Before the public defence

On this page you will find information about what needs to be planned and prepared in order to be able to apply to defend your licentiate thesis (if applicable) or defend your doctoral thesis as well as the printing of the thesis and then how the public defence is conducted. Last but not least, information on how to apply for your degree and participate in the conferment ceremony.

Before the public defence or licentiate seminar, there are a number of elements that you and your principal supervisor need to plan.

To support this, there is a general time plan that you can use. Please note that you should contact the research administrator who handles matters within your third-cycle subject, as the planning may differ between the third-cycle subjects.

​​​​​​​When a date for the public defence or licentiate seminar has been set and contact with the faculty examiner and examining committee members has been made, an application needs to be submitted to the relevant pro-dean for a decision.

The application must be submitted at least eight weeks before the proposed date for the public defence or presentation of the licentiate thesis. This is to ensure that there is time for any adjustment.

The application is made on a special form.

Doctoral theses and licentiate theses must at Mälardalen University be written in a special template and follow the University's graphic profile. It is recommended that you write your thesis/licentiate thesis directly in the template.

Mälardalen University uses a template provided by Uppsala University. If you want support regarding the template, you can contact the University Library.

The printing process

MälardalenUniversity uses the company E-print for the printing of theses. Before printing your thesis/licentiate thesis, there are a number of steps that need to be taken and a number of things to think about.

Expect it to take three weeks from the final PDF being submitted to the printer until the thesis/licentiate thesis is completed. Thus, the time needs to be taken into account so that the thesis/licentiate thesis is printed at least three weeks before the day of the public defence/licentiate seminar in order to be published.

Register your thesis in the University’s publishing system DiVA External link. . (Size of the abstract max 400 words. Do not upload the full text file in DiVA.) When this is done you will be given title pages and if appropriate a notification of submission of a doctoral thesis (spikblad) containing an ISBN number for the thesis from the Library. This must be completed before the printing process can begin. Please contact the Library if you have any questions.

  1. The thesis needs to be registered in DiVA by the doctoral student in good time before printing. Count on it taking up to three days to get a response from the Library after registering in DiVA.
  2. Please note that the title page and spikblad may not be changed with respect to either their content or appearance. For the covers it is possible to have a picture on the front cover and in conjunction with the author presentation on the back. However, only MDU’s logotype may be on the front cover.
  3. Save the thesis as a PDF file when it is completely ready. When the thesis is sent to be printed all the corrections must have been made. The PDF file must have the same appearance as you want it to have in print.
  4. Place your printing order with E-print via http://www.eprint.se/offertforfragan/malardalens-hogskola/ External link. You will find instructions for how to go about this in the order form on E-print’s website.
  5. When you have approved of the trial print it will take about two weeks before the entire edition is printed, depending on the size of the edition. The copies for spikning are included in the delivery.
  6. The Library will receive the PDF file in full text or the introductory chapter (kappa) from the printer’s when the thesis is printed, and will enter it into DiVA. ​

How many theses should I print?

Remember to state the size of the edition when making your printing order. Please check with the Director of Doctoral Education at your School what the customary number is at your School.

Please note that Mälardalen University distributes seven books according to a fixed list:

  • Division of Quality support: three copies
  • University Library, Västerås: two copies
  • University Library, Eskilstuna: two copies

E-print delivers specimen copies to seven libraries: Gothenburg University Library, the National Library of Sweden, Stockholm, Linköping University Library, Lund University Library, Stockholm University Library, Umeå University Library, Uppsala University Library.

The notification of the public defence of a doctoral thesis must be made no later than three weeks before the public defence.

You must contact the Pro-Dean in advance to obtain the signature ”må spikas” (may be posted), which means that you receive permission to disseminate your thesis and to “hang-up” your thesis on a nail at a specific location at both the Eskilstuna and Västerås campuses.

For this procedure Mälardalen University uses special hand-forged nails, which you can get from the research administrator at your School. Please contact the research administrator to obtain these nails.

A doctoral student must defend their thesis on their own. The public defence has the following main purposes:

  • To offer the doctoral student an opportunity to show ability to discuss research in a popular science manner as well as on a high academic level.
  • To provide a first-class academic review of the doctoral thesis.
  • To offer the general public an insight into how the doctoral student’s thesis has contributed to developing knowledge within the third-cycle research subject.

At the public defence the doctoral student (respondent), defends the thesis, during which the faculty examiner, the principal supervisor, the supervisor(s), the members of the examining committee and the interested public, are present and have the opportunity to ask questions.

The procedure for a public defence can differ between subject. One way to organise the public defence is described below:

  • The Chair pronounces the public defence open and welcomes those present. The Chair also describes the procedure for the public defence, announces the name of the author of the doctoral thesis (the respondent), and the title of the thesis, as well as introducing the faculty examiner and the members of the examining committee.
  • The faculty examiner gives a brief description of the research domain and also describes the ways in which the doctoral thesis has contributed to the development of knowledge within the field.
  • Thereafter, the respondent begins by presenting, where applicable, a list of errata, followed by a presentation of the thesis.
  • In a discussion with the respondent, the faculty examiner poses questions and comments on the methods concerning the methods, findings and the discussion of these. The candidate answers the faculty examiner’s questions clearly and concisely.
  • Following this, the discussion is opened up. The examining committee, in the capacity of examiners, is first given the opportunity to put questions to the respondent. The latter shall be given the chance to answer each contribution to the discussion.
  • Subsequently the audience is allowed to ask questions in the order decided by the Chair.
  • Before the question time is concluded, the Chair should ensure that the examining committee has obtained an adequate basis for assessment.
  • The chair thanks the participants and declares the public defence closed.
  • The examining committee convenes. The Chair of the committee then announces the committee’s decision to the respondent without delay.

Licentiate seminar

Every doctoral student must individually defend their thesis at a public seminar. Also present at the seminar are the principal supervisor, the supervisor(s), the members of the examining committee and interested members of the public and these have the opportunity of asking questions.

Depending on which School and subject you belong to, the public defence or the licentiate seminar can be performed in different ways. Contact the Director of doctoral education or research administrator at your school for more information about what applies to you.

When the public defence or the licentiate seminar is completed with a pass grade, and all your courses following your general syllabus are completed with a pass grade, it is time to apply for your degree.

You may apply for the degree by completing the application for a degree and submitting to the Division for admission and degrees.

The process before that is that the research administrator (or equivalent at your School) has registered that you have completed your thesis in Ladok. This takes place after the public defence protocol or the protocol from the licentiate seminar has been submitted to the research administrator (or equivalent) at your School.

The application is made on a special form

The conferment of doctoral degrees is the formal occasion at the University where doctoral students who have successfully completed their doctoral degree are conferred with the title of doctor. Those persons to be conferred are led over the symbolic Parnassus, are welcomed by the Presiding Officer and receive their laurel wreath or doctoral hat and their diploma.

The Academic Ceremony at Mälardalen University is held to honor the University’s new professors and doctors, which takes place once every two years.