PHDHEV Health and welfare

Health and welfare

    • Number of credits
    • Part-time/full-time
    • Start semester
      2024 Autumn
    • Language of instruction
    • Campus

Level of qualification:

Third Cycle/Level 8, Norwegian Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning. Successfully completed PhD education leads to the degree of Philosophiae doctor. 

The PhD programme has a nominal length of three (3) years of full-time study, and consists of a training element of 30 credits and a research element (thesis) of 150 credits. The training element consists of a compulsory section of 15 credits and an elective section of 15 credits. 

Programme structure and content

The PhD programme of study consists of a training element of 30 credits and a research element (thesis) of 150 credits. 

The training element consists of a compulsory section of 15 credits and an elective section of 15 credits. The compulsory training element should be completed during the first academic year of study. 

Candidates can choose between four elective courses within the PhD programme, or, after receiving approval, courses related to other PhD programmes at INN University or at other educational institutions. Upon further assessment, one credit may be given for participation at national conferences and two for participation at international conferences. One credit may also be given for presentation of posters at international conferences. Up to three credits can also be given in the training element for presentation of papers or posters at research conferences. Credits for participation at national and international conferences and presentation of papers/posters at research conferences may be included in the 15 elective credits in the training element, but not included in a course. 

The most important element of the PhD programme is the independent piece of research work, which is to be carried out under active academic supervision. Reference is also made to the Regulations relating to the philosophiae doctor (PhD) degree at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences and to the Supplementary Guidelines for the PhD programme Health and Welfare. 

Compulsory training element, 15 credits: 

The compulsory training element consists of the profile courses called ‘Health and Welfare — Approaches and Perspectives’ and ‘Methodology, Philosophy of Science and Research Ethics’. These courses are offered annually. 

Elective training element, 15 credits: 

The elective courses offered within the programme all have an interdisciplinary perspective, and help to give breadth and depth to the programme of study’s profile. Elective courses are offered annually, but a minimum of 5 participants are required for each course to commence.  

Teaching is mainly conducted in Scandinavian languages and English, depending on the native language of the lecturer. If there are participants who do not use Scandinavian languages, English is used as a course language. 

Presentation of papers/posters at research conferences: 
At international conferences, two credits for presentation of papers and one credit for presentation of posters are approved. 
At national conferences, one credit is approved for presentation of papers. 

Up to three credits can also be given in the training element for presentation of papers or posters at research conferences. 

Course Models
About the study

The PhD in ‘Health and Welfare’ is an interdisciplinary research programme based on social science, health science, public health science and sports science. 

The PhD in Health and Welfare is organised as an interdisciplinary programme and will give candidates a high level of academic expertise and independence. The programme is based on a recognition that various research and scientific approaches are needed in order to understand complex relationships within the field of health and welfare. The interdisciplinary element enables a focus on the interaction that takes place between individual, interpersonal and societal relationships, both individually and the interaction that takes place between them. Candidates will develop knowledge about how health and welfare vary over time, related to both acute challenges and the life cycle perspective, and develop understanding of how this relates to biological, social, educational, organisational and political relationships. The programme includes 

Learning Outcome

A candidate who has completed their doctoral degree will have achieved the following learning outcomes, defined as knowledge, skills and general competence: 

Learning outcome - Knowledge


  • are at the forefront of knowledge and research within the field of health and welfare. 

  • can assess the appropriateness and application of theories and methods in research and academic development projects that form the basis of the PhD programme’s subject area of health and welfare. 

  • can contribute to the development of new knowledge, theories and methods that are important for an inter-scientific approach to the field of health and welfare. 

Learning outcome - Skills


  • can formulate issues, plan and carry out research, development work and innovative processes within the PhD programme’s subject area of health and welfare. 

  • can conduct research in the field of health and welfare at a high international level. 

  • can deal with complex academic issues and challenge established knowledge and practice within the field of health and welfare. 

Learning outcome - General competence


  • can identify and assess relevant issues regarding scientific theory and research ethics within the field of health and welfare, and conduct research according to established research ethics norms. 

  • can manage complex interdisciplinary work tasks and projects. 

  • can disseminate research and participate in debates in recognised national and international channels. 

  • can assess the need for, initiate and conduct innovative processes in the field of health and welfare. 

Teaching and working methods

The PhD programme aims to establish a balance between general research expertise, general theoretical and empirical expertise within the field health and welfare, and the PhD candidate’s specialisation within the subject area on which they will be writing their thesis. 

