University of Gothenburg

Doctoral studies at IPKL

At IPKL you may be admitted to third-cycle study programmes that culminate with either a licentiate degree or a doctorate. Only doctoral students who can be offered academic supervision and acceptable study conditions, and who have funding for their studies, are admitted to third-cycle study programmes. If you are interested in commencing a third-cycle study programme, you're advised to obtain a copy of the general study plan and curriculum for the particular subject and then contact the Director of Studies at that Department for more detailed information.

Admissions for third cycle studies

In order to be admitted to third-cycle courses and study programmes it is required that the applicant:

  1. fulfils the general and specific admission requirements that the Faculty Board may have prescribed
  2. is deemed in other respects to have the capabilities required in order to benefit from the course or study programme 

Find out more about admission requirements:

Child and youth studies

Education science 


Guidelines for writing a research plan

Guidelines for writing the research plan to be included in the application for enrolment as PhD student at the Department of Education, Communication and Learning (IPKL), University of Gothenburg.

IPKL has two PhD programmes, Child and Youth studies and Education, respectively. When applying for a position in either of these PhD programmes, the candidate has to include a research plan describing the dissertation work that the applicant intends to carry out. Together with other qualifications, the research plan is an important part of the application and when evaluating the ability of the candidate to pursue PhD training.  

The purpose of the research plan is a) to demonstrate the scientific relevance and significance of the research question, b) to demonstrate the applicant’s familiarity with the research topic that is central to the dissertation project, and c) to indicate the possibilities for finishing the dissertation project within the time frames of the PhD programme – and this includes demonstrating an awareness of the methodological challenges and the potential limitations of the scope of the research project that may be necessary.

The research plan must be written in Swedish or English. The plan should comment on the following topics:

  • Prelminary title of the dissertation
  • Aims and research questions
    Present the general aims, the research problem and the research questions for the dissertation project
  • Previous research/literature review
    Provide a short summary of earlier research in the area and of relevance to the research questions to be addressed in the dissertation work. A short and informative list of references is to be included.
  • Project description
    Describe the dissertation project, for instance with respect to the empirical data to be generated and analysed, theoretical background, methods of analysis and general time plan for the work. Specify how your research problem connects to the current research and research interests of IPKL.
  • Ethical considerations
    Describe the possible ethical challenges you may encounter when implementing your research plan.

The maximum length of the research plan is 3 000 words (including references). The plan should be written using Times Roman 12, spacing 1 ½.

Doctoral position

Admission to doctoral studies takes place after a doctoral position is advertised. Doctoral positions are advertised by the departments at each faculty. To be eligible for doctoral studies, you must meet the general and specific entry requirements. The selection among applicants meeting the requirements is based, among other things, on assessments of applicants’ overall ability to benefit from the studies. 

All doctoral positions that lead to a doctoral studentship are listed under Vacancies

External position

Another option for students is to be admitted to doctoral studies with an external position. As an externally positioned doctoral student, you are employed by an employer other than the University of Gothenburg. As such, you conduct your studies within the framework of your employment, while also working within the organisation where you are employed.

Even as an externally positioned student, you need to apply for doctoral studies according to the instructions defined by the study programme. 

Graduate schools

Many doctoral students at IPKL also belong to a graduate school. A graduate school is usually organized around a research area and also provides compulsory courses for specialization in this area. A graduate school can be established at a university or as a national collaboration between different universities.


As a doctoral student, you have the right to supervision throughout the entire education, provided that you are active in your studies. A principal supervisor and one (or more) assistant supervisor(s) will be appointed by the Head of Department at the latest at the start of your studies. The principal supervisor will be an employee at least at the level of Reader (Docent) within a relevant subject at the faculty.

As a doctoral student you will be given the opportunity to have regular contact with your supervisors for discussion and feedback during the progression of the thesis work.

About supervision

Research Areas

There are a number of different research themes at IPKL and doctoral students are warmly welcome to attend!

Doctoral courses

The University of Gothenburg offers a wide range of doctoral courses. Doctoral students at the university and at other higher education institutions can apply to these courses through the university’s application portal for doctoral courses.

Read more about our courses in the application portal

Mandatory seminars

Mandatory seminars for degree of doctor:

  • planning seminar
  • halfway seminar
  • final seminar/

Mandatory seminars for degree of licentiate:

  • planning seminar
  • halfway seminar
  • licentiate seminar

Learn more about the different seminars