The organisation of doctoral-level studies
In France, doctoral departments (écoles doctorales) offer doctoral-level programmes. Every department is affiliated to a university or other higher education host institution authorised to deliver doctoral degrees. The doctoral departments at each higher education institution represent multiple research teams from one or more institutions.
Each department is organised around a specific theme. The departments are responsible not only for training doctoral students but also for preparing them for research careers by offering them a scholarly setting in which to work and learn. They fulfil an essential coordinating role, ensuring the scientific coherence of candidates' research projects.
Doctoral candidates are systematically assigned a supervisor who guides them. The supervisor also launches the procedure of the thesis defence.
The average length of a doctoral programme is three years.
Accompanying courses may be offered in the framework of a doctoral-level programme. It depends on the programme whether courses are compulsory.
Students may be introduced to a range of career opportunities in various settings, including academia, government and industry through instruction, seminars, and internships. They may prepare their dissertation within an enterprise, in cooperation with an external academic research team. They may also carry out internships as a part of their studies.
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