Third-cycle studies at MDU

Studying at third-cycle (research) level means that you acquire the knowledge and skills needed for you to become a researcher.

Third-cycle studies are the highest within the Swedish education system, and you can take two different degrees: a degree of Licentiate (120 HE credits) and a degree of Doctor (240 HE credits).

Research studies are organised in six areas in which the University has obtained degree-awarding powers at third-cycle level.

  • Embedded Systems (the subjects of Computer Science and Electronics)
  • Innovation and Product Realisation (the subject of Innovation and Design)
  • Environment/Energy and Resource Optimisation (the subjects of Energy and Environment Engineering and also Mathematics/Applied Mathematics)
  • Industrial Economics, Work Life Studies and Management (the subject of Industrial Engineering and Management)
  • Didactics (the subjects of Didactics and also Science and Technology Didactics)
  • Health and Welfare (the subjects of Caring Sciences, Work Life Science, Social Work, Physiotherapy and Public Health Sciences)

MDU has around 215 active doctoral students.

Apply for Third-cycle Studies

Third-cycle studies can be financed in different ways, by employment at the University or as an externally employed doctoral student. The important point is that there is funding to cover the entire period of studies and that the studies can be completed within eight years.

The most common form of financing is by employment as a doctoral student. A lot of research students at MDU are financed as externally employed doctoral students, as they are known, which means that they have an employment outside the University.

For each doctoral student on being admitted, a team of supervisors are to be appointed, consisting of a principal supervisor and one or more assistant supervisors.

The principal supervisor has the overall responsibility for the doctoral student’s education. One of the supervisors must be working at the same School as the doctoral student. The others may be working at some other School or organisation with which the doctoral student’s School has research cooperation.

Qualifications required for principal supervisors at MDU

At MDU the principal supervisors for doctoral students must have the qualifications of a docent or professor. The other supervisors must have doctorate degrees. The principal supervisor must have completed a supervisor’s course corresponding to the two-week course given at MDU; the other supervisors must have completed some other form of supervisor’s course or have plans to do one.

Research supervisor training

MDU provides supervisors with the opportunity to develop their supervisory skills. These can for example consist of courses for supervisors, seminars, conferences or group discussions about matters of supervision. This CPD (continuing professional development) may also be obtained through the training offered by other HEIs.

Change of supervisors

Sometimes situations may arise when it is suitable for the doctoral student to change supervisors. Example of such situations are that:

  • the supervisor falls seriously ill
  • a too close personal relationship arises between the supervisor and the doctoral student or between supervisors in the team of supervisors
  • the supervisor leaves his/her employment
  • an unresolvable conflict arises between the doctoral student and the supervisor

If there are allegations of ethnical or sexual harassment, the matter shall be dealt with in accordance with the University’s “Action programme to counteract discrimination on grounds of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability”. If those involved have an internal conflict which they have been unsuccessful in resolving, they should call in an external party.

How can we change supervisors?

If there is a case for changing supervisors, the doctoral student shall submit an application using the form for change of supervisors. Enclose a revised individual study plan signed by the doctoral student, all the supervisors involved, and the Dean of School.

Often there is a financial connection between the supervisor and the project on which the student is working. It would therefore be wise to consider changing the project as well in connection with the change of supervisors. Discuss this with the Dean of School.

Application to change supervisors

For more information about changing/adding a new supervisor, please contact the coordinator for third-cycle studies at the appropriate School.

Application for change of supervisors

For more information about changing/adding a new supervisor, please contact the coordinator for third-cycle studies at the appropriate School.

For information about:

  • Rules for third-cycle studies
  • Study guide book
  • Admission Regulations for Third-cycle Studies

send an email to: forskarutbildningen@mdu.se

The Doctoral Student Council is the research student’s voice at the University

In the Mälardalen Student Union there is a special doctoral student council which represents the University’s research students, the doctoral students. The goal of the Doctoral Student Council is that all doctoral students at MDU shall be aware of their rights and obligations.

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Support for the University's researchers

The Division of Research Support works with counselling regarding research and research funding. The Division provides support and advice to researchers and directors of research within all the six research specialisations and also to the University Management.

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Research support

As a researcher at MDU you have access to the University Library’s research service.

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The education process

Admission to third-cycle studies is carried out in accordance with the University’s admission regulations.

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