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PhD in Sociology

Doctoral degree

The PhD program in sociology is a research education program culminating in the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD). This is the highest academic degree you can take within a subject. The program provides a high academic competence that is relevant to research, administration and business.

Three year study
The PhD programme in sociology is an educational programme scheduled to take three years of full-time study, leading to the PhD degree in Sociology. 

The PhD programme is made up of a training component equivalent to at least 30 ECTS credits (one semester of full-time study) and a dissertation.

The dissertation is an independent piece of scientific work meeting international standards within the subject area. After approval, the dissertation is then defended at a public disputation.

The training component includes the theory of science, ethics and research methods, together with courses providing a deeper understanding in topics relevant to the dissertation. 

The training programme is provided in full at Nord University. Students can also choose to follow courses approved by Nord University at other institutions or universities in Norway or abroad.

Why take a PhD degree?
A doctoral degree qualifies candidates for research activity and for other work in society for which a high level of scientific insight and competence is required.

Programme description

The PhD program in sociology is a research education program culminating in the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD). This is the highest academic degree you can take within a subject. The program provides a high academic competence that is relevant to research, administration and business.

Three year study
The PhD programme in sociology is an educational programme scheduled to take three years of full-time study, leading to the PhD degree in Sociology. 

The PhD programme is made up of a training component equivalent to at least 30 ECTS credits (one semester of full-time study) and a dissertation.

The dissertation is an independent piece of scientific work meeting international standards within the subject area. After approval, the dissertation is then defended at a public disputation.

The training component includes the theory of science, ethics and research methods, together with courses providing a deeper understanding in topics relevant to the dissertation. 

The training programme is provided in full at Nord University. Students can also choose to follow courses approved by Nord University at other institutions or universities in Norway or abroad.

Why take a PhD degree?
A doctoral degree qualifies candidates for research activity and for other work in society for which a high level of scientific insight and competence is required.

Study model

The information applies to the current academic year. Changes may occur.
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Admission requirements

The admission is based on individual application.

The applicant must hold a Master's degree in social science (e.g. Master in Sociology, Master in Social Work, Master in Politics and Social Change etc.) with an average mark of B or better in the European marking system (ECTS), or corresponding to a B average if other marking system is used. The applicant must hold a satisfactory theoretical and research prerequisite for completion of a doctoral degree in sociology. Applicants must document broad knowledge in social science theory and methodology. Applicants from outside EU/EEA must document a Norwegian recognition of their master’s degree.

To become eligible for admission adequate funding is required beforehand. The funding must cover both living costs and the costs relating to the research project for the entire doctoral training period. This could be a university fellowship, a three-year scholarship from the Research Council of Norway or another external funding source. Announced positions as PhD fellowship at Nord university can be found under vacancies. Please note that it is only possible to enrol as a PhD candidate after you have been appointed to a PhD fellowship or have documented other sufficient funding.

Job opportunities

The PhD study is a great opportunity for those who want to achieve the highest academic qualification relevant for a future career in research, management or business.

Further education

A doctoral degree is the highest academic degree you can take within a subject.

How to Enroll

Faculty of Social Sciences admits highly qualified PhD students every year.
 
The admission is based on individual application. The applicant must hold a Master's degree in social science (e.g. Master in Sociology, Master in Social Work, Master in Politics and Social Change) with an average mark of B or better in the European marking system (ECTS), or corresponding to a B average if other marking system is used. 

Applicants with other Master’s degrees might be admitted provided that the student can document sufficient theoretical and methodological training in sociology and the social sciences. To become eligible for admission adequate funding is required beforehand. 

The funding must cover both living costs and the costs relating to the research project for the entire doctoral training period. 

This could be a university fellowship of three or four years, a three-year scholarship from the Research Council of Norway or another external funding source. 

Announced positions as PhD fellowship at Nord University can be found under vacancies. 

Please note that it is only possible to enrol as a PhD candidate after you have been appointed to a PhD fellowship or have documented other sufficient funding.

