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Doctoral student Handbook

  1. General syllabus

  2. Individual study plan

  3. Admission and admission requirements

  4. Supervision and other resources

  5. Registration in Ladok

  6. Activity and funding – reporting

  7. Courses – reporting

  8. Public defence and application for degree

  9. Intermediate seminars

  10. Doctoral employment

  11. Funding of doctoral studies

  12. Inter Arts Centre

  13. Doctoral students’ union

  14. Rules and further information


1. General syllabus

There is a general syllabus for every research studies discipline, approved by the Board of the Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts. The general syllabus contains:

  • the main structure of the programme
  • specific admission requirements, prerequisite knowledge and other conditions for admission to the programme
  • regulations on selection and the criteria applied for the assessment of applicants’ ability to profit from the programme

The general syllabus are available here:

►General syllabus for third cycle studies in music (until 2020-08-31)

►General syllabus for third cycle studies in music (from 2020-09-01)

►General syllabus for third cycle studies in music education  

►General syllabus for third cycle studies in theatre (until 2020-12-31)

►General syllabus for third cycle studies in theatre (from 2021-01-01)

►General syllabus for third cycle studies in visual arts (until 2020-12-31)

►General syllabus for third cycle studies in visual arts (from 2021-01-01)

2. Individual study plan

An individual study plan can be viewed as a contract between the doctoral student, supervisors and department. The plan must always be kept up-to-date. The study plan is to be dated and signed by the research student, supervisor and head of department/equivalent. Please note that the first individual study plan is to be completed within one month of the start of the programme and approved by the Dean after preparation in the Faculty Council.

The doctoral student, supervisors, department and faculty all need clear documentation of the doctoral student’s activities. The aspects that may need to be documented include: completed courses, completed departmental duties, the level of activity for the year in question, and the planned level of activity for the following year. The individual study plan is also to include the duties and areas of responsibility of each supervisor.

The study plan is drawn up using a form approved by the Faculty Board, which is available for download from the faculty website (see below). The study plan is to include a planned timeframe for the doctoral student’s studies, a description of the obligations of the doctoral student and the department for the period, and other information required for the completion of the programme. For research studies in the fine and performing arts, the individual study plan must include timeframes for both the course component and the artistic research project, and a plan for documentation of the artistic research project and funding of both the artistic project and the documentation. The plan is essentially to cover the whole of the research studies programme, but should be more specific and detailed for the coming year and for completed parts of the programme and more general for the remaining years.

The plan is to be followed up on a continual basis in supervision sessions and is to be updated at least once a year, or more often if specific changes call for revision.

►Template for individual study plan

3. Admission and admission requirements

Admission to research studies normally takes place by means of specific vacancy notices advertising vacancies for research students. Each department is responsible for advertising vacancies in the subjects belonging to the department, with the help of the human resources administrator at the Faculty Office. Vacancies are advertised on the faculty website and on the relevant department website. Admission to research studies is regulated in chapters 6 and 7 of the Higher Education Ordinance.

The Lund University admission rules regulate admission to research studies for all fields of study.

Admission rules on the Lund University website

►Admission rules for third-cycle education at Lund University

Detailed information about the admission procedure for research studies can be found here:

►Admission procedure at the Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts

Other admission requirements can be found in the general syllabus for the relevant research studies discipline. The general syllabi can be found here:

General syllabi

4. Supervision and other resources

Doctoral students have the right to supervision as part of their studies. The faculty’s regulations on supervision and other resources for research studies can be found here:

►Regulations on supervision and other resources for third-cycle education

5. Registration in Ladok

It is the responsibility of the doctoral student to register ahead of each semester. In order to register as an active doctoral student, log in to the Student Portal,, with your Lucat ID (see point 9) or Student account.

The login page and further information can be found here:

Registration in Ladok

►Student account

 6. Activity and funding – reporting

At the end of each semester, the doctoral student’s level of activity and funding is to be reported in Ladok. The subject coordinator is responsible for reporting the doctoral student’s level of activity and funding to the research studies officer at the Faculty Office. It is also the research studies officer who reports all courses, admissions and graduations in Ladok. Information about the documentation for reporting can be found here:

Memorandum on reporting of activity and funding [PDF]

7. Courses – reporting

There are three different ways of gaining credits: (1) Courses (2) Other components (3) Credit transfer. These give a certain number of credits that are reported in Ladok (the system used to document students’ results in higher education).

Each course has a syllabus and a course code. It is usually the principal supervisor who approves a doctoral student’s individual courses and who is listed as the examiner of these courses in Ladok.

Other assessed components
A doctoral student can also receive credits for individually tailored assignments that are not termed courses. The examiner (usually the supervisor) sends documentation of the components that are to generate credits in Ladok to the Faculty Office. These components are entered into Ladok as free text and do not require a syllabus or course code.

