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Upon agreement

Upon completion of the education, the candidate will:


  • be in the academic forefront in his/her subject area and be able to apply critical perspectives and methods that can contribute to a broad understanding of his/her subject area
  • 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/she 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 his/her field
  • be able to formulate problems, plan and carry out research and professional development work in the candidate's scientific field
  • be able to offer teaching and supervision in his/her field above master's level
  • be able to take part in national and international discussions in his/her scientific field


General competence

  • be able to disseminate the results of research and development
  • be able to identify relevant ethical problems and carry out his/her research with professional integrity
  • be able to manage complex interdisciplinary tasks and projects
  • be able to assess the need for innovation as well as initiate and lead it
  • have achieved qualifications for research and other work which demands high academic standards, insight and competence within his/her scientific field

Admission requirements

To be admitted into the PhD programme, the applicant must have second degree education (Master's degree or equivalent) from a Norwegian or foreign university or university college in a subject area which is considered relevant for the research and teaching at the faculty.

This may include

1. the faculty’s own 120 ECTS Master´s programmes,

2. other similar Master´s programmes from other institutions,


3. other educations which the faculty considers to be equivalent.


Regulations related to the the degree philosophiae doctor (PhD) at UiA as well as supplementary regulations regarding the programme in health and sport sciences have been implemented. These further define requirements concerning the application and completion of the PhD programme. See https://www.uia.no/en/research/phd-programmes/regulations-related-to-phd-at-uia

Programme structure

Coursework component i the PhD-program in Health and Sport Sciences: 


Course code

Course title


Required courses:




Philosophy of Science 
- a common course for all PhD-programmes at University of Agder - collection based and is offered autumn 2020 in Kristiansand: thursday-friday in the weeks: 38 (17th -18th Sept.), 41 (8th - 9th Oct.), 43 (22th-23th Oct.) and 46 (12th-13th Now.) 



Systematic Reviews and Evidence Synthesis 
Course coordinator: Liv Fegran
The course is offered in week 40 (September 28. -  30.) 2020, in Kristiansand






Qualitative Research Methods 
Course coordinator: Bjørn Tore Johansen 
The course is offered in week 47 (Nowember 16. - 20.) 2020, in Grimstad


General Quantitative Research Methods * 

Course coordinator: Bjørge Herman Hansen
The course will be offered in week 5, 2021, in Kristiansand

We also offer smaller specialization courses in different statistical methods** 
Course coordinator: Bjørge Herman Hansen 

ME-627 Logistic Regression Analysis, 2,5 ECTS
The course is offered in week 48 (Wednesday 25. from 12.30 - friday 27. Nowember) 2020, in Kristiansand  

ME-628 Regression Models Illustrated Through Linear Regression, 2,5 ECTS
The course is offered in week 48 (Monday 23. - Wednesday 25. Nowember until 11.30) 2020, in Kristiansand

ME-629 Analys is and Design of Studies with Repeated Measures, 2,5 ECTS

The course was offered in week 11 (11. and 12. March) 2020, in Kristiansand. 

ME-630 Survival Analysis, 2,5 ECTS
The course is planned to be offered in 2021.



Research Dissemination
Course coordinator: Åshild Slettebø
The course is also a meeting place for the PhD-candidates, and is offered continuously every semester. Autumn 2020: Tuesday 1. sept. (Kristiansand), Tuesday 6. october (Kristiansand), Wednesday 4. and Thursday 5. november (Grimstad). 


Elective courses:




Critical Perspectives on Health Challenges and Health Promotion 
Course coordinator: Kristin Haraldstad
Planned course (February 3.-7.) 2020, in Kristiansand, was cancelled due to few participants. 



Health Behavior Change and Evaluation of Health Promoting Programmes 
Course coordinator: Tonje Holte Stea
The course is planned to be offered spring 2021. 



Phenomenological Approach to Mental Health 
Course coordinator: Inger Beate Larsen
The course is offered in week 47 (Nowember 16. - 20.) 2020, in Grimstad. 



Recovery in Mental Health and Substance Abuse – Perspectives and Practices 
Course coordinator: Inger Beate Larsen
The course is planned to be offered in week 18 (May 3. - 6.) 2021, in Grimstad. 



Innovation and Improvement in Community Health Care Services – Research Possibilities and Challenges 
Course coordinator: Hans Inge Sævareid
The course is planned to be offered spring 2021. 



