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Doctoral thesis

What is a doctoral thesis?

The doctoral thesis consists of original research work prepared by the PhD candidate on the particular scope of knowledge of the PhD programme concerned. Theses may be written and defended in Spanish, Basque or English.

What are the stages in doctoral thesis preparation?

Doctoral theses are prepared in four consecutive stages:

  • 1st. Research plan
  • 2nd. Registration of the thesis
  • 3rd Progress reports
  • 4th Defence of the thesis
    • Admission of the thesis to the defence
    • Doctoral thesis viva
    • Doctoral thesis examination board

1st. Research plan

During the first year of the PhD studies, students must elaborate the research plan for their thesis. Each PhD programme’s submission deadline for the research plan will be posted on the yearly activities calendar.

The Academic Committee will evaluate the plan, which the student presents publicly. In the event of a negative evaluation, a reasoned report will be delivered and the student is required to elaborate a new plan within a six month period. In the event of a second negative evaluation, the PhD candidate will be permanently signed off the programme.

2nd. Registration of the thesis

Once the research plan has been approved (either within the first or the extended deadline), the PhD candidate must apply to register the thesis at the General Secretariat within one month.

3rd Progress reports

The progress report is required for evaluation of PhD candidates in the second and following years of the PhD studies. Students are required to submit a progress report at the end of each semester.

4th Defence of the thesis

Admission of the thesis to the defence

When the doctoral thesis has been elaborated, the PhD candidate will submit a reasoned evaluation report with explicit approval from the thesis supervisor to request authorisation from the programme's Academic Committee to initiate the necessary procedures for the defence.

Doctoral thesis viva

After having carefully examined the reports received, the Academic Committee will determine if the doctoral thesis can proceed to the defence once the public display period has ended. If the ruling is favourable, the PhD candidate will be notified and must deposit the required documents at the General Secretariat according to the conditions established.

Doctoral thesis examination board

Once a favourable decision has been reached, the programme’s Academic Committee will put forth a reasoned proposal to form the examination board to evaluate the doctoral thesis. Once the DIRS directors have approved it, they will submit the proposal to the Rector.

The tribunal will be formed by three PhDs with proven research experience. Two of them must be external to the University of Deusto and the programme’s partner institutions. The proposal will include reserve examiners who fulfil the same requirements.