Supplementary regulations for the PhD programme at the Faculty of Engineering and Science
Adopted by the Central Research Education Committee at the University of Agder 18 April 2023 with statutory basis in the PhD regulations at the University of Agder.
The numbering refers to the corresponding sections in the University of Agder PhD regulations.
The PhD programme at the Faculty of Engineering and Science comprises four Specialisations:
Specialisation in Engineering Sciences
Specialisation in Information- and Communication Technologies (ICT)
Specialisation in Mathematical Sciences
Specialisation in Natural Sciences
To section 5, Admission
Section 5.1 a, Admission requirements
To be admitted into the PhD programme in Engineering and Science, the applicant must hold a master's degree in a subject area relevant to the research area from a Norwegian university or qualifications approved as equivalent.
If the academic environment in question finds that the applicant lacks necessary prerequisites within the current subject area, the relevant PhD specialisation committee may impose additional requirements beyond the compulsory course and training component of the PhD programme (conditional offer of admission).
5.1 b Grade requirements
As a general rule, the following should apply:
The average grade for courses included in the bachelor's degree (or equivalent) should be C (or equivalent) or higher.
The average grade for all courses (including the dissertation) in the master’s degree should be B (or equivalent) or higher.
The master's dissertation (or equivalent) should have the grade B (or equivalent) or higher.
When the applicant's average grades are lower than required, the PhD specialisation committee at the relevant department must document the probability of the applicant being able to complete the PhD programme. In such an event, the Faculty of Engineering and Science may recommend extra requirements to be included in the basis for admission.
5.1 c English language competence.
Competence in English is a requirement for all applicants to the PhD programme. International candidates that are not exempt from the English language requirements pursuant to the guidelines of the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT), must document this through one of the following tests with the stated results or better:
TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language with a minimum score of 600 for the Paper-based Test (PBT), or 92 for the Internet-based Test (iBT)
IELTS - International English Language Testing System, with the result of 6.5
5.1 d Documentation
When announcing PhD vacancies, the current Specialisation may require that a project description is included in the application.
All PhD candidates must submit a project description within 3 months after admission. The description should be written by using a special template.
The project description must be signed by the PhD candidate and all proposed supervisors, and should normally include the following elements:
An account of the topic, where the background of the project is described and the project itself is related to international research in the field. References must be included.
A clarification of the central research questions
A description of the data and sources to be used and, if relevant, a presentation of methods for data collecting and analysis.
An account of the applicant’s own contribution if the PhD project is to be part of a larger research project.
Candidates who are not employed in a PhD position should apply for admission to the PhD programme. The application must be written on a separate form.
5.1.2 Residential requirements
The PhD programme is an organised research education which involves a duty to reside at the University of Agder except in periods where the candidate decides to stay for a period at a university abroad. The faculty may enter into agreements which deviate from this rule, for instance if the candidate is employed at another university.
The contract should clarify how the candidate is to comply with the residential requirements. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure that the candidate follows the rules of residence.
5.4 Admission period
A PhD education must not be planned with a progression that leads to completion after more than 6 years. The maximum duration of the programme is 8 years from the date of admission.
For candidates employed as PhD Research Fellows, the date of admission to the programme is identical to the job starting date. For candidates who are not employed by the University of Agder, the date of admission is identical to the date of the admission letter.
1. The admission period will be extended when the contract is extended for PhD candidates who accept other academic tasks or duties from the faculty/department in addition to their research education.
2. Candidates may apply to the faculty on a separate form for an extension of the student admission period. An account both of work done so far (incl. publications) and work still to be done must be enclosed with the application. The application may be approved if the faculty after a comprehensive assessment concludes that the project may be completed within the extension period.
Scholarly adjustments that may influence the completion of the project in relation to the signed contract must be submitted to the department for assessment and recommendation before the case is submitted to the faculty for (final) approval.
To section 7, Supervision
7.1 Appointing supervisors
The main supervisor should be employed by the University of Agder and have experience with co-supervision before taking on responsibility as the main supervisor.
A supervisor should not take on principal responsibility for more than six candidates. If there is a wish to increase the number of candidates, reasons must be given.
All main- supervisors must have completed a course in PhD supervision. [AL1]
7.2 Contents of the supervision
The candidate’s responsibilities
The candidate is obligated to keep up an ongoing dialogue with all the supervisors about progression and to submit preliminary written work to the supervisors for discussion (and feedback).
Termination of the candidate-supervisor relationship
If there is conflict or disagreement between the candidate and the supervisor(s), the issue should first be dealt with by those directly involved. If an agreement cannot be reached, the issue must be submitted to the department. If a solution cannot be found at the department level, a request for termination of the candidate-supervisor relationship should be submitted to the faculty.
The final decision on termination is taken by the faculty, which subsequently appoints a new supervisor based on a proposal from the department.
The programme description for the PhD programme states which elements may be included in the course and training component. Descriptions of PhD courses must be approved by the relevant PhD specialisation committee.
The contents of the course and training component should, in combination with the thesis work, provide both scholarly breadth and in-depth knowledge.
The course and training component must include at least five ECTS credits in theory of science and ethics.
The courses included in the course and training component should be advanced courses at PhD level. It is the responsibility of the PhD candidate to ensure that documentation of external courses is submitted to the faculty.
All courses included in the course and training component must have a final examination according to the current course description.
For external research, training and summer courses to be recognised, the candidate must write an essay or conduct a seminar after the course is completed. The seminar or essay must be evaluated by an examiner appointed by the faculty. The only exceptions to this rule are regular research courses at other universities with a final examination. Courses completed as special syllabi must be described on a separate form where contents, level and scope are given in a similar manner to other course descriptions on the faculty web pages. The description of the syllabus must be approved by the PhD committee before the examination.
To section 9 Reporting
The PhD candidate and the main supervisor are required to submit 1-2 annual reports on progression by using the proper form. Overall responsibility for the reporting process lies with the relevant PhD specialisation committee.
PhD candidates who are not employed should be offered an annual consultation with the Head of Department or one deputized by the Head of Department (not the supervisor).
If relevant, the current department may require additional reports.