Agricultural University of Iceland Regulations for the Doctoral Programme (Ph.D. 180 ECTS)
Art. 1. The Agricultural University of Iceland’s Education Committee and faculties
The Education Committee of the Agricultural University of Iceland, along with faculties, handles matters concerning doctorates within the University. The role of the Committee is to process doctorate applications after deliberation by faculties. The Committee shall also manage major changes to a course plan after studies commence. A student can refer a dispute with the Doctoral Committee to the Education Committee.
Art. 2. Application deadline
The application deadline for research programmes at the Agricultural University of Iceland is 15
April for a course beginning in the autumn semester and 15 October for a course beginning in spring.
Art. 3. Application process
The application process for prospective Doctorate students is as follows:
a. The student finds a supervisor (see Art. 9. and 10.).
b. The student seeks entry to the Doctoral Programme on a special form available at the Education Office/AUI website. An application for the Doctoral Programme shall include a draft course plan and concise description of the research project and research plan.
Applications shall be lodged at the AUI Education Office.
c. A draft application for funding to finance the course should also be included with the application.
d. If the principal supervisor works for AUI, s/he is also the overseer (see Art. 9. and 10.) and along with the student submits a final course plan to the Education Committee for consideration. In addition to the principal supervisor, two co-supervisors need to be nominated who together form a Doctoral Committee. Another co-supervisor also functions
as an overseer if the principal supervisor is not working for AUI. The Education Committee approves the application (provisionally if dependent on funding) or rejects it, explaining why it doesn’t fulfil all the requirements. Applications are then referred to the faculty which comments on them. On receiving the faculty’s comments, the Education Committee notifies applicants of the outcome in writing.
e. Applications received before 15 April shall be processed by May 25. Applications received by 15 October shall be processed by 15 November.
Art. 4. Entry requirements
An applicant needs to have completed an MS from the University or hold an equivalent academic qualification from another academic institution in order to enrol in the Doctorate at AUI.
Art. 5. Number of units
A Doctorate following a Master’s shall be at least 180 ECTS units, which corresponds to three years’ full-time study.
On graduating, a student shall show that s/he has been registered and paid the registration fees throughout the period of study, or in accordance with more detailed rules which may be set by the University. A student may exceed the three years’ intended course duration by 50%.
Art. 6. Composition of studies
A doctoral student shall complete at least 30 ECTS units in coursework. Units are earned by participating in subjects at an Icelandic or foreign university in accordance with the agreed course plan. The maximum units a doctoral student may take in reading subjects with a supervisor is 9 ECTS. It’s desirable that a student takes part in teaching within her/his speciality during the course.
The minimum grade for a subject to be counted as part of the doctorate is 6,0.
Art. 7. Interdependence of a Master’s and PhD
A Master’s thesis may not be used as part of a PhD.
Art. 8. Doctoral subjects
Subjects in the doctoral programme shall usually be specific doctoral subjects at an Icelandic or foreign university.
Art. 9. Overseer and supervisor
From the beginning of the course, each Doctoral student shall have an overseer from among the permanent teachers (Professors or Associate Professors) in the respective field, whom s/he consults about the organisation of the course, choice of subjects and anything else related to the programme.
The principal supervisor supervises the student in the doctoral work. The overseer and the principal supervisor are typically the same person. However, the Education Committee and faculty can require that the student have an external supervisor who fulfils the requirements of these regulations, cf. Art. 10.
Art. 10. Requirements of the overseer and supervisor
The overseer shall always be a permanent teacher in the field concerned. The doctoral student’s principal supervisor shall always be a recognised expert in the respective field and have published articles in respected international journals in the field. The student’s research project shall be in the supervisor’s field of expertise.
Art. 11. Doctoral Committee
The Doctoral Committee shall constitute three specialists appointed by the faculty, and shall include the overseer and principal supervisor and co-supervisor/s. One of these shall work outside the respective faculty. The Doctoral Committee invites the doctoral student to a meeting as necessary during the period of study and holds an exam for her/him half way through. Before defending the doctorate, the Doctoral Committee submits supported views to the faculty about whether the doctoral candidate is ready to submit the thesis for defence.
Art. 12. Examiners and opponents
A faculty nominates two opponents to the Education Committee for the doctoral defence and they shall be independent parties, who do not hold a seat on the Doctoral Committee. One of the opponents shall be from outside the faculty and it’s preferable that s/he come from another university. The other may be from within the faculty.
Art. 13. Assessment
The Doctoral Committee examines the doctoral candidate in general scholarly knowledge and research methods in the respective field half way through the course of study when subjects shall usually be completed. A student must pass the exam if s/he is to continue in the doctoral programme. If the Committee does not pass a student, it shall defend its decision. A doctoral programme concludes with the student submitting the thesis and presenting a lecture on it. The faculty appoints three people to the Evaluation Committee to assess the scientific merit of the work, which supports the doctoral candidate’s application. People from outside the University, including foreigners, may be appointed to the Committee. The Committee submits a written and supported report to the faculty. If it is the unanimous view of the Committee members that the work submitted by the candidate does not satisfy the requirements of a doctoral thesis, the faculty shall then deny the candidate from being awarded the doctorate. The faculty usually assesses for itself with the Committee’s view, whether the candidate is offered the alternative of resitting the exam.
If the faculty believes the thesis to be admissible for defending the doctorate, it then nominates two opponents for the oral defence of the thesis. The doctoral candidate shall then defend the thesis at the University in public, on a day set by the faculty, but the thesis/es should have been public at least four weeks before the oral defence commences. When the thesis is being submitted the student shall also provide the Doctoral Committee with her/his official results.
Art. 14. Submission and format of the doctoral theses
The Doctoral thesis shall be submitted to the Doctoral Committee and opponents no more than six weeks before defending. The final thesis shall be a collection of articles which have been published or submitted for publication in international journals. A detailed introduction with a summary and an overview of the work shall always be included with the collection of articles. In exceptional cases the thesis may be in the form of a book. The Education Office provides instructions about the format and appearance of theses, the number of copies, the cost of these and submission to the University library and also approves the final format.
A thesis shall usually be in English but each doctoral thesis should include an abstract in Icelandic and English.
Art. 15. Association with other universities
Part of a doctorate may be taken at another Icelandic or foreign university. The weighting of subjects and projects at AUI and other universities shall be stated clearly in the course plan which is submitted to the Education Committee and faculty for approval of the enrolment.
Art. 16. Degree title
The award of a doctorate gives the right to use the academic title of Ph.D.
Agreed by the Education Committee and the University Council, March 2006