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Department of Geography

During your PhD

The administration and documentation of all processes related to your PhD studies once you are matriculated will be done via the MNF Student Admin Tool.

Annual Committee Meetings

Meetings of the PhD candidate and the PhD committee take place at least annually.

Template for PhD Committee Meeting Minutes (DOCX, 34 KB)

Course Work

Doctoral students are required to gain 12 credit points according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Of these 12 credit points, 6 must be gained from a core set of mandatory courses which all doctoral students must attend. The remaining 6 credit points can be gathered from a number of recommended courses and optional courses offered within the framework of the Graduate School or the wider university.

Important: PhD students who at short notice do not attend courses in which they have reserved places may be asked to refund the costs to the Graduate School.

Mandatory Core Courses

The first four courses described below are offered annually by the Graduate School and all PhDs must visit them. All PhDs must also obtain at least 2 ECTS in transferable skills, of which 1 must cover scientific writing. These transferable skills courses can be selected from the periodic offerings of the Graduate School, or other offerings as decided appropriate by the PhD Committee.

Course ECTS   Short Description
PhD seminar I 1 Introductionary seminar
PhD seminar II 1 Identifying and improving personal weaknesses
Interdisciplinary teaching in geography 1 Cross-disciplinary teaching
Retreat seminar (to be visited twice) Presentations from on-going research and guest speakers.
Scientific writing 1 Course with focus on scientific writing skills for publications and dissertation
Transferable skills 1 Grant writing, CV development, presentation skills, and more


Course ECTS   Short Description
Language courses 1 Language skills are key in scientific communication and integration in a multi-national workplace
Project management  1 Project management skills tailored to doctoral students needs
Moderation skills 1 Important skill both for research, teaching and in the workplace
Scientific Integrity 1 Ethics of scientific work and interaction with the public
GIUZ Lectures 1 Lectures by leading scholars in Geography


Further Optional Courses

Course ECTS   Short Description
Methodologically relevant courses   Methodological courses offered by the various UZH competence centres
Didactics courses 1-2 Courses offered by the UZH teaching and learning centre



Teaching Duties

All PhD students must participate in at least 100 and no more than 420 hours of teaching. This requirement also applies to PhD students who are not stationed at the Department of Geography [PVO IV, 10]. Students and their PhD advisor should lay out a plan for the teaching assistance and include it in the doctoral agreement. Teaching hours at the Science Education Center (in Geography) will be accredited.

Catalogue of potential activities (PDF, 107 KB)

Weiterführende Informationen

MNF Student Admin Tool

Important: Keep track of your annual committee meetings, course work and teaching duties in the MNF Student Admin Tool.

Contact points for doctoral students at the Faculty of Science

If you encounter problems during your doctoral studies, there are various contact points at the Faculty of Science.