PhD in Information Security
Gjøvik University College has been offering a doctoral (Ph.D.) programme in Information Security in its own right since accreditation was granted in
2008. The Faculty of Computer Science and Media Technology is home to the largest research group in information security in Norway and arguably in Scandinavia and is also host of the CCIS Centre for Cyber and Information Security, linking it to key government and industrial research groups through its academic staff.
This Ph.D. programme consists of a taught component with introductory and research skill as well as specialised courses and seminars on research topics and of guided and independent studies comprising the bulk of the time. It is is offered both on a full-time and part-time basis with a nominal full-time study duration of three years.
The programme is conducted entirely in English, and students benefit not only from a broad range of research specialisations afforded by a large and research-intensive faculty but also from a highly active international network. Graduates are well-placed for positions in academia as well as leading positions in government and industry in this sought-after field.
Academic staff are conducting and supervising research including in the following areas:
- Biometrics, Identification, and Authentication
- Control and Embedded Systems Security
- Critical Infrastructure Protection Models
- Cyber Crime Investigation, Digital and Computational Forensics
- Human and Organisational Aspects of Information Security
- Information Security Management and Governance
- Information Theoretic Security and Covert Channels
- Intrusion Detection, Prevention, and Incident Management
- Network, Distributed Systems, and Communication Security
- Operating Systems, Applications, and Software Security
- Privacy and Anonymity
- Security Engineering, Testing, and Standardisation
The majority of research will be conducted within the context of the Norwegian Information Security Laboratory (NISlab) and CCIS, but the programme is also embedded not only in research conducted by academic staff in the Faculty of Computer Science and Media Technology, but also part of a broader environment with taught offerings in information security at the B.Sc. and M.Sc. level.
The national research school COINS ( Research School of Computer and Information Security ) is hosted by Gjøvik University College and offers courses/seminars that are part of Ph.D. training, supports network establishment with business and academia in Norway, and increases student mobility in the Nordic countries and in Europe. Other participants in COINS are NTNU, UiA, UiB, UiO, UiS, and UiT.
The minimum requirements for admission to the Ph.D. programme is the equivalent of a Norwegian (European) two-year M.Sc. degree relevant to the field of study with at least a 'B' (on a scale from A (best) to F) average. The Master's thesis must have grade A or B. However, the admissions board may also decide to conditionally admit candidates not satisfying all of these requirements.
Candidates must demonstrate proficiency in spoken and written English.
Funding and Fees
Whilst a limited number of studentships are available from state and industrial sponsors as well as from research project grants, it is not possible to extend studentships to all applicants.
Students may hence also apply whilst being self-funded, but must ensure in this case that they have sufficient funds to complete a Ph.D. study programme. Obtaining external funding is difficult, and candidates are strongly advised to actively explore all available opportunities to secure funding, and note that it may be possible to combine sources of funding.
External funding can be obtained from sources including:
- Employers: Some employers offer full or part-time support for their employees to complete a Ph.D. research programme.
- Scholarships: Typically extended by home governments, some charities, and also industry, these must be sought after by applicants individually.
- Private funding: Some candidates may choose to rely on private funds to support their studies.
For general information on the programme, requirements, and the need for documentation please contact
Dr. Stein Runar Olsen
Ph.D. Programme Administrator
Telephone: +47 611 35 188
For queries on research and potential supervisors, please contact
Prof. Dr. Stephen Wolthusen
Ph.D. Programme Director
Telephone: +47 611 35 289 or +44 1784 443 270
Candidates are encouraged to study the research interests and published track record of potential supervisors. Once an enquiry has been received, it will be circulated amongst potential supervisors, and a response will be forthcoming as soon as a decision is made. In certain circumstances it will be necessary to request further information, or invitations to visit the department will be made.
It should be noted that independent of funding, the ability to extend an offer of supervision is contingent on the availability of a supervisor to support a given area of Ph.D. studies. Occasionally this may result in qualified candidates being turned down for lack of resources.
How to Apply
Applications are generally encouraged to proceed in two stages. The first stage serves to assess the research interests and capabilities, and to match successful candidates with suitable supervisors. If successful, a preliminary acceptance into the programme is offered.
The second stage of the process consists mainly of the elaboration of a detailed research proposal and plan in collaboration with the supervisor, which will then be considered formally by the Admissions Board; the preliminary stage must not last for more than six months.
For the first application stage, basic information and documentation is collected to ensure eligibility for the programme, but in addition further information is helpful and should be provided by applicants in the form of a statement containing:
- Reasons for application and desire to study towards a Ph.D. in Information Security,
- Statement on how the candidate would see himself or herself in the research group,
- Statement on research areas of interest (this may be accompanied by a brief research proposal, but identifying some area of specialisation is typically sufficient), and
- Statement identifying potential supervisors based on the respective potential research areas.
Students are required to take 30 ECTS credit points in taught courses at the Ph.D. level, typically taught in the form of research seminars and
adapted dynamically depending on ongoing research and requirements.
Two courses or their equivalent are mandatory, namely
- 'Ethics and Legal Aspects of Scientific Research' (IMT 6001), and
- 'Introduction to Information Security' (IMT 6011)
Up to 10 ECTS credit points may be taken at the M.Sc. level; the choice of modules is made and adjusted as part of individual study plans. It should be noted that the modules may be completed at any time provided that a sufficient number of modules has been completed successfully by the time that the dissertation is submitted. Suitable modules from other colleges and universities may also be credited.
Gjøvik University College
Semester fee: 750 NOK