The training element will include the academic and methodological basis required for work on the thesis, and provide detailed insight into the subject area. Furthermore, it provides the candidate with experience in disseminating academic work to peers, students and the general public. Working and teaching methods include lectures, seminars, presentations, self-study, academic supervision, independent work and group work. The use of online learning platforms and methods will be included in the programme of study. During the programme of study, all PhD candidates will be expected to submit at least one contribution to research dissemination, with the form of this dissemination being assessed and selected in consultation with academic supervisors. Such contributions may take many different forms, such as teaching at bachelor’s or master’s level, giving lectures, writing opinion pieces, popular science works or presentation of papers at conferences or research seminars. 

The composition of the course will ensure high academic quality, with PhD candidates, in collaboration with academic supervisors, ensuring that they select courses so that the composition fulfils the requirements that apply to the training element. Parts of the course section may be taken at other institutions. The PhD candidates should be affiliated with research groups at INN University. 

Good academic supervision is a prerequisite for ensuring a high standard of academic work, progress in thesis work and completion within the nominal length of time. PhD candidates will normally be assigned two academic supervisors, appointed by the PhD leader. The main academic supervisor will be responsible for the academic follow-up of doctoral students. If the main academic supervisor is not from INN University, the internal co-supervisor will be responsible for follow-up. 

Follow-up seminars are organised during the thesis work in order to ensure its progress and quality: start-up seminar, midway seminar (after 50% of planned PhD period) and final seminar/final reading (after 80% of planned PhD period). At these seminars, the candidate presents their thesis and will receive feedback on certain sections of it. See detailed description and guidelines for these seminars in paragraphs 8-1 of the Supplementary Guidelines for the PhD Programme in Health and Welfare. 

Target group

The target group for the PhD programme in Health and Welfare are applicants who hold a relevant master’s degree or equivalent, who wish to study a research degree in health and welfare and have a relevant thesis statement for their PhD project. 

Admission requirements

Master's degree (120 credits)

For admission to the PhD programme, applicants must normally have an approved master’s degree of 120 credits/ECTS. Applicants should have a strong academic background from previous study. 

The minimum academic requirement is a weighted average grade B. Calculation of this takes place in accordance with Section 5-1 of the Regulations relating to the philosophiae doctor (PhD) degree at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. 

Admission ranking
Søkerne rangeres etter Forskrift for graden philosophia doctor (ph.d) ved Høgskolen i Innlandet
Career prospects and further studies

In the field of health and welfare, both national and international steering documents emphasise the need for interdisciplinary expertise and cross-sectoral efforts. 

PhD candidates who are able to meet the needs of inter-scientific expertise will be able to meet key societal needs in research and education, as well as in various service areas and sectors. They will be sought-after candidates for research institutes, the university and university college sector, and increasingly for health enterprises, welfare management and other parts of the public and private health and welfare field. 


Høgskolen ønsker å stimulere doktorgradsstipendiater til å gjennomføre et opphold ved en undervisnings- eller forskningsinstitusjon i utlandet som en del av studiet, og det forventes at kandidatene har fremlegg/presentasjon på minst én internasjonal konferanse i løpet av ph.d.-perioden. HINN har samarbeidsavtaler om forskeropphold/opphold for doktorgradsstudenter.

Det legges vekt på åtilby gjesteforelesninger og seminarer med internasjonale forelesere,og at kandidaten deltari internasjonale nettverk til forskergruppen(e)de er knyttet til.

Information- and source competence

The university wishes to encourage doctoral fellows to conduct part of their studies at a teaching or research institution abroad, and candidates are expected to give a presentation at at least one international conference during the PhD period. INN University has collaborative research agreements with foreign institutions for PhD students. 

Emphasis is placed on offering guest lectures and seminars with international lecturers, and that candidates participate in the international networks associated with the research group/s to which they are affiliated. 

Research based teaching

The academic staff associated with the PhD programme’s training element are at the forefront of their research areas, and base their teaching on the leading research in the field. Candidates join research groups together with active and experienced researchers, and continuous focus will be placed on relevant research literature. 

Assessment methods

Various forms of assessment are used in the PhD programme: oral presentations, both compulsory and optional, in which an opponent/commentator is normally used to assess the work and the candidate’s progress. The training element consists of courses and the requirement in order to pass will normally be written examinations in the form of e.g. essays or papers. 

The examinations will be graded as passed/failed. Further descriptions of the assessment schemes for each course can be found in the course descriptions. 

Based on the approved training element and written thesis, the candidate will defend their doctoral thesis through a trial lecture on a given subject and the public defence. 

Faculty of Social and Health Sciences
Department of Social Science and Guidance