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Structure of the doctoral programme

JMG’s PhD programme in journalism, media and communication is worth 240 Swedish higher education credits (240 ECTS credits), of which the doctoral thesis comprises 180 higher education credits (150 ECTS credits).

Individual study plans

An individual study plan and a funding plan are developed for each doctoral student accepted into the programme. The study plan includes a time plan for the studies and a description of the obligations of the student and the Department over the course of the programme. The study plan and funding plan are reviewed and followed up every year.


The course and literature part of the programme equals 60 credits and consists of compulsory courses, profile courses and individual literature studies. The combination of courses shall cover the general theory formation, scientific methods and empirical studies in Swedish and international research, with a focus on journalism, media and communication.

Compulsory courses

The compulsory courses add up to 45 credits:

  • The Traditions and Research Areas of Media and Communication Science, 22,5 credits
  • Methods in Media and Communication Science, 22,5 credits
  • Teaching skills, 5 credits

Profile courses

The programme also includes profile courses. These are teacher-led literature courses usually within a certain area of research. The examiner may approve courses completed at other universities and within other disciplines as well.

Individual courses

The individual literature courses are selected by the student in consultation with the examiner.

The higher general seminar

Participation in the higher general seminar (HAS) is compulsory. The seminar is one whole semester in duration and meetings are normally arranged every 14 days.

The seminar meetings give the doctoral students an opportunity to discuss their thesis work. Students may want to present a thesis idea or draft at one of the first meetings. When this is done, a teacher is appointed to provide guidance and feedback regarding the student’s development of a thesis plan. Presentations of thesis chapters constitute an important part of the higher seminar.


The teaching staff appoint a principal supervisor and an assistant supervisor for each doctoral student. The supervisor is appointed in joint consultation with the doctoral student as soon as possible after the admission. Students have the right to change their supervisor. Requests to change supervisors are submitted to the Department Board.


The doctoral thesis is the most important part of the doctoral programme. At JMG, a doctoral thesis is an independent project aimed to contribute to the research in the area of journalism, media and communication. The thesis is the student’s chance to show that he or she is able to approach a research problem scientifically and to independently conduct a major research project.

Thesis topic

The topic for the thesis is selected in consultation with the supervisor. The Department’s research profile and the areas within which the Department is able to provide qualified scientific supervision must be considered in this process.

Thesis plan

Approval of a thesis plan marks the formal beginning of the thesis project. The plan shall consist of a description of the research problem, the main research questions, the theoretical starting points and central concepts and an introduction to the most important previous research in the area.

In addition, the thesis plan shall also provide information about how the student will go about answering the stated research questions. This includes the general design of the study and selection of methods, availability of relevant research material and how data will be collected, if applicable. The plan must also indicate which concrete work tasks the thesis project will entail (work plan) and in which order the identified tasks will be performed (time plan).

The thesis plan is presented and discussed at a seminar meeting. Feedback provided at the seminar meeting and by the teaching staff is discussed during supervision and the plan is revised as needed.

Final review

Towards the end of the thesis project, the student must present a thesis manuscript at a so-called final review. Following the final review, the supervisor determines, in consultation with the examiner and the teaching staff, which changes, if any, should be made to the manuscript before a public defence of the thesis can be applied for. The decision regarding the application for public defence is made by the examiner.

Contact information

Study Administrator
Christina Jones
+46 (0)31 786 5179

Director of Studies
Magnus Fredriksson
+46 (0)31 786 1196

Assistant Head of Department & Head of Research
Mats Ekström
+46 (0)31 786 1236

Box 710
S-405 30 Gothenburg

Visiting address
Seminariegatan 1B

Page Manager: Mats Ekström|Last update: 9/17/2015

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