General syllabus

Every subject offering postgraduate programmes must have a general syllabus describing their contents.
This is determined by the faculty board and according to the Section 7 of Chapter 8 of the Higher Education Ordinance it must contain:

What the general syllabus has to include:

  • the principal contents of the programme and in relevant cases the compulsory reading for the subject;
  • The overall structure of the programme.
  • the previous knowledge and other conditions required in addition to the basic requirements for enrolment to third-cycle studies (specific entry requirements);
  • the selection rules that apply for enrolment;
  • Any tests involved in the programmes and where applicable, the possibility of completing a part of the programme with a Licentiate degree.

Read more in the  Higher Education Ordinance chapter 8, section 7 (new window) »

If you are interested in third-cycle studies in a certain subject, you should contact the department offering the programme and ask for the general syllabus for the subject.

Individual study plan


The contents of a third-cycle programme are different for each individual doctoral student - even when they are studying the same subject.

A compulsory requirement


Everyone admitted to a doctoral programme must draw up an individual study plan with his or her supervisor. This requirement has been in place since 1993, but for a long time it was not taken as seriously as it should have been.

As of 1 April 1998, however, there are detailed regulations for these study plans. They give significant support in making it possible to complete a doctoral programme within four years of full-time study. You can find more details in the Section 8 of Chapter 8 of the Higher Education Ordinance.

Read more in the  Higher Education Ordinance chapter 8, section 8 (new window) »

Last updated: 2011-12-12
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