The doctoral courses

As well as producing a thesis, doctoral students at Leuphana University of Lüneburg engage in an active exchange with supervisors and fellow doctoral candidates, deepen their knowledge of methodology, reflect on scientific theories, discuss practical and ethical research questions and share their own research with the national and international scientific community.

The following four compulsory doctoral modules in German and English help you to acquire these important research and professional skills:

  • Subject-specific Research Colloquium (two classes)
  • Research Methods (one class)
  • Scientific Practice/Ethics (one class)
  • Philosophy of Science (one class)

The four modules are worth a total of 25 credit points. Coursework such as presentations or essays, which are not graded, is required to pass the modules.

Under certain conditions, the recognition of equivalent external credits is possible. You can find more information on this in the section Organising your doctorate.

Scope & timescale

Doctoral courses comprise a total of a good two weeks of class time during your doctorate. The attendance time for each individual class for the doctoral modules generally amounts to a total of 21 hours each, and are held either weekly or fortnightly or offered as block seminars.

Weekly and fortnightly classes usually run during the lecture period, while block seminars generally run over three or four days in February and March and in July and September. The specific dates and times are usually published in myStudy four weeks before lectures start.

The doctoral modules must be successfully completed by the time you submit your thesis at the latest. We recommend taking the Research Methods, Scientific Practice/Ethics and Philosophy of Science modules at the beginning of your doctorate, i.e. in the 1st or 2nd year.

Module content

Scientific Practice/Ethics: The module offers a practical introduction to "Doctorate Project", or more specifically to writing your thesis – from finding a topic to successfully presenting and publishing your paper. On a more abstract level, the module also explores questions of freedom and responsibility in science and research in general.

Philosophy of Science: This module addresses a range of perspectives on "the" science(s) and reflects on various epistemological principles and scientific methodologies, such as the relationship between theory and empiricism. You will also look at the (historical) development of the science(s).

Research Methods: This module familiarises students with a range of research methods from various different disciplines, such as historical, hermeneutic approaches; qualitative, interpretative methods (for example discourse analysis and expert interviews), and quantitative, empirical methods (for example experiments and statistics).

Subject-Specific Research Colloquium: Research colloquia bring together doctoral students and supervisors from your field to discuss the latest research questions and processes. Furthermore, you will present your own doctoral project (research issue, objectives and methodology) twice to at least two supervisors in the doctoral research group during the colloquia.

You can take a look at the current course catalogue for Leuphana University and the courses offered in previous semesters with guest access to the web-based platform myStudy. Personal myStudy login details will be sent to you once you have been admitted to a doctorate at Leuphana so that you can register for classes and access material.