The Higher Education Ordinance

The Higher Education Ordinance (HEO) is laid down by the Government and is linked to the provisions of the Higher Education Act. 

It is here that doctoral education is defined in more detail. The ordinance contains regulations on entrance qualifications and selection for courses and programmes, as well as the appointment of doctoral students. It also includes regulations on course and programme syllabuses, grades and qualifications. It contains provisions about topics such as insurance, research misconduct, employment of doctoral students.

Annex 2 to the Higher Education Ordinance contains the descriptors for all qualifications and degrees. In particular, it contains the requirements that the doctoral student must fulfill upon graduation. These include the overall type of knowledge and understanding the doctoral student should exhibit, the prerequisites they should fulfill before the final examination (the thesis and defense), and finally the criteria used to evaluate the examination for the doctoral degree. Independent, or private, HEIs also have to adhere to these examination criteria. 

The annexes to the Ordinances on the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the Ordinance on the Swedish National Defence College also contain descriptors for qualifications and degrees issued by those HEIs in particular.

The regulations in the HEO have been integrated in the study plans and syllabuses of different universities, which should be available through their websites. 

Independent, or private, HEI, are not bound by much of the HEO but they may have local regulations that in practice are similar to the HEO, in some respects.

You can find the official text of the law here and an unofficial English translation here.