Technology Management and Economics

​The graduate school is organised within the Department of Technology Management and Economics.

Vice head of department: Susanne Ollila

Director of studies: Karl Palmås

Administrator: Satenik Atanesyan

Read more about the graduate school at the Department of Technology Management and Economics.



(approved by the Pro-Vice-President on 17 May 2005. Ref. nr. C2005/604)
(revised 31 August 2007)
(revised 1 September 2012)
(revised 2 April 2014)
(revised 10 March 2016)

1. Subject description and goals of the programme

Technology Management and Economics encompasses the economic, organisational and social aspects of engineering and its application. Social sciences as well as technological, scientific and mathematical studies all contribute to this scientific field. The field extends from theories on the role of technology in societal development, and industrial renewal based on technical innovations, to the management of technology based operations in industry and the public sector.
The doctoral study programme develops the knowledge and skills to scientifically formulate and solve problems as well as to report results. The goal is to educate licentiate and doctoral students, at an internationally competitive level, by providing them with sound knowledge of a wide range of applications and by schooling them in scientific research methods; they should also acquire a high specialist competence in the subject of their research work.
The doctoral study programme shall:


  • Develop individual creativity and critical thinking, as well as the ability to identify, formulate, deal with, and solve scientific problems, and to publish results;
  • Meet individual needs for scientific specialization and critical search for knowledge; and
  • Prepare for leading positions in research, development and teaching.


During their doctoral studies the students shall learn to:


  • Plan and lead research and development work;
  • Discuss scientific problems with research colleagues including those from other countries;
  • Disseminate information, both orally and in writing, about their own research specialization, the results and possible effects, to colleagues as well as the general public;
  • Find information about scientific results relevant to a specific problem, even outside their own specialization; and
  • Collaborate in interdisciplinary work.


2. Requirements for admission

To qualify for admission to doctoral studies, the student should have completed a degree in a relevant branch of engineering. Applicants who have acquired four years (240 higher education credits) of equivalent education can be admitted after a special individual evaluation. The evaluation can result in requirements for supplementary studies before the doctoral study programme may be started.

3. Organization and structure

The doctoral degree requires four years of full time study (240 higher education credits) after completion of a Master of Science or equivalent degree. The programme of study consists of course work and thesis work. The course work must include at least 75 higher education credits (60 higher education credits is a full academic year), while the thesis work shall comprise at least 150 higher education credits. In addition, doctoral students are expected to participate actively in seminars during the whole course of study.
Before the end of the first year after admission to doctoral studies, students shall defend their thesis work plan at a research proposal seminar, with two opponents. One is a senior (PhD) opponent and one is a junior (doctoral student) opponent. Both can come from the Department of TME.
For the licentiate degree 120 higher education credits (two years) are required, after completion of a M.Sc. or equivalent degree. For doctoral students admitted before January 1, 2013, the course work is 60 higher education credits, including the compulsory courses, and the licentiate thesis work is 60 higher education credits. For doctoral students admitted from January 1 2013 and onward, the course work is 50 higher education credits, including compulsory courses, and the licentiate thesis work is 70 higher education credits. A student not taking a licentiate degree, shall present and defend its work on a licentiate level seminar at a corresponding time. All the higher education credits (50 or 60) must be reported into Ladok at the latest one month before the licentiate seminar or the licentiate level seminar takes place. The course requirements to reach licentiate levels are the same as for licentiate degree.​
Independent research work is usually carried out in parallel with course work according to a plan worked out by the principal supervisor in consultation with the student. The topic of the thesis shall be stated at admission and be outlined in more detail by at least one year after admission.
The doctoral degree should normally be four years full-time studies after the Master of Science degree. The licentiate degree/licentiate level can be equivalent with two years full-time studies.
International contacts and collaboration are expected of students, and the department encourages participation in international conferences, study visits and longer stays at foreign universities and research institutes of good reputation.

4. Courses

The principal supervisor and student together plan what courses to include in the doctoral programme. Certain courses, which are compulsory for all doctoral students at Chalmers, are also compulsory for all doctoral students at the department. The following courses are compulsory for doctoral students admitted between January 1, 2005, and August 31, 2012: General introduction for doctoral students (0 higher education credits), Pedagogy (3 higher education credit points) and Ethics (3 higher education credit points). The general introduction and both of these courses must be completed for the licentiate degree. Doctoral students admitted after August 31, 2012, are required to take 15 higher education credit points from the area of Generic and Transferable Skills during their graduate studies. Of these, 9 credit points are mandatory for the licentiate degree, and another 6 credit points for the PhD degree. 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.
In addition, there are three compulsory courses for the doctoral programme in technology management and economics. These are also required to achieve licentiate degree or licentiate level:
Researching Technology Management and Economics  (7.5 higher education credit points) (Or the course Theory and Methodology of Science 7.5 hec, given before 2011)
Quantitative methods (7.5 higher education credit points)
Qualitative methods (7.5 higher education credit points)
Other courses may be chosen from the selection described on the home page for the graduate school. Courses at the Master’s level, which were not included in the graduate student’s first degree, as well as courses given at other departments and universities, may be chosen in consultation with the principal supervisor. A maximum of 30 higher education credits of research preparatory course work may sometimes be accepted before the student starts doctoral studies. This accounts for doctoral students with a master’s degree of at least 270 higher education credits. Doctoral students admitted with a 240 higher education credit degree cannot get prior course work accepted.

5. Thesis work

The student’s own research work should be designed to lead to internationally publishable scientific results. Both the licentiate thesis and the doctoral thesis should be written in English.
The doctoral thesis can be either a monograph or a collection of articles with an introduction and a summary. For the latter, the articles must have the form and quality for acceptance in peer-reviewed, scientific journals of good international standard, and most of the articles should have been accepted for publication in such journals.
The doctoral thesis shall be defended at a public defence, with a specially designated opponent, and assessed by an examining committee with the result passed or failed. The assessment shall take into account both the content and the defence of the thesis.

6. Supervision of thesis work

Each student has a principal supervisor from the start. The principal supervisor must be at least associate professor. The examiner must be professor. In connection with the specification of the thesis work, and no later than directly after the RP seminar, the vice head of the department appoints two assistant supervisors who, together with the principal supervisor, form a supervisory committee. One of the assistant supervisors can be from outside Chalmers, if this is considered to be an advantage.
Every student admitted to doctoral studies has a right to supervision: full time students for four years for the doctoral degree or for two years for the licentiate degree; part time students to the same extent distributed over the longer time period involved.
Students shall regularly review their research at seminars. During the course of the thesis work, students shall have continuing contact with their principal supervisor and meet periodically with the whole supervisory committee. When the thesis work is nearly completed, it shall be presented and defended at a final seminar.

7. Degree designations

Doctoral studies at the department lead to a doctoral degree or licentiate degree in Technology Management and Economics.
This study plan for the doctoral degree programme in technology management and economics applies to doctoral students admitted after 1 January 2005. Students admitted to graduate study before that date, in research subjects at the Department of Technology Management and Economics, may choose, with the approval of the examiner and the principal supervisor, to be examined in their original research subjects.

Page manager Published: Tue 23 Feb 2021.