PdD Programme



Program requirements and structure


Research training program

  • The nominal length of the PhD programme is 3 years of full-time study.
  • The PhD training programme combines academic and methodological schooling, amounting to 30 credits in total.
  • PD8300 – 4 credits, is a mandatory course for PhD candidates at the Faculty of Design, beyond the minimum requirement of 30 credits.
  • A minimum of 20 credits must be devoted to PhD programme courses.
  • The remaining 10 credits can be used for individual study syllabus or advanced-level Master's courses.
  • Courses such as information searching or scientific publishing are not approved by the faculty as components of the 30 credit minimum requirement.
  • For master courses there is a grade requirement of B or better, according to the NTNU grading scale.
  • Changes to the approved training plan should be made in agreement with one's primary supervisor and submitted to the faculty for approval.



Each doctoral candidate is responsible for registering for examinations in accordance with the approved education plan. The registration deadline is the 15th of September for the autumn semester, and the 15th of February for the spring semester. The deadline for withdrawal from examinations is 15 November for exams in the Autumn semester and 30 April for exams in the Spring semester. Exam registration and withdrawal can be completed via StudWeb. More information on exams and exam regulations.


Grades and re-sitting examinations

PhD students who receive the grade B, C, D or E for a course in their PhD plan, may retake the examination only once in an effort to improve their grade. If the student is registered for the exam, and does not withdraw his/her exam registration in time, this is regarded as an attempt. If, after re-taking a master course exam, the student does not succeed in improving his/her grade to meet the minimum requirement of a B, the master course has to be replaced. An exception will be made in cases of approved absence, or cases in which the student receives the grade F; in such cases multiple (unlimited) examination attempts will be granted.

As a rule, arrangements to re-sit examinations will not be approved for PhD students who receive the grade B, C, D or E. However, there is a procedural difference for master's courses and PhD courses.

  • PhD courses: Course coordinators may arrange exams outside exam periods if they so choose (normally, during the semester after the ordinary exam).
  • Master's courses: PhD students may re-sit exams (in August), but only if there are other students with an approved absence or who have not passed the initial exam. Otherwise, these PhD students in this situation must wait until the next ordinarily scheduled exam.


Progress reports

PhD candidates should submit a progress report by the 15th of February every year. The candidate's primary supervisor should also submit his/her own report by the same deadline. The progress report forms can be found here . Completed reports are to be sent to the faculty office .


Postponing the completion of the programme of study

Should one need to postpone the completion of one's doctoral programme, a formal application should be completed in cooperation with one's primary supervisor and submitted to the faculty. The application should include a timeline which demonstrates that it is possible to complete the thesis within the period of postponement.


Leave of absence

A leave of absence may be granted upon the completion and submission of a formal application. PhD candidates must apply for a leave of absence from both the program of study and any department position they may hold.