About the PhD programme – University of Copenhagen

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The PhD programme > About the PhD programme

About the PhD programme 

The PhD programme is a three-year research programme aimed at training PhD students to undertake in depth research at an international level, hone their teaching and communication skills to pursue an academic career, as well as acquire transferrable skills for undertaking a career in the public or private sector.

During the three-year period, in accordance with section 7, subsection 2 of the Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions (pdf), the PhD student must attend courses, acquire teaching experience and undertake research stays at other research institutions and universities in Denmark and abroad.

The most important aspect of the PhD programme is the preparation of a written thesis, which following an oral public defence, forms the basis for the award of the PhD degree.

Admission to the PhD programme takes place on an individual basis. PhD applications are to be submitted electronically using the Faculty’s online application system in response to the annual call for PhD applications. When submitting an application for admission, in addition to proof of their academic credentials, applicants are expected to provide a research project proposal for their chosen subject. When preparing the research project proposal it is vital that applicants pay attention to the Faculty’s guidelines on project requirements.

Prior to submitting their research project proposal, it is advisable for applicants to discuss their project with one of the Faculty’s academic staff (a professor or an associate professor). If applicants should have any queries regarding finding a suitable academic staff member with whom to discuss their project, they should contact the heads of the Faculty’s research centres or in case of doubt, contact Professor Ph.D. and Director Helle Krunke, Head of PhD School. When writing the research project proposal, all areas within the field of law and interdisciplinary projects (e.g. law and science, law and economics, etc.) can be considered. However, the Faculty of Law will give priority to applications that are of strategic importance to the Faculty's research centres. Therefore, when preparing the research project proposal, it is important to outline in the applicant’s letter of motivation how their research project tallies with the research priorities of the individual research centre, as well as the Faculty in general.

Applicants whose native language is not English must document proficiency in English by completing one of the recognised language tests (IELTS or TOFL) and obtaining the minimum score or higher (as set out in the section entitled ‘language requirements’). Applicants who have obtained a university degree in a country where English is the official language (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK and USA) and applicants holding a Master’s degree from one of the Nordic universities are not required to submit proof of English proficiency.

Only a limited number of applicants are accepted into the PhD programme, depending on the Faculty’s available financial resources as well as its supervision capacity.

What does the Faculty of Law provide?

  • The opportunity for conducting independent and in-depth legal research.
  • Flexible work hours.
  • Opportunity to undertake research at another university or research based stay at another institution in either Denmark or abroad, while being financed by the Faculty of Law.
  • PhD courses that enable students to hone their academic knowledge within the chosen area of research, develop competence in teaching and enhance their ability to communicate research results.
  • Free access to a well-equipped research library.
  • A monthly contractual wage for the duration of the PhD programme.
  • Office facilities located centrally within Copenhagen.
  • Opportunity for close interactions with experienced researchers and other PhD students, and for broadening one’s professional network.
  • Opportunities for professional and personal development.

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