Credit transfers doctoral education

The credit values assigned to courses, educational/training components and knowledge of relevance to doctoral education and meet the requirements of the general syllabus may be transferred.

What is credit transfer?

A credit transfer is a decision regulated by the Higher Education Ordinance. It means that one of the credit-bearing courses and knowledge requirements of the general syllabus is replaced by credits earned previously or outside KI.

What credits may be transferred at doctoral level?

Doctoral students are entitled to transfer the credits awarded for the following (in accordance with chap. 6, sections 6 and 7 of the Higher Education Ordinance):

  • University-level programmes/courses studied at a Swedish or European higher education institution (with the exception for courses required for eligibility to doctoral education, see below).
  • Other programmes/courses (not from a Swedish or European higher education institution). These include courses offered by a county council (specialist competence courses), by a non-European university or other type of course/programme (with the exception for courses required for eligibility to doctoral education, see below).
  • Knowledge and skills acquired in a vocational or professional capacity, provided that the student is able to provide documentation to corroborate the skills and knowledge cited in his/her application.
  • Other credit-bearing activities according to the general syllabus (i.e. participation in seminars and congresses, teaching or a temporary residency in another research group) if they are completed prior to admission to doctoral education at KI. (For credit-bearing activities during the doctoral education – use form 16)

Credit transfer for course concluded prior to doctoral education

It is recommended that decisions on credit transfers for courses concluded prior to admission to doctoral education are taken in connection with the admission seminar.

To transfer credits from previous studies is only possible for doctoral students who have earned more credits than what is required for general eligibility to doctoral education (i.e. 240 credits whereof at least 60 credits at advanced level).

This means:

  • A doctoral student with totally 240 credits at admission to doctoral education cannot transfer any previous credits.
  • A doctoral student with a master’s degree (i.e. 300 credits whereof 120 credits at advanced level) can transfer maximum 60 credits into doctoral education. A doctoral student with 245 credits, whereof 65 credits at advanced level, can transfer maximum 5 hp etc.
  • A doctoral student with more than 240 credits but only 60 credits at advanced level cannot transfer any credits at advanced level. (Theoretically, it might be possible in this case to transfer credits from courses at basic level but that it is unusual)
  • A doctoral student with less than 240 credits (met the entry requirements by assessment of actual competence) cannot transfer any credits from education prior to doctoral education.

Credit transfer is not the same as credit reporting

Courses and other credit-bearing activities that doctoral students complete at KI during their studies are to be registered, in their respective ways, in Ladok. This is not to be confused with credit transfer.

KI courses that students attend during their education are registered in Ladok by the course administrator without any further action by the student.

Participation in all other credit-bearing activities (e.g. seminars, congresses or temporary residency in another research group) must be reported by students to the director/administrator of doctoral studies using form 16 if they are to be registered in Ladok.

A credit-bearing activity is considered to have been completed within doctoral education at KI regardless of where it actually took place.

It is up to the departmental director of doctoral studies to judge, on the basis of the general syllabus, if an activity is to be credit-bearing, and if so, how many credits it awards.

(Credits from credit-bearing activities taken prior to admission to doctoral education at KI must, after admission, be transferred to the student; see “What credits can be transferred at doctoral level?” above).

Application for a credit transfer

Students are to complete form 13 and hand it in to the departmental doctoral administrator. Only one transfer may be applied for per form. All applications are registered by the department.

Applications must include the following supporting documentation:

A description of the content and nature of the course/knowledge.
Proof of participation and grade awarded.

If knowledge/skills acquired through professional or vocational activity are to be assessed, a description of competence is to be included and supported by employer references, certificates or similar.

It is the responsibility of the doctoral student to submit sufficient documentation so that an assessment of relevance, level and scope of the course is possible. Without sufficient documentation a decision cannot be made. If a course has been completed abroad, information must be provided on the credit system in effect in that country/university (as an appendix to the application).

Degree certificates list all approved credit transfers as stated on the credit transfer application forms. It is therefore important that titles and course names are reproduced correctly in both English and Swedish. Degree certificates are in Swedish but are accompanied by English translations.

Assessment of application

The director of doctoral studies judges the quality and scope of the course in terms of the requirements of the general syllabus and of what is relevant to the student in question. Such assessments can therefore give rise to different decisions for different students, as they are based on their individual study plans.

If there is a specific course at KI that the doctoral student want to replace with something else, the assessment should be done against the KI course syllabus (see the syllabi database). This is usually only the case for general science courses or mandatory courses.

Accreditation decisions

The departmental director of doctoral studies is the person delegated by the head of department to decide on credit transfers. In the event of a conflict of interest (e.g. if the director of studies is the student’s supervisor), the decision is taken by the head of department or other delegee.

Credit transfer decisions may be appealed. Such appeals are to be made in writing and sent to the Karolinska Institutet registrar (Registrator, 171 77 Stockholm) within three weeks of the decision announcement. In the appeal it should be stated which decision it concerns and the desired changes. Karolinska Institutet can either change the decision completely, partly change the decision or insist on the previous decision.

Previous licentiate degree

Doctoral students holding a licentiate degree can apply for admission to the “latter part” of doctoral education, which means that everything done during the licentiate programme (including the courses) are factored in to a later doctoral degree. One condition is that the licentiate dissertation is in the same research field and of the same subject matter as the student’s continuing research. If the licentiate degree was earned at KI, no accreditation decision is necessary.