Get a PhD

The PhD programme at KADK's PhD School is a research programme that qualifies PhD students at an international level to undertake independent research, development and teaching assignments in the private and public sectors, for which a broad knowledge of research is a prerequisite. The PhD programme is completed primarily through research under supervision.

About the PhD School

If you would like to be a PhD student at KADK's PhD School, a number of things will be useful to know first.

Enrolment in and completion of the PhD programme at KADK will be in accordance with applicable regulations in force at any given time for PhD programmes in Denmark, currently this means the Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Artistic Educational Institutions (the PhD Order) from August 2013. You will find a link to the PhD Order on the right of this page under 'Regulatory Basis'.

The programme is prescribed to comprise 180 ECTS credits, corresponding to three years' full-time study. The three years are calculated from the date of enrolment through to the day you submit your thesis. The assessment process is not included in the three years.

If you have acquired corresponding qualifications in some other way, you can apply for a credit transfer, which will shorten your PhD study programme.

The programme includes:

  • Completion of independent research work under supervision
  • Completion of PhD courses or similar study elements totalling approx. 30 ECTS credits
  • Participation in active research environments, including stays at other, primarily foreign, research institutions, with private research enterprises etc.
  • Gaining experience of teaching activities or another form of knowledge dissemination related to the PhD project
  • Completion of a thesis based on the PhD project

Within the first three months of a PhD course, the PhD student is to prepare a PhD plan and get this approved by the PhD Committee. The PhD programme must be completed in accordance with this plan. The PhD plan is to contain, among other things, an overview of the course activities the student intends to participate in, the scope and frequency of the supervision, changes of environment, teaching activities or other forms of knowledge dissemination, and when the student expects to submit his/her PhD thesis.


You can enrol as either a PhD student for a full-time period of three years or as a PhD student part-time for up to a maximum of six years.


You can find notices about PhD fellowships at KADK, InnovationsFonden – Denmark and The Danish Council for Independent Research here:


Assessment and possible employment of PhD students

Before anyone can start as a PhD student at KADK, they need to go through an assessment process.

Furthermore, if they are to be employed as a PhD fellow at KADK, they will also have to go through a separate employment process.

Not all PhD students are employed by KADK.

Some are employed by private companies, others at a museum or another educational institution, or they may work for e.g. a municipality.


Assessment process

PhD projects and candidates are assessed on the basis of a project description of max. five standard pages, excluding bibliography and time schedule for the project, the candidate's diplomas and CV, a budget, and any portfolio.

The Director of the PhD School appoints an assessment committee consisting of two to three researchers at associate professor level or above, who will consider the quality of the project, the candidate, and whether this is the right candidate for the right project.

When the assessment committee has assessed the application, the candidate will receive his/her assessment during a hearing. The hearing offers the candidate the opportunity to draw attention to any factual misunderstandings, errors and/or omissions in the assessment basis.


Employment process

If the candidate is also to be employed at an institute, the Rector of KADK will appoint an employment committee, consisting as a minimum of the Head of Institute and the closest expert professor / associate professor within the relevant subject area following the recommendation of the Director of the PhD School. Normally, the employment committee will have two or three members.

The employment committee will consider qualified applications, if there are more of them, as for instance in connection with an advertisement, as well as any hearing responses.

A candidate will be selected and employed under the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations, AC, for PhD fellows in public service.

Financing of the PhD project

When a PhD project is to be launched, it can be financed in various ways. Here are a couple of examples of PhD financing models that we currently have experience with at KADK's PhD School.

The financing models below presume that PhD students complete the PhD programme within the described framework. Should a PhD student need to extend the enrolment period, this may incur additional expenses for the employing institution or the external student.


Fellowship in collaboration with other research, educational or cultural institutions

– Duration normally four years, of which three are full-time on the PhD project. The 'extra' year is used for teaching and/or dissemination related to the PhD project at the place of employment.

– Employment with the partner – the person concerned is usually already an employee before enrolling as a PhD student at KADK.

– Study place between 18 months and two years at KADK, and the rest of the time at the partner's.

– Teaching and dissemination conducted both at KADK and at the partner's by agreement.



Enrolment feeDKK                                                   45,000

PhD administrationDKK                                      180,000

PhD coursesDKK                                                      45,000

SupervisionDKK                                                     100,000

Printing and assessment of thesisDKK            30,000

OperationDKK                                                           90,000

Workplace etc.DKK                                              285,000

Total                                                                 DKK 775,000


External student

– No employment

– Study place full-time at KADK for three years

– Teaching/dissemination 840 hours at KADK



Enrolment feeDKK                                                  45,000

PhD administrationDKK                                     180,000

PhD coursesDKK                                                     45,000

SupervisionDKK                                                    100,000

Printing and assessment of thesisDKK           30,000

OperationDKK                                                          90,000

Workplace etc.DKK                                             570,000

Total                                                             DKK 1,050,000

840 hours' teaching- DKK                                252,000

Net total                                                         DKK 798,000 

Guest PhD student

If you wish to enroll as a guest PhD student, you need to forward an enrolment letter from your host university and a brief description of your PhD project, your CV and a publication list, if any.

On this basis, we can determine whether there is a research environment at KADK that can support your project, and whether resources are available for supervision etc.

Guest PhD students are usually enrolled for a period of two to six months and can, as a maximum, be enrolled as guest PhD students for one year.

The annual fee for being enrolled as a guest PhD student is DKK 53,000 (2015 prices).

Submission of thesis without prior enrolment at the PhD School

If you wish to have a PhD thesis assessed without prior enrolment as a PhD student at KADK, please forward an application.

The application must contain a copy of the thesis.

In addition, you must submit documentation that you have acquired qualifications corresponding to a three-year study course as described in Section 7 of the PhD Order:

– Three years of research activities

– PhD courses corresponding to 30 ECTS credits

– Participation in active research environments

– Experience with teaching activities or other knowledge dissemination

It costs DKK 45,000 to have a thesis assessed without prior enrolment.

The first DKK 5,000 must be paid when submitting the application. This will cover expenses in connection with the preliminary assessment and related administration.

If KADK finds that the thesis can be accepted for assessment, a further DKK 40,000 must be paid. This amount will cover printing of the thesis, two external assessors and one internal, including travel and stay in connection with the oral defence.