gothenburg university phD political science

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

The Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg

Welcome to one of Europe´s leading political science departments! We conduct research as well as teach political science, European studies and global governance. We are an open and modern Department of Political Science, engaged in debate within the community as well as research – we aim to contribute to a better understanding of society so that we are able to meet society´s challenges with knowledge from a variety of perspectives.


  • Eligible Countries: All countries candidates can join this program.
  • Acceptable Course or Subjects: The PhD scholarship will be awarded in Political Science
  • Admissible Criteria: To be eligible, the applicants must meet all the following criteria:
  • a degree at the second-cycle level (MA level, or equivalent),
  • at least 240 higher education (university) credits, of which at least 60 must be at the second-cycle level, or
  • Largely equivalent knowledge acquired in other ways in Sweden or abroad.

How to Apply

  • How to Apply: In order to apply for this opportunity, applicants are required to apply through an online application form.
  • Supporting Documents: Verified copies of academic transcripts, previous merits, the CV must be submitted. All electronic documents must be submitted in PDF format.
  • Admission Requirements: For the admission in a doctoral program, you must have a master degree
  • Language Requirement: The candidate should have a very good command of the English language. Therefore, the application should be written in English.


The educational program will provide the salaries for doctoral students which is regulated in a local agreement at the University.

3-4 Doctoral Studentship Positions In Political Science

The Department of Political Science has an open climate that encourages involvement in broader societal debates. Research areas of specialisation include elections, democracy, corruption, governance, globalisation, environmental politics and European studies. The Department hosts research programmes such as the QoG Institute, Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem), Centre for Collective Action Research (CeCAR), Governance and Local Development (GLD) and the Swedish National Election Studies Programme. We offer degree programmes at undergraduate, Master’s and doctoral level, as well as freestanding courses. Education is provided in both Swedish and English. We have a total of 1 400 students and a staff of about 140. The Department is centrally located in the city of Gothenburg.

Job Assignments

A doctoral (PhD) student is expected to conduct research and to contribute to the development of knowledge within the discipline. Expectations towards a doctoral student include the capacity to develop independent ideas and communicate research results in oral and written form.

The aim of the doctoral (PhD) studentship is for the doctoral (PhD) student to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to be able to conduct research autonomously within Political Science and to contribute to the development of knowledge within the discipline through the production of a scholarly thesis. Another aim is for the doctoral (PhD) student to develop an ability to later apply the acquired knowledge and skills within post-degree research or other qualified professional work.

The position is limited to four years in duration and is carried out on a full-time basis unless there are acceptable reasons to the contrary (minimum 50%). The position may include departmental duties, such as teaching, corresponding to up to 20% of a full-time post over the course of study. If such tasks are carried out, the duration of the appointment will be extended accordingly.


To be eligible for the position, the applicant must meet both general and specific entry requirements.

An applicant meets the general entry requirements for third-cycle (PhD) studies if he/she has obtained (Higher Education Ordinance Ch.7, Sec.39):

  1. a degree at the second-cycle level (MA level, or equivalent),
  2. at least 240 higher education (university) credits, of which at least 60 must be at the second-cycle level, or
  3. largely equivalent knowledge acquired in other ways in Sweden or abroad.

In Sweden, 240 university credits equal four years of successfully completed full-time studies.

According to the Higher Education Ordinance Ch.7, Sec.40, an applicant meets the specific entry requirements for third-cycle (PhD) studies if he/she has obtained at least 60 higher education credits (one year of full-time studies) in Political Science or has equivalent qualifications.

Applicants who have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in Sweden or abroad will also be considered to meet the specific entry requirements.

Finally, although not a formal requirement, we encourage successful applicants to acquire sufficient competency in the Swedish language to be able to actively participate in seminars and other activities at the Department, within a two-year period.

The PhD Programme in political science

The PhD Programme in political science comprises 240 higher education credits (hec). The goal of the programme is for the doctoral students (PhD students) to acquire and develop the knowledge and skills required to conduct independent research in Political Science and to complete a PhD.

The PhD Programme

The dissertation comprises 180 hec, and course work comprises 60 hec. Doctoral students (PhD) that are admitted to the programme are employed at the Department. The PhD Programme is governed by the Higher Education Ordinance, The University’s and the Faculty’s rules and regulations for third-cycle studies, and the General Syllabus.

Doctoral position

Our PhD students are generally employed for four years. Up to 20 per cent of the doctoral employment can consist of departmental duties, and the employment is extended with the corresponding amount of time. This means that the total time of employment can be a maximum of five years. Periods of sick leave, parental leave, leave of absence and certain representative duties are exempt from the five-year maximum.


The doctoral salaries are fixed in accordance with local agreements at the University of Gothenburg, and negotiated with union representatives. For 2019, the starting salary is 26 175 SEK. The doctoral salary increases once the PhD student completes 50, 80 and 100 per cent of the PhD programme. The maximum salary (after PhD defense) is currently 32 850 SEK.

PhD students at the University of Gothenburg are state employees and are thus entitled to a number of benefits and insurances.


Each PhD student is assigned a main supervisor and an assistant supervisor. Supervisors are appointed in consultation between the PhD student and the Director of Doctoral Studies. Prospective PhD students do not need to contact potential supervisors before applying to the programme.

The dissertation

The dissertation can be written in the form of a compilation, which means several articles and/or papers preceded by an introductory chapter (“kappa”), or as a monograph (i.e. a cohesive book).

PhD students are expected to present their work at a number of occasions during the PhD Programme:

At the end of the first year of the programme, the Department organizes a prospectus presentation seminar, at which the first year PhD students present a first draft of their dissertation to the entire Department, and receive questions and feedback from discussants.

When a PhD student has completed around 50 per cent of the programme, they present a paper or chapter or their dissertation at one of the Department’s seminar series.

When a PhD student has completed around 80 per cent of the programme, they present two chapters (for monographs), or one paper and the introductory chapter (for compilations) of their dissertation at the Department’s General Research Seminar.
Finally, PhD students defend their dissertation at a public PhD defense, where the dissertation is discussed with an opponent, and a grading committee decides whether it will receive a ”pass”.

International networks and contacts

The PhD Programme offers great opportunities for establishing international contacts. For example, doctoral students can participate in research confer – ences and might also participate in research work universities abroad.

Future careers

A doctorate in political science can lead to a research career within or outside academia, teaching at different levels within universities, or a career such as a social analyst in the public sector or in politics.

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