Dialogical and Collaborative Practices – Ontology, Epistemology, and Methodology
Course coordinator:  Tore Dag Bøe
The course has been offered in week 49 (Dec. 2.-5.) 2019, in Grimstad, and is planned to be offered again autumn 2021.



Research in eHealth and Health Information Systems 
Course coordinator: Santiago Martinez / Mariann Fossum
The course was offered spring 2019, and is planned to be offered again spring 2021.



Developmental Origins of Health and Disease 
Course coordinator: Nina Cecilie Øverby
The course is offerd week 37 (September 7. - 11.) 2020, in Kristiansand.



Nutritional Epidemiology 
Course coordinator: Anine Christine Medin 
The course has been offered in week 21 (May 20. - 24.) 2019 in Kristiansand, and is planned to be offered again spring 2021.



Evidence Based Physical Activity 
Course coordinator: Bjørge Herman Hansen
The course was offered in week 19, 2019, and is planned to be offered again in week 18 (May 3. - 7.) 2021, in Kristiansand. 



The Psychology of Team Performance in Sport: The Coach, the Athlete, and the Group
Course coordinator: Tommy Haugen
The course is planned to be offered autumn 2021.


*If both courses, ME-618 Qualitative Research Methods and ME-626 General Quantitative Research Methods, are needed, one of them may be approved as an elective course.
**ME-626 General Quantitative Research Methods, can be replaced by two of the smaller specialization statistic courses.



The PhD programme at the Faculty of Health and Sport Science covers all of the faculty's subject areas.

The professional spesialisation takes place in the course of the project through supervision and choice of courses


The aim of the programme is to offer research education within the faculty's thematic research areas. These areas can be divided into public health science, nursing science, psychosocial health, nutrition science, and sport science. Although these are different disciplines they are all related. A link between the different disciplines is the human being and its (physical, psychological and social) potential for health, development and/or achievement. Independent of disipline, all research projects has a foundation in empiricism, and both qualitative and/or quantitative data are explored with appropriate research methods.


With this background, we offer a faculty PhD programme which comprises the faculty's professional interests. An outline of the research that is being carried out at the faculty is found here. The programme contains mandatory courses with a general approach: Philosophy of science, research dissemination, qualitative and/or quantitative research methods and systematic literature analysis. In these more general courses candidates are expected to use their own scientific subjects and themes as background for their work with course tasks, assignments, and presentations. In addition to the general, required courses candidates may choose freely between different more subject-specific courses. It is also possible to follow courses at equivalent level at other institutions.



Details on the coursework component

The contents of the programme consist of a coursework component of 30 ECTS points, where 20 ECTS points are required courses, and a PhD dissertation of 150 ECTS points, with a total of three years full-time work.


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 whenever needed. The courses will generally be taught in English,but may be given in Norwegian or another Scandinavian language. The coursework component will support work on the dissertation, as well as contribute to the necessary academic depth and breadth. The candidate must plan for the completion of the coursework component in consultation with their supervisor(s). The candidate is responsible for signing up for the courses. The course ME-624 Research dissemination runs through the full PhD period, and it is also a social meeting point for the PhD candidates. The candidates are automatically registered for this course. External courses may make up a part of the coursework, but these must be approved by the faculty upon application. For procedures for registering for courses and approval of external courses, see Canvas.


The candidate is encouraged to study abroad during the coursework period. 

Teaching methods

The majority of the workload will consist of independent supervised work regarding the research project, most often as part of a research group. The candidate and supervisor must submit progress reports annually in accordance with the PhD regulations.


Regarding the different courses work forms will vary between seminars, lectures, tasks related to individual projects, individual counceling, group work and discussions, practical exercises, candidate presentations with fellow opponents and self study. For more information please confer the course descriptions.

Assessment methods

Various types of assessment are used, such as take-home examinations, essays, oral presentations, and oral examinations. See the course descriptions for more detailed information.

The requirements for the dissertation and rules for the assessment of the dissertation are provided in the regulations for the PhD degree at the University of Agder and supplementary regulations for the PhD programme in Health and Sport Sciences.

Professional and occupational prospects

Candidates holding a PhD degree in Health- and Sport Science are qualified for teaching and research positions in universities and higher education institutions as well as in private/public sectors and organisations.


The PhD degree provides competence also relevant in private business and public management, especially in areas with great demands in the ability to acquire new knowledge, to work independently and goal-oriented and to be able to plan and think critically and analytically.

Degree awarded

The study programme leads to the degree Philosophiae doctor (PhD) in Health and Sports Sciences.