Programme description for the PhD degree in Legal Science at the Faculty of Law

Adopted by the Faculty Board on 17 June 2003. Amended by a decision of the Dean on 5 November 2006, 6 December 2006 and 8 December 2006. Amended by a PFF decision on 28 November 2008, 7 September 2009, 1 December 2011, and 19 March 2013.

1. Scope

The programme applies to doctoral degree education (PhD) in legal science, including criminology and sociology of law, at the University of Oslo’s Faculty of Law as sanctioned by the Regulations for the Degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the University of Oslo.

 

2. Learning outcomes

The theoretical programme of education, the thesis and doctoral degree examination will make the candidates capable of conducting research in the field of legal science at a high level in accordance with approved scientific and ethical principles. The education will qualify the candidate to carry out research and other work in which there are high requirements for scientific insight and an analytical mindset.

Knowledge

Following completion of the PhD degree in Legal Science the candidate will be:

  • at the forefront of knowledge in his/her field of legal science, and master the academic theory and methodology related to the subject
  • able to assess the relevance and use of different methods and processes in research and subject-related development projects
  • able to contribute to the development of fresh knowledge, new theories and methods, interpretations and forms of documentation in legal science, and to position his/her own research in a broader professional and research-related context.
  • familiar with the relevant key directions within the field of legal science research in a broad sense, both at present and in a historical perspective.

Skills

On completion of the PhD degree in Legal Science the candidate will be able to:

  • formulate research questions for, and plan and conduct research and subject-related development work
  • conduct research and subject-related development work at a high international level
  • deal with complex subject-related questions and challenge established knowledge and practice in legal science.

General competence

On completion of the PhD degree in Legal Science the candidate will be able to:

  • identify relevant ethical problems in his/her own and others’ research, and carry out his/her own research with high professional integrity
  • manage and contribute independently to complex, interdisciplinary assignments and projects
  • disseminate research and development work via recognized national and international channels
  • participate in debates in the field of legal science in international forums, and contribute professional input to debates in Norwegian society generally
  • assess the need for and take the initiative to carry out subject-based innovative activities.

 

3. Organization

Formal organized research training at the Faculty of Law is offered in a single PhD programme. The programme offers specialization in the following specializations: Legal Science, Criminology/Sociology of Law, and Human Rights.

The overall, coordinated responsibility for the Faculty’s programme of formal organized research training has been delegated to the Programme Committee for Research Training (PFF). The Committee shall:

  • set the parameters for the operation of the PhD programme
  • approve applications for admission to the PhD programme and formalize supervision
  • ensure that units have a satisfactory system for monitoring the doctoral degree candidates
  • monitor the quality assurance of the programme of study
  • appoint adjudication committees for the evaluation of doctoral degrees.

The Dean will appoint persons responsible for the individual modules in the educational component (Parts A and B), cf. item 5 below. Those responsible for the individual modules will plan and oversee seminars and other educational options in their respective modules.

4. Application and admission

The Programme Committee for Research Training approves applications for admission and deals with all questions about admission to the doctoral degree programme. The admission application must be written on a special form and sent to the Faculty via the Programme Committee. Admission takes place twice a year and the closing dates for applications are 1 October and 1 March. The supervisor(s) must be approved at the latest when the candidate is admitted to the doctoral degree programme.

Doctoral research fellows at the University need not apply for admission specifically but are automatically affiliated to the programme of study when they take up the PhD position.

A Master’s degree in Legal Science, including Criminology and Sociology of Law or an equivalent university or university college education, is required for admission to the PhD programme. The Master’s degree education must be such that it qualifies the candidate to carry out the project on which he/she wishes to write a thesis.

See supplementary rules for admission.

5. Programme of education

The educational component of the PhD programme includes at least one semester’s full-time course of study (30 ECTS). The programme is incorporated in the framework of a three-year organized research training period. The educational component is mandatory for all candidates affiliated to the programme. The candidates are obliged to adhere to this arrangement unless they have applied for and received an exemption from the Programme Committee for Research Training.

Candidates must also participate in two national doctoral degree seminars in Legal Science.

The programme of education consists of the following five parts (Parts A, B, C, D, and E):

PART A. Joint courses for the Philosophy of Science and Legal Science (10 ECTS):

Part A is a mandatory part of the educational programme. It includes courses providing a total of 10 ECTS. The courses are organized in four modules. Modules 1 – 3 are mandatory for the legal science and human rights specializations, while Module 4 is mandatory for criminology and sociology of law specializations. Participants in this programme must earn the remaining 4.5 ECTS in Part A from courses in Modules 1 – 3.
The seminars are arranged by the Programme Committee for Research Training. Courses in Modules 1 and 3 are taught every year. Courses in Module 2 are taught every second year. To document their attendance, participants must write an essay of from 5 to10 pages in association with one of the seminars related to the courses in Module 1, and an essay of between 5 to10 pages in association with one of the seminars related to the courses in Module 2. Module 4 also has requirements for a somewhat longer essay. The essays must be approved by the person responsible for the course. Preparation and active participation in the seminars are also required.

