Depending on what studies the doctoral student has already completed, and whether or not they have obtained initiation to research credits in an official postgraduate course, it may be deemed appropriate for them to take bridging courses. These bridging courses are made up of courses already existing in the University's official postgraduate programmes.

In the event a doctoral student is assigned bridging courses as part of their study plan, they shall have to take these courses and pass them during their first academic year.

The programme's duration is a maximum of 3 years full-time or 5 years part-time, from admission of the student onto the programme until submission of their doctoral thesis. This period does not include any maternity or paternity leave or absences due to long-term illness, subject to approval from the Academic Committee.
Research, transfer and entrepreneurship courses
The UOC also offers research, transfer and entrepreneurship courses in English aimed at students, researchers and faculty to foster research in scientific, academic and business fields.

Research, transfer and entrepreneurship courses can be recognized as free elective credits on bachelor¿s degree courses. If you are studying a doctoral degree at any university and have obtained a competitive grant, you can also study it as part of your training resources.

You can check all the courses in the website:


Formative activities:

Competencies development aimed at communication and dissemination of research
Basic level. (OBLIGATORY)

No. of hours: 36

Every year, each of the Programme's Selection and Monitoring Committees organize follow-up workshops, holding sessions to meet with all the doctoral students who started together in the same year. These workshops shall also be used to develop students' competencies in relation to how they communicate their research, something that will be the object of special attention during the presentations.

The workshops will be held at one of the participating universities, on a rotational basis, meaning students shall have to travel. In some cases where justification is provided (eg stays or residence abroad), the doctoral student may have the option of engaging in the follow-up activity by video conference. However, during the thesis it is obligatory to perform at least one follow-up session in person.


Attending working doctoral groups

No. of hours: 48

Every year, the doctoral programme organizes a scientific workshop lasting one day. Each doctoral student must participate in at least two of these workshops, and must present a poster. The objective of the workshops is to expound the state of thesis project research processes in their initial, central and final stages, presenting works and sharing them for discussion. The sessions are always organized in 3 levels:

INITIAL: Conceptual starting points and complete research plan

CENTRAL: Methodologies used and methodological problems needing solving

FINAL: Expected results and results already obtained

The workshops will follow a standard format, with oral presentations and two sessions (morning and afternoon) for posters. The language for the workshop will be that of the Programme (English). In advance, doctoral students must send a summary to the Academic Committee, from which talks lasting 20 minutes (plus 10 minutes discussion) will be selected for each of the 3 levels mentioned.

This is an activity that allows for the sharing of students' experiences at three crucial moments in the development of their studies, and provides those running the programme with a clear idea about the evolution of each student's ¿ its direction, its level, and the pace at which the research is progressing.

The workshops will be held at one of the participating universities, on a rotational basis, meaning students shall have to travel. The exception to this is international online students, whose participation in the workshops can also be online.


Attending seminars or conferences given by experts from the same field

No. of hours: 9

The Doctoral Programme organizes a series of scientific seminars, which take place about once every 2 months (4 seminars per academic year). The goal is to improve students' knowledge on subject areas related to their research for their doctoral thesis. Each doctoral student must attend at least 3 of these seminars per academic year, over the course of 3 academic years. The seminars will be led by internationally respected researchers, and will focus on the topics covered by the Programme.

The sessions will be held at one of the participating universities, meaning students shall have to travel. The exception to this is international online students, whose participation in the seminars can also be online.


Making a presentation (oral or a poster) at a national or international conference

No. of hours: 100

Presentation and discussion of the research you have carried out, in front of an audience who are well-versed in the topic in question, can be one of the best ways of learning about and improving your research work. As such, the context of an international conference dedicated specifically to the subject area in which a doctoral student is developing their thesis, attended by researchers who are well-respected in their field, represents an essential test in the completion of the future researcher's training.

The doctoral programme therefore proposes that students participate in an scientific event such as an international conference or workshop, where they can present the results of their research and receive comments or criticisms from specialist researchers of renown in their field, while also participating in discussions and commenting/reflecting on the main questions in their subject area.

The nature of this task requires that their work be at a well-defined stage, so students will need to have reached an advanced stage in their thesis. This activity will be supervised and guided by the thesis tutor or director.



Production of a research paper, sent to an impactful journal

No. of hours: 500

The student's most significant results are to be presented in the form of a scientific paper.

As part of the production of a doctoral thesis and as a key element in the training and development of future researchers, it is particularly important to devote special attention to the capacity of doctoral degree programme students to optimally develop their scientific work, in both its form and its content, in alignment with the international research community. It is therefore essential that they understand the means, mechanisms, tools, presentation strategies, formal strategies, and standard requirements for the publication of a research paper in an indexed journal.

Given that papers are very often the number one instrument used in research today, it is considered to be of paramount importance that, before obtaining their doctoral degree, students have the experience of writing at least one scientific paper for publication in an indexed journal.

This activity is to be performed as the student is arriving towards the completion of their experimental work, when they have obtained results that can steer their scientific publication.



The doctoral candidates admitted to the programme shall be assigned an advisor who is a UOC lecturer or researcher holding a PhD and with accredited research experience in the same knowledge or subject area and sufficient knowledge of the programme. The advisor shall ensure the doctoral candidate's interaction with the Academic Commission.

The doctoral advisor, taking into account the criteria established in each programme and the prior training and experience of the doctoral candidate, shall propose a personalised academic itinerary to the Academic Commission. The advisor shall also collaborate with the Academic Commission in selecting the lecturers or researchers to direct the thesis. The Academic Commission can modify the advisor assignment under justified circumstances.

Doctoral tutors are responsible for informing doctoral students of their personalized pathways, once they have been approved by the Academic Council, and for guiding and supporting them during their adaptation to the new learning environment. They moreover have to provide their students with the assistance they need to successfully complete their activities and must regularly review their students' activity documents in order to ensure that all the milestones on the pathway are reached.

Tutors have to endorse their doctoral students' research plans by the end of the first year. Subsequently, and at least once a year, they must issue a report for the Academic Committee on their doctoral students' progress on the approved research plan.

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Teaching starting: September 2021

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