Universität Bielefeld

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Structure of the doctoral degree program

The duration of the program, including the writing of the dissertation, is generally three years (six semesters).

The academic year begins every winter semester and is divided into three sections, each of which encompasses one academic year:

  • Following final approval of the dissertation topic, the first year of study (with a total of 8 semester week hours (SWS)) is devoted to preparing the theoretical and methodological analysis of the selected dissertation question. Students will identify the public-health relevance of their topic and will address its interdisciplinary facets. Courses and lectures focus on theoretical and methodological operating principles of the health sciences.
  • In the second year of study (4 SWS), students continue their work from the previous year, and additionally begin focusing on the targeted theoretical and empirical treatment of their dissertation research question. During this phase, students generally begin collecting empirical data and carrying out preliminary analyses.
  • During the third year of study (4 SWS), students focus on completion of the individual chapters of the dissertation. To enable this, the year is structured like a scientific writing lab. The lectures will support students in being able to complete the theoretical, methodological and topical parts of the dissertation, under the supervision of a professor of the Bielefeld School of Public Health.

The doctoral program has been developed as a "face-to-face" program and is supported with the help of a multimedia learning approach. The program cultivates contact between lecturers and students through modern media.

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