PhD Programme in Engineering Science Programme description

Programme name, Norwegian
PhD Programme in Engineering Science
Valid from
2023 FALL
ECTS credits
180 ECTS credits
6 semesters
Here you can find an example schedule for first year students.
Programme history


The legal basis for this plan is laid down in Act of 1 April 2005 No. 15 relating to universities and university colleges and in the Regulations relating to the Degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University (hereinafter referred to as "PhD Regulations").

The PhD Programme in Engineering Science is firmly rooted in the broad international tradition of PhD studies in engineering technology and engineering science. The programme builds on the scientific strengths of the engineering departments at the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design and on the research groups at Simula Metropolitan Center for Digital Engineering (SimulaMet).

The programme supports the needs for highly qualified expertise in engineering in industry, the public sector and in academia. The programme prepares students for positions in industry as well as in academia, and is designed to ensure that they are able to take on demanding and important roles in the private and public sectors, where in-depth expertise and knowledge of engineering science are required.

In this PhD programme, the term engineering science is defined as follows:

Engineering science is a discipline that concerns with the physical and mathematical basis of engineering and technology. In the modern world it implies chemical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, bioengineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, aeronautical engineering and environmental engineering.

The three key elements of this definition are applied mathematics and physics in the broad sense, engineering and technology. The interrelationship between these terms is as follows: from the basis of applied mathematics and physics, engineers are able to understand physical phenomena, which in applied form leads to engineering solutions to problems in society. Technology can be seen both as the tool used in the engineering process and as the result of the process itself.

In the PhD programme, the students are exposed to applied mathematics and physics, engineering and technology in the context of developing products and solutions for the advancement and well-being of society. This will be done through a doctoral thesis (150 ECTS credits), compulsory coursework in research methods and ethics (10 ECTS credits), and elective coursework in various aspects of engineering science (20 ECTS credits).

The thesis will address a defined set of challenges in society, and will consist of research into the application and development of knowledge in applied mathematics, physics, engineering and/or technology to address these challenges. 

Target group

The programme is aimed at persons with a background in engineering, information technology and similar technological disciplines who wish to acquire research skills at the highest level within the field of engineering science, and who wish to obtain a skillset that is valuable both in an academic research setting and in society as a whole.

On completion of the programme, the students will be qualified for careers in engineering and engineering management, in advanced technical consulting, and in research and teaching at universities and research institutes

Admission requirements

The programme will build on a master's degree in an engineering discipline, applied mathematics or physics, or a similar master's degree relevant to the PhD programme.

Formal requirements:

3.1.Norwegian master's degree in an engineering discipline, applied mathematics or physics worth 120 ECTS


3.2.Foreign degree-equivalent in an engineering discipline, applied mathematics or physics, equivalent to a master's degree in the Norwegian higher education system. In cases where the foreign master¿s degree does not comprise 120 ECTS, admission may be granted subject to individual assessment, provided the qualification presented grants access to PhD studies in the country of origin.

3.3.The average grade awarded for the bachelor's degree must not be lower than a C.

3.4.The average grade awarded for the master's degree must not be lower than a B.

3.5.A minimum grade of B must be awarded to the master's thesis.

Documentation of the completed education on which the decision regarding admission should be based (certified copies of original certificates) must be submitted.

Students seeking admission to the programme, must submit an application providing the following information:

1. A description of the research work that will lead to the thesis. This description shall consist of:

  • A problem statement that is related to a societal problem that can be solved - completely or partly - through engineering preferably pointing out interdisciplinary aspects.

  • A project plan describing the background and identifying a research gap to demonstrate that the student has an overview of the research field.

  • The project plan should include a proposed research design to solve the problem.

  • A milestone plan for finishing the thesis.

  • A publication plan.

  • A plan for internationalisation.

  • Specification of language in which the dissertation will be written

  • Information about any possible restrictions connected to intellectual property rights that may affect the planned project.

  • If the project calls for special academic or material resources, this must be documented in the application.

2. A list of coursework to fulfill the 30 ECTS coursework requirement

3. Supervisor's signature

4. A funding plan.

5. An account of prospective judicial and/or ethical issues the project may present.

6. Information on whether the project requires approval by research ethics committees, other public authorities or private actors. This kind of approval should be collected pre-submission when possible, and attached to the application.

