Objectives and research plan


The general objectives of the Doctoral Programme in the Information and Knowledge Society are:

  • To provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to conduct research on information and communication technologies, the uses thereof and the transformations they are effecting in the various areas of the humanities and social sciences.

  • To facilitate the completion, through the preparation and presentation of a doctoral thesis, of an original and innovative research initiative that contributes to the body of knowledge on the impact of information and communication technologies on one of the aforementioned areas or on the global changes being ushered in by the current emergence of an information and knowledge society.

Specifically, the programme qualifies students to:

  • Achieve a systematic understanding of the uses of and transformations being effected by information technologies in a specific field of the social sciences or humanities (whether economics and business, society and politics, media, law, information management, culture or the humanities).

  • Achieve a general interdisciplinary understanding of the global transformations being effected by the current emergence of an information and knowledge society.

  • Master the necessary general skills and qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to successfully analyse the information and knowledge society.

  • Critically analyse, assess and synthesize new and complex ideas.

  • Design research projects on a given field or subject with the originality, rigour, feasibility and scale required in academia.

  • Make significant contributions to the academic knowledge on a given field or subject through original and substantive research.

  • Develop a substantial body of work, part of which merits publication in national or international refereed journals.

  • Communicate the findings of scientific work to colleagues, the academic community in general and society at large.

  • Communicate with international scientific networks and renowned experts and participate in communities of scientific exchange.

  • Promote technological, social or cultural progress within an information and knowledge society in academic and professional contexts.

  • Expertly identify, understand and assimilate new technological and social phenomena related to the knowledge society.

Stand out for their skills in social innovation and the use of technology in their particular field or specialization.

Research plan

The research plan is a document drafted by doctoral students, with the approval of their supervisor and tutor, in accordance with the criteria approved by the programme's Academic Committee. The plan describes the original work they will do to earn their doctoral degree.

By the end of the first year, provided they have successfully completed the training activities included on their pathway for the period, signed the doctoral candidate agreement and been assigned a thesis supervisor, doctoral students will have to ask the programme's Academic Committee to assess their research plan.

To this end, the Academic Committee will assess the content of the research plan, taking into consideration the doctoral student's activity document and the reports it has received, and will decide whether or not to approve it. This approval is required for the doctoral student to continue on the programme. Each year, the corresponding Academic Committee will then assess the student's progress on the research plan and on the activity document, based on the reports it receives. To continue on the programme, students must receive a positive assessment.

The members of the Thesis Supervisory Committee participate in the assessment of the research plan and the annual assessments of the doctoral student's progress at the end of each academic year. In this regard, each member must submit the relevant report to the Academic Committee, providing the rationale for their recommendation to allow, or not allow, the doctoral student to continue on the programme. With regard to the assessment of the research plan to be submitted at the end of the first year, an additional PhD with proven research experience, to be appointed by the Academic Committee, and the Thesis Supervisory Committee will also participate, issuing the relevant report concerning their recommendation to approve or reject the plan.

The activity document is a personal progress record, offering proof of the attainment of research skills. This document includes all the activities established for doctoral students' development and is regularly reviewed by their tutor and thesis supervisor, the Academic Committee and their Thesis Supervisory Committee.

All annual progress assessments, provided the doctoral student continues to meet the progress requirements, will take into account the training and research activities completed by the doctoral student over the period under review.