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Third-cycle (doctoral) programme in computer and information science

Curious to do research in the subject of computer and information science? 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 (a Swedish Magister Degree), i.e. four years of study (240 higher education credits) with at least one year (60 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 computer and information science comprise?

The third-cycle subject area has three specialisations:

  1. Computer science
  2. Informatics
  3. Media technology

Within the subject of computer science, concepts, languages, programs, methods and tools are developed and analyzed for both effective, large-scale software development and other computer science issues in specific application areas, both theoretically and practically. Areas of application include Internet of Things, IT security, software and information quality, information visualization, self-adaptive systems, parallel calculations, and more.

Common for the research in the field of informatics are studies of IT usage from a design perspective, that is, how systems and usage can be developed to, in turn, develop and improve operations. Interplay between people, technology and organization is essential. Relationships between people and information technology change as a consequence of technology development, which also affects the organizing of work processes and people's daily lives. New methods are developed in the field of informatics research and are used to study these new phenomena. Postgraduate studies in informatics includes both empirical and theoretical studies in areas such as digital business, e-health, information security, digital learning, etc.

The subject of media technology encompasses a wide range of areas – design and development of interactive systems, web and mobile development and advanced HCI technologies, to name a few. The subject develops and analyzes methods, tools and various technical solutions for both effective development, implementation and evaluation of media technology systems. The focus is also on current issues in specific areas of application, from a theoretical as well as a practical perspective.

How do I become a doctoral student in computer and information science?

When the subject 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.

Courses at the third-cycle level

Computer and information science

Faculty level

Read more about the third-cycle courses at the Faculty of Technology.

More information