The PhD process at UCPH
In the boxes below, you can find details on different aspects of the PhD process at UCPH.
In principle, fees are payable for studying as a researcher since the University is required to cover its costs in every case. Typically, Faculties have set standard fees although these may differ if for example a specific research project is especially costly.
Faculties offer a limited number of scholarships/grants to cover students' cost of living and these can be applied for when advertised. Normally, employment contracts are for three years in accordance with a special protocol to the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations' agreement.
Similar doctoral scholarships are also awarded by research councils and other public bodies and private foundations, although these are often for major research projects or for dealing with research assignments.
If a PhD scholarship is awarded, it normally also includes the University's course fees. Be aware that course fees vary depending on the Faculty. For more details see individual graduate schools.
If awarded a scholarship, students will also be offered work corresponding to 840 hours (six months' work) over the course of the three years.
Admission as a PhD student follows an application to the Faculty concerned. Individual Faculties' PhD websites give the procedures and deadlines for applications.
The emphasis is on the applicant's academic qualifications, the nature of research projects and how these can be included in the research plans of the academic environment concerned and whether the requisite resources are available, including the supervisory capacity, for the studies to be undertaken.
It is essential for study funding to be in place since admission requires the University to make the requisite resources available for studies to be properly undertaken.
We advise contacting the academic environment concerned to discuss your research project and study options before completing and submitting an application for admission. It is possible and often a good idea to submit an application for admission at the same time as applying for a research grant. We know from experience that drawing up a good application is a relatively big, time-consuming task.
Each PhD student is assigned a lead supervisor on admission. This is a researcher employed by the University (at least an assistant professor). In addition to providing academic and study-related guidance, supervisors are required to see that studies, including planned course participation, proceed satisfactorily and makes progress according to plan.
During the course of studies, the lead supervisor will at the very least make regular assessments of course progress. In standard programmes, student assessments are made 26 months, 14 months and 6 months before the end of courses.
Your supervisor is also especially responsible for enabling you to get in touch with active researchers outside UCPH.
UCPH stresses the importance of good supervision and has therefore developed a folder on this.
Read more about PhD supervision at UCPH in these two folders:
As part of your PhD at the University of Copenhagen, you need to take about 30 ECTS in PhD courses or similar educational modules corresponding to six months of studies. These courses can either be done at UCPH or at other universities in Denmark or abroad.
The courses can be specifically academic or generally relevant to research, such as writing articles in English, scientific ethics or intellectual property. Further, it is obligatory for all PhD students at the University of Copenhagen to attend and have completed a course of ethics and good scientific practice.
Danish universities have made an agreement on PhD courses to make it easier for students to take PhD courses at other Danish universities.
Open market for PhD courses
You can find PhD courses for all Danish universities at phdcourses.dk
In the standard process at the University of Copenhagen, there are generally three regular assessments. These are made at the 26 month, 14 month and six month points before completion of PhD studies.
In the flex schemes, regular assessments are made at the following points (months) before completion of the PhD:
4+4: 38, 26, 14, 6
3+5: 50, 38, 26, 14
Individual faculties may themselves set further rules for regular assessments.
Supervisors are required to draw up an overall report by the end of the three year admission period at the latest on whether studies have been satisfactory. The completed thesis will also be submitted for adjudication at the same time.
An adjudication committee consisting of three qualified academics (of whom two must be external but not including the supervisor) assesses the thesis and a concluding viva defence and then make recommendations to the Academic Council as to whether a PhD should be granted.
A thesis must be made available before submission to any interested party who will also have the opportunity to speak during a viva defence. Once a PhD has been awarded by the Academic Council, a certificate is prepared in Danish and English.