Sweden is among the best destinations to undertake a doctoral program. Explore this piece to find all important information on PhD courses in Sweden.

PhD in Sweden

The world recognizes Sweden for its long and proud tradition of innovation. Ever since a child is admitted to a preschool, he is taught the tactics of thinking independently, which eventually culminates into assuming things differently and creating unique ideas. This innovative spirit is one among the many facets of placing some Swedish universities in the topnotch European ranking list. Particularly for a country like Sweden that resides far in the north of Europe, establishing an outstanding reputation worldwide and making achievements in commercial, technological, cultural, and political sectors was a challenging task, which it has done remarkably and phenomenally. The small bunch of undergraduate courses, the vast array of postgraduate courses, and the spectrum of doctoral programs deems Sweden as a flourishing and prospective study abroad destination. Earning a PhD degree from any Swedish university raises the bar of receiving handsome salaries and respectful positions in the industry. Check out the different subjects offered for a PhD degree and the requirements for securing admission in a university in Sweden.
Degree Recognition
The comprehensive and extensive research carried out at Swedish universities is well respected and accredited internationally. Receiving a PhD degree from a university in Sweden opens several doors of employment and further research in prominent sectors.
Degree Structure
Known as the third cycle of higher education in Sweden, doctoral programs are offered in a multitude of subjects at all universities. Students have the option of undertaking any of the two available doctoral programs: PhD degree and Licentiate degree. Pursuing a PhD degree requires 240 ECTS (credit points) and completion of a minimum of four years of full-time study. Licentiate degree, on the other hand, is a two-year program, equivalent to MPhil of the UK, comprising of 120 ECTS (credit points). It equals completion of the half of the coursework or thesis required for a full PhD. Under the PhD degree program, individual tutoring is imparted to all students, while the thesis is publicly defended. Students have to undertake a research assignment and pursue theoretical studies through seminars or courses. More than half the total workload is taken up by drafting of the thesis. Subjects related to technology, natural science, and medicine demand the students to work in groups.
Academic Calendar
Universities and colleges in Sweden follow the semester system, typical to most other countries. An academic year is divided into two semesters or terms - Autumn and Spring. The Autumn semester runs from the end of August through the middle of January, while the Spring semester is spread from mid-January to the beginning of June. Subject courses are also offered in the summer months of June to August. Short breaks are given during Christmas and Easter.
Subjects for Doctoral Degree
Biomedical Science; Caring Science; Education; Didactics in Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Technology; Health and Society; Historical Studies; Interaction Design; Media and Communication; Odontology; Social Work; Sport Sciences; Swedish and Didactics; Medicine; Law; Economics and Management; Social Sciences; Engineering; Humanities and Theology; Art; Music
Admissions Requirements
  • Candidates are required to be holders of a university degree equivalent to a bachelor’s degree or higher, with a major in the same subject they intend to do research in. Ideally, a master’s degree is a de facto requirement for a PhD program.
  • Therefore, if you are in possession of a bachelor’s degree, it is advised that you pursue a master’s degree course first and later apply to a PhD program, to improve your chances of obtaining admission.
  • The degrees and certificates awarded should be certified by the Ministry of Education of the country in which the degree or certificate was bestowed upon.
  • A good command over English language is a mandatory requirement.
  • Although there are no formal requirements for proficiency in Swedish language for doctoral studies or research training, a good command over the language can ease your task of getting accustomed to the lectures and seminars, which are mostly conducted in Swedish.
  • Credentials, awarded in any language other than a Scandinavian language, English, French, or German, must be supported by equivalent translation in English, Swedish, French, or German, stamped and signed by the issuing authority.
  • At least two letters of recommendation is requisite.
Application Procedure
  • Applications for admission to a doctoral program in Sweden are made directly to the university.
  • Announcements for PhD courses are posted on the university’s website. Search through all the websites of the universities in Sweden to find positions available for PhD.
  • Contact the university and the department where the subject is taught and inquire about the specific information and application materials required for applying.
  • Get all copies of your diplomas, certificates, transcripts, and letters of recommendation officially certified.
  • Mail all your documentation to the concerned department of the respective university before the closing dates for receiving applications. While some departments have fixed application dates, others admit students all round the year.
Cost of Education
Doctoral level studies are free of charge for all foreign students, irrespective of their nationality.

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