Ethical review of theses

Some KI students' theses may require an ethical review if their work has a scientific content that can be categorised as research.

Act (2003:460) on ethical review of research involving humans doesn't cover degree projects that are conducted within the framework of education at first and second levels, as students are not expected to conduct research according to the law (see § 2).

However, if the degree project does actually involve research then an ethical review must be carried out, if the project:

  • intends to acquire and in a scientific context convey new knowledge, or
  • is based on information in patient records where consent is not obtained from the research subjects.

Degree projects that are quality development projects conducted in accordance with the Health and Healthcare Act (1982:763) do not need to be ethically reviewed, nor does work that is entirely based on de-identified data. More information is available on the ethics review authority web page.


The Department responsible for the course has to decide if an ethical review is needed and they need to document this decision. This also applies if supervision of a student is assigned to a teacher belonging to another department.

The Department responsible for the course has formal responsibility for all degree projects, including those that undergo ethical review.

All degree projects should contain a description of how ethical issues were addressed. In cases where uncertainty remains, the degree project must be assessed as being research and an application for ethical review submitted.


If those responsible for the training need further support in assessing the need for ethical review, the ethics unit at LIME can assist


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Philip Malmgren

Administrative Officer