Organised training - PhD in Medicine (PHMED)
PhD Programme in Medicine and Health Sciences
PhD Programme in Medicine and Health Sciences
Organised training - MH-faculty
General rules for PhD coursework
A plan for the organized academic training must be specified in the application for admission.
- The plan for academic training must total a minimum of 30 ECTS credits.
- 20 credits must be completed after admission.
- Courses taken more than 2 years prior to admission will not be approved.
- At least 20 credits are to be taken as established PhD level courses at NTNU or other universities.
The organized academic training must be relevant to the research project, thematically or methodically.
Scientific theory, ethics and research dissemination must be part of the academic training for all PhD candidates. The following courses are compulsory for all candidates at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences:
- SMED8004 - Research, ethics and society
- SMED8007 - Scientific publishing and research communications
The faculty may request a candidate to include other courses in the academic training plan, depending on the candidate’s academic background and the topic and/or methodology of the project.
20 credits must be completed after admission
20 ECTS credits must be completed following admission to the PhD programme.
Courses completed after the submission of a PhD application will be approved, even if exams were to take place before formal admission has been granted by the faculty.
Courses or elements taken more than 2 years prior to admission
Elements to be included in the coursework may not have been completed more than two years prior to the date of admission. Dispensation can be made if the course is still running and the academic content remains the same. Dispensation will only be given for a maximum of five years.
Exceptions for applicants from Forskerlinjen
Special rules apply for students with a background from research training programmes. Applicants from the Medical Students' Research Programme (Forskerlinjen) have completed the training component before applying for admission to the PhD study. Hence they are exempt from the rule that 20 credits must be completed following admission. They are also exempt from the rule that courses must not be older than two years at the time of admission.
Applicants with a background in the Forskerlinjen research programme might be recommended new courses in relation to the learning objectives for the PhD, the theme and/or methodology of the project. An overall assessment will be made by the admission board.
20 credits of PhD level courses
PhD courses at NTNU can be identified from the course code (8000-series)
Doctoral level courses from other universities, national or international, can be included in the academic training. However, a minimum of 10 credits must be completed at NTNU.
To transfer results from other institutions, the candidate must send a course certificate or transcript to the PhD administration.
Courses taken as part of a specialist training or continuing education will not be accepted as part of the academic training plan.
External courses with no assessment (exam) can only be approved as long as they keep a high academic standard, and candidates give a presentation to their research community at NTNU upon return. The supervisor must confirm that such a presentation has taken place, and is approved.
If an external course overlaps with other elements in the academic plan, the number of credits will be reduced accordingly.
Other elements that can take part of the academic training plan
Up to 10 credits may be granted for elements other than established PhD level courses;
such as master’s level courses, communication/dissemination or a research visit abroad.
Master's level courses
If a master’s course is to be included in the required coursework, the passing grade is equivalent to B or higher in terms of NTNU’s grading scale.
PhD candidates who pass a master's course with a lower grade is entitled to resit examination only once, in order to improve the result.
A poster or oral presentation of research results from the candidate's PhD project, can be awarded 2 credits if presented in an international conference. The communication activities must have taken place during the PhD admission period or the Medical Students' Research Programme (Forskerlinjen).
After the conference/seminar, the following documentation must be forwarded to the PhD administration: A copy of the poster/presentation, conference program and confirmed participation/invitation. The main supervisor should confirm the candidate's contribution.
Research visits abroad
Up to 6 credits may be approved for research visits abroad of a continuous duration of at least two weeks. 1.5 credits are awarded for each week. The research visit must be carried out during the doctoral period.
Following the visit; an invitation letter and an academic report signed by the supervisor and the candidate must be submitted to the PhD administration.
Credits are calculated according to ECTS, which corresponds to 25–30 hours of work for each credit. For full-time candidates, the workload is considered to include time to acquire material, homework, assignments, tuition, group work, practicals and exams.
Changes in the academic training plan
All changes to the academic training plan must be approved by the PhD programme board.
An application must specify which elements are to remain and which elements are to be removed from the plan.
Applications to add PhD level courses from other institutions must include, or a detailed course description, in which the academic content, scope (credits) and assessment form (examination) are outlined.
Supervisors must endorse the application before the PhD admission board assesses it.
Applications for changes must be sent to the candidate's department.
The application form is available here:
Application for for changes in the academic training plan for PhD (pdf)
KRYSSPUBLISERT ARTIKKEL: Regulations
Writing a doctoral thesis: