Planning a doctoral course

Are you planning to arrange a doctoral course? See the flow chart below describing the process from course concept to the advertising of a course in the course catalogue. Keep in mind that most courses should be given within a doctoral programme and that contact with one or several programmes needs to be taken at an early stage.

Flow chart for planning a doctoral course - from course concept until course catalogue

Financing and coordination

When planning to organise a new doctoral course you need to examine both how large the doctoral student base is at KI for the intended course and how it can be founded. Funding can be applied for in various ways, depending on if it is a compulsory course or an optional course with focus on a particular research field (see the general syllabus for doctoral education).

Most doctoral courses are arranged within the framework of a long-term course programme of any of KI’s doctoral programmes or research schools. When designing a new course you should consider which programme (or programmes) could be suitable and get in touch with the programme(s) in question as early as possible. Start off by contacting a programme coordinator who can also comment on the need for the course in question. 

If the course is important for only a few KI doctoral students, collaboration with other universities can also be investigated.

A few courses, mainly compulsory or general science courses, are financed by the Course and Programme Committee. The committee assesses the need for course places on these courses, based on the number of applicants and on participation in previous courses, and decides on the allocations of funds in accordance. This is usually done in the autumn semester, ahead of the next year. For new courses, which are not already in KI's range of doctoral courses, and which do not fit into any doctoral programme, a course idea and calculated doctoral student basis (i.e., a needs analysis) can be sent to in good time for assessment.

See also Applying for funding of freestanding courses and Current deadlines.


To arrange a course you need a syllabus established by the Course and Programme Committee. The syllabus is created in the course database KIWAS when you have gained clarity from where to apply for funding and, in the case it is within a doctoral programme, a preview of the syllabus proposal has been made by the programme’s educationally responsible.

Read more about the procedures at the page course syllabi for doctoral courses. See also current deadlines for when a syllabus proposal must be submitted.

Course occasion

All doctoral courses, excluding courses such as those that belong to research schools, should be advertised in the course catalogue that is published once a semester. For this, a course occasion needs to be created in the course database KIWAS. Read further on course occasions for doctoral courses and current deadlines.

From syllabus proposal to advertising in the course catalogue

The process for establishing a syllabus (new or revised) and advertising the course in the course catalogue, looks as follows:


Process from course idea to course catalogue for doctoral courses.
  1. A proposed syllabus is submitted via KIWAS (after having been reviewed by a suitable doctoral programme).
  2. The syllabus proposal is reviewed centrally and any feedback given via email. The syllabus proposal is updated according to the feedback given.
  3. When the syllabus is established, after a decision by the Course and programme committee's chair person, an automatic e-mail confirmation is sent from KIWAS to the course director.
  4. If the course is to be advertised in the course catalogue (which applies in principle to all courses except for those given within research schools), a course occasion has to be created in KIWAS before the deadline. This has to be done according to the deadline even though the decision regarding granting of funding applied for has not yet been communicated. 
  5. When a course occasion has been published in KIWAS, after approval by a programme coordinator or central administrative officer, an automatic e-mail confirmation is sent from KIWAS to the course director.


Anna Gustafsson

Administrative officer

Anna-Karin Welmer

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