The Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.) is awarded after three years of study following completion of a Masters degree or a professional degree/programme. Doctoral programmes, which are essentially research programmes, are offered by all university-level institutions, some state university colleges and a few private institutions.
The degree is made up of a training component equivalent to no less than 30 "studiepoeng"/ECTS (1 semester of full-time study) and a dissertation. The dissertation is an independent piece of scientific work that meets international standards within its subject area. If the dissertation is approved, it has to be defended at a public disputation.
The formal entrance qualification for the Ph.D. study is a Master-degree (2 years research master), or a corresponding degree from professional training schools (e.g. psychology, dentistry, medicine, law), or equivalent qualifications.
A number of Ph.D. programmes are designed as a four-year programme where 25 per cent of the time is reserved for teaching at lower level courses.
Some institutions offer two types of doctoral degrees: The “organised” doctoral degree is called Ph.D. (philosophiae doctor). This degree includes obligatory formal training and supervision in addition to the dissertation which is the main focus of the Ph.D.
The second type is a “free” doctoral degree which is called Dr. philos. (doctor philosophiae). No formal training or supervision is included in this degree, and this is typically not part of the institutions' formal Ph.D. programme or Research schools. The scientific status of the two degrees is the same.
More and more Ph.D. programmes in English are being offered at Norwegian institutions. You should contact each institution individually for more information.