Doctoral courses

Last changed: 20 March 2024

A doctoral education at SLU contains both subject courses and basic courses for transferable skills (e.g. courses in ethics, philosophy of science and pedagogics). By clicking on the green button below you will be able to search among all doctoral courses organised by SLU. The other links below can be used to find specific information from for example a research school or the basic courses in transferable skills.


What rules apply for courses in doctoral education?

This applies for students admitted after January 1 2013:

The degree must include at least

-        30 credits in the form of courses for a doctoral degree;

-        15 credits  in the form of courses for a licentiate degree.

The general syllabus for a specific doctoral-level subject may specify a higher minimum number of credits. It is possible to require up to 120 credits for a doctoral degree, and up to 60 credits for a licentiate degree.

The principal supervisor suggests courses that may be included in the degree. The faculty board approves the degree, including its constituent courses.

This applies for students admitted after July 1, 2015: In order to be awarded a doctoral or licentiate degree at SLU, the doctoral student must have studied credit-awarding courses in theory of knowledge and research ethics. These courses should e.g. cover rules regarding cheating and plagiarism.

Basic courses in transferable skills

Basic courses in transferable skills in a doctoral programme are intended to support the student's personal development and foster general knowledge and proficiency in for example statistics, philosophy of science, research ethics, communication and pedagogy. The aim of the subject courses is to give broader or deeper knowledge of subjects.

Syllabuses requirements

All courses at SLU must have a syllabus describing entry requirements, scope, learning outcomes, purpose, content, form of teaching, timetable and pass grade requirements. Courses must include an element of personal performance, where newly-acquired knowledge and proficiency are tested and applied in a suitable pedagogical form.

SLU has a template syllabus for doctoral courses. 

All syllabuses for doctoral subject courses must be approved by the faculty board, and all syllabuses for basic courses must be approved by the Council for PhD Education (FUR). Syllabuses must then be registered in the on-line searchable database SLUkurs forskarutbildning. The course date must be registered no later than six months before the start of the course.

Courses (examinations) are assessed with the grades pass or fail.

Crediting of courses completed before admission


A course completed before admission to a doctoral programme can only be credited if this is justified by the individual study plan, which means that standardised transfer of credits may not be made from previous studies. Crediting of courses does not mean that the programme will be shorter than four years of net study time for the doctoral degree, or two years for the licentiate degree.

Programmes/courses completed before the applicant has been admitted to a doctoral programme may not be credited if

  • they have been included in a Master's degree or an equivalent or lower degree;
  • if they are courses at Bachelor's or Master's level conferring eligibility for a doctoral programme.

Courses at Bachelor's or Master's level may be credited subject to approval by the faculty board. An approval decision must specify the number of credits credited. The number of credits must be adapted to take into account that the requirements made of those studying at doctoral level are more exacting than for lower academic levels.

Courses at Bachelor or Master level - fees?

All students who do not have citizenship in the EU, EEA countries or Switzerland must pay for courses at Bachelor or Master level. This also applies to doctoral students, even though postgraduate education is free in Sweden.

SLU does not want to charge fees for course participation from its doctoral students. Therefore, the following is recommended:

In order for a doctoral student to be able to read a course at Bachelor or Master level free of charge as part of his / her education at doctoral level, the corresponding course must be established as a course at doctoral level. That is, the Faculty Board shall approve a syllabus in which learning objectives and examination form and level have been adapted to the level of postgraduate education. The student can then read the course together with the other students.

Arranging a Nova course

SLU is one of the founding members of the Nordic Forestry, Veterinary and Agricultural University Network - NOVA. Since the start in 1995, the main activity within the network has been jointly organised PhD courses.

More information about Nova courses. 

More information about Nova. 

Course leader - apply for FUR funding for general courses

Model for economic compensation for general basic courses funded by FUR

During a doctoral education at SLU, the student is required to acquire both subject knowledge and more general skills that are not bound to a particular topic. These more general skills are offered through general basic courses, and these courses can be given by departments/units with economic compensation from the Council for doctoral education (FUR).

