PHD IN MARITIME AFFAIRS
The PhD programme has seven active areas of research and a growing school of doctoral students. WMU has a strong tradition of interdisciplinary research at the doctoral level, and has won a large number of externally funded projects, often working in collaboration with partners from industry and government. The structure of the PhD programme makes it flexible and responsive to the needs of both full-time students based in Malmö and candidates based mainly at their employing organization.
WMU’s PhD programme offers students the opportunity to carry out research across the maritime field, but with an emphasis on issues related to the International Maritime Organization’s mission of maritime safety, security and marine environmental protection. Our PhD programme offers unrivalled access to international maritime experts both inside and outside academia, and to organizations working at the forefront of research and development.
PhD students have come to WMU from industry, academia and the government sector, and have completed their dissertations in a very wide range of subject areas, from investigating oil-spill mitigation to an analysis of organizational learning in shipping companies.
The credit system
The PhD programme consists of 240 ECTS credits completed usually over a registration period of three to six years. Candidates may be based at the University or elsewhere, usually at their place of employment.
Within the time limits of three to six years, candidates may carry out doctoral research at their own pace, which can also vary during their period of enrolment. For example, candidates may choose to spend one year conducting research at WMU full time, and then return home to complete their research over a longer period, with short visits to the University for progression seminars and meetings.
1 ECTS credit (EC) is approximately 25 study load hours. One academic year is generally 60 EC, or 1500 study load hours, or 36 hours per week over an academic year of 20 weeks. For someone who is studying part-time, the average study load will vary.
Individual Study Plan (ISP)
Each candidate will have an Individual Study Plan, agreed with the supervisor(s) and the Director of the PhD programme. This will include the compulsory Research Methods subject (20EC), appropriate taught subjects related to the field of research (40 EC), plus a timetable for the completion of the dissertation, plans for publication in learned journals, and attendance at conferences and seminars.-
During the first phase of doctoral studies, candidates complete the research methodology subject, and develop their research proposals. At the end of this initial period, the first progression seminar is held, at which candidates each present their research proposals.
Throughout the doctoral programme, the candidates attend taught subjects and also the further progression seminars, where the candidates present their work to date and their research plans for the next twelve-month period. After every seminar, the Progression Board meets, and considers the candidate’s progress. At this Board meeting, decisions are taken as to whether the candidate is to be permitted to progress to the next stage of the research.
A candidate’s enrolment can be terminated at any point if his/her progress is not considered to be satisfactory.
A candidate who has completed part of a doctoral degree elsewhere may transfer into the WMU programme with advanced standing. Their period of enrolment at WMU will vary in line with the amount of research they have already completed, but the minimum permissible period of enrolment must include at least two progression seminars and the dissertation (180 EC). A candidate with advanced standing must be registered for at least 12 months.
All doctoral students have a principal supervisor who is a member of the resident faculty. According to the topic of research, a student may also have a co-supervisor, who may be a member of the resident faculty, a Visiting Professor or a suitable person from outside the University.
APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION
All candidates must complete their applications online through the WMU website, attaching a detailed research proposal outlining the objectives and methodology of their research. In addition, they should arrange for two letters of academic reference from people familiar with their suitability for doctoral research. Certified copies of transcripts and certificates (including the results of an internationally recognized test of English language) supporting the qualifications listed on the form, must be uploaded.
When an academically cleared candidate has paid the first fee instalment, enrolment can be finalized. At this point, each candidate will receive a medical report form, which must be returned to the University, along with a formal declaration that the candidate accepts the conditions of his/her enrolment.
The Admissions Board will consider only those applicants who meet the minimum general entrance requirements, which are:
- a Master’s degree, with a dissertation, in a relevant discipline, or an equivalent university qualification
- competence in English language, demonstrated by an internationally recognized standard test
- computer competence
The Admissions Board will select only the best-qualified candidates, taking into account all their qualifications and achievements. The Admissions Board may require applicants to appear for an interview, either on-campus or through remote video, as part of the admissions process.
