Director: Lidia Puigvert
Duration: 3 years full-time | 5 years part-time
Fee level (one academic year): €542.04
Applications: from April 15th to December 20th 2023


The University of Barcelona doctoral programme in Sociology has the fundamental objective of offering quality training in sociological research oriented to the analysis of society —in all its structural, cultural and relational components— as well as of social change and transformation. This programme is aimed at students who wish to start a career as researchers and teaching staff in universities or research centres.

Throughout the programme, doctoral students take part in several complementary activities, such as the doctoral seminar or the annual research conference “Sociology in process”. In addition, PhD candidates are also encouraged to publish their research in specialized journals, to attend national and international sociology conferences and to make temporary stays at other universities or research centres.

Programme content

The doctoral programme in Sociologytrains high-performance researchers in several areas of sociology and social sciences. Completing the doctoral thesis is the main activity of the doctoral student and it consists of an original work of research prepared by the candidate in a specific area of specialization. Each student has at least one thesis supervisor who guides and supports their work.

The doctoral programmes takes three years working full-time or five years working part-time. Below, there is a sample calendar for the research period:

First year

A research plan is presented, drawn up in any of the programme’s languages, which includes at least the provisional title, objectives, methodology and means and time planning (deadline for the year 22/23: 30 April 2023).

It should be noted that the University of Barcelona Doctoral Regulations establish as a requirement the inclusion of a data management plan and the ethical considerations derived from the research (Deadline for submission course 22/23: 30 April 2023).

The programmes’ Academic Commission of the programme sets the timetable, the contents, and the specific requirements to be included in the research plan and the documentation and procedures linked to the presentation. This information is available in the Virtual Campus of the programme, to which the PhD candidate has access once it formalizes the enrolment.

The first-year PhD candidates will have to submit jointly, respecting the deadline (30 April 2023), the application of the research plan, the research plan and the list of events to which he or she has participated / assisted during the academic year.

To deliver the three documents (research plan, search plan request and activity listing) a generic instance must be performed via the attachment:

This research plan will be assessed by an Ad Hoc Monitoring Commission made up of three specialists in the field in question and, if it is to be favourable, the Academic Committee of the Programme will have to resolve the request for acceptance of the research plan before the academic year is completed. Adoption of the research plan is a prerequisite for continuing within the PhD programme.

Second year onwards

The PhD candidates will have two years (four if part-time) to perform the proposed research and doctoral thesis. At the end of each academic year, the Monitoring Commission will evaluate the progress made in relation to the research plan from a memory of activities (deadline for the 22/23 year: 30 April 2023).

It should be noted that the University of Barcelona Doctoral Regulations establish as a requirement the inclusion of a data management plan and the ethical considerations derived from the research (Deadline for submission course 22/23: 30 April 2023).

The Academic Committee of the programme sets the timetable, the contents, and the specific requirements to be included in the follow-up report and also the documentation and procedures linked to the presentation. This information is available in the Virtual Campus of the program to which the doctor has access once it formalizes the license plate.

The second-year doctoral recipients from now on will have to present jointly, respecting the deadline (30 April 2023), the application for the Monitoring Report, the follow-up report, and the list of events to which they have participated/assisted during the academic year.

All documents (progress report, progress report request and record of activities) must be submitted via the following link:

  • Doctoral seminar: The programme offers a monthly seminar with the aim of supporting the research process and providing tools for the development of the academic career. Each session consists of a dialogue based on the career of a guest senior researcher and a presentation of the work-in-progress of one of the doctoral students of the programme.
  • “Sociology in Progress” Research Conferences: these are annual conferences where doctoral students present their research in progress to fellow students and programme faculty. In this way, dialogue and collegiality are fostered and the presentation of papers at conferences is encouraged. This academic year 2022-2023 the 7th Research Conference: Sociology in Processes has been organised on 20 and 21 April with the following programme.
  • Other training activities: training through talks and seminars organized by the Catalan Association of Sociology or by the same research groups of the Department in collaboration with the Master of Sociology.
  • Attendance and participation in national and international sociology conferences.

