Study plan

Ph.D. in the study of professional praxis

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Programme description

The doctoral program will qualify the candidate for high-level international research activity and for other work that requires a high level of scientific insight and method. The Centre for practical knowledge (CPK), which is responsible for developing the program, has favored Humanities-based approaches to the study of professional praxis, while the educational program allows the candidate to acquire a deep and broad knowledge of research in professional practice as a whole.

The doctoral work should contribute to professions research at a high level, as well as having implications for the development of vocational professions and for society at large. Doctoral research at the Faculty for Professional Studies should contribute to current debates and should be at the forefront in developing theoretical and empirical perspectives on the study of professional practice. The research should, in addition, contribute to the scientific research of experience-based and practical knowledge.

For further details about professional practice, the Faculty of Professional Studies and the Centre for practical knowledge, see Faculty of Professional Studies website (Link).


In addition to the research project itself, candidates are required to successfully complete course work in the following areas:


Theory of Practical Knowledge (15 ECTS)

Theory of Science (10 ECTS)

Qualitative/Quantitative Methods (10 ECTS)

Professional Identity, organization and society (10 ECTS)

Study model

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Learning outcomes

A candidate with completed PhD in the study of professional practice shall have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:



Candidates should:

  • have extensive knowledge in the study of professional practice and deep insight into the study¿s fundamental perspectives, scientific underpinnings and current debates
  • have an in-depth familiarity with the Centre¿s specific emphasis on the notion of practical knowledge in professional practice
  • be in the forefront of research in their specialist area
  • be able to critically evaluate the usefulness and application of various research strategies, methods and research design
  • be able to contribute to theoretical and methodological development of new knowledge and new perspectives in praxis research




Candidates should:

  • be able to take independent responsibility for developing, planning and implementing research projects
  • be able to conduct research and scientific development at a high international level
  • be able to manage complex technical questions and challenge established knowledge and practice in the field


General competence:

Candidates should:

  • be able to identify and deal with ethical challenges and pursue their research with professional integrity
  • be able to manage complex interdisciplinary tasks and projects
  • be able to communicate research and development by recognized national and international channels
  • be able to participate in debates within the discipline in national and international fora




Admission requirements

Candidates must be in possession of a relevant Masters degree (for which they have received a grade of B or better). Candidates must also have a minimum of two years relevant work experience to be considered for admission.

Job opportunities

Candidates who have completed all the requirements of the program will be qualified for research and teaching positions at Universities and University Colleges, as well as research and development positions in both the public and private sectors.

Further education


Study abroad

It is strongly encouraged that all PhD candidates incorporate a study period in a foreign institution as part of their doctoral education. The Centre for Practical Knowledge has an extensive research network especially in the Nordic region. Study exchanges are possible with Södertörns Högskola, Linnaeus University (both Sweden), Aarhus University (Denmark), Åbo Akademi (Finland) amongst others. Exchanges are also possible at other institutions which have ties to the Faculty for Professional Studies.

Specific arrangements for recognition of prior learning

Admission based on life and work experience (formal, informal and non-formal prior learning) in accordance with current Norwegian regulations.

Applications are processed the Doctoral commission at the School of Professional Studies. Deadlines for application to the program are February 1st and September 1st.

Examination regulations, assessment and grading

Examination regulations can be found in regulations for studies and exams at Nord University (Nord) as well as the special regulations Regulations for examination candidates at Nord. The Norwegian assessment and grading system uses the letter grades A-F, in which A denotes the best grade and F denotes "failed". Grades can also be given as: "passed" /"not passed" or "approved"/ "not approved".

Assessment methods

The program comprises a 45 ECTS education component along with the production of an independent piece of scientific research.


In addition, the following requirements are to be met in order for the candidate to defend his/her thesis:


  • Presentation of research project at, at least, one Faculty seminar
  • Completion of midway and final seminar where the research is presented before a panel of one internal and one external reader
  • Presentation of research at, at least, one research forum outside of the host institution
  • Publication based on the course ¿Theory of Practical Knowledge¿. The publication can take the form of a peer-reviewed article, conference presentation or equivalent.

Programme evaluation

The study program is evaluated annually by students using course evaluation studies and by the program director. The evaluations are included in the University's quality assurance system.

Qualifications requirements and regulations

Here we refer to "Regulations pertaining to studies and exams at Nord University (Nord)" as well as local regulations and directives given at og reglement.
ECTS Credits 180 Study level Ph.D Teaching language Norwegian and English Faculty The Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences Course location Bodø