Third cycle studies

Third-cycle studies within the arts are a central part of the research environment at Stockholm University of the Arts, SKH. Since 2016, SKH has been authorised to award doctoral degrees in artistic practices, and we offer third cycle studies in the subject area Performative and Media-Based Practices.

Since the beginning, the focus of SKH has been to create an environment that enables artistic research to be carried out between active researchers, doctoral students, artists, teachers and students at all levels of education. The doctoral programme is central to this environment. By implementing the doctoral programme as an active and critical environment for research, we make space for artists to develop their work in a way that improves knowledge and expertise within diverse artistic fields, contributes to artistic research as a transdisciplinary field, and strengthens the link between research and education. Via our unique combination of education and artistic research, our aim is to create opportunities and pathways for artists as they transform art, culture and society.

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Photo: Ellen Røed. On photo: Stacey Sacks finished research project

Doctoral studentships

We offer doctoral studentships within each of our four research specializations; Film and Media, Choreography, Performing Arts and Opera. A doctoral student is usually employed at SKH during a period of four years with the rights and obligations this entails. The doctoral program consists partly of a documented artistic research project (180 ECTS) and partly of courses (60 ECTS) equivalent to one year of full-time studies. At present we have 24 doctoral students.

Read more about the programme Performative and Media Based Practices.

Read more about our doctoral students.

Our doctoral students are part of the research environment at the university. In addition to developing and implementing their artistic research projects, they attend courses and participate in a seminar culture that supports the development of their artistic practice. They have access to relevant and qualified supervision and are in dialogue with an active and cross-disciplinary artistic research environment.

The main part of the education is carried out on SKH's campus and the doctoral student is expected to be present at their workplace on campus. In addition to their own studies, the doctoral student is expected to participate in other activities at the university. Through special agreements, the doctoral student can teach with up to 20% of full-time.

Interaction with the research environment and art world

As a doctoral student, you are part of and contribute to a cross-disciplinary research and educational environment based on artistic practice and discourse. You present your research at the university as well as in other contexts and you give and receive criticism in dialogue with other doctoral students, supervisors, and students as well as other researchers, artists and seminar participants.

SKH organises an array of activities that contribute to a high-quality doctoral programme, for example research seminars, percentage seminars for doctoral students, conferences and symposiums. Participation in these activities enable the doctoral student to become an independent researcher in the arts. It is important for the education that the doctoral student also engages with the artistic field to which their documented artistic research project aims to contribute.

The research environment at SKH

Research center is responsible for the doctoral programme and hosts the activities within the interdisciplinary research environment. The research center is also the base of four interdisciplinary profile areas and four profile professors: Site, event, encounter; Concept and composition; Bodily and vocal practices; Art, technology, materiality.

Our artistic research environment offers unique opportunities for in-depth studies and cross-disciplinary research collaborations. For example, cross-disciplinary research seminars are held once a week. Here, artistic researchers discuss their ongoing projects, identify common lines of enquiry and develop interdisciplinary approaches.

The research environment at this University is inclusive and critically engaged. We consciously recruit and give voice to a diversity of perspectives and practices. Our university is a meeting-place for independent artists, artistic researchers and educators; we are working together to create meaningful contributions to art, culture and society.

Artistic research in Sweden

In Sweden, artistic research and third-cycle studies been conducted at most institutions of higher art education over the past twenty years. Research projects of high artistic quality have been developed. Establishing doctoral programmes in the faculties of Gothenburg and Lund universities, created a stable foundation for both the artistic research community and artistic research environment. Introducing artistic doctoral degrees in the legislation in 2010, further strengthened the specific position of arts in society.

Artistic research, as it manifests in Sweden, is compatible with the broader Scandinavian approach which situates artistic practice as foundational to an artistic research project. SKH works towards developing artistic practices and processes, contributing to the international field of artistic research via this strong emphasis on, and commitment to, artistic practice.


For general questions regarding doctoral studies at SKH, please contact

Kent Olofsson
Professor in Performing arts for the profile area Concept and Composition and Head of third-cycle subject area

Hanna Husberg  
Third-cycle Education Coordinator 

Aila Gengelbach
Third-cycle Education Officer