You are also invited to regularly consult the websites of:

Attendance Certificates
At the end of Academic Year the Coordination of the PhD programme issues a sealed certificate with the overall computation of hours of training assisted by the PhD candidate.

Research stays

The Academic Committee encourages students to undertake temporary stays at other universities or research centres throughout the programme. Doctors and students of the Doctoral Programme in Sociology have carried out research stays at universities such as Harvard University (USA), University of California Berkeley (USA), Stanford University (USA), MIT (USA), Columbia University (USA), Cambridge University (UK), University of Leeds (UK), Universidade de Lisboa (Portugal), University of Montreal (Canada), or Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), among others.

International mention

Summary of information on international mention (Article 49, of the NORMATIVA REGULADORA DEL DOCTORAT A LA UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA must be reviewed) . Version 23/10/2020 to complete the information): International PhD can be included whenever the following circumstances arise:

  • That the PhD candidate has held a minimum stay of three months outside Spain in a higher education institution or in a prestige centre where he or she has developed training activities related to the research plan he or she is preparing (with prior authorisation from the Academic Commission of the programme).
  • That some of the doctoral thesis, at least the summary and conclusions, has been drawn and presented in one of the usual languages for scientific communication in the field of knowledge, different from the official or co-official languages in Spain.
  • That at least two experts belonging to any institutions of higher education or non-Spanish research institute have informed the thesis.
  • That at least an expert belonging to some institution of higher education or non-Spanish research center, with a PhD and different from the person responsible for the stay mentioned in paragraph a), has been part of the assessment court of the thesis (Article 49 of the NORMATIVA REGULADORA DEL DOCTORAT A la UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA must be reviewed. Version 23/10/2020, criteria for meeting all these requirements).

Deposit of doctoral thesis as a compendium of publications

The Academic Commission of the programme can authorize the deposit of doctoral thesis as a compendium of publications. It must include a minimum of three published articles, where one of which must be in JCR or two of them in Scopus or WoS (ESCI is part of WoS). A letter on the impact factor or categorization of the journal of publications must also be attached. In the event of some co-authorship, the participation of the doctoral person in each article must be specified and if the co-author intends to use the work for a doctoral thesis in the future. If any of the works are published in a language other than those specified in the PhD program, a summary of the work in question drawn up in some of the languages of the program should be attached.

Resources for writing

In this section you can find the style book of the University of Barcelona (CUB) with criteria, recommendations and resources that can be useful for writing, especially, TFG, TFM and doctoral theses.


Who should apply?

The programme is aimed at students who wish to start a research career in the field of sociology. Therefore, it is essential that candidates have sufficient training to complete a doctoral thesis. The Academic Committee will particularly value previous knowledge on topics included in the research lines of the doctoral programme.

In order to access any University of Barcelona doctoral programme, it is necessary to have completed at least 300 ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer System) in overall undergraduate and master’s degree studies, of which a minimum of 60 credits must correspond to an official research-oriented master’s programme.

Specific requirements

Candidates with a master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Barcelona: Academic record for the master’s degree, with an average grade of merit (notable) or higher, and the same minimum grade for the research assignment.
Other applicants: The Academic Committee may accept candidates with other university master’s degrees if it considers that the syllabus covers similar material. Additionally, candidates must have achieved good grade point averages for both their bachelor’s degree and master’s degree.
All candidates:
Certificate of knowledge of English or equivalent (for example, research work in English, scientific article in English, accreditation of research stay in an English-speaking country…).

Final decisions on admission are taken by the Academic Committee, which assesses each application on the basis of the criteria established for the doctoral programme.

Criteria for admission

Academic record (50%).
Curriculum vitae (25%).
Research project incorporating motivation and social impact (15%).
Two letters of reference from professors or researchers (10%).

