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The thesis: requirements and guidelines

A PhD thesis must be an independent, scientific work that meets international standards in terms of academic level, method and ethical requirements. It must be possible for it to be written within the framework of the PhD programme, with a nominal length of study of 3 years net.

You should begin writing on day one!

Scope and level of the thesis

The thesis may consist of a single work (monograph) or several shorter works (article-based thesis). Monographs are still the most common form of thesis at the faculty.

The Faculty of Law has a word limit on PhD theses of 100 000 to 150 000 words normally. For a PhD thesis to be adjudicated, it must not consist of more than 200 000 words. The faculties of law at the universities of Bergen and Oslo have common guidelines for the level of legal thesis (pdf) (only in Norwegian)

Article-based thesis

The Faculty has dedicated guidelines for article- based thesis, based on Recommended guidelines for doctoral dissertations consisting of several shorter works (article-based thesis)  at the University of Oslo(only in Norwegian) . 


If one or more of the articles have co-authors, you must document the extent of the co-authorship and your contribution in each article by submitting co-author declarations. You must submit a completed and signed co-author declaration together with the thesis when it is submitted for adjudication. You can read more about co-authorship on the Research Ethics Library website.


Theses are normally written in Norwegian or English. If you want to write your thesis in a language other than Norwegian or English, you must apply for permission upon admission to the PhD programme.

Publicizing the thesis

The thesis will be made publicly available no later than two weeks before the date set for the public defence. The faculty will pay for the printing of 50 copies.

Published Apr. 22, 2015 8:22 AM - Last modified Sep. 28, 2022 10:31 AM