Excellent English language skills are required for all participants in this PhD programme. International students must document this before appointment by taking one of the following tests and achieving the stipulated minimum total scores:

  • TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language, internet-based test (IBT). Minimum total score: 92. Or Paper based test with a minimum score of 600

  • IELTS - International English Language Testing Service. Minimum overall band score: 6.5. Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) and Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) from the University of Cambridge.

  • PTE Academic - Pearson Test of English Academic. Minimum overall score: 62.

The following applicants are exempt from the abovementioned language requirements:

  • Applicants from EU/EEA countries

  • Applicants who have completed one year of university studies in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK or the US

  • Applicants with an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma

Decisions on admissions are based on an overall assessment of the applications. The doctoral committee at the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design at OsloMet shall consider admission applications.

Admissions to the PhD Programme in Engineering Science are considered on an ongoing basis. Pursuant to the PhD Regulations, section 2-6, admission to PhD programmes is formalised by a written contract between the PhD student, the supervisor(s) and the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design.

An application for admission to the PhD programme should normally be submitted within three (3) months after the start of the research project which will lead to the degree.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the PhD Programme in Engineering Science, each student shall have achieved the following learning outcomes, in accordance with the Norwegian Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning:


On graduation, the student:

  • is at the forefront of knowledge within the engineering science topic of his/her thesis and masters the field's scientific theories, principles and methods.

  • is at the forefront of knowledge in his/her professional field of engineering

  • has breadth of knowledge and an ability for cross-disciplinary work in engineering science.

  • can evaluate the expediency and application of theories, methods and processes in research, scholarly projects and professional engineering projects specific to his/her field of engineering.

  • can contribute to the development and documentation of new knowledge and methods within her/his field of engineering science.


On graduation, the student can:

  • formulate research questions, plan and conduct independent research and scholarly work within engineering science.

  • carry out independent research and scholarly work at a high international level.

  • deal with complex professional issues with an academic approach and reflect critically on established knowledge and practice in the field.

  • apply technologies, scientific methods, digital and simulation tools suitable for solving complex engineering problems.

  • develop innovative, sustainable engineering solutions and transform the latest scientific discoveries into enabling new technologies.

General competence

On graduation, the student can:

  • identify, discuss and reflect upon ethical and societal implications of his/her own research as well as of the applications it enables.

  • produce scientific publications and communicate research and development work through recognised national and international channels.

  • participate in debates and present his/her research at national and international fora.

  • assess the need for, initiate and drive innovation.

Content and structure

The programme is divided into two main parts:

  • Training component (30 ECTS credits).

  • Research component (150 ECTS credits).

The programme structure is flexible in that students may choose when to take the courses in order to adapt the training component to their individual theses. All courses are concluded with an examination. The academic year lasts for 40 weeks, and students are expected to work 37.5 hours per week. This includes scheduled activities, individual activities, and the examination.

Students who wish to use external courses to fulfil an elective element in the training component will be given supervision in finding such courses at other units at OsloMet or at other national or international institutions. The doctoral committee at the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design shall consider the approval of such courses in individual applications. Students are advised to apply for approval in advance. The doctoral committee considers the approval of external courses only if the course is not provided at OsloMet. This has to be argued by the supervisor in the application for appoval.

The PhD Programme in Engineering Science is built on education and research related to the following engineering disciplines:

  • Civil engineering - where OsloMet has activities in structural engineering, building technology, energy and indoor climate.

  • Digital Engineering and Computational Science - where OsloMet and SimulaMet have activities in universal design, scientific computing, security and reliability, IT management, software engineering, learning systems, autonomous systems and networks, modelling and simulation.

  • Electrical engineering - where OsloMet has activities in robotics, automation and health technology.

The programme will be structured as follows:

  • 5 ECTS - Engineering Science and Ethics - compulsory course

  • 5 ECTS - Scientific Research Methods and Data Analysis in Engineering Science - compulsory course

  • 20 ECTS - Combination of specialisation courses each worth 5 or 10 ECTS, chosen from the list of elective courses offered by OsloMet, or external courses approved on an individual basis.

  • 150 ECTS - Doctoral thesis

The study will build on a master's degree in an engineering discipline, applied mathematics or physics, or on a similar master's degree relevant to the PhD programme. Based on this requirement, students will be required to:

1. Complete 30 ECTS of coursework comprising two compulsory courses each worth 5 ECTS and 20 ECTS of either elective courses chosen from the list of courses offered in the programme or courses from other faculties/institutions, subject to approval by the doctoral committee.

