The organisation of doctoral-level studies
The goal of doctoral programmes in Spain is to train students in advanced research techniques. These programmes are divided into two parts or ciclos. The first year (60 ECTS) can form part of the Master's degree and the second part is the actual research which finishes with the public defence of the student's original project. Doctoral candidates have to follow accompanying courses.
The duration of a doctoral programme can be three years studying and researching full-time or five years part-time. A recent reform allows universities to establish doctoral schools, which direct the doctoral training programmes carried out by each university.
Doctoral candidates are systematically assigned a supervisor who guides and controls the development of the candidate's research project and dissertation.
Doctoral candidates can be employed by the institution or have the status of a student. Depending on the field of study and on specific agreements with the university links to the private sector may be in place.
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