Adaptation of doctoral courses in unforeseen situations

KI's aim is for as many doctoral courses as possible to be carried out according to plan, regardless of unforeseen events. Some changes may need to be made to adapt to the current situation. This page describes how deviations from the syllabus are to be documented, but also how a risk assessment can be made for a course or other activity that is to be given on campus or another physical location, for example during the ongoing pandemic.

Possibility to deviate from the syllabus

The Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ) announced during the spring of 2020 that any changes to the syllabi may, in the current situation, be done in retrospect. Should there be a review, UKÄ will not criticise a university that has urgently changed examination forms for infection prevention reasons without first changing the syllabi.

The Course and Programme Committee (KPK) took an early decision (dnr 1-227/2020) on the possibility to make deviations from the course syllabus in crisis situations to enable the conducting of planned doctoral courses. These deviations apply to changed forms of teaching and learning activities and/or examination forms, to enable distance teaching and learning. A prerequisite for such deviations is that the course's learning objectives can still be achieved with acceptable quality. Comparisons of the course evaluations from before and during the covid-19 pandemic show that the quality of the courses at the aggregate level has been maintained.

In connection with revisions of syllabi (as well as when formulating new syllabi), we would like to see teaching and learning activities and examinations described, if possible, in such a way that the syllabus can be used for both distance and campus teaching. In this way, we create flexibility for the future.

Decisions on deviations must be taken

Decisions on deviations should, as far as possible, be taken in advance of the course and notified to the administrative officer of KPK. In connection with this, the committee’s student representatives are informed and given the opportunity to give their views.

See template below named "Mall för beslut om avsteg från kursplan maa covid-19". Fill in all fields marked with yellow.

The decision about deviation from the syllabus is signed by the course director and sent to the administrative officer of KPK by email ( Signing is most conveniently done with an electronic signature via EduSign. A PDF copy is returned to the course coordinator after the decision has been signed.

Risk assessment

When conducting a course or other learning activity on campus or in another physical location in crisis situations, a risk assessment may need to be made to ensure that the risk of e.g. the spread of infection is minimised while the quality of the course remains at least acceptable.

The risk assessment is made by the course director or the person responsible for the learning activity, using the template below (tab 1 in Swedish, tab 2 in English). The assessment need not be submitted other than on request.


Anna Gustafsson

Administrative officer

Erika Franzén

Chair of the Course and Programme Committee

Emilie Agardh

Vice chair of the Course and Programme Committee

Ingeborg Van Der Ploeg

Central Director of Studies