How to qualify and be accepted into the PhD programme in nautical operations

Applicants must hold a relevant 120-credit master's degree - based on a bachelor's degree of 180 credits - with good results, or an integrated master's degree of 300 credits. An individual assessment of the competence of applicants with a master's degree of less than 120 credits may be done. Other education equivalent to missing credits in the master's degree must be documented. Examples of fields of study that qualify for admission include maritime management, nautical studies, occupational and organisational psychology, fire and safety, meteorology and oceanography, marine engineering.


Students currently enrolled in a master programme are also welcome to apply, but must expect to have earned their degree before the appointment begins.

Admission requirements

Applicants must have achieved grade B or above (minimum B on the master’s thesis)

  • Applicants must have an excellent command of written and spoken English. Norwegian or another Scandinavian language will be an advantage.
  • Applicants must be able to cooperate with fellow students and faculty staff, and to work independently on academic topics.

Admission to the PhD programme in nautical operations requires that the applicant has completed a relevant 120-credit master's degree - based on a bachelor's degree of 180 credits - with good results, or an integrated master's degree of 300 credits. An individual assessment of the competence of applicants with a master's degree of less than 120 credits may be done. Other education equivalent to missing credits in the master's degree must be documented.

Normally, a weighted grade average for the master's degree equal to B or better is required as a basis for admission. The candidate must normally also have a grade of B or better for the master's thesis. Applicants with lower grades might be considered for admission if it can be documented that the candidate is particularly suitable for a PhD education.

Funding

The PhD programme in nautical operations is standardized to a 3 year full-time study. To be admitted to the programme, it is required that you have funding for the entire period. There are three possible ways to finance PhD studies: financing by the Norwegian Ministry for Education and Research (KD), financing by employer or self-financing.

For positions funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, the admission process is twofold. Firstly, the candiate needs to follow the advertised PhD student-positions at the USN job board and apply for a vacant PhD position. Secondly, if you are offered the position applied for, you must (within 3 months) apply for admission to the PhD programme.

If funding sources are private or come from your employer, admission is ongoing and has no particular deadlines. In case of funding from your employer, we recommend you and your company to explore the Research Council of Norway’s Industrial Ph.D. scheme. This scheme exists specifically for companies who wish to finance their employees seeking to pursue a PhD. Your company can submit the application to the Research Council of Norway (NFR) at any time (ongoing deadline for submission and short processing times). 

For self-financed PhD students different financing requirements apply at the four cooperating institutions that are in the joint programme. The commonalities are that the candidate will have to cover all the expenses associated with general operating costs, overhead-costs, costs for travel and costs for use of the institution's infrastructure, such as offices, equipment or laboratories. Self-financed candidates will also have to document (by bank statement) the ability to cover subsistence costs of around 20 000 NOK/month for the entire duration of the programme. A financing contract will have to be made between the self-financing candidate and the home institution before the applicant can be admitted to the PhD programme.

Admission requirements are the same for all candidates regardless of the source of funding.

The application

The application for admission consists of the Application form with attachments.

  • The application form is under revision, but will be found here shortly

The following information must be included in the application:

  • Documentation of previous relevant education that will serve as the basis for admission to the PhD programme (bachelor's degree and master's degree diplomas and transcripts of records)
  • Project description, including topic, research questions and choice of theory and research methodology. The project description must be formulated in consultation with the main supervisor and be signed by the candidate's all supervisors. 
  • Progress plan for completion of education, publications and writing the thesis
  • Financing Plan
  • Name of supervisors and signatures
  • Plan for compulsory residence duty and possibly a stay at another institution in Norway or abroad
  • Plan for the educational component. Please, note that, in order to be included in the educational component, the courses must be at PhD-level.

The plan must contain a list of all courses (totaling 30 credits) that will be included in the educational component of the programme. (Of these, two compulsory courses - the HTO-course and he philosophy of science and ethics course - must be included).

  • Supervisors (the candidate must contact the chosen supervisors in advance and obtain from them a confirmation of their willingness to take on the role; profiles and contact details of senior academic staff at all four cooperating institutions in the joint programme can be found on this page)

Incomplete applications will not be considered.