The Licentiate seminar

The licentiate thesis must be defended at a seminar at the department. The licentiate seminar must be public and take place at a location that is accessible for KI’s students and employees to easily participate.

At the seminar, there must be a chairperson who opens the licentiate seminar by introducing the respondent, the thesis and the members of the examination board. The respondent should then present their thesis (including background, methods used, results and conclusions). 

After the seminar the examination board asks questions with the aim of assessing whether the goals for the licentiate degree have been achieved. The audience should also be given the opportunity to ask questions.  

If anyone is going to participate digitally at the licentiate seminar, read more here 

Proceedings may not be concluded until everyone present has been given the opportunity to ask questions to the respondent. If the discussion is prolonged, the supervisor may interrupt for a break. 

The Examination Board’s decision

After the licentiate seminar the examination board convenes for a meeting, the meeting consists of two parts. During the first part of the meeting, the defence chairperson and supervisor(s) may be present to discuss the respondent’s performance. During the second part of the meeting, only the members of the examination board may be present to decide whether the thesis is to be approved or rejected. The decision is taken by a majority vote. The examination board’s decision is registered and signed on a form, the form is then submitted to the departmental administrator. 

Chairperson at the Licentiate seminar 

It is the department's responsibility to ensure that there is a chairperson at the licentiate seminar. It is recommended that someone other than the supervisor has that role.

The role of the defence chairperson is to be the coordinator and representative of KI at the licentiate seminar. They are expected to know the procedure of a licentiate seminar and be able to handle any complications in connection with the seminar. 

If any of the members of the examination board participate digitally, it is important to ensure that the technology works throughout the licentiate seminar, both for those who participate digitally and for those who are on site. The chairperson must interrupt the licentiate seminar if technical problems arise. 

If someone is to participate digitally, it is recommended that there is a technically responsible person in the room to assist the chairperson. 

Read more about digital participation at public defence and licentiate seminars 


If an examination board member is unable to attend, the chairperson must contact the Dissertation Committee administrator at the University Administration. 

It is possible to carry out a licentiate seminar if a member of the examination board at a distance through digital solutions, which can be an alternative in the event of late cancellations or in the event of impediment to participating on site.

The Dissertation Committee

Questions about the public defence application