Upon being accepted for doctoral studies, the student is assigned a supervisor, and a study plan is drawn up defining the subject and scope of the work and a timetable for completion.
Apart from research, doctoral students are required to take a number of courses equivalent to 40 to 80 weeks' work. Courses outside the topic of the thesis are included, for example, problem solving, presentation and literature studies.
The thesis and the public defence
The Doctoral thesis may be in the form of a monograph, or a collection of articles and a summary, and must be equivalent to at least 80 weeks' full-time work. The articles should be of the quality required for publication in international journals.
The thesis is defended at a public viva or "disputation". The public defence of the doctoral thesis is a scrutiny of the scientific work presented and the publications included therein by an external examiner (opponent). An examination board grades the thesis (pass or fail). Colleagues and family members are normally present, and the proceedings are usually rounded off with lunch or a party in the evening.
The Licentiate degree
The Faculty of Engineering LTH also offers the possibility of obtaining a Licentiate degree. This degree is somewhere between a Master's and a PhD, normally taking two years to obtain after a Master's degree. A Licentiate dissertation must be equivalent to at least 80 weeks' work.