Students who fulfil the general requirements for access in accordance with the current regulations may request admission to the doctoral programme. Each doctoral programme sets its own mechanisms for admission, but these should envisage an assessment of the following aspects:
Skills, competencies and personal aptitudes
Professional experience (analysis of the person’s curriculum)
The reason for the research
To request admission to the doctoral programme, the future student should submit a research plan or thesis project explaining the objectives of the work they wish to undertake along with its methodology and planning. They should also explain the background and essential bibliography associated with the subject in question. Each doctoral programme has a defined template for drawing up this plan. The thesis project should be signed by the thesis supervisor proposed by the student and, where necessary, should be supported by a report from the University’s Research Ethics Committee (CER).
The Doctorate Academic Committee is responsible for the quality of the theses produced in each doctoral programme and holds a meeting to accept or reject the applications for admission.
Once the admission application has been approved by the Doctorate Academic Committee, the secretary of the Doctorate School notifies the student that they are free to enrol. If the application is rejected, the secretary will notify the person concerned that their application has not been accepted along with any supporting comments deemed necessary.
The new student, once admitted, must complete the documentation required by the Academic, Degrees and Student Support Services of the Doctorate School, which prepares the enrolment form and, once the relevant payment has been received, sends the documents to the Academic Management Service which opens the relevant academic record.
Annual Enrolment on the Doctoral Programme
Students already accepted on the doctoral programme must formalise their enrolment with the University every academic year, which gives them the right to academic teaching, the use of the necessary resources to engage in their work, and all the other rights envisaged by law for doctoral students.
Along with the enrolment form they are required to sign three copies (for the doctoral candidate, the thesis supervisor and a member of the Doctorate School) of a commitment document which lays down the supervisory functions of doctoral candidates, including the procedure for conflict resolution, and outlines aspects concerning the intellectual and industrial property rights that might be generated during doctoral programmes.
In the event that a student is not enrolled for one or more years and wishes to resume their doctorate, he/she must apply again for admission to the doctoral programme and pay the relevant administrative fees equivalent to the years during which they were not enrolled.
If there are justified grounds, a student may request a temporary leave of absence from the programme for a maximum of one year, which can subsequently be extended by a further year. This request must be fully justified and submitted to the Academic Committee responsible for the programme, which will decide whether or not to grant the doctoral candidate’s request. If the request is granted, the student will be exempt from the requirement to pay the administrative charges mentioned above.
Students can only enrol for one of the approved doctoral programmes. There is no option for enrolling on another programme at the same time.
Duration of Doctoral Studies
The maximum duration of doctoral studies is three years, full-time, from the date the doctoral candidate enrols in the programme through to the submission of the doctoral thesis. However, subject to the prior authorisation of the Doctorate Academic Committee responsible for the programme, doctoral studies may be followed part-time. In this case, these studies may last for a maximum of five years from the date of admission to the programme through to the presentation of the doctoral thesis.
If, after three years have elapsed, a thesis deposit application has not been submitted, the committee responsible for the programme may authorise the deferral of this term by one more year which, exceptionally, may be extended by a further year in accordance with the conditions established in the corresponding doctoral programme.
In the case of part-time studies, this extension can be authorised for two more years which, also in exceptional cases, can be extended by a further year. When calculating the former period, sick leave, maternity leave or any other reason covered by current legislation will not be taken into account.
Doctoral candidates may request a temporary leave of absence from the programme for a maximum of one year which can be extended by one further year. This request should be duly justified and submitted to the Academic Committee responsible for the programme, which will decide whether or not to grant the doctoral candidate’s request.
Supervision and Monitoring of the Doctoral Candidate
Record of Activities (DAD)
Once enrolled in the programme, a personalised Record of Activities will be created for each doctoral candidate to create an individual monitoring register as stipulated in Article 2.5 of Spanish Royal Decree 99/2011.
This document will record all the activities of interest to the development of the doctoral candidate and will be reviewed regularly by the thesis tutor and supervisor and assessed by the doctoral candidates’ specific committee.
For this purpose, the doctoral candidate, the supervisor and the tutor are required to fill in the doctoral candidate’s Record of Activities and submit it to the Doctorate Academic Committee in the format and time required.
Six months from the enrolment of the doctoral candidate, a Research Plan should be drawn up (thesis project) which must include at least the methodology to be used and the objectives to be achieved along with the resources and planned timescale for achieving them, for presentation to the Specific Committee of the doctoral candidate.
This plan may be improved upon and enlarged during the programme, and must be approved by the tutor and the supervisor. Each year, the doctoral candidate’s Specific Committee must assess the Research Plan and the Record of Activities along with any reports submitted for this purpose by the tutor and supervisor.
Once the reports have been reviewed, a positive assessment by the Doctorate Academic Committee is an essential requirement for continuing in the programme.
In the event of a negative assessment, which must be duly explained, the doctoral candidate must be assessed again within six months in order to draw up a new Research Plan. If a negative assessment is given again, the doctoral candidate must withdraw from the programme definitively.
Specific Committee of the Doctoral Candidate
The main purpose of the Specific Committee is to oversee the quality of the assigned thesis by an annual assessment of the Research Plan. This Research Plan must be defended every year in person by the doctoral candidate before the Specific Committee. Before this defence, the Doctorate School will send the Record of Activities of the doctoral candidate to the doctoral candidate, who should send it to the Doctorate Academic Committee for assessment.
Following the defence, the Specific Committee will send the Academic Committee of the corresponding doctorate a report with a positive or negative assessment of the Research Plan.
For this purpose, the Doctorate Academic Committee will appoint for each doctoral candidate a specific committee comprising three members according to the following criteria:
One member of the Doctorate Academic Committee from the scientific department closest to the subject matter of the thesis.
Two experts in the field in question, one of which, at least, must be from outside the University.
The members of the specific committees must fulfil all the same academic requirements as the members of the Doctorate Academic Committees and will be appointed by the corresponding Doctorate Academic Committee in accordance with the criteria established by the School’s Steering Committee.
Assessment of the doctoral candidate’s work
Every year, the Specific Committee for doctoral candidates will assess the Research Plan and the Record of Activities of each doctoral candidate along with any reports which in this respect have been issued by the tutor and supervisor, and will issue a monitoring report to be sent to the programme’s Academic Committee.