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Doctoral programmes are intended for those holding a degree and who would like to expand their knowledge of and carry out research in a specific area linked to their previous studies. To obtain the title of doctor, students must have completed a period of formal instruction and a period of research. The collective term for all of the educational and research activities that lead to the obtainment of a doctorate is the doctoral programme, which comprises three periods: the teaching period, research period and writing and public defence of the doctoral thesis.

Each university establishes the admissions procedures and criteria for any doctoral programme at any point, such as the need for prior specific training in certain disciplines. At the start of the research period, universities will issue the corresponding certificate that is considered a necessary requirement for contracting research students for internships.

To gain admission to a doctoral programme in the teaching period, students must meet the same criteria as for admission to an official university master’s degree. To gain admission to a doctoral programme in the research period, students must have an official university master’s degree or a qualification of the same level awarded by a higher education institution within the European Higher Education Area. The admissions application should be submitted directly to the university the student wishes to attend.