Student profile

Early-stage researchers, who want to start a research career in academia or in the professional field by furthering their understanding of sociological analysis of different problems and social realities. In this sense, the programme welcomes doctoral students with a broad educational background in the field of social sciences (e.g., in economics, anthropology, education, political science, social work) and a strong orientation towards sociological research.

Students come from universities all over the world. On average, 40% of students are nationals from other countries. In addition, among the programme’s students, there are holders of predoctoral contracts awarded by Spain, the autonomous communities or the university itself, as well as holders of research scholarships from foreign countries and of contracts through European research projects such as ERC and Horizon Europe.

Career opportunities

The doctoral programme in Sociology at the University of Barcelonais specifically aimed at students who want to start an international career in research. After successful completion of the programme, new doctors will be able to work as researchers or teachers in universities or research centres.

Doctors of the doctoral programme in Sociology have been accepted in post-doc or associate professorship positions in universities such as the University of Barcelona, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, ELISAVA Barcelona School of Design and Engineering, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, University of Deusto or National University of Tres de Febrero, among others. In the public sector, they have joined institutions such as the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (Buenos Aires).

Statistics show that doctoral studies currently facilitate the career opportunities of university graduates. Doctors can also aspire to a higher wage level. According to data from the Agency for the Quality of the University System of Catalonia (AQU), 95.4% of doctors in social sciences have joined the labour market within a maximum period of three years, after completing their thesis, and their unemployment rate is only 3.3%.

Fees and funding


According to the fees for the academic year 2022-2023, the cost of enrolment in the doctoral programme in Sociology is €542.04 a year. Students who have obtained a bachelor’s degree and/or a master’s degree in a foreign university must pay an additional €218.15. Also, the fee for the thesis defence is €156.87.

The Catalan government sets the fees for higher education annually for all of Catalonia’s public universities, including the University of Barcelona. Candidates must take into account that fees may change over the period of their studies when they submit their application for the doctoral programme.


Information on funding and grants is available at the following link to the webpage of the University of Barcelona. In addition, the UB School of Sociology provides students with information on new opportunities as and when calls are announced.


Full scholarships are awarded competitively and require the submission of a separate application. They are offered by public or private institutions and have different starting dates and deadlines. Scholarships characteristics may vary in terms of duration (three or four years), total amount of the grant, extra funding for mobility stays and training activities, and specific requirements (i.e. graduation dates). In most cases, tuition fees are covered.

Your chances of being awarded one of the scholarships depend greatly on your track record, thus having high grades in your bachelor’s and master’s degrees is crucial. You are also encouraged to apply for external support for which you may be eligible.

Our admissions team works closely with all admitted students who need financial assistance, supporting them to evaluate their options and eligibility, and helping them with the scholarship applications.

FI – Catalan Goverment
PREDOC – Universitat de Barcelona
FPU – Spanish Goverment
La Caixa
Fundación Universitaria José Luis de Oriol‐Catalina de Urquijo


Banco Santander (loans for postgraduate studies)
AGAUR – Generalitat de Catalunya (loans for postgraduate studies)
AGAUR – Generalitat de Catalunya (loans for tuition fees)

Mobility grants

Research Grants Fundación Banco Sabadell
SEBAP Mobility Scholarships
The BritishSpanish Society Scholarship
EDUFI Fellowship
Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists
Japanese Government Scholarships (Monbukagakusho)
European Institutes for Advanced Study (EURIAS) Fellowship Programme
Fundació Montcelimar – Universitat de Barcelona Mobility Grants
Mobility grants between institutions related to AUIP (Postgraduate Iberoamerican University Association)

Apply now

To request admission to the doctoral programme in Sociology, students should follow these steps. Please read this information and follow the instructions carefully.


Confirm that you meet the access and admission requirements to the doctoral programme in Sociology.


