Jump to main content
Upon agreement

The PhD programme is a researcher education programme. Its main objective is to enable candidates to acquire a high level of expertise as researchers in literature. PhD candidates receive formal training, both broadly within the research field and in-depth in specific elements, qualifying them to undertake their own independent research. The candidate pursues a research project under guidance resulting in a doctoral thesis that makes an original contribution to knowledge, in compliance with international standards.

The PhD degree is awarded on the basis of

  • Approved completion of the coursework component
  • Dissertation
  • Doctoral degree trials 

The doctoral degree trials consist of a trial lecture on a prescribed topic and the defence of the dissertation (disputation).

Learning outcomes


On completion of the PhD programme, candidates will

  • demonstrate literary research competence at the highest level and be in the forefront of knowledge within their discipline
  • demonstrate high competence in assessing different critical and theoretical approaches to literary analysis
  • be able to further contribute to the advancement of literary and cultural knowledge through their own research


On completion of the PhD programme, candidates will be able to

  • formulate literary problems, plan and carry out research at a high international level
  • engage with complex questions of methods and approaches, challenging established knowledge in the field

General qualifications

On completion of the PhD programme, candidates will be able to

  • exercise their research work with scholarly integrity
  • undertake complex research, participate in and lead advanced research projects
  • convey their research through nationally and internationally recognized channels
  • participate in debates within their field in international forums
  • assess the need for and take the initiative to promote innovation


The PhD programme corresponds to 3 years full-time study (180 ECTS). The coursework component corresponds to at least 30 credits (i.e. half a year) and is completed over the entire contract period.

The coursework component consists of three parts:

  • theory and methodology of science, and research ethics  (10 ECTS)
  • presentation of preliminary research results during the course of study (5 ECTS)
  • specialized literary studies courses and seminars 

Coursework can be arranged in cooperation with other Norwegian universities (15 ECTS)


To be admitted to the PhD programme, applicants must have obtained a higher degree (MA degree or equivalent) in literary studies or qualification approved as equivalent by the faculty. Applicants from abroad must have a full degree which is the equivalent of 5 years in the Norwegian university system, and which formally qualifies for admission to doctoral studies in the country where the degree was awarded. Knowledge of Norwegian or another Scandinavian language is not required.



Independent research work, participation in and presentation of research results at national and international conferences, participation in seminars, discussion and presentation of research in PhD seminars.


All courses and activities to be included in the coursework component must be verified by the course leader(s). The entire coursework component must be approved by both the supervisor and the PhD council. The doctoral dissertation is evaluated by a committee composed in accordance with the university's rules and regulations.


PhD at the Faculty of Humanities and Education with specialization in literary studies.

Questions about this programme?