Progression for doctoral courses

Within Karolinska Institutet's range of doctoral courses, certain courses are offered at different progression levels, which means that the courses range from basic to advanced level, or from a broader level of knowledge to a more specialized level.

How is progression in doctoral courses defined?

Progression in courses means that the courses in question show a development between them, either in terms of depth or specialization. In some cases, it can also mean an increased degree of difficulty or complexity.

Division into four levels

Progression in doctoral courses at KI is divided into four levels (1-4), which are described in more detail below.

If a course is part of a progression, this should be indicated by the course title, e.g. "Basic bioinformatics", or by using Roman numerals after the course title, as in "Epidemiology II". It should also (for levels 2-4) appear from the syllabus's description of prerequisite courses (or equivalent).

The level classification shows a development/grading:

  • From basic/generic (knowledge) level for many, to advanced/specialized (knowledge) level for a few (specialists),
  • From broad (knowledge) level to deep or specialist level,
  • With an increased degree of difficulty and complexity.

Here follows a description of the different progression levels for doctoral courses at KI:

Level 1

  • Provides a broad base, suitable for many doctoral students in a research field or for doctoral students in many different research areas.
  • Normally no prerequisite courses demanded.

Examples: Many general science courses, orientation courses and generic courses, course in laboratory safety, basic course in laboratory animal science, course in human biology or pathology.

Level 2

  • Suitable for many doctoral students in one research field or, sometimes, for doctoral students in many different research fields.
  • Requires more prior knowledge than at level 1.
  • Usually builds on level 1 courses or similar prior knowledge.

Examples: General science courses such as Biostatistics II: Logistic regression for epidemiologists and many technical courses.

Level 3

  • Advanced courses in medical science, suitable as an in-depth study for a limited number of doctoral students with a solid subject grounding.
  • Important to stress constructive alignment and student activation in course design (e.g. not only lectures/Q&A sessions with high profile lecturers as the sole activity).

Examples: Can be advanced theory or methodology courses. Usually more cutting edge within the research field.

Level 4

  • Highly advanced courses in the doctoral education subject medical science.
  • Advanced courses, as for level 3, but with requirements for more in-depth/specialist knowledge.
  • The number of doctoral students is normally too low for KI to arrange level 4 courses for KI doctoral students alone. Collaboration with other higher education institutions (national or international) is therefore desirable to be able to arrange the course.

Examples: Advanced courses in medical radiation physics, very advanced statistics courses (e.g. the Advanced causal inference course).