General science and compulsory doctoral courses

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On this page we present general science courses and other courses that certain doctoral students are obliged to take. the purpose is to provide an overview when choosing courses and when planning your individual study plan.

The content and scope of each course is described in its syllabus, which you can find in our syllabus database and (if the course is planned for the coming semester) in the current course catalogue.

This description is based on the latest version of the general syllabus. As a doctoral student, you normally follow the general syllabus that was in effect at the time of your admission (unless, that is, you have switched to a later version); see your admission certificate or your Ladok extract for the date. 

Courses marked with an asterisk (*) after the title meet the qualifying requirements for general science courses.

Of the general science courses, statistics and research ethics have been compulsory since 2009-07-01.

Courses in such subjects as theory of science, pedagogy, scientific writing and the quality assurance of clinical research (GCP, Good clinical practice) also count as general science (consult the general syllabus applicable to you to see what is appropriate for you). These courses are part of the elective component of the general science knowledge requirement.

Below are some examples of courses that are regularly held at KI and that are advertised in the course catalogue. There are also a number of courses held by the research schools, which can not be applied for through the course catalogue.


The aim of the statistics courses is to provide you, as a doctoral student, with a basic understanding of the subject and how statistics are used in medical research, or (with more advanced courses) to develop your knowledge of how to use statistics in your research area.

The courses can also help you to achieve the degree outcome for knowledge and understanding:

“Demonstrate familiarity with research methodology in general and the methods of the specific field of research in particular.”

KI also offers courses in the use of popular statistics programmes, such as Stata, SAS and R.

See the individual syllabi for information on which statistics programme the course uses.

If you have any queries concerning credit transfers from other statistics courses, your departmental director of studies can contact the course providers of the following courses for help assessing whether the minimum requirements are met.

Basic statistics (no previous knowledge required)

Course number Title Credits Normal frequency
3134  Basic Course in Medical Statistics* 3 VT and HT
2609 Basic Course in Medical Statistics - a distance course* 3 VT and HT
3154 Biostatistics I: Introduction for epidemiologists* 3 HT
3042 Biostatistics I: Introduction for epidemiologists* 2 VT

Courses 3134, 2609, 3154 and 3042 have similar content. Course 3154 and 3042, however, focus on epidemiological studies.

Intermediary and advanced statistics (with entry requirements)

Course number Title Entry requirements Credits Normal frequency
2738 Intermediate Medical Statistics: Regression models* Basis Course in  Medical Statistics, or the equivalent. 3 VT
2797 Biostatistics II: Logistic regression for epidemiologists* Epidemiology I, Biostatistics I, or the equivalent. HT
3043 Biostatistics II: Logistic regression for epidemiologists* Epidemiology I, Biostatistics I,, or the equivalent. 2 VT
3142 Biostatistics III: Survival analysis for epidemiologists* (using Stata) Epidemiology I, Biostatistics I, Biostatistics II, or the equivalent. 1,5 VT
2992 Biostatistics III: Survival analysis for epidemiologists* (using R) Epidemiology I, Biostatistics I, Biostatistics II, or the equivalent 1,5 HT

Courses 2797 and 3043 have similar content. Course 3142 uses Stata statistics software while 2992 uses R. Otherwise, they have the similar content.

Note that the course catalogue contains several advanced statistics courses, which are primarily held under the doctoral programme in epidemiology, although they are also offered by the Medical Statistics Unit (MedStat, LIME). 

Courses in statistics programmes 

The following courses focus on the application of statistical methods using specific statistics software. Such programmes can be vital to your studies but do not count towards the course requirements for statistics or general science.

Course number Title Credits Normal frequency
2971 Introduction to R - data management, analysis and graphical presentation 2,5 VT and HT
2958 Introduction to R 1,5 HT
2953 Statistics with R - from data to publication figure VT and HT
3143  Introductory course in SAS programming 1,5 VT
2868 Advanced course in SAS programming for health care data 1,5 HT
2796 Introduction to Stata for epidemiologists 1 HT
3028 Grundkurs i SPSS 1,5 VT and HT

Facilities at KI that offer professional statistical services

Consult the experts for advice on which statistics programmes to choose. Facilities at KI offering professional statistical services are:

- The Medical Statistics Unit (MedStat)     
- Biostat Core

Research ethics

Purpose and requirements for doctoral courses in research ethics.

