Prospective students can choose from seven thematic doctoral programmes*. The primary goal of these doctoral programmes is the ongoing advancement of research, teaching and qualification in the sphere of doctoral studies. Thematic doctoral programmes allow for the structured thematic supervision of participating doctoral students as well as supporting the development of their internationally competitive academic careers.
The programmes are shaped by teams of academics (faculty and doctoral students) coming together to form broad research communities, in order to jointly push forward the research in a specific thematic field – if desired, teams can combine members from different faculties and may work in cooperation with other universities. Thus, the thematic doctoral programmes are expected to sharpen the definition of the AAU research profile and reinforce key research focus areas.
Rather than being considered as an independent curriculum, a thematic doctoral programme should be viewed as an extension of the available options within the scope of the established doctoral degrees; as such, doctoral degrees are not being replaced by thematic doctoral programmes, but rather expanded. A coordinated range of courses designed for the longer term and a firm grounding in a relevant research context are combined to provide the organizational framework of each thematic doctoral programme.