Public defence

Public defence of a thesis

Both the licentiate seminar and the defence of a doctoral thesis should be open to the public and the thesis publicly available.


The licentiate seminar, is led by an external reviewer (opponent) elected by the doctoral students Examiner.

During the licentiate seminar, the doctoral student initially presents a general presentation of the subject and the results of the thesis. Thereafter the external reviewer (opponent) will discuss the thesis with the doctoral students based on the questions he/she will have.

Provided the external reviewer (opponent) understands, the doctoral student is entitled to choose to speak in Swedish or English.

After the seminar the thesis will receive a grade of pass or fail. The grade is decided by the doctoral students Examiner.


The appointed Chairman of the public defence decides on the order of the public defence, which is usually as follows:

  1. The defence is opened by the Chairman explaining the order of the defence after which the Chairman presents the doctoral student, the title of the dissertation, external reviewer (opponent) as well as the members of the Examination committee.
  2. The floor is given to the doctoral student, who explains possible corrections of typographical errors or other corrections in the dissertation.
  3. The external reviewer (opponent) or doctoral student makes a presentation of the thesis, including a description of how the thesis contributes to science and practice in the field.
  4. A discussion begins where the opponent presents his or her questions and views on scientific relevance, methods and results and where the doctoral student orally defends the dissertation against the reviewer’s questions.
  5. Members of the Examination committee may then ask questions to the doctoral student.
  6. The floor is then opened up for questions, whereby the audience has the right to ask questions to the doctoral student in the order
    decided by the chairman.

Provided the reviewer and members of the Examination committee understand, the doctoral student is entitled to choose to speak in Swedish or English.

After the defence the Examination committee will deliberate and decide by majority decision if the thesis should be awarded the grade pass or fail.