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PhD Programme in Health Science
180 ECTS credits - 3 years - Kristiansand
Master's degree (or the equivalent) in health, public health science, nursing science, psychiatric health, sports science, disability nursing, nutrition, or another education that the faculty considers to be equivalent.
Comprehensive regulations regarding the PhD in health science exist, defining further requirements as to application, processing of the application, admission decisions, as well as guidelines for the project description, financial plan and advisement.
The PhD programme in health science builds upon different academic areas with a focus on health promotion. The goal of the programme is to further develop the candidates' academic qualifications in the academic area of health science and health promoting processes.
Health is a complex and holistic phenomenon that consists of physical, psychological, social, cultural and spiritual dimensions that affect each other. Health science in a holistic perspective takes into account that knowledge of individual traits, surroundings and politics all play a role in the understanding of health. Health promotion includes processes and interventions aimed at healthy and ill people, also during treatment or rehabilitation, as well as prevention on all levels. Health promotion is the promotion of health in the population, in groups and on an individual level.
Health promotion is understood to be an active term with a positive connotation, and is directed toward internal and external resources. Central terms in this understanding are salutogenese, empowerment, resilience, quality of life, life-strengthening processes, and capacity building. The terms are well-established in the profession and the vision of what is central in health science. Health science with an emphasis on health promotion highlights the faculty's competence, and the program emphasizes the synergy among the different professional and research fields at the faculty.
The programme's research approach will be anchored in the region. The programme aims to develop knowledge of health-promoting habits and prevention of inactivity and the main public health diseases, for example cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, obesity, psychiatric illness and others. Health promotion consists of practical methods for promoting health in various contexts and situations, and strategies for developing various health-promoting environments.
Interdisciplinary approaches to the health sciences and health-promoting activities are emphasized. The programme will contribute to research on issues connected to health promotion. This is a growing research area nationally and internationally.
Details on the coursework component
The coursework component is planned in parallel to the development of the dissertation throughout the entire study programme. The courses will be held regularly and when needed. The courses will generally be taught in Norwegian or a Scandinavian language, but can be given in English when participation requires this.
The coursework component will support work on the dissertation, as well as contribute to the necessary academic depth and breadth.
When the candidates apply, they should set out a plan for completion of the coursework component in consultation with their advisor(s). The candidate must register for examinations by the regular deadlines. External courses that make up a part of the coursework must be approved by the faculty. For procedures for registering for courses and approval of external courses, see the faculty's website.
The coursework component consists of one semester of full-time studies, or at least 30 ECTS where 25 ECTS are compulsory courses. In the coursework component, there will be a scientific-theoretical part of at least 5 ECTS. If access to a research course makes it difficult for the candidate to assemble a course programme that supports the dissertation, the candidate can apply to have the individual syllabus approved as a part of the coursework component.
Arrangements for the recognition of prior learning are described in the information on the institution under "General arrangements for the recognition of prior learning (formal, informal and non-formal)".
For a description of the examination regulations, see the Examination Regulations of the University of Agder.
For information about the Norwegian grading system, see ECTS credits and grades. Specific information on grading for each course is found in the individual course descriptions.
The Examination Regulations of the University of Agder regulate the graduation requirements for each programme of study.
Upon completion of the education, the candidate will:
- be in the academic forefront in his academic area and be able to apply critical perspectives and methods that can contribute to a broad understanding of individual, social, cultural and societal conditions that affect health and illness
- be able to assess the appropriateness and application of scientific thought and practice
- be able to contribute to the development of new knowledge and be widely oriented about the methodological options and their requirements and limitations so that he is able to justify choices made in connection with the dissertation
- be able to handle complex academic and scientific questions and challenge established knowledge in their field
- be able to disseminate the results of research and development
Every semester, regular gatherings will be arranged with instruction and presentation of one's own work and exercises connected to the individual courses in the course component. There may be one or more gathering per course. The content will vary, but over a two year period, central scientific-theoretical and methodological themes will be covered. There will be required reading for each gathering.
The presentations will be in the form of an essay or paper. They will be connected to the course's theme, but at the same time bridge over to one's own dissertation, for example by relating it to the methodological or theoretical foundation for one's own work, or the knowledge base of the field in which one is working. The presentations will be submitted as drafts before the seminar, will be presented and discussed orally during the seminar, and written up again by a certain deadline afterwards. The finished essay or paper must be evaluated as passed before the assignment is approved.
Participation in the gatherings is compulsory, and the candidate will hold a presentation (see the individual course descriptions). This will ensure contact with the faculty and the other PhD candidates.
Relevant PhD courses at other institutions may be approved. Approval must be applied for in writing.
In addition to the publishing of the PhD project, the candidate is required to disseminate knowledge from the project by presenting a paper at a national or international scientific conference where there is peer review. A written version of the paper, normally in English, serves as documentation and the basis for approval. Approval is made by the faculty upon the recommendation of the advisor.
The candidate and advisor will submit progress reports annually in accordance with the PhD regulations. The procedure for submitting and processing the candidate and advisor reports can be found on the faculty's website.
The requirements of the dissertation and rules for evaluation of the dissertation are provided in the regulations for the PhD degree at the University of Agder. In accordance with the requirements, the dissertation can consist of a larger collected work (monograph) or a collection of articles with an abstract. The final format and scope must be clarified with the advisor. Independent of the format, the dissertation must be at a level that conforms to the standard for publication in the profession´s scientific literature and be in accordance with the academic norm. This will usually be a collection of three to four articles, two of which should be accepted for publication in professional scientific publications. The candidate must be the main author of the majority of the articles.
The procedures for submission, selection of the jury, the jury's recommendation and the evaluation of the dissertation, rewriting for assessment, test lecture and defence of the dissertation as well as the awarding of the PhD degree are to be found in the PhD regulations of the University of Agder and the comprehensive regulations for the PhD Degree in Health Science at the University of Agder.
Various modes of assessment are used, such as notes, essays with oral presentations, presentation of articles, conference contributions, and take-home examinations. See the course descriptions for more detailed information.
The candidate is encouraged to study abroad during the coursework period.
See the course descriptions for details regarding recommended pre-requisites for each course.
The coursework component must be passed before the candidate can submit the dissertation.
The study programme leads to the degree Philosophiae doctor (PhD) in Health Science
Professor Kjell Kristoffersen (email@example.com)
Faculty of Health and Sports Sciences