Doctoral candidate/doctoral studies

The licentiate degree was introduced in 2002 as an alternative third level degree. If a candidate is admitted to a take a licentiate degree, he/she is only guaranteed funding for two years of full time study.

Regulations for admission
Admission to the licentiate degree is according to the same rules as admission to postgraduate studies leading to a doctorate. Please see How to become a doctoral candidate on Page 12 for more information.

The intention of the licentiate degree 
Before 2002, the licentiate degree was found in only some faculties as a possible intermediate degree on the way to a doctorate. When it was introduced as a separate degree in 2002, the intention was not to formalise an intermediate degree for a doctorate, but to allow admission to a two-year postgraduate course. The hope was that this would allow working professionals to undertake further education.

The financing of a licentiate follows the same rules as other funding of research and the university has, in a corresponding fashion, the responsibility to ensure that financing is available before admission. Since the intent of the licentiate was to allow professionals to undertake a shorter postgraduate educational programme, it was hoped that these professionals’ employers would finance their studies and if there was no opportunity to finance a four-year course, the licentiate would provide an interesting alternative.

Abuse – misleading promises of two-stage admission
One problem with the licentiate degree, however, is that supervisors who cannot secure the four years of funding required for admission to a doctorate mislead applicants to the PhD programme by stating that admission in two stages is possible, and the licentiate would be the first step.

There are no guarantees that admission to study for a licentiate degree will allow a candidate to continue on to a doctorate. If your objective is a PhD it is important to be admitted directly onto such a course.

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