Introduction – University of Copenhagen

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Introduction

The Department of Sociology at the University of Copenhagen takes a broad approach to sociology, reflected in the courses offered and in ongoing research activities. It provides diversity in terms of both theoretical orientations and methodologies. Major areas of departmental interest include knowledge, uncertainty and trust, welfare and change, sociology of culture, work and organisation as well as politics and social change.

The department’s PhD  program is part of the Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences.

The  program of study consists in general of:

  • The completion of a major independent research project under the supervision of a member of staff. The resulting PhD thesis takes the form of a monograph or a combination of articles
  • Coursework, approximately one semester of study totaling 30 ECTS
  • Teaching and supervision of BA and MA students or similar educational elements, corresponding to approximately 14 weeks of work (this is not mandatory for some externally funded students)
  • Participation in other research milieus, primarily abroad
  • Presentation of two papers at evaluation seminars

The PhD degree is awarded after the successful completion of the  program and after the PhD thesis has been accepted by an assessment committee, usually containing at least one member from abroad.

There are in principle three different options within the PhD program. The most common is the 5+3 option (the application is based on a three-year bachelor’s degree and a two-year master's degree in sociology or qualifications equivalent to this). The second option is the 4+4 (only one year for the master’s) and the third option is the 3+5, where you apply as soon as you complete your bachelor degree. The last option is currently not in use in this department. The  program is open to both Danish and international students. In order to be accepted as a PhD student an independent sociological research project proposal has to be approved by the department and the  program of study has to be funded for three years.

Grants are announced by the department at relevant intervals. Funding may also be obtained from other sources. In the latter case, it is up to the PhD student to provide funding. Read about how to apply at the homepage of the Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences.

PhD projects should contain sociologically relevant research questions and first and foremost use sociological theories and methods. Applicants should have a sociological (or comparable) educational background.

Based on the principle that processes of learning and thinking are always social in nature, every enrolled PhD student is expected to contribute to the ongoing academic discussions at meetings and seminars. Apart from in-house presentations of projects, PhD students are also expected to present papers at international conferences.

There are currently about 25 PhD students at the department. Every effort is made by the department and in the PhD group to promote an inclusive and inspiring milieu that is responsive to individual needs and interests. This is supported by a monthly meeting with various relevant topics and presentations of papers. The meetings are usually on the last Tuesday in the month.