Process and Structure

Purpose and Objectives

The overall purpose is to train the doctoral candidates to become independent, excellent researchers in their field of expertise.

After graduation, the doctoral graduate should be able to:

  • Describe and explain theories and empirical findings in Industrial Economics and Management
  • Formulate specific research questions in Industrial Economics and Management
  • Use scientific methods and develop new knowledge through his/her own scientific research
  • Critically analyse and evaluate the methods and results from one’s own and others’ research.
  • Present and discuss research results in the scientific community
  • Present research in a pedagogic way outside the scientific community and in educational contexts
  • Assess the ethical aspects of research in the field and act on these
  • Identify needs for new knowledge and understand how to initiate and manage research projects
  • Participate in interdisciplinary collaborations between humanities/social sciences and engineering sciences
  • Analyse the role of scientific research in society


KTH issues two post-graduate degrees: Doctor (PhD) and Licentiate. 

  • For the Doctoral Degree PhD (Curriculum 2013), the requirements of the programme are a total of 240 credits composed of 90 credits of doctoral courses and 150 credits from the doctoral dissertation. The course component of 90 credits consists of a mandatory curriculum of four courses of 30 credits and specialized courses of 60 credits.

The Doctor’s Degree equals four years of full-time studies. Since most PhD students with an employment contract spend 20% of their work as teaching or research assistants, the doctoral degree normally is conferred after approximately five years.

  • For the Licentiate Degree (Curriculum 2013), the requirements of the programme are a total of 120 credits (two years, full-time) composed of 45 credits from the course component and 75 credits from the doctoral dissertation. The course component of 45 credits consists of a mandatory curriculum of two courses of 15 credits and specialized courses of 30 credits.


Each PhD student works under the supervision of one Principal Supervisor (huvudhandledare) and one or several Assistant Supervisors (biträdande handledare).

The Principal Supervisor holds a Professorship or Associate Professorship (docent) and is employed at KTH. The assistant supervisor holds a doctoral degree.

Individual Study Plan

Each PhD student has an individual study plan specifying expected research, coursework, key milestones, and other activities to be performed during the doctoral studies. The study plan functions as a syllabus which explicitly states the requirements, commitments, and rights of the individual PhD student.

The first version of study plan is submitted with admission to the programme.

The study plan is updated each year.

Individual study plan in Swedish

Individual study plan in English

PhD Courses

The programme is designed so each candidate will receive an education with both breadth over the subject and depth within his/her specialist area. The course component for the PhD Programme consists of 90 credits, of which 30 credits are mandatory courses individually designed for each PhD student and 60 elective credits. Depending on research interests and educational background, there are individual requirements for courses for different PhD students.


Seminars constitute a significant element in the PhD Programme. All PhD students are expected to participate actively in seminars, research workshops, and the like, arranged at the specific division of the department of Industrial Economics and Management.

In addition, all PhD students in the Programme are required to present their research at least three times during their studies at the PhD Programme Seminars open to everybody in the department:

1.    Thesis Proposal Seminar—after approximately 1 year (25%) of studies,

2.    Midterm Seminar—after 2–2.5 years (50%) of studies, and

3.    Final Seminar—6–12 months (90% of studies) before the defense.

At these seminars the PhD student presents and discusses his/her research with an external, senior professor acting as an informal ‘examiner’/discussant. The purpose is to generate quality and support the PhD student in his/her research.

Department duty

Participating in the daily work of the department is an integral part of the PhD programme. PhD students with employment contracts are required to teach or to perform other department duties, typically 20 % of the work time over the whole period of studies. Department duties are assigned based on individual skills, preferences, and overall demand considerations.

PhD students participating in teaching in courses at BSc or MSc levels are required to take a basic course in university pedagogics 

Work environment

Candidates with employment contracts are offered a work station at an office, full access to a computer, printer, office services, and the like, and full participation in the department's seminars, information meetings, and the other joint activities.

For industrial (executive) candidates, there is an individual agreement on the availability of infrastructure, office services, and so forth, in each specific case. The intention is that the industrial candidates shall enrich the academic environment through active participation in department activities.

It is highly recommended that an industrial candidate spend at least 30% of his/her working hours physically at the department.

Belongs to: Department of Industrial Economics and Management
Last changed: Jan 09, 2014