Credit transfer
The principal supervisor also approves the transfer of credits into Ladok from courses taken at other institutions and determines the number of credits they are to generate. The course credits can be transferred to the doctoral student education from another institution at Lund University or from other universities within or outside Sweden. Normally courses at doctoral level are transferred, but the main supervisor can also assess that courses at master's level can be transferred. Participation in courses at other institutions is to be agreed in advance by the principal supervisor and the examiner and documented in the individual study plan.

For more information, see:

Memorandum on courses and reporting of courses

8. Public defence and application for degree

Doctoral studies conclude with the defence of the artistic project or PhD thesis, after which the student can apply for his or her degree. There are many important preparations to be made, and it is important to think about these well in advance.

Information about the procedure for the public defence and application for a degree for PhD students employed at the Faculty of Fine and Performing arts, Lund university, can be found here:

►Information and checklist for the public defence and application for a degree, internal

Information about the procedure for the public defence and application for a degree for PhD students admitted at the Faculty of Fine and Performing arts, Lund university, but employed at an other university can be found here:

►Information and checklist for the public defence and application for a degree, external

9. Intermediate seminars

Review of ongoing PhD projects is a key component of the third-cycle education, both for the doctoral students and as quality assurance of the department, University and discipline. The principal supervisor holds the primary responsibility for the ongoing review and follow-up of the doctoral student’s work. In order to examine the work and its openness for review from several different perspectives, and to ensure that the doctoral student’s activities are well-established at the department and in the artistic field, the work is to be presented in a wider context. PhD projects are typically presented in the form of open seminars on at least three occasions during the third-cycle programme. These are scheduled to take place when approximately 25%, 50% and 75% of the third-cycle programme has been completed. At these seminars, the doctoral student can present different types of material, and artistic performance can be part of the presentation. For several research training subjects, information and policy documents for the intermediate seminars are presented by the head of subject or the main supervisor to doctoral students and external reviewers. One example (more examples in Swedish here):

► Memo on intermediate seminars in Theatre

The seminars are designed on the basis of the nature of the specific project, and are intended to support the doctoral students in their continued work. Doctoral students and supervisors can request which issues they want to discuss during the seminars. The supervisors must approve the material to be presented at the seminar and may require revisions and additions. For every seminar, an external reviewer is appointed who is responsible for reviewing and discussing the work and the material presented.

The doctoral student’s salary is linked to the seminars through the salary scale increase, as described below in the doctoral student handbook under the heading Doctoral studentship > Salary.

10. Doctoral employment

Being an employee

After a decision has been made to admit a doctoral student to postgraduate education, it is decided to employ the doctoral student. Employment as a doctoral student refers to the time that is deemed necessary for the completion of the doctoral studies, which at most corresponds to a full-time doctoral program for four years. Decision on employment is made by the head of department. The decision cannot be appealed to a higher authority. Employment is valid until further notice, although at most until a set date (normally when the studies are completed) and never for a period longer than one year from completion of the doctoral degree. The first period of employment under a doctoral studentship is for one year. At the end of that year, employment is extended with no need to re-apply. The employment is usually renewed for one year at a time, provided that the studies progress according to plan. When the time expires, the employment is extended without the need to apply for the employment again, however a formal decision on extension must be taken by the department. The total period of employment is not permitted to exceed the equivalent of full-time third cycle studies for four years, and can last no longer than eight years in total (the study pace can not be lower than 50%).

A doctoral student can to a limited extent work with other than his or her own doctoral studies, on behalf of the employing department. This can be, for example, teaching (holding a course or supervising students at the bachelor's and master's level), or administrative work. This is called departmental duties. Such work may not exceed twenty percent of full-time employment. The doctoral student is compensated with extra time for studies as a result of assignments that involve departmental duties. The employment period can thus be extended to a maximum of five years full-time. However, the total employment period can be longer in special cases. In such cases, the period of employment is extended for a time equivalent to that of absence due to special circumstances. (Special circumstances can include parental leave, sick leave, military service, elected office within employee or student organisations or departmental duties.)

Part time
The Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 5 Section 3a) states that the employment should be full time. If a doctoral student requests the appointment may be part time, but not less than 50% of full time.

Working hours
Working hours for those employed under doctoral studentships are exempt from the law on working hours; overtime pay is not to be applied according to the agreements in place. This means that the work must be structured so as to make it possible to conduct one’s studies and departmental duties efficiently. This entails taking account of colleagues, management and the students taught by the doctoral student. The doctoral student has the right to daily rest, annual leave and leisure time according to the rules that apply to any other employment. Authorised leave of absence is only granted to doctoral students in exceptional circumstances. The decision on authorised leave of absence is not delegated to the head of department, but taken by the faculty’s human resources manager.