If you will be working with laboratory animals, you will also need the relevant education and training. See below under Compulsory knowledge for certain doctoral students

 The following doctoral courses in research ethics fulfil the course requirement stated in the general syllabus:

Course number Title Credits Normal frequency
3118  Forskningsetik* 1,5 VT and HT
2964 Medicinsk forskningsetik*/Medical research ethics* 1,5 VT and HT

In addition to these courses are complementary courses that can be of interest to you (if, for example, you are engaged in registry research).

If you are taking a course in research ethics at another university and want to transfer the credits, remember that it must meet KI’s own requirements. See Purpose and requirements for doctoral courses in research ethics.

To communicate science

Good skill in communicating one's research to different target groupsand in different contexts is of great importance to the success of the individual researcher, for the research community and for society in general.

The courses in scientific communication aim at facilitating for you as a doctoral student to achieve the degree outcome concerning skills and abilities:

"Demonstrate the ability in both national and international contexts to present and discuss research and research findings authoritatively in speech and writing and in dialogue with the academic community and society in general."

All docotoral students admitted from 1 January 2018 must be able to demonstrate at least 1.5 credits in communicating science. This includes courses in writing science / popular science, oral presentation of science and presentation techniques. These courses are counted as general science for doctoral students admitted before 1 January 2018.

Being good at communicating science requires constant training in writing and presenting as well as recurring feedback of, among others, the supervisors and other research group members.

Courses in oral scientific communication:

Course number Titel Credits Normal frequency
3147  To communicate science in different contexts with focus on oral and visual communication* 3 VT and HT
2787 Present your research!* 1,5 VT and HT

Courses in written scientific communication:

Course number Title Credits Normal frequency
1391 Writing science and information literacy* 3 VT and HT
2561 Writing science and information literacy* (online) 3 VT and HT
2618 Write your research results and get them published* 3 VT and HT
2912 Manuscript writing in English 1,5 VT or HT

Resources at the KI library in the field of written scientific communication

Philosophy of science

Course number Title Credits Normal frequency
3073 Philosophy of science and the concept of health* / Vetenskapsteori och hälsobegreppet* 1,5 VT and HT
3119 Vetenskapsteori* 4,5 VT


Course number Title Credits Normal frequency
2219 Bioinformatics for cell biologists* 1,5 HT
3044 Basic bioinformatics* 2 VT

Human biology or pathology 

If you are lacking a medical higher education, you are obliged to acquire the equivalent of 3 credits in human biology or pathology (or similar).

The following doctoral courses are held regularly at KI:

Course number Title Credits Normal frequency
2644 Människans fysiologi - en översikt/ Human physiology - an overview 3 VT and HT
2827 Människans Fysiologi - en översikt 3 VT and HT
3109 Pathology 3 VT and HT

Laboratory animal science

If you are to use animals in your doctoral research, you are obliged to take the course in laboratory animal science. 

See the Comparative Medicine website for further information on compulsory and other courses in laboratory animal science.

Laboratory safety

If you are to spend part of all of your study time in a laboratory and lack a basic education in laboratory safety, you must acquire the relevant knowledge equivalent to at least 1.5 credits. KI arranges the following course: 

Course number Title Credits Normal frequency
2690 Basic Laboratory Safety* 1,8 VT and HT

If you wish to transfer credits earned from an equivalent education at another university, it must correspond to the above course. Directors of studies are advised to contact the course coordinator for guidance.

Quality assurance of clinical research

For doctoral students who conduct clinical research as defined by "research on living humans or research requiring the handling of sensitive personal data" and are admitted after 1 January 2018 it is compulsory to acquire knowledge of quality assurance of clinical research equivalent to at least 1 credit before halftime. For doctoral students as defined above, admitted by December 2017 and for doctoral students who conduct research solely on biological material from humans this is a recommended course, but not mandatory. 

The following courses that meet the requirement can be found in the course catalogue:

Course number Title Credits Normal frequency
2621 Klinisk forskning och Good Clinical Practice: protokoll, informerat samtycke och ansökan i enlighet med lagar/regler* 1,5 VT
2873 Quality assurance of clinical research*/Kvalitetssäkring av klinisk forskning* 1,5 VT och HT

In addition, several of KI's clinical research schools organize courses of 1-1.5 credits in the subject that meet the requirement.


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