An academic thesis must be an independent piece of research work or research and development work that meets international standards in terms of ethical requirements, academic level and methodology in the discipline.

The thesis must contribute to the development of new academic knowledge and must be at a level that merits publication or presentation to the public in an appropriate format as part of the research-based development of knowledge in the discipline.

The academic thesis can consist of a monograph or a compilation of papers.

A compilation of papers, also called article-based thesis, consists of several smaller works. If the thesis consists of a compilation of papers, an account must be provided of how they are interrelated.

Doctoral work produced by several people jointly can be submitted for evaluation provided it is possible to identify the individual contributions. When an academic thesis consists mainly of articles, the candidate must normally be the lead author of at least the majority of articles that constitutes the thesis.

For works that have been created in collaboration with several partners or co-authors, the PhD candidate must follow the norms for crediting contributions that are generally accepted in the academic community, in accordance with international standards.

Doctoral work including contributions from other people must be accompanied by a signed declaration describing the candidate’s input in each piece of work. Both the PhD candidate and the other contributors must sign the declaration.

A monograph is a unified text describing a specialist topic in detail written by a single author. An academic thesis written as a monograph is structured in various chapters with an introduction and a conclusion, and the PhD candidate is the sole author.

An academic thesis may also consist of a written component in combination with a permanently documented product or production. In these kinds of cases, the works must together meet the requirements for an independent piece of research work for the degree of PhD in accordance with international standards in the discipline. The University College may set additional requirements regarding the proportionate share made up by the product or production in terms of scope or content.

The thesis can be submitted in English, Norwegian or another Scandinavian language.