PhD Programme

About the PhD programme

As a PhD student you will receive a research education during a three-year employment period at the university. This will include working on your research project, participating in PhD courses, teaching and other communication of your research. The research project will lead to a PhD thesis, which will be turned in and defended in public at the end of the three year period.

A PhD is an opportunity to work in an international environment and establish a network across research areas and national borders.

In order to be able to get a PhD, you must have a master’s degree. The Department of Civil Engineering offers the PhD programme Civil Engineering. The teaching of the Department also includes PhD courses on specific courses within Civil Engineering.
Read more at the Doctoral School of Engineering and science

Course of the programme

A PhD takes three years. During that time you must work on a research project within your area of expertise. The PhD student also has to participate in various courses corresponding to ½ year relevant to his or her research area.

The research project entails preparation of articles for conferences and international journals. These articles will eventually result in the PhD thesis given that the thesis consists of the student’s collection of scientific articles (usually two-three conference articles and one-four journal articles) with a summarizing introduction and perhaps some summarizing articles.

In connection with the communication of the scientific knowledge, the PhD student must also teach and guide bachelor and master students within the PhD student’s research area. This is different, however, in the industrial PhD programme.

The research is usually in collaboration with one or more partners from the industries and likewise almost always with a foreign research institute. Most PhD students spend three to six months abroad visiting foreign research institutes.

At the end of the employment period, the PhD student must turn in his or her thesis, which will then be presented and defended in public at the university.

Employment and financing

PhD stipends are announced alongside other vacancies. As a PhD student, you will be employed at Aalborg University for three years, and you become part of the institution's research environment. Your pay will be determined by the collective agreement between The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC) and the Danish Ministry of Finance.

The majority of our PhD students are employed as faculty, with a three-year stipend. The Department also enrolls students without stipends. Typically these are employed at an educational institution or a company where the place of work in part will defray the expenses of the PhD education and in part will set aside an amount of time for the completion of the study. 

Industrial PhD

An alternative to the traditional PhD programme is an Industrial PhD where you are employed at a company in which the research will have its origin, and the working hours are divided between the company and the university. With an Industrial PhD you will usually experience a shorter distance between research and practice. Read more on the Industrial PhD programme. 

Research groups

The research at the Department of Civil Engineering is coordinated under its divisions. Research groups are attached under each division. The research conducted by the PhD student will associated with the research group specifically relevant to the research. 

Being employed at the Dept. of Civil Engineering

When you are employed as a PhD student at the Department of Civil Engineering, you will have an opportunity to be a part of an international environment. There are joint events, both with activities and socially. There are also benefits to being able to join Uni-Fitness (AAU's fitness center for employees and students, UniRun (annual run), and so on.