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Psychosocial health is an overarching concept that includes physical, mental, cultural, social, and existential dimensions related to health. These areas interact in a complex way and the development of knowledge about this requires a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach to research. It is central in the psychosocial research field to explore what elements promote and improve human psychosocial health and the opportunities to cope with life-challenges.

Furthermore, the research seeks to address societal factors that creates ill-health, stigmatisation, functional impairment, and social exclusion. The aim of this research field is to develop research-based knowledge to enable practitioners, administrative and political community developers to promote inclusive and sustainable communities and local environment. 

Admission requirements

General requirement: Applicants who have at least a master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant area of study will be considered for admission. In addition, there is a requirement of at least 90 ECTS credits (one and a half years of study on a master level) in subjects related to psychosocial health. This may include (1) the Department of psychosocial health’s own 120 ECTS Master’s programmes in Psychosocial health, (2) other similar Master’s programmes from other institutions, or (3) other educations which the department considers to be equivalent. Previous knowledge in psychosocial health methodology must be documented.

See also Supplementary regulations for the PhD degree at the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences.

Description

Psychosocial health is an overarching concept that includes physical, mental, cultural, social, and existential dimensions related to health. These areas interact in a complex way and the development of knowledge about this requires a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach to research. It is central in the psychosocial research field to explore what elements promote and improve human psychosocial health and the opportunities to cope with life-challenges. Furthermore, the research seeks to address societal factors that creates ill-health, stigmatisation, functional impairment, and social exclusion. The aim of this research field is to develop research-based knowledge to enable practitioners, administrative and political community developers to promote inclusive and sustainable communities and the local environment.

The PhD specialisation in psychosocial health consists of four components:

  1. The faculty PhD programme’s mandatory core courses
  2. The faculty PhD programme’s elective methods course(s)
  3. Specialisation courses in psychosocial health
  4. The thesis

The coursework aims at providing the candidate with

  1. A thorough rooting in literature in psychosocial health
  2. A thorough philosophical and methodological foundation
  3. An opportunity for in-depth focus in areas relevant to psychosocial health in which the PhD candidate has specific interest

Specialisation components

The PhD specialisation is normally organised so as to be completed in a three-year period. The coursework component comprises the faculty PhD programme’s two mandatory core courses:

  • Researching Health and Sport Sciences: Philosophical and Methodological Foundations, 7,5 ECTS
  • Research Dissemination in Health and Sport Sciences: Scientific presenting and practice, 7,5 ECTS

The faculty PhD programme comprises elective methods course(s) (at least 5 ECTS) and elective specialisation courses (10 ECTS). These must be approved by the supervisors.

In total, the coursework component consists of 30 ECTS credits. The coursework will normally be completed in the first 2-3 semesters of the PhD specialisation. The thesis project will be carried out in parallel with the coursework, guided by appointed supervisors. Thesis seminars and seminars in research groups will also support the candidates in developing their thesis work and will give the opportunity to present and discuss this with other PhD candidates and faculty staff.

Below, each of the course modules of the specialisation are presented further.

The coursework component is divided into these main areas:

Mandatory core courses

The course Researching Health and Sport Sciences: Philosophical and Methodological Foundations (7,5 ECTS) will introduce the candidate to the different philosophical and methodological approaches within health and sport sciences in general. The philosophical underpinnings of method and methodologies, both in general to health and sport sciences and specifically in the relation to the specialisations, will be emphasised in the course.

The course Research Dissemination in Health and Sport Sciences: Scientific presenting and practice (7,5 ECTS) runs throughout the full PhD period, and it is also a social meeting point for the PhD candidates. The overall aim of the course is to supply the participants with relevant practical skills as researchers. The candidate will be given an introduction to how to write and publish a scientific article, how to present research findings in a scientific manner, and how these findings may be popularised for presentation to the public. In addition, the course will prepare the candidate for designing and defending the thesis. The course is a continuing course throughout the candidate’s whole PhD period and the candidates are automatically registered for this course.

The purpose of these courses is to provide the candidate with a thorough philosophical and methodological foundation that should be followed up in supervision and reflected in the PhD thesis.

Elective methods courses

The purpose of these courses is to provide the candidates with a solid foundation in relevant scientific method(s). A minimum of 5 ECTS credits is required and should be approved by the supervisors. 

Elective specialisation courses

The specialisation courses go into depth in specific topics currently on the research agenda in psychosocial health areas. These courses are intended to give the PhD candidates sufficient knowledge in a subfield of psychosocial health related to the thesis subject, thus enabling them to conduct research in this field.

Depending on the thesis subject, the specialisation courses will be offered internally or completed at other universities in Norway or abroad.

The PhD thesis

The PhD thesis should be an independent piece of academic work that meets international academic standards in the subject area. It must contribute to the development of new scholarly knowledge and must achieve a level of academic quality meriting publication as part of the literature in its field.

The thesis may consist of a monograph or a set of at least three peer-reviewed articles in general with a comprehensive thesis summary and discussion of the research contributions from the papers. In general, when the thesis consists of articles, at least two of the articles must have been accepted for publication. The candidate must be the primary author of the majority of the articles in the thesis, according to the supplementary regulations for the PhD programme in Health and Sport Sciences.