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Third-cycle (doctoral) programme in mechanical engineering

Curious to do research in the subject of mechanical engineering? We offer opportunities for research for both doctoral students and industrial doctoral students.

What is a third-cycle programme?

The word research usually means systematically studying something partially unknown, with accuracy and theoretical awareness. A third-cycle, or postgraduate, education programme aims at educating researchers, that is, it's mainly about learning methodology.

This is done by working in a research project with practical research and then writing a thesis on the project. The work is largely independent and you work at your own dissertation under the guidance of a supervisor. Part of the education period is devoted to courses, mostly within your own research domain but also general courses on research methodology and academic writing.

However, it is important to realize that being a scientist not only involves doing research in a particular domain. There are many other important skills as well, such as applying for research funding, project management and presentation techniques. A third-cycle programme in Sweden usually involves four years of full-time studies in order to obtain a doctoral degree, or two years of full-time studies to obtain a licentiate degree.

What are the prerequisites?

In order to become a doctoral student in the subject, you must have at least a Master Degree, i.e. five years of study (300 higher education credits) with at least two years (120 credits) at second-cycle, in a relevant domain.

A doctoral student is normally employed by the university in the form of a doctoral studentship. A doctoral studentship is an employment where 80–100 % of the working hours is devoted to own research studies. The remaining 0–20 per cent may be used for other assignments at the university, most often taking part in the first-cycle education.

There is also an opportunity to become a so-called industrial doctoral student. An industrial doctoral student is normally employed by a company that has decided to have a strong link to research and thus invests in educating an employee at the third-cycle level. The most common form of agreement for an industrial doctoral student implies that the student dedicates him- or herself to 80 % own research studies, usually at the university, while spending the remaining 20 per cent working at the company with some type of project.

Another possibility is to become a so-called self-funded doctoral student. Such a doctoral student is normally not employed by the university, but has his or her own resources for carrying out the studies (through an own company, for example). However, a self-funded doctoral student must prove that he/she has the same qualifications as an employed doctoral student or an industrial doctoral student.

What does the third-cycle subject area mechanical engineering comprise?

Mechanical engineering is a traditional and a very broad research and education area. In the field of mechanical engineering at Linnaeus University, product development and production development constitute cohesive overarching areas.

The field includes methods for developing, analysing, manufacturing and maintaining mechanical and mechatronic systems. This includes key concepts in, for example, mechanics, material science and structural analysis, as well as knowledge in more applied areas such as product development, structural engineering, production technology, terotechnology and industrial production systems, but also concepts within management engineering and industrial organisation.

Implementation of new technologies, as well as industrial application of new methods, innovations and development of products, is our focus in the subject. The term product applies to physical artefacts, software, processes, services or combination thereof.

Advanced computer-based tools for e.g. modelling, simulation, visualization, optimisation, data management, design and product development methodology are characteristics for the research, where models are validated against experiments and observations.

How do I become a doctoral student in mechanical engineering?

When the Department of mechanical engineering has the possibility to admit a doctoral student, the post is announced at the web and in papers. Normally there is a specific project that the prospective doctoral student will work with, as well as appointed supervisors.

More information

  • Read more about entry requirements, content and objectives of the programme in the study plan below
  • General information about third-cycle studies at Linnaeus University
  • Read more about our research at the Mechanical Engineering research group's web page
  • Vacancies at Linnaeus University