Tests of English
Applicants must offer one of the following tests of English language:
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
96+ in the internet-based test
590+ in the paper-based test
WMU’s TOEFL institution code is 9198
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
band 7.0 or above
Cambridge Proficiency Examination at grade A or B
GCE O-level or the equivalent
a good pass grade
FEES & COSTS
The full University fee is US$ 33,400. It includes supervision, taught subjects, library and laboratory access, IT support, and medical, life and accident insurance. In addition, a student needs around SEK15,000 per month for rent and general living costs in Malmö, plus air tickets. Since WMU is a UN institution and not part of the national Swedish education system, students cannot claim study support from the Swedish government or any other EU state. Other sources of financial support (for example, the US Department of Veterans Affairs) may be accessed by candidates.
From time to time, donor-funded PhD Fellowships are made available. These are advertised on the WMU website, and are awarded on a competitive basis.
The fee of US$33,400 may be paid in five instalments. If this method is chosen, then payment is due as the student reaches milestones in his/her registration. An initial payment of US$8,500 is required, and takes the student through the Research Methods Course and the first Progression seminar. The subsequent three payments, each of US$ 5,500, take the student through the second, third and fourth Progression Seminars. The last payment, to be made before the dissertation is finalised and submitted for examination, is US$8,400.
Payments to the University
Payments to the University should be sent to:
Account Name: The World Maritime University
Account Number: 3968-77-02567
IBAN Number: SE66 3000 0000 0396 8770 2567
BIC Code: NDEASESS
Bank Name: Nordea
Bank Address: PO Box 24, SE-201 24 Malmö, Sweden
Details of the transfer of funds should be sent to the Registry by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city, situated in the southern-most province of Skåne. The centre of the city offers good shopping facilities, theatres, bars, cafés and restaurants, as well as an outstanding symphony orchestra, art galleries and museums. Although Malmö may look typically Swedish, with its parks, historic buildings and canals, it is also very cosmopolitan; many of its citizens were born outside Sweden, and over 170 different countries are represented in the city.
Malmö’s sports provision is excellent, whether you want to watch or take part, and includes football, ice-hockey, sailing, golf, tennis and horse-riding. The city is surrounded by rolling countryside and some of the best beaches in Sweden.
Malmö has strong historic bonds with the maritime industry; it was an important medieval sea-port and had a thriving ship-building industry for many years. It is also a city with a knowledge-based economy that places a premium on learning and research, being home to its own University as well as several faculties of Lund University and to WMU. The city has developed high-technology industries, to make the best use of its educated work-force. It is home, for instance, to a remarkable number of computer gaming companies.
The Öresund Bridge provides Malmö with a direct road and rail link to Copenhagen and its international airport, just 30 minutes away by train or bus. Copenhagen’s historic centre has all the attractions you would expect from any European capital, as well as some special features of its own, like the Tivoli Gardens.
The City of Malmö, as WMU’s host, provides the University’s building in the centre of town, which offers outstanding facilities in a spectacular building. The historic part of the University was built as the Harbour master’s headquarters.
WMU is able to provide excellent student accommodation at the Henrik Smith Residence, run by on-site staff, at a rent of approximately SEK 5,200 (2020 figure) per month. All WMU students can be accommodated on one site, although during the First Term, high-demand period students are likely to be required to share a room. The Henrik Smith Residence is less than three kilometres from the main University building, and only a short walk or bus-ride to the centre of Malmö.
The Residence has a range of facilities, including a lounge area for social meetings or group work, study rooms for group work, facilities for playing pool and table-tennis, a sauna, laundry facilities and indoor storage space for bicycles.
Passports and Residence Permits
Make sure that you have a passport that is valid at least as long as your whole study period, and has plenty of empty pages left, so that you can be issued with any visas you need while you are at WMU.
You should apply for a residence permit as soon as you get your enrolment packet, even if you do not need a visa to enter Sweden (note: if you are an EU national, different rules apply). Under our agreement with the Swedish Government, students of the MSc in Maritime Affairs programme (but not those on the PhD programme) are issued with a Swedish residence permit for the whole period of their studies. This permits you to travel to Sweden via other Schengen countries without obtaining additional or transit visas.
You should be aware that airlines will refuse to carry passengers without a valid residence permit or entry visa for their country of destination. It is therefore very important that you should start to apply for your residence permit as soon as possible. The process can often take up to three months, and sometimes longer, and the University, unfortunately, is not able to assist students with this.
