Programme structure

PhD studies comprise four years of full-time study and lead to a doctoral degree. The PhD studies consist of courses (75 academic credits) and research for the doctoral thesis (165 academic credits).

PhD studies are regulated by the Higher Education Ordinance, Uppsala University's policies and regulations and in the University's general study plans. 

Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 5

Uppsala University's policies and regulations 

Uppsala University's general study plans

The individual study plan shows the work a PhD student must undertake during the programme. Two supervisors are appointed to each PhD student, one with the primary responsibility for the candidate’s studies, and one deputy supervisor. The role of the supervisor is to guide the PhD student in research and in writing the doctoral thesis, but also to support the progress to becoming an independent researcher.

Doctoral thesis

Work on the doctoral thesis starts during the first semester. The doctoral thesis can either be written as a monograph (120 - 200 pages), or designed as a compilation with at least four peer-reviewed papers, of which at least two are self-authored, with an introductory survey ("kappa"). The doctoral thesis should have an English summary. The Uppsala University Library has a unit that offers assistance and support with the thesis production. 

Thesis and publishing support from the Library

PhD courses

The 75 credit course component comprises 37,5 credits compulsory courses and 37,5 credits optional courses. 7.5 credits is the equivalent to 5 weeks full-time studies. The courses are divided into three sections where A and B are compulsory. Occasionally some of the courses will be offered in collaboration with other departments. Most courses below are only offered in Swedish.

Course section A - doctoral thesis preparation and introduction to research (15 credits)

  • Introductory course with thesis PM, 7,5 credits
  • Participation at the Higher seminar and at least two further appearances, e.g. opposition or present research which is not you own, 7,5 credits.

Course section B - theory and method courses (22,5 credits)

  • Qualitative Methods, 7,5 credits.
  • Quantitative Methods, 7,5 credits.
  • History and Theory of Science, 7,5 credits.

Course section C - (37,5 credits)

  • Courses provided in cooperation with The Swedish Postgraduate School in Economic History (SPSE) or other departments. Examples of recurring courses:
    • Key Problems in Economic History, 7,5 credits (SPSE)
    • Economic Theory, 7,5 credits (Stockholm University)
    • Academic teacher training course, 7,5 credits (Uppsala University, The Unit for Academic Teaching and Learning)
  • PhD students can also take courses at advanced level at our department:
    • History of Economic Thought, 7,5 credits
    • The Swedish Labour Market - Development and Change, 7,5 credits
    • Trade, Capitalism and Global Development: Economic Change before the Industrial Revolution, 7,5 credits
    • Industrialisation, Modernisation and Globalisation: Economic Development after 1800, 7,5 credits

The Swedish Postgraduate School in Economic History

The Swedish Postgraduate School in Economic History is a collaboration between the Departments of Economic History in Uppsala, Gothenburg, Lund and Stockholm with a mission to assess and enhance the quality of doctoral education.

Each year an introductory gathering is organised for newly admitted doctoral students, PhD courses organised by one of the collaborating departments each semester and every two years the Economic History meeting organises specific thesis seminars where the PhD students get the opportunity to present papers.

Higher seminars

The Higher Seminar (research seminar) is a recurring activity for PhD students and Researchers to meet, present and discuss ongoing research. The seminar is mandatory for PhD students. Occasionally guest speakers are invited. Dates for the seminars can be found in the department's web calendar. The PhD students' project descriptions are presented and reviewed at a mandatory seminar where the subject is presented, followed by a middle seminar and a mandatory final seminar.

Graduate Educational Board (FUN)

FUN is the departments information and discussion forum for PhD students and supervisors.

Phd student association

The PhD Student Association's purpose is to represent PhD students at the Department and promote their interests. The PhD students are represented in the Department Board with one permanent member and one deputy member.


More information on the programme structure is available in the general study plan and the supporting sub-document:

General study plan (pdf)

Sub document (pdf)

Template individual study plan (pdf) 

Last modified: 2022-11-29