Article 11 of Royal Decree 1393/2007 on the structure of official university titles defines PhD Programmes as:
"Official third-cycle university studies that lead to the acquisition of competences and abilities related with high-quality scientific research".
Students who pass their PhD studies will be awarded the Philosophiae Doctor title.
Article 2.2 of Royal Decree 99/2011 on official PhD studies defines PhD studies as "the set of activities leading to the acquisition of the competences and abilities necessary to obtain the Philosophiae Doctor title. The aim of said programme is for candidates to acquire a certain set of skills and to establish the proceedings and research lines to be followed by doctoral theses".
Those who wish to access a PhD programme must hold an official Undergraduate Degree by a Spanish university and a University Master's Degree (which will not be necessary for students who have completed an Undergraduate Degree comprising 300 ECTS credits or more).
Holders of Undergraduate Degree-equivalent titles from the EHEA (European Higher Education Area) or from non-EHEA institutions will also be accepted into PhD programmes. These candidates will not need to have their titles recognised, but the University they wish to access will check whether the University where the title was obtained offers an equivalent level of education to the Spanish Official Master's Degree.
As a general rule, no more than three years between the date of admission to the PhD studies and the defense of the PhD thesis can go by. However, part-time studies and extensions are possible as per Article 3.2.
Where can I request information on the PhD programmes available at this University?
The Doctoral School (EDUA) is in charge of coordinating postgraduate studies at the University of Alicante. More specifically, the Third Cycle division deals with PhD studies. On its website, applicants can access the following information:
What is a Doctoral Thesis and what is the procedure for submitting, depositing and defending your thesis?
In order to pass the PhD programme and obtain the Philosophiae Doctor title, students must draft an original research work on any field of knowledge. The PhD thesis must enable the candidate to carry out R&D&I work autonomously. Basic PhD regulations are set forth in Article 13 of Royal Decree 99/2011.
The Director(s) of the Doctoral Thesis (whose duty is to guarantee consistency and applicability of training courses, as well as the impact and originality of the work within its field of application) will give his/her authorisation to deposit the PhD Thesis project provisionally at the Doctoral School (EDUA). This provisional authorisation for deposit will include a proposal for external evaluators (three specialists in the field) and the PhD Thesis in a CD.
Once the suitability of the Thesis has been assessed by external evaluators, the provisional Thesis report will be sent to them so they can issue a favourable or unfavourable report.
Once the favourable report of at least two external evaluators has been received, the PhD candidate will be entitled to deposit the PhD Thesis at the EDUA.
Once the Thesis has been deposited, the Defense Tribunal (which will have five members) will be designated. A copy of the PhD Thesis and the candidate's resume will be sent to all its members, who will then issue an assessment on the work. On the light of said reports, the EDUA will decide whether the candidate is entitled to defend the PhD Thesis.
If the Defense is authorised, the candidate will have to defend his/her PhD work in front of the Tribunal. The session will be public. If the PhD Thesis is considered to be acceptable, then the candidate will be awarded the Philosophiae Doctor title and the work will be published and sent to the Ministry of Education for all pertinent purposes.