Objectives and research plan


The doctoral programme focuses on developing the following competences and skills:

  • a systematic understanding of the field of e-learning and mastery of related skills and methods;

  • the ability to identify relevant research problems within the framework of a recognized line of research, and design a significant, viable research project in the field of e-learning;

  • the ability to carry out a significant, critical analysis and assessment of specialist publications and new ideas in the three key areas that structure knowledge in e-learning (i.e. organization and management, teaching and learning processes, and learning technologies);

  • mastery of research methods and techniques used in the field of e-learning (quantitative and qualitative) in line with research objectives, and the ability to pursue a significant, academically rigorous research process in the field of e-learning;

  • the ability to contribute to extending the boundaries of knowledge by developing a substantial body of research work, some of which merits refereed publication at the national or international level;

  • the ability to engage in specialized communication with peers, the academic community as a whole and wider society on the subject of e-learning, and, more specifically, with the online network of researchers;

  • an attitude oriented towards promoting, in academic and professional contexts, technological, social and cultural advancement in connection with e-learning, within a knowledge-based society;

  • mastery of the skills required to engage in teamwork in a virtual environment, and the ability to integrate knowledge, make judgments, and communicate clearly and concisely;

  • the ability to use critical, evidence-based reasoning to defend intellectual solutions in the field of e-learning.

Research plan

The research plan is a document prepared by the doctoral student in accordance with criteria approved by the Academic Committee for the programme. It must be approved by the student's thesis supervisor and endorsed by his/her tutor. This plan describes the original research work that the student will do to earn a doctoral degree.

Before finishing the first year, doctoral students who have successfully completed the educational activity stipulated in their pathway for the period, signed the doctoral candidate agreement, and been assigned a thesis supervisor should request that the Academic Committee for the programme assess their research plan.

Taking into account the activity document and reports received, the Academic Committee will assess the content of the research plan and determine whether or not to approve it. Approval is a requisite for the doctoral student's progress in the programme. Based on the reports received, the Academic Committee will make an annual assessment of the student's progress in relation to the research plan and the activity document. A positive assessment is essential for the doctoral student to continue in the programme.

Each member of the Academic Committee, in collaboration with the tutor and the thesis supervisor, must prepare a report for the Academic Committee in which they must justify the application for the doctoral student to progress or be excluded from the programme.

The activity document is a personal record of progress that demonstrates the attainment of research skills. It includes all the activities stipulated for the development of the doctoral student and must be reviewed regularly by the tutor, the thesis supervisor and the Academic Committee.

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Teaching starting: September 2023