At the start of the research period of the doctoral programme, the UOC will map out a personalized learning pathway for each student taking into account his or her research skills and knowledge (particularly in terms of research methods) and research interests. This pathway may involve courses, seminars and other research training activities. If such activities are included on a student's personal learning pathway, they must be completed with a passing mark.

In order to gain the advanced training they require to complete their research project, students must complete the courses, subjects or activities that have been mapped out on their personal learning pathway during the research period of the doctoral programme.

The training offered during the organized research period comprises several training activities of varying types, durations, timings and objectives. These are structured into five blocks: methodological courses, thematic research seminars, bridging courses, complementary research-oriented training activities and a doctoral research seminar. Some of these training activities, such as those that make up the methodological courses, thematic research seminars and the doctoral research seminar, are divided into two areas: the information and knowledge society, and network and information technologies.

Table summarizing the training blocks offered during the organized research period:

Type of training activity Duration Teaching  mode Timing Compulsory or optional
Bridging courses One semester Online 1st year (1st or 2nd semester) Compulsory
Optional courses One semester Online 1st year (1st or 2nd semester) Optional
Research, transfer and entrepreneurship courses One semester Online During the research period Optional
Workshops 10 hours Online During the research period Optional
Research seminar One year On-site During the research period Compulsory1
Training seminarsAcademic participation activities N/A On-site During the research period Compulsory1

1Activities aimed at full-time doctoral students studying on-site.

The inclusion of courses, seminars and activities on students' learning pathways will depend on their prior research training and experience, as well as on the specific field or subject addressed in their research project.
Courses

Students' learning pathways may include optional courses. The decision to include courses of this type is made by the doctoral programme's Academic Committee based on the specific training needs as per the admission requirements. This may include courses from the University's master's degrees, especially for students from outside the European Higher Education Area. If included, students must complete them with a passing mark during the first academic year of their doctoral programme.

The Interdisciplinary Analysis of the Network Society course, taught by professor Manuel Castells, provides particularly useful information for the data analysis stage of research, which is why we recommend that students wait until the 4th semester of their doctoral programme to take it.

 

Timing

Assignatures

ECTS credits

Type

Language

1st year Research Design in Social Sciences 5  Mandatory English
2nd year Elearning Thematic Seminar 3  Mandatory English
1st or 2nd semester Research in e-Learning 5 Optional Catalan/Spanish
1st or 2nd semester Research Methods 5 Optional Catalan/Spanish
1st or 2nd semester Data Analysis Techniques 6

Optional

Catalan/Spanish
1st or 2nd semester Construction of Instruments for Research 5 Optional Catalan/Spanish
1st or 2nd semester Advanced Qualitative Methods in Knowledge Society Research 5 Optional English
1st or 2nd semester Advanced Quantitative Methods in Knowledge Society Research 5 Optional English
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: https://estudios.uoc.edu/en/doctoral-programmes

 

Workshops

The student may be able to take part in short training activities to support their research, depending on the nature of their previous studies, research interests and course mode (full-time on-site, or online).

Timing Workshops ECTS credits Type Language
Annual (1st semester) Search for Academic Information 0 Recommended English
Annual (1st semester) Bibliographic Reference Management 0 Recommended English
Annual (2nd semester) Where to Publish: How to Identify Leading Journals 0 Recommended English
Self-learning NVivo Qualitative Analysis 0 Optional English
Bridging courses

Students' learning pathways may include bridging courses. These bridging courses are based on the specific training needs associated with the entry requirements and are assigned by the Doctoral Degree Academic Committee.

Timing Subjects ECTS credits Type Language
1st or 2nd semester Research Design in Social Sciences 6 Compulsory English
1st or 2nd semester English B2.1 6 Optional English
1st o 2nd semester English B2.2 6 Optional English
 

 

Research Design in Social Sciences

The Research Design in Social Sciences course lasts one semester and is taught in English using the UOC's usual e-learning process. It provides advanced training in research methodology in some of the fields in which the research project is being conducted.

This course is compulsory. All students must enrol on it and pass it during the first semester. In special cases, the doctoral programme's Academic Committee may exempt students from taking it when, during the admission period, they submit proof of having completed this training beforehand and have already finished their thesis plan.

English

If, for example, the student does not have the required B2 level of English, they will be required to study the courses offered by the UOC's Centre for Modern Languages: English B2.1. and English B2.2.

In any event, to complete the doctoral studies, we recommend that students achieve a C1 level of English, which can also be achieved through the English C1.1 and English C1.2 courses.

Research seminar

Throughout the organized research period, students are expected to participate actively in the doctoral research seminar, whether on-site (if they are studying full-time) or online.

The aim of the doctoral research seminar is for doctoral students, professors and other UOC researchers to come together to discuss research projects (whether in progress or completed). Visiting lecturers and other invited experts will also give presentations on subjects of interest to the students.

 

Academic participation activities

This concept includes participation in all types of activities typically carried out by professional scientists and considered inherent to researcher training. These include presenting papers at conferences, going on research stays, publishing scientific articles and organizing academic activities. Presenting papers at conferences and publishing scientific articles during the doctoral programme are considered compulsory.

Enrolment

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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