The PhD programme is an internationally recognised researcher programme and an independent extension of the Master’s degree. The programme qualifies the student to carry out research, development and teaching assignments at international level in both the private and the public sector.

The PhD programme comprises:

  • a research project in the form of a thesis, which is publicly defended
  • a course of at least a half FTE (30 ECTS)
  • a stay at another institution (typically abroad)
  • participation in seminars and at conferences

It is standardised to 180 ECTS, corresponding to three years' full-time study.

Design School Kolding’s research school

The PhD programme at Design School Kolding School is an individual programme, but is attached to the school’s design research profile focusing on experiments. The student is enrolled at Design School Kolding, which has professional responsibility for the student’s individual education and guidance. Formally, the PhD student comes under the Aarhus School of Architecture, as Design School Kolding is not currently approved to train PhDs. The PhD student and his or her main supervisor are therefore required to submit a status report to the Aarhus School of Architecture’s Study Committee every six months.

Design School Kolding follows the Executive Order for the PhD programme at Aarhus School of Architecture. The Executive Order can be found here.

Admission requirements

Candidates wishing to apply for admission to the PhD programme must have a Master’s degree or equivalent, based on five years’ study (A Bachelor’s degree and a two-year programme at post-graduate level, totalling 300 ECTS).

In the application, the student must present a project that can be considered relevant and of a sufficiently high level to be qualified as a research project by a special committee. The project must fall within the school’s subject areas in order for the school to provide guidance. The special committee’s recommendation is based on an overall assessment of the applicant’s qualifications. Particular emphasis is placed on the project description, character and whether the student has demonstrated the skills necessary to write major research papers, e.g. a thesis.


There are various options for financing the PhD programme: fully funded, grants, industrial PhD or privately. You will often be involved in finding co-financing within our strategic research areas.

An industrial PhD is financed by a company and the enrolment conditions are the same as for other PhD students. The student must therefore meet the same requirements, but is employed by the company financing the project. To learn more about industrial PhDs, please visit this website:

It is possible to finance your own PhD at Design School Kolding, but this is only allowed in rare cases, as it is extremely expensive, and it is also difficult to complete a research project when you have other work commitments.

The Research Council for Independent Research – Humanities (FKK) also funds doctoral scholarships for public research institutions other than universities. Design School Kolding can apply for three scholarships. The application deadlines are 1 May and 1 November.

The PhD student’s study and working environment

Once admitted as a PhD student, you are assigned to the academic and social environment at the school on the same terms as the full-time researchers. This gives you access to the school’s facilities and academic sparring with the school’s researchers in addition to your supervisor. You are also expected to contribute to the development of the academic environment, both in connection with research and education. PhD students have representatives in the academic bodies, and there is a PhD club. Great demands are placed on the student’s independence and work ethic, as well as his or her ability to give and receive criticism, as academic criticism and dialogue are key elements of the scholarly process.

The school’s facilities include office space, access to a computer and telephone, secretarial support, the possibility of exchange and participation at conferences, both nationally and internationally

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