The department presently has about 20 senior scientists (incl. post-docs) and about 25 graduate students. Research at the department covers most fields of modern astronomy. The different research areas are described in the annual report (more up to date information can be obtained by contacting individual faculty members). A graduate student works in a research group consisting of senior researchers, post-docs, and other graduate students, and is guaranteed a desk and a computer. There is ample computer power at the department, and, through national instrument projects and memberships in ESO and ESA, very good observing facilities are available to Swedish-based astronomers.

The graduate studies nominally take 4 years, and consist of the equivalent of 1 year of course work and 3 years of thesis work. These achievements are often measured in ECTS credits, where 60 credits represent one year. In Sweden these credits also go under the name of "högskolepoäng", abbreviated as "hp". [Note that before 2007 a different credit system was commonly used, which had 40 credits in a year, and was abbreviated as "p". In some documents one may still encounter this older system.]
ECTS points system

The graduate studies are normally financed for 4 years in the form of a graduate study grant ("utbildningsbidrag") or as employment in the form of a PhD studentship ("doktorandtjänst"). Only in exceptional cases are students admitted to graduate studies without such support. In addition there may be the possiblity of an assistantship at the 20% level, thereby extending the funding to cover 5 years.

The official document on graduate studies in Sweden is the "doktorandhandbok" (Handbook of Postgraduate Studies) from the National Agency for Higher Education.

Handbook of Postgraduate Studies (English version)
Doktorandhandboken (Swedish version)

The Faculty of Natural Sciences at Stockholm University provides some additional information.

Guidelines for research education, Faculty of Science

1.1 Goals

The goal of the graduate studies is to give the student a knowledge- and experience base within astronomy which will make him/her a critical and independent researcher who can plan and execute research projects resulting in publications in refereed journals. Of particular importance is a broad insight into the different areas of modern astronomy, an understanding of different scientific methods, and the ability to interpret results from these. Particulary deep knowledge and experience will be gained within a one chosen field of astronomy, the thesis subject.