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PhD Studies at Málaga University

A Doctorate represents the third level of formal university education.  Just as the first and second level (Bachelor and Masters) studies   are designed to provide relevant training to acquire the knowledge, techniques and understanding needed for a professional career or for progression to higher academic studies; the end objective of the PhD studies is to prepare the student as a researcher.

PhD studies are realised within PhD Programs, especially designed for the candidate to obtain a PhD degree, and culminate with the submission and presentation of original research in the form of a PhD thesis.

A number of PhD programs are offered at Málaga University all regulated under the new RD 99/2011 (Royal Decree 99/2011) which cover all fields of study and scientific disciplines. These programs are all affiliated to the School of Doctoral Studies of the University of Málaga (ED-UMA) and are provided by the different centres of the university.

These pages provide information on the following:

  • The structure and objectives of the PhD programs offered at Málaga University
  • Doctoral Regulations
  • Entry and admission requirements
  • The enrolment process
  • The preparation and defense of the thesis
  • Joint supervision of theses with International Mention


Basic Concepts

In what follows, a series of terms are used, and it is important to understand their exact definitions: 

A PhD is understood to refer to the third cycle of official university studies, leading to the awarding of a PhD degree. This award implies a certain level of acquisition of knowledge and skills related to high standards of scientific research.

A PhD program is defined as a set of activities leading to the proven acquisition of the knowledge and skills necessary for a PhD degree to be awarded. A PhD program includes the organization and development of the distinct training aspects of the PhD studies, the procedures for both the completion of a PhD thesis and the lines of research within which the aforementioned thesis has been elaborated.

All those who are admitted onto a current doctoral program and who are enrolled on the same will be considered as PhD students at the University of Málaga (or simply doctorates). Their principal role will be as researchers and they will be considered as trainee researchers for the purposes of all rights and obligations in using the facilities available at Málaga University. The PhD studies end with the PhD thesis defense.

A PhD thesis is an original line of research, completed by the doctorate, based on subject matter related to fields of research, whether they are scientific, technical, humanistic or artistic, depending on the PhD program undertaken.

The PhD supervisor is the maximum authority responsible for directing the research tasks that the doctorate undertakes, as laid down in the terms of Article 2.6 in the Royal Decree 99/2011

The tutor is responsible for ensuring that the training and research activity corresponds appropriately to the principles of the relative program and the Doctorate School to which this program is associated.

The rights and obligations of the tutors, PhD supervisor and doctorates of the University of Málaga are explicitly detailed in the Supervision Agreement, a document that is signed by all parties from the moment the supervision of the thesis starts.

The Activity Register is a personalized registry of all activities undertaken by the doctorate during their formation. This registry will be kept electronically, and will be periodically reviewed by the tutor and the thesis supervisor. It will be evaluated by the Academic Commission responsible for the PhD Program, and also considered during the thesis defense.

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