Forthcoming application periods for the 2023-2024 year

First period | From April 15th to May 31st, 2023. Resolutions revealed from July 15th of 2023.
Second period | From October 1st to  December 20th, 2023. Resolutions revealed from January 15th of 2024.

Approximate dates of resolution of Applications via e-mail after the pre-enrollment process

Final enrolment period after being accepted.


Fill in the online application form of the Doctoral School ( and attach the following documentation:

Copy of the degree of access studies: bachelor’s and master’s degree.
Copy of the academic certificate: bachelor’s and master’s degree.
Copy of ID card or passport.
Curriculum Vitae (including research experience, work experience, previous publications, scholarships or grants, attendance at conferences, stays abroad or other activities related to the doctoral programme).
Two letters of reference.
Certificate of knowledge of English or equivalent (for example, research work in English, scientific article in English, accreditation of research stay in an English-speaking country…).
Research proposal, indicating the time of dedication (full or part time) and including the motivation and social impact of the research.
Document of equivalence of the average mark of university studies taken abroad that must be requested through: Equivalence of average grades of university studies carried out in foreign centers – (
Recommended: Letter of pre-acceptance from a research professor for the direction of the thesis. If you do not have a clear idea of which direction you want, if you like it, go to the “Thesis directors” section of this website: Researchers – UB School of Sociology and contact teachers who fit your line of research. It is highly recommended that you already have this prior contact at the time of applying for admission. Here we also present a sample letter of pre-agreement with the thesis direction.


Once the application for admission is completed and sent, the Admission Committee will assess the request. Resolutions of admission will be communicated to candidates by email. Please note that the number of available slots per academic year is limited.

If the applicant is admitted, a process of administrative procedures for enrolment begins. It is highly recommended to inform the Master’s and Doctoral Studies Office of the Faculty of Economics and Business (OMD) about the administrative requirements that will be requested in order to have everything ready.

In the event that the academic resolution is positive, the Masters and Doctorates Office must be contacted ( to manage the documents in order to complete the administrative validation process and to formalize the enrollment in the program.

Prior steps to depositing the thesis

Before being able to deposit the thesis through the steps indicated by the Master’s and Doctorate Office at the request of the PhD student, the PhD student and his/her supervisor must follow the following steps with the Academic Coordination of the PhD in Sociology:

  • The doctoral student must send to the Doctoral Coordination ( the doctoral thesis, the CV and an anti-plagiarism document that verifies that the thesis has passed the anti-plagiarism program.
  • The director must send an e-mail to the Doctoral Coordination ( with the approval of the thesis and acknowledging that the document has passed the anti-plagiarism program.
  • This information is passed on to the monitoring committee, which has time to write the final evaluation reports.
  • At the same time, the director must send all the documentation related to the evaluation committee proposal (evaluation committee proposal, acceptance of each person proposed to be part of the evaluation committee proposal and CV).
  • When the Doctoral Coordination receives the three favorable final thesis evaluation reports, they are sent to the doctoral student and his / her director.
  • Upon receipt of the favorable evaluation reports and the evaluation committee  proposal, this information is sent, together with the thesis and the CV, to the Doctoral Academic Committee, which must approve the deposit. In the event that the follow-up committee makes its positive assessment conditional on any changes to be made, the doctoral student must make these changes and resubmit the dissertation to the follow-up committee if it has so requested, before passing the documentation to the Committee. Doctoral Academic.
  • While this whole process is being carried out, we recommend that the doctoral student contact the Master’s and Doctorate Office ( to manage all the documentation that will be required for the processing of the thesis deposit.

Protocol against sexual and gender harassment

The Protocol against sexual and gender-based harassment of the Doctorate in Sociology at the UB was approved on June 22, 2022 by the Academic Committee of the Doctorate. It is the first doctorate in Spanish territory with a clear protocol on Gender Violence and Isolating Gender Violence (Attached).