WMU students’ families are subject to the same rules as any other visitor coming to Sweden and the process for obtaining a temporary residence permit for them can be very lengthy. Sometimes processing permits for whole families can take longer than for individual students. Note that your highest priority should be to arrive on time for the start of your programme, which begins in full strength on the advertised date. Please see the section on Should you bring your family to Malmö? for full details
The University takes out medical insurance to cover treatment in Sweden, as well as emergency treatment during field studies abroad. This health insurance covers sudden illness and accidents; it does not cover pre-existing conditions not mentioned on your pre-enrolment medical report. The insurance will also recompense students for the cost of prescription medicines. The insurance does not cover treatment from an optician, and gives only limited dental cover. Make sure you read the Fees and Facilities booklet, which contains the latest information available.
If you are planning to bring your family to join you in Malmö, it is compulsory to take out private medical insurance to cover them. The University insurance for you cannot be extended to your family. (See the section below on Should you bring your family to Malmö? for more information.)
Student Support Services
The University also provides students with accident and travel insurance during their study period, in addition to the medical insurance described above. The visas needed by students for field studies abroad are arranged by the University. Students also have free access to a leisure and sports centre close to the city centre.
An orientation programme is given to each group of new students to provide an introduction to the University and living in Sweden. This is supplemented by a comprehensive information and advice service.
As a member of the WMU community, you can benefit from a broader experience both as a professional and as an individual. The University offers you the chance to develop friendships with people from all over the world, and to become, temporarily, a member of Swedish society. It is essential that students take full advantage of all that their time at WMU has to offer.
Students at WMU have a voice in the affairs of the University through the Student Council, which has special officers responsible for all areas of student life, from sports activities to academic affairs. You can get involved in all the things that interest you. When you arrive, the Student Council arranges for you to be met by a ‘buddy’ – another student who can help you with all the practicalities of living in Sweden, and who can make sure you find your feet immediately. Later, you will be invited to give similar help to newcomers.
You might want to bring your national dress with you when you come to Malmö – you will be asked on a number of occasions to represent your country while you are here, and many students are proud to wear their national dress.
When you graduate, we make sure you can keep in touch with the University through webinars and online discussion forums. Many countries have lively alumni associations, which are part of a global network.
Some graduates have returned as resident academic staff or visiting professors. Many meet again at conferences, seminars and IMO meetings, as well as informally keeping up with friends through social media. The networking opportunities offered by studies at WMU extend far into the future.
Should you bring your family to Malmö?
Many students wish to bring their families to Malmö, but in reality very few can afford to do so. It is costly and making arrangements for your family is time-consuming, especially in a foreign country. Students find their studies very demanding and difficult to balance with family life.
If you make the decision to bring your family you should in any case arrive here alone. This will allow you to make suitable arrangements for their accommodation, as children are not allowed to live at the Student Residence at any time. The cost of renting a basic apartment is currently around SEK12,000 per month, plus utilities. Very few apartments are currently available, especially in this low price range.
The arrangements made by the University apply only to students, and not to dependants. If you want to bring your family, you must arrange financial support for them, quite apart from any fellowship that you may yourself hold. Your home government or employer is expected to continue to pay your salary while you are studying at the University, particularly to support your family, whether they remain in your home country or come to Malmö. Such arrangements are entirely a matter for students and their sponsoring government/organisations, and do not involve the University in any way.
If you intend to bring your family to Malmö, you must obtain the necessary immigration clearance for them to enter Sweden before they leave your home country. You must be able to demonstrate to the Swedish authorities that you can support your family financially, in line with Swedish regulations, and that you can afford the necessary health insurance for the whole period of their visit. Such insurance is quite expensive.
If you are joined in Malmö by your husband or wife only, he or she may share your accommodation in the Residence, but please remember that the apartments were designed and are equipped to accommodate only one person comfortably. It is not possible for children to live at the Residence, even for short periods, and so families with children must arrange outside housing at their own expense.
Instead of bringing their families for the whole period of their studies, many WMU students arrange a shorter visit during the summer months or at graduation.