Part A consists of the following modules with associated courses:

Module 1: Theory and methodology (5 ECTS)           

Courses:

  • JUR9101 Legal theory, Philosophy of Science and Methodology (2.5 ECTS)
  • JUR9102 Legal History, Sociology of Law, and Law and Economics (2.5 ECTS)

JUR9101 Legal Theory, Philosophy of Science and Methodology (2.5 credit points)

Learning outcomes: The course will contribute to 1) knowledge of central and relevant directions in research-related legal theory, legal philosophy, philosophy of science and legal science methodology, 2) the ability to reflect in a theoretical and methodological manner on theories, methodological perspectives and texts that have been examined, 3) the ability to reflect on new issues in legal science, and 4) the ability to compare a variety of methodological features and different perspectives in legal science. Special emphasis is placed on the scientific, research-related and methodological aspects of the theories and methods that are examined. The focus is on developing the ability to reflect independently on the theories presented, and on the methodological and research-related consequences of applying different methods, as well as on the ability to be able to reflect on demands for a scientific approach in the field of legal science.

See further details in the course description for JUR9101 (Norwegian).

Topics: Philosophy of science, legal theory, legal methodology

Syllabus and requirements for participation: 

  • approximately 350 pages, see subject description with a current reading list
  • participation in a three-day seminar
  • essay (5 to10 pages) after JUR 9101 or 9102. (see Guidelines for approval of essays)

The essay must deal with theoretical or methodological issues related to the subject of the thesis or the legal area it is part of, based on or from the perspective of the theoretical issues presented in the literature for the seminar. The person responsible for the seminar must give prior approval to the PhD candidate’s essay topic and approve the completed essay. The candidate will be given feedback on the essay.

JUR9102 Legal History, Sociology of Law, and Law and Economics (2,5 ECTS)

Learning outcomes: The course must provide knowledge of and ability to reflect independently on a number of central interdisciplinary directions within legal science, legal history, sociology of law, and the law and economics. The PhD candidates will acquire the ability to reflect on the theories and methods examined and to compare and contrast the theories and methods presented. They will also acquire the ability to reflect on the scientific and research-related challenges linked to the various disciplines and methods.

See further details in the course description for JUR9102 (Norwegian).

Topics: Philosophy of science, legal history, law and economics, and sociology of law.

Syllabus and requirements for participation:  

  • approximately 100-120 pages related to each of the three subjects, altogether approx. 350 pages
  • participation in a three-day seminar,
  • essay (5 to10 pages) after JUR 9101 or JUR 9102 (see Guidelines for approval of essays).

The essay must address theoretical or methodological issues related to the subject of the thesis or the legal area it is part of, based on or from the perspective of the theoretical issues presented in the literature for the seminar. The person responsible for the seminar must give prior approval to the PhD candidate’s essay topic and approve the completed essay. The candidate will be given feedback on the essay.

Module 2: Internationalization (4 ECTS):

Courses:

  • JUR 9103 Internationalization of Law (2 ECTS)
  • JUR 9104 EU, EEA Law and Human Rights (2 ECTS)

JUR 9103 Internationalization of Law (2 ECTS)

Learning outcomes: The course will provide knowledge about the most important legal systems, courts of law and legal institutions, and about their fundamental methodologies. The course will introduce methodological issues related to the comparison between the legal systems of different countries. The PhD candidates will acquire the ability to reflect on and develop their understanding of international law, of the relationship between international law and the Norwegian legal system, especially regarding the methodological challenges, and of the methodological issues linked to the comparison of legal systems.

See further details in the course description for JUR9103 (Norwegian).

Topics: International law, some more recent disciplines in international law such as environmental and commercial law, comparative law, human rights.

Syllabus and requirements for participation:  

JUR 9104 EU, EEA Law and Human Rights (2 ECTS)

Learning outcomes: The course will give PhD candidates knowledge and understanding of, and the ability to reflect on key features of the development of EU and EEA Law, and the methodological development and interaction with national law. The candidates will acquire knowledge and understanding of and the ability to reflect on key features of the development of international human rights, in particular the development of both the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights, the methodological development internationally and in Europe, and the interaction with national law.

See further details in the course description for JUR9104 (Norwegian).