►Human resources information

Leave of absence
A doctoral student who wishes to take leave of absence from his or her doctoral studentship must discuss this with his or her supervisor and the head of department. If they agree, the doctoral student is then to apply for leave of absence using the dedicated form (see below). An application may not be made for a leave of absence exceeding one year and the period must be within the normal period of employment.

Application for leave of absence is done in Primula:

Primula Web

Annual leave
An employed doctoral student is entitled to contractual paid annual leave of approximately six weeks a year. The exact number of days is dependent on age and whether the student has been employed for the whole of the year. You have 28 days of annual leave up to and including the year you turn 29. From the year you turn 30, you have 31 days of annual leave. From the year you turn 40, you have 35 days of annual leave. Annual leave taken is registered in Primula Web; log in with your Lucat ID. Please note that it is not possible to apply for an extension to your contract because of annual leave not taken or to take annual leave after the final date of your contract. All annual leave should be taken during the period of your contract. At least 20 days must be taken every year. You can carry over a maximum of 35 days of annual leave to the following year.

Primula Web

Salaries, just as other terms of employment for doctoral studentships, are mainly regulated in ALFA (the general agreement on pay and benefits for government employees). Salaries are set in local salary negotiations between employee and faculty representatives. There is an agreement on a salary scale for Lund University doctoral students. This means that the doctoral student is placed on the starting rung of the ladder at the beginning of the employment period, with step-by-step salary increases for each stage of credits completed in the research studies programme. These increases take place on completion of 25%, 50% and 75% of completed studies, normally in connection to a seminar. It is the responsibility of the doctoral student, together with the supervisor, to ensure that the application for a salary increase is submitted to the institutions staff coordinator after completion of a seminar. Retroactive salary increases due to a delayed application can be made for a maximum of six months.

Salaries are paid out on the 25th of the month or, if this date falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, the nearest working day.

Starting salaries and salary increase is decided by the institution with support from the guidelines decided by the faculty.

Apply for the next step on the salary scale using the dedicated form:

►Form for salary scale increase

Like all the University’s other employees, doctoral students are insured during their working hours and during direct travel to and from their workplace. In addition, business travel insurance applies when travelling further afield for work. In case of business travel abroad, the doctoral student is to carry an insurance card from 'Kammarkollegiet'. This card can be obtained from the department or from the faculty.

►More information on insurance

Parental leave
The Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) has information about the rules for parental leave; see:


An employee has the right to parental leave to spend time at home with a child. Find out more about what rules apply here:

►Parental leave

During parental leave, the University pays a parental benefit supplement (10% of salary) for those days during parental leave when the employee receives parental benefit at the basic level or above. In order for the supplement to be paid out, you need to submit a certificate from Försäkringskassan confirming that parental benefit has been paid out to the HR administrator at your department, who forwards it to the Salary & Benefits Office.

More information about the rules for parental allowance supplement (scroll down):

►Parental allowance supplement

Sick leave
Absence due to illness is to be reported in Primula Web; log in with your Lucat ID.
Please note: if you are ill for more than 7 days, you must submit a doctor’s certificate in order to receive sick pay. Doctoral students should give the doctor’s certificate to the HR administrator at the department, who forwards it to the Salary & Benefits Office.

Primula Web

Care of an ill child
Temporary parental leave for care of an ill child is to be reported to Försäkringskassan and reported in Primula Web; log in with your Lucat ID.

Primula Web

Health promotion, health care
As an employee of the University, a doctoral student has the same right to health promotion benefits, reimbursement of medicines, sick pay and parental benefit as other employees. Information on this can be found here:

Reimbursement of medical care and medicines

Paid or unpaid leave
Leave may be paid or unpaid. Whether or not you receive your salary during the period of leave depends on the reason for the leave.

►Information on paid or unpaid leave

Rights of doctoral students
On appointment, all new employees should receive information about their terms of employment. Contact the HR administrator at the department for more information.

The University also has a doctoral students’ union (Lunds Doktorandkår (LDK)), which has the task of looking after the interests of doctoral students at the University. For more information, see point 12.

More information about matters dealt with by the doctoral students’ union is available from the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) or at Lärarförbundet. This organisation works with issues concerning doctoral students’ salary terms and working situation. For more information, see their websites:


► SULF's starter kit for doctoral candidates


Lucat ID
All employees of Lund University have a ‘Lucat ID’, which is the user identity (username and password) required to gain access to university services. The directory administrator at the department provides assistance with Lucat IDs.