2. Write a thesis at the forefront of research. The thesis will account for 150 ECTS, and may be submitted in either monograph or article-based format.

The PhD programme may be undertaken either as a full-time programme over three years or as a part-time programme over four years combined with 25% required duties.

Training component

The training component promotes the students' research and competence development. It comprises courses offering theoretical and methodological training in writing the thesis. The compulsory courses will provide students with a joint theoretical and methodological platform. The content and curricula of the compulsory courses are composed in order to cover the entire scope of Engineering Science.

The elective element of the PhD programme forms multidisciplinary arenas that will support interdisciplinary research. The courses integrate scientific theories and methods that are relevant to the areas of research in engineering science. The elective courses are thematically and methodically rooted in the research activities of the faculty and SimulaMet, and offer students the opportunity to specialise in approaches and ways of thinking that are particularly relevant to their thesis.

The PhD programme is closely linked to current research, and students will contribute to developing the respective fields of study through their own projects.

Compulsory courses, worth a total of 10 ECTS credits (each offered once a year):

  • Engineering Science and Ethics (5 ECTS credits)

  • Scientific Research Methods and Data Analysis in Engineering Science (5 ECTS credits)


Elective courses, worth a total of 20 ECTS credits. Students choose freely from the following courses:

  • Advanced Project within Structural Engineering and Building Technology (10 ECTS credits)

  • Finite Element Modelling and Simulation of Structures (10 ECTS credits)

  • Advanced Topics in Building Services Engineering (10 ECTS credits)

  • Universal Design in Multidiciplinary contexts (10 ECTS credits)

  • Cloud Computing and Security (10 ECTS credits)

  • Topics in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (10 credits)

  • Applied Mathematical Modelling and Analysis (10 credits)

  • Advanced Topics in Biomedical Engineering (10 ECTS credits)

  • Advanced topics in Robotics and Control (10 ECTS credits)

  • Evidence based Engineering (5 ECTS credits)

  • Future Energy Information Networks (5 ECTS credits)

  • Internet Architecture and Measurements (10 ECTS credits)


The elective courses will be offered once a year provided 3 or more students sign up for the course. If less than 3 students sign up for the course, the course may be cancelled for that year but not necessarily.


The students are responsible for acquiring knowledge and skills in research methods relevant to their chosen field of expertise. Methodology courses can be chosen from OsloMet's portfolio or at other institutions. External courses must be approved by the programme committee, preferably prior to starting the course.

Research component

The research component amounts to the work on the doctoral thesis (150 ECTS credits). Work on the thesis is spread across all six semesters and includes planning and conducting the research project, processing the results, and structuring and writing the thesis. The thesis may be produced as a compilation of articles or as a monograph; see the PhD Regulations under 'Training component' above.

An article-based thesis must contain at least three articles and an introductory chapter displaying the relationship between the articles. The student must be the sole author of the introduction and the main author of at least two of the articles. If articles are included where the student is not the main author, he/she must confirm in writing that he/she meets the requirements for co-authorship by stating her/his material contribution to the article in terms of collecting data, interpreting results, and which parts of the article he/she has written. On submission of the thesis, at least one of the articles must already be accepted for publication.

Optional course Spans multiple semesters

Teaching and learning methods

The learning outcomes of the programme include knowledge at the forefront of research, complex skills, and a high level of general competence in the field of engineering science. This means that the working and teaching methods will be sufficiently varied and complex to support the student's learning process on the way to achieving the learning outcomes.

Training component


The lectures will cover key topics in the courses and will disseminate current issues and new research findings.


Achievement of the learning outcomes depends mainly on the degree to which the PhD student makes effective use of the instruction and supervision offered and accepts responsibility for working independently. Self-study entails student-initiated activities such as individual study and cooperation with fellow students. The starting point consists of theoretical and methodological issues and a knowledge base in engineering science.


Organised group work requires students to discuss given research problems based on a topic covered in the course and on their respective academic backgrounds. This offers the students opportunities to reflect on multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research problems. The outcomes of the seminars are presented and discussed in plenary sessions, providing students with training in both academic dissemination and peer review.

Practical application of methodology

Different methodologies are applied in practical exercises, such as research interviews, qualitative and quantitative analyses, and different types of software. This provides students with practical experience in addressing, for example, complex analyses.