Application form:
Application form for admission.pdf

Rules and regulations:
University rules and regulations

Supplementary guidelines for the PhD in Sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences.pdf

Please send the completed application form along with relevant documentation to the following address:

Nord University
Faculty of Social Sciences
PhD administrative coordinator
NO-8049 Bodø
Norway

Learning outcomes

The following are the total knowledge, skill and general competency learning outcomes for fully qualified PhD Candidates in Sociology at Nord University:
 
Knowledge
       
The candidate should:
• have extensive knowledge in the subject Sociology and deep insight into the subject's basic perspectives, theories of science and current debates
• be in the forefront of research within their specialty
• be able to critically evaluate the appropriateness and application of various research strategies, methods and research design
• have the ability to contribute to the theory and methodology and the development of new knowledge and new perspectives in sociology
 
Skills
    
The candidate should:
• be able to take individual responsibility for the development, planning and implementation of research projects
• be able to carry out research and development work at a high academic level
• be able to handle complex theoretical issues and to challenge established knowledge and practices within the discipline
 
General competence

The candidate should:
• in the conduct of research be able to identify and deal with ethical challenges and to maintain high academic integrity
• be able to manage complex multidisciplinary tasks and projects
• be able to disseminate research through reputable national and international journals
• be able to contribute to national and international debates in the discipline

PhD Courses

PhD courses are regularly offered every autumn term and irregularly in the spring term. In addition to these courses, our candidates can choose from a wide range of courses at other national institutions and abroad.

Sport and Society: Power, Inequality and Technology

September 17-20, 2019

Information about the course:
PhDcourse_Sport_and_Society_September_2019.pdf


Application form:
Application form PhD course_Faculty of Social Sciences.pdf

Qualitative researching and critical inquiry 
- On generating, analysing and critically assessing qualitative data

November 13-15, 2019 and January 20-21, 2020 

Course code: SOS9002
Number of points: 10 ECTs including essay
Campus: Bodø
Course start: November 13, 2019
Course language: English
Prerequisites: Applicants must be admitted to a PhD-program.
Faculty: Associated Professor Berit Irene Vannebo, Nord University, 
Professor Johans Tveit Sandvin, Nord University, Faculty of Social Sciences 

Introduction
Qualitative research has won terrain in recent decades, much due to a social world that is increasingly thought to be complex and multi-dimensional. Hence, today, most social science study programs offers courses in qualitative, as well as quantitative method, both at bachelor and masters level. Nevertheless, there is a tendency to perceive qualitative method as less systematic and rigorous - less methodical - than quantitative method. 

What distinguishes qualitative and quantitative research is first and foremost that they are designed to answer different types of questions. The requirements for thoroughness are equally strict in qualitative as in quantitative methods, but the procedures are different and more open to adaptation to the field and phenomenon under study. 

The course provides an advanced and critical introduction to different designs and methodologies in qualitative research, as well as to the justifications and degrees of leeway of different designs. Focusing on interviews, documents and field observation as sources for generating empirical data (and their possible combinations), the course pays particular attention to the specific properties of such data, and its implications for analyses. 

The course is organized into two workshops, in which the first (in November) is largely based on thematic lectures and seminar discussions, while the second (in January) is devoted to the presentation and discussion of student papers.

Learning outcomes:
These are the following learning outcomes expected upon completion of the course. 

Knowledge
After completing the course, students should have gained advanced knowledge about:
• The legacy of qualitative research methods
• The theoretical justification of qualitative research
• The properties of qualitative data
• Applicable methods to analyse different qualitative material 

Skills
After completing the course, students should have advanced their ability:
• To design qualitative inquiries suitable to answer different qualitative questions
• To justify the methodological choices made in qualitative designs
• To generate and arrange different types of qualitative data material
• To analyse different types of qualitative data in ways that fit the purpose of the study 

General competence
After completing the course, students should have advanced their ability:
• To plan, perform and explain qualitative research
• To participate in and contribute to academic discussions in qualitative research
• To review and critically assess the quality of qualitative inquiries 

Content
This course will address the following areas:
• The evolvement of qualitative research
• The methodological basis for qualitative research
• The types and character of qualitative data
• The critical elements of qualitative designs
• The performance of qualitative analysis
• Critically scrutinizing and evaluating qualitative data
• The quality assessment of qualitative inquiries

