Radio and Space Science

​The graduate school is organised within the Department of Space, Earth and Environment.

Director of Graduate Studies: Donal Murtagh


(approved by the Pro-Vice-President on December 20, 2005. Ref. nr C2005/1363)
(revised 13 February 2008)
(revised 2 December 2014)

1 Subject and Goals

The subject Radio and Space Science is broad, covering both processes and measurements in and from space. The aim of  the school  is to give the student a fundamental understanding in one of the three specialities: Astronomy, Environmental Science and Electrical Engineering as well as skills in research methodology.
The licentiate program aims to ensure that the student is capable of independent participation in research and development work.
The doctoral program aims to ensure that  the student is capable of critically and independently planning, directing, carrying out, and presenting work in research and development.
See also the general aims and objectives of post graduate course education Chalmers.

2 Prerequisite Qualifications and Knowledge

Qualification for admission to the graduate research school in Radio and Space Science is a Master of Science degree  (at least 4 years full-time study)  in Physics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering or Chemistry, or in a related subject. Equivalent knowledge acquired by other means may also count as qualification.
Students with an exam from the faculty of mathematics and natural sciences or equivalent can be admitted to the graduate research school in Radio and Space Science. Such applicants may be tested for the qualifications required.

3 Organization and Structure

The post graduate research school in Radio and Space Science examines students in two steps, the licentiate and the doctoral degrees. The extent of the graduate work is measured according to a credit system, where 1,5 credits correspond to one week full-time work.
The licentiate degree comprises 120 credits in total, and the doctoral degree 240 credits. This corresponds to 2 years and 4 years respectively of full-time studies. The doctoral degree can be achieved without a preceding licentiate degree. The director of the graduate school in Radio and Space Science grants this dispensation.
Both degrees involve:
  • preparatory courses (if necessary);
  • compulsory courses
  • general courses
  • individual studies
  • research or development leading to a scientific dissertation.
Teaching is by supervision, lectures, and seminars. The student participates in scientific activities of the department through attendance at seminars and guest lectures even if these are not directly related to any part of the formal course requirements.

4 Specialisations

The graduate school of Radio and Space Science offers three different specializations:
  • Astronomy
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Sciences

5 Courses

For the licentiate degree the course element in the programme comprises at least 30 credits. For the doctoral degree at least a 60-point course element is required. Subject-specific courses are run by the graduate school and other departments/graduate schools at Chalmers, although there are also national and international courses. The graduate student and an examiner will together agree on which courses will be included in the degree.

5.1 Preparatory Courses

Students coming from disciplines not directly related to the topic of graduate research may need preparatory courses. Typically these courses are higher year master courses. The examiner and the main supervisor decide, together with the student, on these courses.

5.2 Compulsory Courses for all Chalmers doctoral students

Generic and Transferable skills (GTS) aims to give doctoral students at Chalmers professional and individual development, and is a program of activities/courses not directly linked to the respective areas of research. The graduate student is required to take at least 15 credit points out of the GTS program before receiving a PhD degree. Chalmers offers a range of activities/courses as part of the program.
9 credit points in the area of GTS are expected to be obtained before the licentiate degree examination. Another 6 credit points are expected to be obtained before PhD degree examination. Mandatory courses for the licentiate degree are: "Teaching, Learning & Evaluation”, ”Research Ethics & Sustainable Development” and ”Career planning – Your Personal Leadership”. 1,5 credit points are optional (from GTS activities/courses). The 6 credit points after licentiate degree are also optional and selected according to the student´s need.
The optional activities within GTS do not necessarily have to be taken from Chalmers’ central activities or courses. The activities can be obtained from other providers, after suggestion from the examiner or supervisor, and approval by the deputy head of department in consultation with the director of studies of the research school. As an example, GTS could include related activities or courses given at the department.
In addition to the courses within Generic and Transferable Skills, the student is also required to participate in the introduction day for doctoral students (before the licentiate examination, at latest). Further requirements are an oral popular science presentation to be performed prior to the PhD thesis defence and a written popular science presentation to be published on the back of the PhD thesis.

The 15 credit points in GTS are mandatory for doctoral students admitted after September 1, 2012.

5.3 General Courses

The department of Earth and Space Science regularly gives a number of general courses according to a schedule available at the department's web-site.

5.4 Individual Studies

The student, in discussion with the supervisor group, determines individual study courses. Doctoral courses offered by other departments (at Chalmers and other universities) may be included provided that they cover topics relevant to the student's research profile. Undergraduate courses can also be included, even courses taken before admission to the research school, and these can be counted as part of the total course credits.

5.5 Course requirements

A licentiate degree requires a minimum of 30 credits, and must include the  compulsory courses. A doctoral degree requires a minimum of 60 credits obtained through courses including the GTS courses. The director of the graduate school grants exemption in special cases.

6 Degree thesis

6.1 Licentiate Thesis

For the licentiate degree, the student must carry out independent work and write a thesis describing this work.  The thesis is presented at a publicly announced seminar where a external discussion leader is appointed to initiate an approximately 30 min long discussion . The thesis is graded by the student's examiner as "Passed" or "Not Passed".

6.2 Doctoral Dissertation

For a doctoral degree the student is required to write a scientific thesis, and defend it at a public examination. The dissertation should normally consist of a collection of published or submitted scientific papers with an introduction, but can also have the form of a report  ("monografi"). It is graded "Passed" or "Not passed" by an external examation committee. The grade takes into account the content as well as the defence of the thesis.

7 Requirements for the Degree

7.1 Licentiate Degree

The requirements for the licentiate degree comprise 120 credits, of which a minimum of 30 higher education credits are acquired in courses and a maximum of 90 credits in the licentiate thesis.

7.2 Doctoral Degree

The requirements for the doctoral degree comprise 240 credits, of which a minimum of 60 higher education credits are acquired in courses and a maximum of 180 credits in the doctoral thesis.

8 Supervision

Each graduate research school student is entitled to supervision; full time students to four years of supervision for the doctoral degree, and two years for the licentiate degree. Part time students obtain the same amount distributed over a proportionally longer time period.
The examiner, the supervisors and the student together determine the individual study courses and develop an individual study plan for the student's path of education. This plan is signed and presented to the director of the graduate research school. The supervisors and the student meet regularly to follow up the research work and the course studies.
The supervisor group together with the director of the graduate research school meet at least once per year to discuss progress towards the degree. After each such meeting, an individual study plan is updated, signed and presented to the director of the graduate research school.

9 Examination of knowledge

Courses are examined in suitable forms, usually written and/or oral examinations, or seminar presentations. The grades "Passed" and "Not Passed" are used. The number of course credits is formally decided by the student's examiner on suggestion from the course examiner.
The licentiate thesis is graded by the examiner. A doctoral thesis is graded by the graduation committee, especially appointed for the thesis defence.

10 Further Directives

The student must present his or her study results and future plans regularly. The director of the graduate research school regularly follows up on the individual study plans. Please also refer to the home page for doctoral studies.

Page manager Published: Wed 17 Jun 2020.