Topics: EU and EEA Law, international human rights.

Syllabus and requirements for participation:  

  • 250-300 pages, see current syllabus and literature list,
  • participation in a two-day seminar
  • essay (5 to10 pages) after JUR9103 or 9104 (see Guidelines for approval of essay).

Module 3: Writing the doctoral thesis and research ethics (1 ECTS)

Courses:

  • JUR9105 Writing the doctoral thesis (0.5 ECTS)
  • JUR9106 Research Ethics (0.5 ECTS)

JUR9105 Writing the doctoral thesis (0.5 ECTS) 

Learning outcomes: The course will provide an introduction to the formal and content-related requirements set to doctoral degree theses, and advice on how to approach the writing process.

Requirements for participation: Participation in a four-hour seminar.

See further details in the course description of JUR9105 (Norwegian).

JUR 9106 Research Ethics (0.5 ECTS)

Learning outcomes: The course will provide an introduction to relevant research ethics norms.

Syllabus and requirements for participation: 

  • approximately 100 pages of literature, see reading list
  • participation in a four-hour seminar.

See further details in the course description of JUR9106 (Norwegian).

Module 4: Philosophy of Science and Research Ethics (5 ECTS ) and doctoral thesis seminar (0.5 ECTS) for PhD candidates in the criminology/ sociology of law programme

The module is only mandatory for participants in the criminology and sociology of law specialization.

Courses:

  • JUR9107 Philosophy of science and research ethics (Criminology and Sociology of Law (5 ECTS)
  • JUR 9108 Doctoral thesis and writing seminar (Criminology and Sociology of Law) (0.5 ECTS)

JUR9107 Philosophy of Science and Research Ethics (Criminology and Sociology of Law) (5 ECTS)

Learning outcomes: The seminar will strengthen students’ ability to reflect on the philosophy of science as it relates to their own activities, including the normative and ethical basis that legitimates scientific research practice and authorship.

Topics: Philosophy of science and research ethics.

Syllabus and requirements for participation:

  • approximately 500 pages of literature and a 1 to 2 page outline of research-related ethical issues in one’s own project
  • participation in a four-day seminar
  • essay of up to 20 pages. (See Guidelines for approval of essays.)

The essay must address a topic related to the philosophy of science and/or to research ethics based on or from the perspective of the theoretical issues presented in the literature for the seminar. The essay must be of a satisfactory academic standard. The person responsible for the seminar must give prior approval to the PhD candidate’s essay topic and approve the completed essay. The essay will be assessed as either approved/not approved, and the person responsible for the seminar will give the candidate feedback on the essay.

See further details in the course description of JUR9107 (Norwegian).

JUR 9108 Doctoral thesis and writing seminar (Criminology and Sociology of Law) (0.5 ECTS)

Learning outcomes:

The doctoral degree students will be given an introduction to the formal and content-related requirements that are set to doctoral degree theses, and advice on how to approach the writing process.

Topics: Writing the doctoral thesis, writing techniques and source reference practices.

  • The essays on the philosophy of science/research ethics that have been approved are distributed to all participants at the latest 14 days before the start of the seminar, and it is presumed that these will have been read as a point of departure for instruction on writing a doctoral thesis
  • Participation in a half-day seminar

Other courses in the philosophy of science/methodology:

For candidates with special needs related to the philosophy of science and methodology, other special courses/seminars earning up to 5 ECTS at other faculties can also be approved as a replacement for seminars in the philosophy of science and joint legal courses on application to PFF.

PART B. Subject-specific seminars (5 ECTS)

Part B is a mandatory part of the educational programme. The candidates select a 5-ECTS specialization in one of the three options: the programmes in legal science, human rights or criminology/sociology of law.

Fixed seminars are:

Legal science specialization:

  • Candidates participate twice in the national doctoral degree seminar on legal science (JUR 9201 and JUR 9202, 1 ECTS per seminar).

Human rights specialization:

  • Doctoral degree candidates participate in two Nordic doctoral degree seminars on human rights (R9511 and JUR9512 Nordic Research Training Courses in Human Rights). Candidates must write an essay in connection with one of the seminars (5 ECTS).

Criminology and sociology of law specialization:

  • The Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law arranges a seminar every second year (JUR9521, 5 ECTS).

The Programme Committee for Research Training approves other seminars on application. See guidelines for approval of seminars.

PART C. Submission of written work (article) (5 ECTS)

Course: JUR9301

Part C is a mandatory part of the educational programme. During the period of education every candidate must submit at least one written work of between 15 to 20 pages. This must be the draft of an article and must be ready for publication. It can be linked to the topic or methodology of the thesis if desired. The written work must be approved by the supervisor and another expert appointed by the Programme Committee for Research Training. Articles that are published in a publication channel given in the lists of the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions are automatically approved for PART C of the PhD programme.

