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FAQ Admission process

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What are the access requirements?

General access requirements

In general, to gain access to an official PhD programme the candidate must hold a Spanish degree or equivalent and a Master's degree.

Access may be granted where the following cases apply:

  • Hold an official Spanish university degree or a degree from another country in the EEES which grants access to a Master’s degree in accordance with article 16 of RD 1393/2007, of 29 October, and have achieved a minimum of 300 ECTS credits in university studies of which at least 60 must be at Master’s level. In this case we must remember that the official university degree obtained correspondence to Level 2 of the Spanish Qualifications Framework for Higher Education (MECES), for official titles of Graduate or Engineer will be accounted for as a degree of 180 ECTS.
  • Hold an official Spanish qualification at graduate level, the duration of which, in accordance with community law, must be at least 300 ECTS credits. These graduates must take compulsory background credit referred to in article 7.2 of RD 99/2011, except where the syllabus of the degree course includes research training credits equivalent to the research credits awarded on Master’s courses.
  • University graduates who, before obtaining a place as a result of the entrance exam for specialist health courses, have passed at least two years of a programme for an official qualification in one of the Health Science specialisations.
  • Holder of a qualification obtained in accordance with foreign educational systems without the need for official recognition, having previously confirmed with the university that this qualification accredits a level of training equivalent to the official Spanish university Master’s degree and that it would serve as a means of access to a PhD in the country in which it was awarded. This admission does not under any circumstances imply official recognition of the previous qualification or recognition for any purpose other than access to PhD studies.
  • Holders of another Spanish PhD qualification, obtained in accordance with the previous university’s rules.
  • Holders of a degree who also have the Diploma of Advanced Studies obtained in accordance with the provisions of RD 778/1998, of 30 April, or have achieved research proficiency under the terms outlined in RD 185/1985, of 23 January.

Specific access requirements

In addition to the general requirements for admission to doctoral studies, the PhD programme in Political Science, Public Policies and International Relations has its own prerequisites.
These are as follows:

  • A minimum grade of 7 out of 10 on the master’s degree dissertation.
  • Knowledge of English, which is the working language of the programme (with a certificate showing level B2). 

How do I apply?

Applicants must provide accreditation to the programme coordinator or administrator that their previous studies give access to PhD studies under the current rules.  Here you will find information about the documents required.   You will also have to fill this form.  Documentations should be sent to the following email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The online application procedure is currently not working for our programme.

When do I apply?

Schedule for evaluation for admission 2017-2018.
1) January 23th  to March 24th  2017  first round of pre-admissions for all students .
2) April 24th to June 9th  2017  second round of pre-admissions for all students. 

When do I find out if I am admitted to the programme?           

Within a maximum of 30 days, the programme’s academic committee will notify applicants in writing of the decision on admission to the programme, and will inform them of any bridging courses that they will need to take during their first year on the programme.
For 2017: For the first round, the expected decision is scheduled for 27th of April 2017 2 and for the second round the expected decision is scheduled for 10th of July 2017

Will I be called for an interview?

The Academic Committee will interview all short-listed candidates. This interview can be done in presence or via skype. All applicants will be notified by email once the selection process has been carried out.  

Can I do the PhD Programme on-line?

Distance learning is not offered. All students are required to be in regular attendance at the UAB. 

What is the working language of the programme?

The main language is English. You will have to prove your proficiency in English as one of the requirement of the admission process. If your native language is English you will not have to provide any certificate. 

Can I do my PhD thesis part time?

The PhD programme is a minimum of two years full time and a maximum of three years full time (with the possibility of an extension for one additional year). However, the academic tribunal for the PhD programme may authorise the student to undertake the PhD on a part-time basis, which means a maximum duration of five years from the date of admission to the deposit of the PhD thesis. More information here 

Do I need to find a tutor/supervisor?

Although it is a good idea to look for possible supervisors, you do not need to have a name when you apply to the programme. Please have a look here for potential supervisors and lines of research. 

When does the program start?

Once you have been admitted to the programme you will need to officially enrol in the “Escola de Doctorat”. This will take place in September and the programme usually starts on the first week of October. First year students will have to enrol within one month after the admission letter. You have to be in Barcelona to do this registration. It cannot be done on line.  

Can I apply for scholarships?

Yes. The PhD programme in Politics, Policies and International Relations supports scholarship applications for incoming students. Many of our current PhD students hold scholarships such as the FPU, FPI, PIF, the Caixa, the China Scholarship Council. Please contact the programme (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) in case you need a pre-admission letter for a scholarship application. Please note that we do not directly offer grants to students. More info about open funding opportunities here 

What are the minimum requirements for admission?

In general, to gain access to an official PhD programme the candidate must hold a Bachelor’s Spanish or equivalent and a Master's degree. Besides your grades and level of English, your application will be evaluated based on the quality of your research proposal and the availability of a faculty member willing and able to act as supervisor. More information here 

What are the legal procedures for EU Citizens and non EU citizens?

For any information you need concerning administrative procedures for your stay in Spain, please visit UAB’s  International Welcome Point