Research component

Research work

The working methods for the thesis consist mostly of self-study and research activities. Selfstudy entails student-initiated activities such as individual study and cooperation with fellow students and researchers. Research activities involve planning and conducting the student¿s own research, processing the results, and designing the thesis. This part constitutes the most important contribution to the PhD student's research competence.


Supervisors are appointed by the doctoral committee. The main supervisor shall have overall academic responsibility for the PhD student and shall normally be an employee of OsloMet or SimulaMet. As a general rule, the student shall also have a co-supervisor from OsloMet or from another institution. If an external main supervisor is appointed, an employee of OsloMet or SimulaMet shall be appointed as co-supervisor. Each PhD student is entitled to 210 hours of supervision, including preliminary and follow-up work during the course of the nominal length of study. A time schedule for tutorials and a work schedule must be agreed upon at the first tutorial in each semester. Supervision includes time spent on preparatory work, discussions with the PhD student, and follow-up work. Requirements regarding supervisors and rights and obligations are regulated in the PhD Regulations, sections 3-1 to 3-3. The PhD student and the supervisor(s) must independently submit annual progress reports for assessment and approval by the faculty's doctoral committee. Supervision of the thesis shall ensure that the project is in accordance with ethical guidelines and shall contribute to the design of research problems and the quality of the methods to be used.

Participation in research communities

The student¿s projects are linked to OsloMet¿s established research communities via the student¿s supervisors and the student¿s own involvement in research groups and other research activity. Active participation will provide students with insights into research management and experience in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research cooperation, and provide them with opportunities to discuss research problems and designs, challenge established knowledge and practice, and present their own projects. Students will have opportunities to establish and further develop cooperation with national and international research communities.

Research seminar and dissemination

Students must present their projects in seminars at the start of, midway, and near the end of the programme. This will take place at the faculty's regular research fellows forums. The midway presentation must ideally be conducted in English and be followed by a discussion on current progress between the PhD student, the supervisor(s), and the PhD Programme Director. Furthermore, students are encouraged to present their research at least once a year at an international academic conference. This gives students competence in participating in scientific discussions within their field of research in cooperation with national and international research communities. Students are also encouraged to disseminate their projects to broader audiences, such as giving lectures to users or through popular science channels.

Descriptions of the work and teaching methods for the individual courses are provided in the course plans.


The language of instruction in all the courses in the programme will be English, and all examinations, papers and projects will be conducted in English. Students are strongly encouraged to spend at least one semester at a research institution outside Norway. Each student must prepare a plan for internationalisation as part of the application for admission to the programme.

Work requirements


Together with the work on the thesis, the training component will provide the necessary academic breadth and specialisation. The content of the training component is worth 30 ECTS credits. When applying for substitution of an elective course, a specific template is used describing the content, level and scope in the same way as other course presentations on the faculty's website. The form of examination must be stated. The description of the syllabus must be approved by the doctoral committee before the examination is taken.

The faculty will only credit research courses and special syllabuses with a whole number of ECTS credits. For courses that do include compulsory coursework, this will consist of compulsory papers, oral presentations and practical exercises, depending on the chosen field of specialisation.



Examination and grading systems

Assessment of examinations in the training component is conducted in accordance with the provisions regarding examinations and cheating in the Regulations relating to Studies and Examinations at OsloMet; see the PhD Regulations, section 4-3. All examinations in the training component will be specified on the certificate.

The form of assessment for all courses is pass or fail. The reason for this is that all students should possess a sufficient level of knowledge, skills and general competence in their chosen modules to work well in cross-disciplinary cooperation. The forms of examination vary to allow for developing and testing different types of skills.

Written home exams enable students to write over some duration of time to mature their ideas and plan their work. Short written exams test students¿ ability to solve problems within a certain time limit. Oral exams serve to evaluate the students' ability to present and communicate their knowledge. Project work serves to assess how students are able to apply their knowledge, skills and general competence in a more complex context and to collaborate with fellow students and other partners. The written thesis followed by an oral presentation and defence gives the opportunity to assess the students ability to independently construct and present an engineering science project within a given time frame.

There is a progression in the forms of assessment, moving from structured assessment to more complex and individual assessment of the thesis. In some modules it is necessary to use several forms of assessment, such as both written and oral examinations.