PART D. Thesis seminars and midway assessments (5 ECTS)

Part D is a mandatory part of the programme of education. The Programme Committee for Research Training approves seminars on application. See guidelines for approval of seminars.

The PhD candidate must attend at least six presentations of the PhD candidates’ work. Each candidate must present his/her thesis at least twice. The submission of work related to the midway assessment will be equivalent to one presentation. The seminars are arranged by the Programme Committee, the departments, research groups or subject groups at the Faculty. For the seminars to be approved it is vital that planning and reporting is carried out in dialogue and cooperation with the Programme Committee.

Presentations at the national doctoral degree seminar in legal science are automatically approved for participants in the legal science specialization.

Within approximately two years of the start of the programme all doctoral degree candidates must submit their doctoral degree project for evaluation in a midway assessment. See guidelines for midway assessment

PART E. Internationalization (5 ECTS)

Part E of the educational programme includes mandatory and optional elements. The Programme Committee for Research Training approves seminars on application. See guidelines for approval of seminars.

Courses:

  • JUR9501 International seminar
  • JUR9502 Nordic seminar

Requirements for participation: Each PhD candidate must participate in at least one Nordic JUR 9502 seminar and one international JUR 9501 seminar or conference abroad related to the topic or subject area of the thesis.

Optional: 

  • Candidates are encouraged to establish and build international networks in their own subject areas (optional element).
  • The aim is for all candidates to have a stay abroad of at least two months during the research fellowship (optional element).

Part F. Teaching

Research fellows can be granted an increase in pay during the period of employment in return for specified teaching duties that can be distributed over the entire period of employment. As far as possible the teaching duties offered must be relevant.

6. Supervision.

During the work on the thesis the candidate has the right to supervision, cf. section 8 (admission prior to 21 June 2007) and section 7 (admission after 21 June 2007) of the Regulations. The application regarding the appointment of (a) supervisor(s) is addressed to the Programme Committee for Research Training. The scope and duration of the supervision will be agreed by the candidate and the (principal) supervisor and will be incorporated into the contract on approval by the Programme Committee. When granting approval, the Committee will base its decision on the following guidelines:

  1. The total length of supervision over the entire PhD period of study shall constitute 150 hours, independent of the number of supervisors.
  2. The period of supervision must be distributed over the duration of the study programme, and will normally not exceed 30 hours per semester.
  3. The period of supervision can be distributed among several supervisors. All the work carried out by the supervisor in connection with the work on the thesis counts as part of the period of supervision.

During the period of study the head of department/external party or the person he/she authorizes shall have a dialogue once a year with the candidate about the supervision and employment, the progress in the work and other aspects of importance for the candidate’s well-being and academic development. The head of department must keep in regular contact with the supervisor. The candidate must report annually on progress in the work. At any time during the period of study the candidate can request a dialogue with the Programme Board for Research Education.

See guidelines for progress reporting.

7. Thesis

The main part of the programme of study is the independent work on the academic thesis. The thesis must be written in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, English, German or French (cf. paragraph 10.1 of the Regulations). Candidates can choose to write a monograph or an article-based thesis.

See guidelines on the scope and level /quality of the thesis (in Norwegian)

See guidelines on the article-based thesis. (in Norwegian)

8. Submission

The candidate must deliver four copies of the thesis together with a cover letter and a copy of the letter of approval of the educational component. When the application for evaluation of the thesis has received a positive reply, 50 copies of the doctoral thesis must be submitted (cf. paragraph 12.1 of the Regulations).

9. Trial lecture

A trial lecture must be given on a prescribed topic. The adjudication committee shall act as the trial lecture committee (cf. section 16 of the Regulations). The trial lecture shall be given in the same language as the thesis unless the trial lecture committee has approved the use of a different language. The trial lecture can be held in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, English, German or French (cf. paragraph 18.1 of the Regulations).

10. Defence of the thesis

The chair of the defence provides a brief account of the submission and the evaluation of the thesis, as well as of the trial lecture and the evaluation of this. Thereafter the first ordinary opponent explains the purpose and results of the academic investigation. (cf. paragraph 18.2 of the Regulations).

11. Doctoral diploma

The diploma supplement must show what specialization the PhD candidate has chosen from the educational component of the PhD programme: legal science, criminology/sociology of law, or human rights (cf. paragraph 20 of the Regulations).

Did you find what you were looking for?
Published Dec. 2, 2013 2:28 PM - Last modified Nov. 3, 2015 9:25 AM