Universitat Rovira i Virgili

What is a doctoral programme?

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Duration / Content / Access and admission

A doctorate is the highest academic certificate awarded by the University. It gives the student competencies and skills in quality scientific research.

Doctoral studies are structured in doctoral programmes, adapted to the European Higher Education Area, which consist of a set of educational activities designed so that students can acquire competencies and skills that culminate in the production and defence of the doctoral thesis, a work of original research in any field of knowledge. The doctoral thesis qualifies the doctoral student for independent work in RDI.

Doctoral students may register for their doctoral studies as full-time students or (if authorised by the academic committee) as part-time students. If they register full-time, they have three years in which to complete their doctoral studies; if they register part-time, they have five years to complete their studies. The total duration of their doctoral studies is calculated from the date on which they first register for the doctoral programme to the date on which they deposit their thesis.




Extra extension

Full time

Part time

3  years*

5  years*

+ 1  year

+ 2 years

+ 1 year

* From the date on which they first register for the doctoral programme to the date on which they deposit their thesis.

The main task of doctoral students is research and the development of the doctoral thesis.

Doctoral programmes consist of a variety of educational activities that do not need to be structured in ECTS credits and which are described in the report on each programme.

Educational activities are of two types:

- On the one hand, the institution identifies a range of general activities that all doctoral students of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili must do in order to acquire a basic scientific training. In this group of activities are the doctoral training in the strict sense (the writing of the thesis), the dissemination of scientific output and the mobility experiences during the period of doctoral study.

- On the other, the doctoral programme includes a range of specific educational activities organised at different times and which may be optional or compulsory.

All the educational activities carried out by doctoral students are recorded in the Document of Doctoral Activities (DAD) which, together with the Research Plan (PLAINV), are assessed annually by the academic committee. This PLAINV is required for first-year students and is going to be updated at any time during the doctoral programme with any improvements, progress and/or modifications deemed to be necessary.

Students must pass if they are to continue on the programme. If they do not pass, they will be re-evaluated and a new PLAINV and DAD will be drawn up.

If they fail to pass a second time, they will be required to withdraw from the programme.

Students who do not upload their documentation for evaluation via the application will automatically be given a fail. In this case, they will have a second opportunity to upload their documentation; if they fail to upload their documentation a second time, they will again be given a fail and they will also be required to withdraw from the programme (except in cases where the non-first-year student has taken an authorised temporary leave of absence from the doctoral programme, was unable to upload his/her documentation for the second exam session, and was given a qualification of absent due to a temporary leave).

General access requirements

In general, to gain access to an official doctoral programme the candidate must hold an Spanish Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, and a University (official) Master's degree, and have achieved a minimum of 300 ECTS credits in those university studies.

Access may be granted where the following cases apply:

Admission to the doctoral programme is decided by the Academic Committee and depends on the acomplishment of the general access requirements along with the additional selection and admission criteria, specific for each doctoral programme.