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PhD Studies UCM

A PhD is the highest degree awarded by a university. The title of doctor is official and valid throughout national territory and is recognised throughout the European Higher Education Area.

To obtain the title of doctor, it is necessary to demonstrate the ability to carry out original, autonomous research, that meets internationally recognised standards of quality, and conclude with the writing of a doctoral thesis and its defence before a panel of experts on the discipline, who will assess and determine its adequacy.

Doctoral training is structured into programmes that offer transversal and specific training relating to the field, although the essential work of the doctoral candidate will be research. The programmes envisage diverse training activities that the doctoral candidate must carry out during his or her stay on the programme; doctoral candidates are not required to gain ECTS credits (unless they have to undergo training complements on programmes that require them as part of their original studies).

To take doctoral studies at the UCM, it is necessary to apply for admission to one of the programmes offered by the Doctoral School, within the period established for each academic year. Once admitted, it is necessary to enrol. Enrolment will need to be renewed at the beginning of each academic year until the presentation and submission of the doctoral thesis.


During the first academic year of the programme, and always before 31 January, the PhD student must register the thesis and sign a written commitment; it is also necessary to complete the doctoral candidate’s Research Plan and doctoral activities document.

The PhD student must prepare a research plan during the first academic year of the stay on the programme, which, together with the training activities that he/she carries out, will be included in the activities and research plan register (RAPI). Both will be regularly reviewed by the tutor and thesis director and assessed annually by the academic commission responsible for the PhD programme.

The duration of the PhD studies will be a maximum of 3 years full-time or 5 years part-time; if before the end of these periods an application for the submission of the thesis has not been made to the Academic Committee of the programme, it may, at the request of the doctoral candidate, authorise an extension in accordance with the Regulations to continue in the programme.