Research Doctorate (PhD)

A research degree (PhD) represents the highest level of education offered in the Italian academic system.

The objective of the doctorate is to provide the skills necessary to carry out highly qualified research activity at universities, public and private bodies.

A PhD takes a minimum of three years to complete. It is subject to restricted access, open only to individuals in possession of a master's degree or equivalent qualification, selected through a public competition which involves evaluation of qualifications and exams (with an interview on a project presented by the candidate, and possible written test).

The doctoral programme involves a qualified research project, with advanced teaching programmes, individual in-depth study and cultural exchange with other countries. The PhD student is followed by an academic tutor, who supervises the project and scientific growth, and judged by the Academic Board concerning admission to subsequent years. At the end of the course, the title of "Doctor of Philosophy" is achieved through the preparation of a doctoral thesis using a scientific method, and discussion (“viva”) of the results (defence of the doctorate) in the presence of the Examination Committee, following evaluation by two highly qualified external professors.

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