Program first workshop: 

Wednesday, November 13:
09:00-10:00: The legacy and justification of qualitative research
10:00-10:15: Coffee, tea and refreshments
10:15-11:00: The types and character of qualitative data
11:00-11:15: Break
11:15-12:00: Critical elements of qualitative designs
12:00-13:00: Lunch
13:00-14:30: Qualitative interviewing
14:30-14:45: Break
14:45-16:30: Doing qualitative fieldwork 

Thursday, November 14:
08:30-09:15: Introduction to qualitative analysis
09:15-09:30: Coffee, tea and refreshments
09:30-11:30: Concepts and coding
11:30-12:30: Lunch
12:30-14:00: Concepts and coding
14:30-14:45: Break
14:45-16:30: What’s Different about Narrative Inquiry? 

Friday, November 15:
09:00-10:00: Doing things with documents
10:00-10:15: Coffee, tea and refreshments
10:15-11:30: Doing things with documents
11:30-12:30: Lunch
12:30-14:30: Case studies
14:30-14:45: Break
14:45-16:30: Assessing the quality of qualitative research

Second workshop (January 20-21, 2020) is a paper seminar. Program will be issued later.

Reading list:
  • Silverman, David (ed.) (2016). Qualitative Research. 4. Edition. London: Sage. Pars I, II, III, IV, VII and VIII. (305 pages) 
  • Weinberg, Darin (ed.) (2002). Qualitative Research Methods. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. Chapter. (328 pages) 
  • Yin, Robert K. (2014). Case study research: design and methods. 5. Edition.London: Sage. Chapter 1-2. (50 pages) 
  • Schwandt, Tomas (2007). The SAGE Dictionary of Qualitative Inquiry. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications (The terms; Generalization, Reliability and Validity – 7 pages) 
  • Hammersley, Martyn (2007). The issue of quality in qualitative research. International Journal of Research & Methods in Education. Vol. 30, No. 3. (22 pages) 
  • Flyvbjerg, Bent (2006). Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research. Qualitative Inquiry, vol. 12, nor. 2. (35 pages)
Application deadline:
October 14, 2019

Application form:
Application form PhD course_Faculty of Social Sciences.pdf

Public Defence

The final stage of doctoral training is the public defence (disputation).

After the Evaluation Committee, appointed by the faculty, unanimously has accepted the dissertation for a public defence the doctoral candidate must give a one hour trial lecture on a given topic. The trial lecture must be held and passed before the defence of the dissertation can be held the same day. 

The public defence of the dissertation usually last for 2,5 hours. All the members of the Evaluation Committee and the audience can question the candidate.  

When the trial lecture and disputation is approved and the Evaluation Committee concludes unanimously that the candidate fulfilled the requirements for awarding the degree Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) in Sociology the University Board will confer the PhD degree.

Scholarship and Funding

In order to become eligible for admission and enrol as a PhD candidate, you must document satisfactory funding that covers both living costs and the costs relating to the research project for the entire doctoral training period. 

This could be a university fellowship of three or four years, a three-year scholarship from the Research Council of Norway or another external funding source.
 
With a PhD fellowship at Nord University you are employed as an early stage researcher for a period of 3 or 4 years in order to complete doctoral education and achieve a PhD degree. 

Fellowships at the faculty may be advertised very openly in which case applicants are invited to present their own ideas for a research project. However in most announcements lately, the fellowship is related to a specific research project. 

The announcement of the PhD fellowships will describe the guiding requirements for the fellowship.
 
Please note that it is only possible to enrol as a PhD candidate after you have been appointed to a PhD fellowship or have documented sufficient funding to cover the costs relating to the doctoral training period otherwise.

For information about vacant PhD fellowship positions at Nord University please check our web site.

For other opportunities regarding PhD and funding please look at The Research Council of Norway's web site.

Application deadline and admission

Application deadline Admission based on individual applications
ECTS Credits 180
Study level Ph.D
Scope Full time
Teaching language Norwegian
Police certificate of conduct No
Campus Bodø

Application deadline and admission

Application deadline Admission based on individual applications

More information