General requirements

To be admitted to the organized research period of the Doctoral Programme in Humanities and Communication, students must meet both the general University and specific programme requirements.

To this end, students must first submit proof of meeting one of the following sets of requirements:

a)    Hold a an official university master's degree issued by a higher education institution in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and have passed a minimum of 300 ECTS credits out of all official university courses.

b)    Hold an official Spanish university degree, or one from an EHEA member country, that allows them admission to a master's course, and have passed a minimum of 300 ECTS credits out of all official university courses, of which at least 60 must be at the master's level.

c)    Hold an official Spanish graduate degree of at least 300 ECTS credits in line with EU legal regulations.

d)    Candidates with degrees from education systems outside the EHEA, whose degrees do not require homologation (official recognition by the Spanish Ministry of Education), must hold a level of education equivalent to Spanish university master's degrees that authorizes admission to doctoral studies in the country issuing the degree.

e)    Be a university graduate and have passed with a positive assessment at least two years of education on a programme to be awarded the official degree of any of the health sciences specialities.

f)     Hold a Spanish doctoral qualification in accordance with the previous university system.

g)    Be a graduate, architect or engineer and be in possession of the Advanced Studies Diploma (DEA), awarded in accordance with the provisions of Royal Decree 778/1998, of 30 April 1998, or have obtained research proficiency, regulated in Royal Decree 185/1985, of 23 January 1985.

Candidates who have not successfully completed the initiation to research credits for a university master's degree programme will have to take those bridging courses specified by the programme, if any.

The continued enrolment on the doctoral programme of candidates who hold only an official university bachelor's degree that, in accordance with EU law, consists of 300 ECTS credits or who have not taken and successfully completed at least 20 initiation to research credits as part of a university master's degree programme is contingent on the successful completion of the relevant bridging courses for the initiation to research module, pathway or subjects for the corresponding training period.

Admission requirements

In addition, candidates who are not citizens of English-speaking countries are required to accredit their level of English as equal to or higher than level B2 in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Part-time (online) doctoral programme candidates who do not reach the required level will have the opportunity to gain admission to the doctoral programme with level B1 if they agree to achieve level B2 before the research project is delivered at the end of the first year. If the student does not achieve this level, their research project cannot be approved, with the consequences as established in the regulations.

If the student applies for a grant, they will have to accredit a level equal to or higher than B2 from when they make the application. In any event, the ability that candidates display when providing a clear explanation in English about their academic projects will also be taken into consideration by the academic committees during the selection process.

The UOC School of Languages offers English courses to achieve the minimum levels required to gain admission to the different doctoral programmes (B2). 

If the candidate has been schooled or has completed a bachelor's or master's degree (or equivalent condition for admission to the doctoral programme) in English as a vehicular language in a country where English is the official language, their level will be recognized as correct for admission to the corresponding doctoral programme.

The UOC accredits a knowledge of English through level tests for this language conducted online, which can be accessed via this link. A score of between 72 and 94 accredits a level that corresponds to that of B2 in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. To take this test, you need to specify the code that corresponds to the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya: 4418. This code does not exempt the student from payment of the cost of the exam and corresponding fees.

The student may also demonstrate their English language skills with another official qualification that accredits a level equivalent to or higher than the one required. You can use this equivalency table to consult examples of qualifications that correspond to these levels.

Students must submit the formal admission application and associated documentation for each doctoral programme in accordance with the established requirements and terms (consult the specific admission requirements for each programme).

Fulfilment of these stipulated requirements does not guarantee admission to the doctoral programme. These requirements are the necessary conditions for submitting an application to the competitive call for admission to the doctoral programme.

Admission documents

All candidates who apply to be admitted on a doctoral programme at the UOC should submit the following documents:

-       A photocopy of their DNI, NIE or passport.

-       A statement of interest in which the candidate makes a short presentation of their career and explains the candidate's specific reasons for applying to the programme (their motivations), a description of their research interests, as well as a brief research proposal and the links with the research group. 

-       A letter of endorsement that appears in the name of research that supports the personal doctoral project, as well as its intention to be your tutor.

-       A curriculum that describes the programmes and master's degree or postgraduate courses the candidate has taken that are related to the research interests described in the statement of interest and, if applicable, a description of previous scientific output.

-       An example of a recent academic paper (in Catalan, Spanish or English).

-       Academic certificates for the doctoral student's previous training, which state the subjects taken and the mark obtained, the sitting, the kind of subject, the number of credits and the average mark in the academic transcript, if this has not been submitted to prove that the admission requirements have been met.

-       Certificate of the level of English required by the doctoral programme.

-       Documents that prove that the candidate meets the admission requirements, you will find more information on this section within the Office's Secretary Campus. 

In the case of university qualifications obtained in higher education systems outside the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and not homologated (officially recognized by the Spanish Ministry of Education), the university degree must be authenticated via diplomatic channels (or, if necessary, in a Hague Convention apostille). When certificates, degrees and academic transcripts are not written in an official language of the Spanish state or in English, these documents must be accompained by their sworn translation into Catalan, Spanish or English. Failure to provide these documents or the fact that the details they contain do not match what was stated in the application may lead to non-admission on the doctoral programme.

Once the admission documentation has been reviewed and your application accepted, admission to the programme depends on your presenting the official documentation. 

Evaluation criteria

Applying for admission to the doctoral programme or for the doctoral grants programme are two separate things, but both processes use the same registration form. Applications for admission to the programme are assessed using the criteria established in the doctoral programme's official specifications, as published both in the Spanish Government's Official Gazette and on the UOC's website. Whereas applications for the grants programme are assessed using the criteria established in the call for applications, and each programme assesses the applications taking into account specific criteria to classify them.

Nevertheless, both processes use the same rubric. This table has the rubric and a description of how the Humanities and Communication doctoral programme's Academic Committee processes the applications.

Assessment rubric for applicants for admission and the grants programme Link
Description of the process and classifications




1 December 2010: Start of the application period for grants and admission to doctoral programmes.

12 February 2021: Aplication period deadline

May 2021: Publication of the list of candidates of the UOC grant recipients.

June 2021: Publication of the list of candidates admitted to the programmes.

June 2021: Start enrolment period 2021-22.

September 2021: Teaching starting academic course 2021-22.

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