits.
  • Research dissemination. Total of 3-5 credits.
  • Subject-specific theory and method/academic approaches and positions. Total of 15 credits.

The dissertation must be an independent scientific work that meets international standards for ethics, academic level and method within the subject area. Through the dissertation, the student must be involved in developing new academic knowledge, and the dissertation must be at a level that indicates that it can be published as part of the scientific literature on the subject.

The dissertation can be a monograph or a compilation of several smaller works and an introductory chapter, ie a collection of articles.

Upon completion the student will present a trial lecture on a given topic and a public defence of the dissertation.

Completion of the program requires integration and participation in an active research environment, collaboration with other researchers, and connecting with relevant national and international networks.

PhD students are given close supervision and academic guidance, but must assume responsibility for the planning and implementation of their dissertations.

After graduating, the PhD student will receive the following learning outcomes:


The candidates...

  • are in the forefront of knowledge within the theory and methods of their field of study and are able to contribute to its development;
  • can discuss theoretical issues within their field of study at an advanced level;
  • can connect their own projects to broader scientific discussions and consider the use of different methods and approaches in their research.


The candidates can...

  • tackle complex scientific challenges by carrying out cutting-edge research projects within their field of study;
  • write different types of academic texts within their field of study and reflect on the writing process;
  • participate in academic discussions and provide constructive feedback on scientific work.

General competence

The candidates can...

  • identify, reflect upon and deal with issues connected to research ethics and conduct research with academic integrity;
  • disseminate research and development work orally and in writing through scientific channels and channels targeting the general public;
  • contribute independently to complex and innovative projects.

A doctorate degree is Norway's highest education and qualifies for research activities of international standard and for other work in society where high standards of scientific insight and analytical thinking are required, in accordance with good scientific practice and research ethical standards. For example, the education provides qualifications for a further career as a researcher at universities, colleges, research foundations or business and other sectors where research and development is conducted and high demands are placed on knowledge and competence. With a doctorate you can also get positions with work / responsibilities in leadership t and management in knowledge companies; undertake investigative tasks in government and municipal administration; drive knowledge dissemination and teaching; participate in product development and international cooperation; and you have attractive skills in an international labor market.

10 ects 10 ects 10 ects
1. sem. (autumn) SVF-8054 Theory of Science - 7 stp.
2. sem. (spring) SVF-8038 Research Ethics - 3 stp.
3. sem. (autumn)
4. sem. (spring)
5. sem. (autumn)
6. sem. (spring) SVH-8900 Ph.d.-avhandling i humaniora og samfunnsvitenskap - 150 stp. SVH-8890 Ph.d. prøveforelesning i humaniora og samfunnsvitenskap - 0 stp.
7. sem. (autumn)
8. sem. (spring)
9. sem. (autumn)
10. sem. (spring)
11. sem. (autumn)
12. sem. (spring)
13. sem. (autumn)
14. sem. (spring)
15. sem. (autumn)
16. sem. (spring)

To be admitted to a PhD program at UiT, applicants must have a master's degree with a good result, either an integrated master's degree of 300 credits or a 120-credit master's degree based on a bachelor's degree of 180 credits..

It is required that applicants should have a grade-point average of B (or equivalent) on their Master’s degree in order to be admitted to the PhD programme. The grade-point average also applies to 300 ECTS points integrated five-year Master’s degrees, in which all courses are to be included in the grade-point average.

In cases where the old Norwegian grade system has been used, the admission requirement is a grade-point average of 2,5.

The academic character of the PhD project (methodology, perspectives and theories) determines the project’s disciplinary affiliation. Therefore, the applicant should apply for admission to the department under which the doctoral project belongs academically, regardless of whether the applicant holds a Master’s degree in a discipline at this department.

Language requirements: Applicants must document proficiency in English that satisfies the Norwegian Higher Education Entrance Qualification.

Funding Requirements: Admission is contingent on the availability of adequate funding, which as a general rule covers personnel and running costs, and overhead for a doctoral fellow position. For part-time students, it is required that a minimum of 50 % of the student’s working time may be spent on the doctoral degree programme.

Candidates who apply for a doctoral fellow position at the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education are simultaneously considered for admission to the doctoral programme.

If the applicant wishes to write a thesis in a language other than those approved in the Faculty's supplementary rules for the PhD Regulations (point 19), an application for this should be submitted together with the application for admission.

Teaching methods for the courses in the training will consist of either lectures, seminars and / or guidance on written or oral presentation.

Lectures are given by academic staff at the departments and centers at the faculty, or by staff at other faculties, and by external lecturers from other institutions. The teaching methods and scope are described in more detail in the individual subject descriptions. Expected workload for the training component should be a total of 30 credits is one semester (estimated at 750 - 900 working hours).

For the dissertation, the teaching method consists mainly of supervision with the appointed Principal and Co-supervisor (s). The supervision include the preparation of a plan for the dissertation and the training component (student's individual education plan), academic dialogue, assistance to the student in establishing professional networks, written and oral feedback on the dissertation text, etc.

The PhD student can receive a total of 240 hours of supervision during the course of the research training, including the time needed for preparation and after-school work. This equals 40 hours per semester.

In the middle of the course, the student's progression will be evaluated. The mid-term evaluation is organized by the institutes / centers and is usually held as a seminar of half a day's duration.

The teaching language of PhD subjects in the traning componet is Norwegian / Nordic and / or English.

The doctoral thesis should be written in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, English or Sami. The examination language for the trial lecture and the dissertation shall be the language of the dissertation or Norwegian unless the Faculty approves otherwise.

The study program makes use of the following internationalization arrangements:

  • English-language teaching and curriculum literature
  • Organization for participation in international research schools
  • Recognition of International Conference Participation with credits in the training componet
  • International PhD student environment (ToDoS)
  • Foreign grant for stays at foreign university / institution
  • International exchange agreements and cooperation agreements

A stay abroad is recommended for the second or third year of the study years and for a duration of 3-10 months. Staying at a foreign learning institution will be relevant to the student's PhD project and as well gives academic benefit in the dissertation. The Faculty annually announces foreign grants that PhD students can apply to cover additional costs with the implementation of a foreign stay.

UiT has exchange agreements with several foreign universities for PhD students. These are usually linked to specific subject areas. For further information, contact the international coordinator at the HSL-faculty.