A Lucat ID is required to log into the University’s HR administration page Primula Web, where employees register their annual leave, sick leave and leave for care of an ill child. You can log in to Primula Web here:

Primula Web internal (to log in within the university network)

Primula Web external (to log in outside the university network)

Extension of doctoral studentship
Certain types of leave normally result in an extension of the doctoral studentship by a corresponding number of working days. Such grounds for extension include sick leave, parental leave, service on boards/committees and departmental duties. Doctoral students are to apply for an extension of their contract by submitting such a request to the Faculty Office, signed by the doctoral student, supervisor and head of department. Doctoral students are encouraged to carefully document their degree of activity throughout their studies, as this forms the basis for an application for extension.

►Principals for caluculating extension (n Swedish only)

►Vice-Chancellor’s general decision on extension for student union work

Departmental duties
Doctoral students are mainly to dedicate their time to their own research studies but to a limited extent, up to a maximum of 20% of full working time, they can also work with teaching, research outside their own project and administration (collectively referred to as departmental duties). The head of department is the work manager and has the final say on the allocation of work duties. Only the work which concerns the doctoral student’s own education is counted as study time. It is therefore important to extend the period of study for a period corresponding to the time spent on departmental work. The faculty has decided on common guidelines for extensions as a result of departmental duties. Departmental duties and extensions are to be accounted for in the staff plan and the individual study plan.

Departmental duties and associated extension referred to above includes: For student union assignments, doctoral students are compensated by extension of their study time and doctoral studentship by a number of days according to a standard calculation for each type of elected office, as defined in the decision from the faculty.

In order to obtain an extension, the doctoral student must be able to document the scope of his or her assignment and to submit an application for extension to the department. This is best done towards the end of the study period, as a total of all assignments. The decision on extension is taken by the head of department. For deputies, the actual workload is to be assessed in order to calculate the number of days of extension. For extensions in connection with assignments not covered by the faculty’s standard decision, assessment must be done on a case by case basis.

Extension on the grounds of illness or parental leave is done on a day-for-day basis and extension can only be requested for illness or parental leave registered in Primula.

Workplace introduction
All doctoral students are given an introduction in accordance with the routines at each department. Research students on a doctoral studentship also have the opportunity to attend Lund University’s welcome day for new employees. The dates of these welcome days and other important information for new employees can be found on the university website:

►New employees at Lund University

At the start of their studies, new doctoral students are invited to an introduction session at the Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts, which provides general information about research studies and a presentation of the staff and premises of the Faculty Office and Inter Arts Centre.

Career development
Lund University offers a broad range of activities that contribute in one way or another to career development for academic staff, either within academia or outside it. Read more about it here:

► Career development for academic staff

► Career development for doctoral students

11. Funding of doctoral studies

Full-time funding is required before an applicant can be admitted to research studies. Financial resources must also be available for supervision, operational funds and other conditions of study.

At the Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts, most admitted doctoral students have a doctoral studentship. Doctoral students can also be admitted who apply with other funding. If funding is to be from a source other than the faculty, a certificate or similar must be provided to confirm how the funding will be maintained throughout the period of study – a total of four years for full-time study.

A student with funding other than a doctoral studentship may only be admitted if his or her qualifications are judged to be at least equal to the qualifications of applicants who are considered for a doctoral studentship. The applicant’s funding plan will be reviewed by the admissions board. For more information about the admissions process, see point 3.

Travel and research grants

As a PhD student at Lund University you can apply for scholarships through the university's Endowment Administration. Information about the scholarships and how to apply can be found here:

►Travel and research grants

12. Inter Arts Center

Inter Arts Centre (IAC) is a meeting place for staff and students at the Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts in Malmö that conducts artistic research and development. IAC provides premises and technical equipment for interdisciplinary projects covering fine art, music and theatre, as well as other arts and sciences. This includes projects in collaboration with artists working outside academia. Doctoral students have access to IAC with an access card that can be obtained from IAC. Address: Bergsgatan 29, 5th floor. For policies and rules, see:

Inter Arts Center

13. Doctoral students’ union

Lund University also has a doctoral students’ union (Lunds Doktorandkår, LDK), which has the task of looking after the interests of doctoral students at the University. Membership of LDK gives doctoral students the possibility to influence decisions at the University and influence and improve research studies. Membership also gives access to student discounts. LDK has a doctoral student ombudsman whom you can contact for help and support with any problems that arise during your studies. For more information, see the LDK website:


For more information, also look at this page, which is a PhD handbook for doctoral students, published by Sweden's United Student Unions:

 PhD Handbook 

14. Rules and further information

National rules on research studies and admission to research studies can be found in chapters 6 and 7 of the Higher Education Ordinance:

►Higher Education Ordinance

Lund University has its own regulations on research studies that go into more detail. These regulations can be found here:

►Lund University regulations for third cycle education

►Lund University admission rules for doctoral education

Lund university's information for current doctoral students:

Current doctoral students

PhD handbook by SFS:

 PhD Handbook