"The general basic courses support the doctoral students' personal development and foster general knowledge and proficiency in statistics, philosophy of science, research ethics, information competence, communication and pedagogy, for example. The aim of third-cycle subject courses is to inculcate broader or deeper knowledge of subjects." From SLU Guidelines for third-cycle (doctoral) education DNR: SLU ua 2015.1.1.1-2467.

Requirements for economic compensation for a basic course

  • The content of the course should be essential for SLU's PhD students.
  • The course contents should be linked to the skills and approaches stated in the degree outcomes of the doctoral education.
  • The course structure should be adapted so that PhD students from all SLU locations can participate (eg through video link, the course leader alternates between locations or custom scheduling).
  • The course will be offered in English if there is a need.
  • Course syllabus and course occasion must be registered in SLUkurs forskarutbildning.
  • For the course to qualify for compensation from FUR, at least 5 SLU doctoral students (SLU-DS) must be admitted at the start of the course.

Economic compensation model

  • 5-9 SLU – DS: 2500 SEK/HEC and SLU-DS
  • ≥ 10 SLU-DS gives 25 000 SEK/HEC and an additional 1 000 SEK extra for each DS over 10 (for example, a 3 credit course with 12 participants will give 77 000 SEK)

A course can never get more than 180 000 SEK per year from FUR.

New courses can apply for a one-time planning grant of 50 000 SEK.

Courses can apply for one-time development grant of 50 000 SEK, for example for developing a course into a distance learning course.   

Some major, recurring courses receive compensation according to negotiation.


After the course is finished a report should be sent to Lotta Jäderlund. The report should contain schedule, list of participants and a summary of the course evaluations.

Application to FUR

The application for a basic general course with a remuneration from FUR shall contain a description of the intended course, including syllabus, preliminary schedule, budget and a motivation for why the course should receive compensation from FUR. The application is sent to FUR (Lotta Jäderlund). FUR decides on budget in the autumn next year, the application must be submitted to FUR by 1 August. A selection will take place.

Course leaders - web-based course evaluation

SLU has a university common template for evaluations of doctoral student courses and a university common template for evaluations of educational activities arranged within the framework of a research school.

Templates contain mandatory questions that cannot be changed. The individual course leader can add supplementary questions.

Those who want a web-based evaluation and where the results are automatically compiled and reported on the web, send an email to with a link to the course's page in SLUkurs. The course leader will get permission for an evaluation form intended for that course or training activity, including instructions. Assuming that the Course Manager has a Google Account, they can add any own questions and see the results summary. After that, the course leader can send a link to the participants. Those who respond do not need a Google Account. The respondents' identity is not registered. The respondents can see a summary of the answers to the evaluation they themselves have answered. The administrator has permission for all web-based evaluations.

At there are general information about the web platform that we use for the course evaluations.

Anyone who wishes can download the course evaluations template in the form of a word document on the university common forms webpage and send out, collect and compile the answers themselves.

Those who do not choose to do evaluations using the web-based template must report a summary of the answers to the course evaluation for the faculty board, if it is a subject course, or for FUR if it is a basic course (the course managers of the LTV faculty reports to the faculty education officer).


Directors of studies at the LTV Faculty:

Helene Larsson Jönsson, Alnarp. Phone: 040-415370. 
Åsa Klintborg Ahlklo, Alnarp. Phone: 040-415421.

Directors of studies at the NJ Faculty:

Elisabet Lewan, Uppsala, Phone: 018-67 26 29.
Robert Glinwood, Uppsala, Phone: 018-67 23 42.


Vice dean for doctoral studies at the S Faculty:

Göran Spong, Umeå. Phone: 0730-350641

Director of studies at the VH Faculty:

Carl-Gustaf Thulin, Uppsala. Phone: 0705-64 53 58


General information on doctoral studies at university level:

Lotta Jäderlund or Eva Stening