Where can you undertake doctoral studies?

In Sweden there are 47 higher education institutions that are entitled to award Swedish qualifications. Of these 37 are public sector institutions.
27 higher education institutions are entitled to award first, second and third-cycle qualifications, the remainder are only entitled to award first and second-cycle qualifications.
In addition there are four independent institutions that are entitled to award qualifications in psychotherapy (not shown on the map).

Lund has most doctoral students


Lund University had the largest number of doctoral students in 2011, which has also been the case for the last 20 years.

Two-thirds of all third-cycle students study at one of these six universities:

  • Lunds University
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • Uppsala University
  • University of Gothenburg
  • Stockholm University

From January 2010, all HEIs can apply for degree-awarding powers in general third-cycle degrees. The application is assessed by Högskoleverket and degree-awarding powers are applied for in a particular field.

No disciplinary research domains


Disciplinary research domains as a basis for degree-awarding powers at third-cycle level have ceased to apply. The new term, "field" can cover one or more third-cycle subject areas and is normally more clearly defined than a disciplinary research domain. One idea is to improve the quality of third-cycle studies and that even small, high quality HEIs should be able to provide third-cycle programmes.

In January 2010, the degree category of fine arts doctorates was introduced.

Higher education institutions


There are 14 state-run universities and 22 other state-run higher education institutions, plus three independent higher education institutions, in Sweden today. The following higher education institutions are entitled to award PhDs, either generally or in certain disciplinary fields.

Blekinge Institute of Technology (new window) »
In IT and its applications, as well as in planning and management.

University of Borås (new window) »
In the fields of library and information science, as well as resource recycling and textiles and fashion.

Chalmers University of Technology (new window) »

University of Gävle (new window) »
In built environments.

University of Gothenburg (new window) »
In the fine, applied and performing arts

University College of Physical Education and Sports (new window) »
In the area of sports, physical activity and health.

Halmstad University (new window) »
In the fields of information technology and innovation science.

Jönköping University (new window) »
In humanistic/social-science areas, apart from political science.

Karlstad University (new window) »

Karolinska Institutet (new window) »

KTH Royal Institute of Technology (new window) »

Linköping University (new window) »

Linnaeus University (new window) »

Luleå University of Technology (new window) »

Lund University (new window) »

Malmö University (new window) »
In the fields of odontology, biomedical science, health, care and welfare, new media, public lives and forms of representation, sports science and educational science.

Mid Sweden University (new window) »

Mälardalen University (new window) »
In the fields of integrated systems, innovation and product realisation, environment, energy and resource optimisation, industrial economics, working life and control and didactics.

University of Skövde (new window) »
In the field of information technology.

Stockholm School of Economics (new window) »

Stockholm University (new window) »

The Swedish School of Sports and Health Sciences (new window) »

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (new window) »

Södertörn University (new window) »
In the fields of historical studies, critical cultural theory, environmental science and politics,

Umeå University (new window) »

University West (new window) »
In the fields of production technology, informatics with specialisation work integrated learning and education with specialisation work integrated learning.

Uppsala University (new window) »

Örebro University (new window) »

The universities of Lund, Uppsala, Stockholm and Gothenburg have the largest number of doctoral students. About 50 per cent of all third-cycle students study at one of these universities.

The addresses of all institutions of higher education in Sweden can be found on the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education's website.

Swedish National Agency for Higher Education's website (new window) »

Universities have general entitlement to award qualifications All universities and also the Chalmers University of Technology and the Stockholm School of Economics have a general entitlement to award qualifications, i.e. they may award qualifications in any subject they wish. The other institutions of higher education are authorized to award Licentiate and PhD degrees in one or more specified disciplinary areas.

Permanent resources for research


Links with research are important for the quality of first and second-cycle programmes. In recent years not only universities but all higher education institutions have been allocated permanent research resources. This makes it easier for them to offer a high standard of education by involving teachers in research. But research resources are still much greater at Sweden's traditional universities than at small and medium-sized higher education institutions. On average, 10 per cent of the students who complete their first and second-cycle studies at a traditional university go on to doctoral studies, while the proportion at other higher education institutions is 2 per cent.

Research links play an important role in ensuring that the standard of first and second-cycle courses and study programmes is sound. For some years now not only the universities but all higher education institutions have been given permanent research resources. This improves their possibilities of offering advanced courses and study programmes in which the teachers are themselves undertaking research.

But the traditional universities still have much larger research resources in comparison with the small and medium-sized higher education institutions. On average about 10 per cent of those awarded second-cycle qualifications at the traditional universities go on to third-cycle studies while at the other higher education institutions the figure is 2 per cent.

Last updated: 2012-12-14
UHR logo
Swedish Council for Higher Education www.uhr.se, Box 45093, SE-104 30 Stockholm
Phone: +46 10 470 03 00, Email: To the contact form