University of Gothenburg

PhD Programme in Peace and Development Research

The PhD Programme in Peace and Development Research aims to develop knowledge and skills that enable independent and professional research, and to contribute to the research field through a doctoral dissertation.

The PhD programme

Peace and Development Research at the University of Gothenburg is a leading site of interdisciplinary enquiry. The research environment consists of ca 50 researchers using a broad range of approaches to investigate various themes in peace and development in different regions of the world. These themes include but are not limited to, conflicts, security, gender, human rights, global political economy, migration, regional and global governance, and resistance.

The PhD programme comprises 240 credits in total. Of the total credits, the dissertation comprises 180 credits, and the course work comprises 60 credits. Doctoral studies in Peace and Development Research often involve fieldwork outside Sweden. 

The PhD programme is governed by the Higher Education Ordinance, The University’s and the Faculty’s rules and regulations for third-cycle studies, and the General Syllabus.

More extensive information about the PhD programme can be found in the General Syllabus.

Specific entry requirements 

In order to be eligible for the PhD Programme in Peace and Development Research, you must, in addition to general entry requirements, fulfill the specific entry requirements.

You must have completed a degree at second cycle level within the area of international relations, peace and conflict studies or global development studies, or the equivalent degree/knowledge obtained within or outside Sweden.

Doctoral employment

If you are accepted for doctoral education, you will be employed as doctoral students at the department. As a doctoral student, your employment typically lasts four years. Up to 20 percent of the doctoral studies can consist of departmental service, and the doctoral position is then extended by the corresponding time. This means that the total period of employment will be a maximum of five years. Exceptions apply to sick leave, parental leave and union trust assignments.

Salaries for doctoral students are made according to local agreements at the University of Gothenburg and are negotiated by trade union representatives.

Doctoral positions are funded through faculty grants, external research grants or funding from other employers. When financing from another employer, a special agreement is required, that regulates the relationship between the University of Gothenburg/the department, the doctoral student and the employer. The type of financing that is relevant for the position always appears in the position announcement. Please note that student loans or private means are not accepted.

Doctoral students at the University of Gothenburg are government employees and are thus covered by a number of benefits and insurance.


Supervisors are assigned in consultation between the doctoral student, and the Director of PhD Studies. Each doctoral student is assigned a main supervisor and an assistant supervisor. Prospective doctoral students do not need to obtain supervisors before applying for a PhD programme.

The dissertation

The dissertation can be written in the form of a compilation, which means several articles and/or papers preceded by an introductory chapter so-called Kappa, or as a monograph, i.e. a coherent book.

Doctoral students are expected to present their work at a number of occasions during the PhD programme. At the beginning of the second year at the programme, the doctoral student presents a detailed project proposal, the dissertation PM, for the entire department, and receives questions and feedback from commentators. When approximately half of the programme is completed, the doctoral student presents parts of the dissertation at a so-called mid-term seminar.

When about six months remain to work on a dissertation, the doctoral student presents the entire dissertation script on a mock dissertation, and receives comments from an external opponent and an third reader.

Finally, the doctoral student defends their dissertation in a public defense, where the student discusses the dissertation with an opponent, and a grading committee decides whether the dissertation is approved.

Future careers

A doctorate in Peace and Development Research can lead to a research career within or outside the academia, to teaching at various levels within the university, or to work in development aid, community analysis, or foreign policy within civil society organizations, government agencies, supranational organisations or private companies.

Programme courses

The first two years of your doctoral studies comprise a number of mandatory and elective courses on third cycle level.

Year 1

7.5 credits

Introduction to Peace and Development Research 


7.5 credits

Revisiting Classics in Peace and Development Research


7.5 credits

Applied Theorizing 


7.5 credits

Research Design in Qualitative Inquiry 


7.5 credits

Ethical and Methodological Challenges in Field Research 


5 credits

Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 1: Basic Course (PIL101)

Year 1-4

5 credits

Pedagogy PIL 102 (elective)


2.5 credits

Teach Your Research (elective)


2.5 or 7.5 credits

Individual reading course (elective)