Professional qualification: the doctorate

Obtaining a doctorate means obtaining the highest degree officially recognized in the Spanish university system. The objective of these studies is to achieve the specialization of students in a scientific, technical or artistic field after having passed a degree, an engineering or architecture.

Like the rest of the Spanish educational system, the doctorate was affected by the implementation of the Bologna Plan in 2010, the new program established throughout the European Union to unify the education system. This plan involved the modification of the conception, requirements and curricula of the doctorate. The main advantage that this educational program has brought is that has allowed therecognition and the revaluation of the university degree.


Types of doctorate

The granting of a doctorate implies the recognition of the candidate by the faculty of the university in which he has studied. The types of doctorates that can be granted by a university are the following:

1. Doctorate in research. It is necessary to defend a thesis based on an original investigation, which usually develops in a period of between three and six years.

2. Higher doctorate. They are the calls honoris cause. The degree is awarded as a recognized personal distinction when the university in which the student is a doctor wishes to recognize achievements and contributions.

3. Professional doctorateThey are granted when the investigation has been carried out by an individual of a specific profession and on an aspect of it.


Concept and characters of the doctorate

The doctorate is a university degree that constitutes the third postgraduate cycle, being the first, the degree or university career and the second, the master. In the European Higher Education Area and in most of the Western countries, it is a prerequisite to pass a master's degree in advance. Their duration varies according to the type of doctorate, but as a general rule they do not usually fall below 4 years. The Bologna Plan was a great transformation for the doctorate system because it allows the recognition of certain studies that until now were only considered as own titles and access to a higher degree distinguishing, for example, between technical engineers and superiors.

Modifications of the doctorate by the Bologna Plan

At present, the doctorate is governed by the credit system, which mark the education system throughout the European Union. To be able to access the first phase of the doctorate, the research phase, it is necessary to have 300 credits, of which 240 are contributed by the university career. The rest can be acquired with additional master's studies once the race is over.


The most notable difference compared to the previous system is that the master's degrees that are taken to get the doctoratethey do not necessarily have to be focused on it, which gives greater freedom to the students to choose the direction of the studies. Once the 300 credits have been acquired, the students begin the research phase to prepare their doctoral thesis, which will be supervised by a director. Another innovation of the Bologna Plan is thatthe defense of the thesis will be carried out in two phases, one for memory and another for public reading, while before it was summarized in one phase.

Finally, the new PhD model also allowsthe recognition of the title European Doctor for that student who collaborates with different European institutions. To achieve this, it is necessary to stay at a higher education institution in another European country for at least three months, and submit part of the thesis in one of the official languages ​​of the European Union other than those used in the European Union. Spain.

Ana Vázquez Recio

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Video: Professional Doctorate at GCU


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