How To Get A Phd In Child And Youth Development

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PhD program in Child and Youth Participation and Competence Development at LUC Version 20/03/2012

The PhD program, Child and Youth Participation and Competence Development, is an interdisciplinary doctoral degree program. The aim of the program is to train researchers who want to build and disseminate knowledge about the participation and competence development of children and youth as they encounter a complex society.

The doctoral program contributes to basic and applied research in the area of child and youth participation and competence development. Such research also promotes research-based

knowledge relevant for professions working with children and youth. In that sense, the program also contributes to research that is professionally relevant, i.e., research that has direct or indirect relevance for professions that in various ways seek to facilitate and promote child and youth participation and competence development in different arenas.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the PhD program, students will have:

1. mastered general scientific theory and methodology, and gained insight into central discussions within the philosophy of science.

2. acquired a platform for insight into and critical reflection about various understandings of child and youth participation and competence development as conveyed in theoretical works, empirical research, and professional practices. They will also have gained knowledge about different societal and professional initiatives in this area.

3. knowledge of key research issues in the core area of child and youth participation and competence development, and in their own area of specialization.

4. gained knowledge that provides the skills needed to teach and supervise within the field of child and youth participation and competence development, and in their own area of specialization.

5. gained knowledge and training enabling them to conduct and disseminate research at an international level.

The PhD program is a three-year program and consists of: An approved course component

An independent research project completed with guidance from the candidate’s supervisor, and, if applicable, other researchers



Participation in national and international research communities Presentations and dissemination related to the PhD thesis

Requirements for applying to the PhD program in Child and Youth Competence Development

In order to apply to the PhD program, the applicant needs to provide:

1) certified copies of all documents relevant to his or her educational background 2) a funding plan for the entire length of the study program (three years)

3) a plan of study as specified on the application form (an English version of the application form is under development)

4) a project description Academic qualifications

In order to apply to the PhD-program, the applicant must have academic qualifications that are equivalent to a Norwegian master’s degree. A Norwegian master’s degree includes at least two-years of post-graduate studies, and normally also includes writing a master’s thesis. Our program requires all applicants to have written an academic paper of a similar extent and scope as a Norwegian master’s thesis.

The applicant’s grades at post-graduate level must be excellent. An average grade of B, using the ECTS system, is required. For applicants who come from countries that do not use the ECTS grading system, grades will be assessed by using guidelines from the Norwegian Agency for Quality in Education.

If considered necessary, the program reserves the right to request further documentation or to require that the applicant complete a pre-qualification program.

Language requirements

We require that foreign applicants have an IELTS - International English Language Testing System (academic) test with a minimum score of 6.0.


1. Students who have completed a minimum of one year's university studies in academic subjects in UK, USA, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia.

2. Students who have completed a minimum of one year of Master's degree studies with English as a language of instruction in one of the Nordic countries

3. Students who have completed a Bachelor degree with English as a language of instruction in one of the Nordic countries.



6. Students who have passed University of Cambridge exams, Proficiency (CPE) or Advanced (CAE), with a grade B or better.

7. Students who have passed Advanced Placement International English Language examination (APIEL) with a minimum of 4 points.


Applicants must document full funding for the entire length of the study program (three years). Some possibilities to finance the PhD program:

1. For full funding of the project, application may be made for an individual doctoral degree fellowship from the relevant department. These few fellowships are occasionally

advertised, as part of of all academic positions at Lillehammer University College. 2. Equivalent doctoral degree fellowships from other countries may also be accepted.

Norway is an expensive country, see the website on budget and cost of living in Norway. Also, please note that PhD students are considered guest researchers and not normally offered accommodation in student housing. The expenses may be approximate NOK 50 000 per year for housing.

3. Applicants who are affiliated with major projects or who are already employed at academic institutions may apply. This also goes for applicants who are guaranteed three years to work full-time on the research project by their employer.

Applicants applying for a Quota scheme scholarship should indicate this on the application form. Quota scholarships are only available for students from developing countries affiliated with institutions with which LUC has an institutional agreement in place.

Plan of study

Applicants should use the application form to specify a proposed plan of study. The plan of study should include:

working title of the dissertation

brief description of the research project, including research topic, research question, choice of theory and methods

plan for completing the study program funding plan

if applicable, specification of particular infrastructural needs

proposed supervisors and if applicable, any particular special needs in relation to supervision

if applicable, plans for spending a certain period of the study programme at a foreign institution

plan for disseminating the results of the PhD project



information about any copy right restrictions for the purposes of protecting the rights of other parties

Research project proposal

The research project proposal should be about 5-10 pages long and should include:

discussion of relevant theory and previous research in relation to the project’s research question and methodological approach

description and justification for the topic and research questions description and justification for the choice of methods

a schedule for completing the project references

More about the course component of the PhD program

The course component includes the academic and methodological training that is necessary for the completion of the student’s PhD project, and should also provide an in-depth understanding of child and youth participation and competence development as an area of knowledge.

Moreover, it should offer the student practice in communicating academic research to other academics, fellow students and the general public. The PhD program is responsible for offering training at a high scientific level. If the courses necessary to complete the course component are not offered a LUC, the PhD program will work to ensure that students may complete the required courses at other institutions approved to offer studies at PhD level. In the case of subjects in which there are no appropriate courses on offer, an independent reading course may be approved as a part of the course component.

The course component includes courses that amount to a minimum of 30 ECTS and a maximum of 45 ECTS. 20 ECTS are covered by obligatory courses, the remaining credits should be covered by elective courses.

Obligatory courses:

1. Philosophy of Science and Research Ethics (10 ECTS). This course is offered annually at LUC.

2. Theories of Child and Youth Competence Development (5 ECTS). This course is offered every other year at LUC.


5 Elective courses:

This requirement of the PhD program may be fulfilled by completing one or more of the options listed below. Normally, the elective courses should be completed after the student has been accepted to the PhD program.

1. Courses about themes and theories relevant for the student’s PhD project. The courses might be offered at LUC or at other institutions.

2. Courses about methods of particular relevance for the PhD project.

3. Presentation of research findings from the PhD project at international conferences (Students may receive up to 3 ECTS for such presentations.) Participation at the

conferences must be documented by providing a copy of the conference program which lists the student’s name as a presenter.

Principles for selecting courses

It is essential that students are offered training at a high scientific level and that it is possible to complete the study program within the given time frame. In order to ensure this, the following principles for selecting the courses that are included in the course component have been formulated:

Students should select courses that do not overlap in terms of content

Students may select courses given by LUC or by other institutions that offer study programs at PhD level

Students must discuss course selections with their supervisor ahead of time to make sure that the courses they select will be approved

A course plan (including an overview of ECTS completed and planned) should be

devised for each semester. The PhD student, with guidance from the student’s supervisor, is responsible for selecting and completing courses according to the requirements listed here.

Approval of the course component

The course component should be completed as early as possible during the study program, it must be completed and approved before the PhD thesis is submitted. In order to apply for approval, the student must complete the appropriate application form and send it to LUC’s PhD Committee. It is recommended that students submit their applications as soon as they have completed the course component. The student must submit documentation (transcript or




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