Expiry of doctoral studies

By selecting a degree programme you are able to see the general content as well as the possible degree programme-specific content. You do not have to select a degree programme to see the Open University's instructions.

Disciplines develop constantly, and curricula is also developed to match the most recent, research-based knowledge. This is why the university has set timelines within which your completed studies are valid for degrees or study modules.

How long are the studies I have completed valid for a study module?

In addition to the doctoral thesis, the doctoral degree includes two study modules. Credits completed no more than ten years ago can be used as a part of your study modules. The time limit is calculated by term. For example, if you complete your Discpline-Specific Studies module in April 2022, all studies included in the module must have been completed in the spring semester of 2012 or after.

Once the studies have been registered into a module, the expiry of the entire module is calculated from the date of completion of the most recent study unit within the module.

How long are the modules I have completed valid for a degree?

At the time of graduation, the study modules to be included in the degree cannot be more than ten years old. The time limit is calculated by term, so a study module completed in January 2018 would be valid for a degree until the end of the spring term 2028.

The date of completion of a study module is the same as the date of completion of the most recent study unit completed for the module.

What happens if my studies expire?

If your studies / modules have expired, you will have to complete them again to be able to use them as a part of the degree.

Will studies included in a Licentiate degree expire?

The expiry rules apply also to Licentiate degrees. Furthermore, studies / modules included in a prior Licentiate degree can no longer be used for a doctoral degree if they have expired.

Can expired studies be recognised to the degree as prior learning?

Expired studies cannot be recognised to the degree as prior learning. If the studies have expired, you must complete them again to be able to include them in your degree.

Need help?

If you are unsure about the effect the expiry rules have on your studies and what's the best way to go with e.g. registering study modules, you can always be in touch with the doctoral student services of your home faculty. The staff at the doctoral student services know the expiry rules by heart and can help you find the best possible solution to your particular situation.