University of Gothenburg

Thesis and courses

The doctoral thesis is the most important part of your doctoral studies. It shall constitute independent work that contributes to research concerning journalism, media and communication. The thesis allows you to demonstrate that you have the ability to address a scientific problem, and that you can independently perform sizeable scientific work.

Thesis subject

The thesis comprises 180 hp and you will decide on the subject for your thesis in consultation with your supervisors. Your research is expected to be relevant to the department’s research.

There are two types of thesis: monographs and compilation theses. It is your choice, made in consultation with your supervisors, as to which type of thesis you will work on and in which language it will be written. A monograph is a coherent book that addresses one limited area. A compilation thesis comprises a number of scientific articles and/or book chapters that address one overall theme.


As support during the doctoral program, you will receive supervision from one main supervisor and one assistant supervisor appointed by the supervisory committee in

consultation with you. In exceptional cases, it may be possible to have a supervisor from another department or another university, although this must be approved by the supervisory committee and the head of department.

You will have continual contact with your supervisors. The intensity of the contact may vary according to the applicable phase of your studies.

In your contact with your supervisors, you have the opportunity to discuss issues concerning your thesis but also your choice of courses, literature and other considerations relating to your doctoral studies and your future research career.

The supervision may take place either at scheduled meetings or on a more informal basis. You and your supervisors shall jointly reach an agreement concerning the forms of communication and supervision, but it is generally the responsibility of the doctoral student to determine when the supervision shall take place.


In addition to the thesis project, you must also study courses equivalent to 60 ECTS credits within the framework of your doctoral studies. Certain courses are compulsory, although you are free to choose others. Together, these courses shall cover the learning of general theory, scientific methods and empirical studies with regard to Swedish and international research into journalism, media and communication.

The compulsory courses comprise 37 ECTS credits, as follows:

  • Research in journalism, media and communication, 7.5 credits
  • Either of the two courses provided within the TRAIN national network (Contemporary debates in media and communication studies, or Classics in media and communication studies), 7.5 credits
  • Quantitative methods, 7.5 credits
  • Qualitative methods, 7.5 credits
  • Teaching and learning in higher education, 5 credits
  • Research ethics, 2 credits

Separate courses are courses that you choose yourself in consultation with your supervisors. In certain cases, these can be studied at JMG, although in other cases they can be studied at other departments or universities, either in Sweden or abroad.

Seminars and conferences

Doctoral students must participate in the higher seminar (HAS) and the doctoral student seminar at the department.  In the course of your studies, you are expected to present a paper on at least one international conference.

JMG is a member of the TRAIN network, which comprises programmes of doctoral studies in journalism, media and communication from all around Sweden. The network meets once per year, and doctoral students at JMG are expected to participate at this meeting .

More information

Read more about supervision and courses on the University of Gothenburg's Staff Portal.