The writing of a scientific thesis is a large and important part of the doctoral program. The work on the thesis always constitutes at least half of the doctoral education (i.e. corresponding to at least 120 higher education credits), but the scope of the thesis can vary between different subjects. There may also be a flexibility between the thesis part and the course part within a third cycle study subject. The minimum scope is stated in the general syllabus for your doctoral degree subject. How many higher education credits your thesis should cover must be stated in your individual study plan.
During the work on the thesis, there is an opportunity to present and discuss your research and results, for example at seminars and international conferences. During the public defence, the scientific content of the completed thesis is discussed with a specially appointed faculty opponent. The thesis and the defense of it in the public defence are graded by a examining committee with passed or failed.
A thesis must be designed in accordance with good scientific practice. It can be a compilation thesis, i.e. consist of scientific articles / manuscripts with an introductory framework story ("kappa"). Alternatively, the thesis can be written as a monograph, i.e. in coherent book form. At LTH, compilation theses are most common, but monographs occur and are more common in some subjects than others. If articles / manuscripts are included in the thesis where there are several authors, it must be clear what the doctoral student has contributed.
The thesis must contain a popular science summary, preferably in Swedish or in exceptional cases in English. The thesis must be written in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian or English. If the thesis is not written in English, it must contain a summary in English. The thesis must be printed on paper, see further information on the page "Printing and distribution".
Read more about thesis guidelines in "Guidelines for third cycle education at LTH" on the page My doctoral studies.
The thesis must contain a popular science summary. It can help you as a researcher in contacts with, among others, funders (who increasingly require popular science summaries), partners, future workplaces and friends and family, not to forget. It can also make it easier for the university's informants to discover interesting topics to make press releases on, which in that case are done in consultation with the doctoral student. The chance then also increases that a research journalist is interested in your research.
When writing the summary, the most important thing is to write simply and understandably. Anyone who is not at all familiar with the subject should be able to understand what your work is about. Explain what you have come up with and, if possible, what the research can be used for. Summary should be between 1500 and 4000 characters.
Examples of questions that can be answered are:
- What have you come up with?
- How can the results be used?
- How do your findings affect people and society?
- Why is your work important?
- How did you do?
Feel free to start with the most important and most exciting, which are usually results and consequences. Background, method and conditions can follow.
More theoretically oriented basic research may lack direct connections to society and people's everyday lives. But it is still relevant to pedagogically understand it and put it in a larger context!
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Support in your thesis writing
Ongoing support with your thesis is available through the supervisors, but there are also workshops and seminars on, for example, academic writing and techniques to be completed on time, see the page "Academic writing" for more information.