Course Supervision Challenges in PhD Education


  • Mikael Blomé
  • Daniel Hellström
  • Gyöngyi Kovács
  • Johan Zetterberg
  • Johan Åkesson


PhD, Education, Courses, Supervision, SoTL, Technology and Engineering


A large portion of the PhD education in Sweden is dedicated to courses. This made it interesting to explore potential course supervision challenges in the PhD programme. A multiple-case study was conducted to identify such challenges and explore how these are perceived by students and supervisors at the Faculty of Engineering of Lund University. By interviewing students and supervisors in five different research groups, insights were gained into how the main stakeholders reason about courses. The findings indicate that courses that are to be included in the education are characterized by a large degree of freedom tailored to individual student needs and preferences. However, the type, timing, availability, value, and convalidation of courses are challenges that limit this freedom.