Official postgraduate studies aim to deepen the student’s knowledge in academic, professional or research training, and are divided into two cycles: the Master’s degree programmes (second cycle) and doctoral programmes (third cycle). Successful completion of these cycles leads to a Master’s degree and doctoral degree, respectively. These programmes may be shared among the faculties, schools and institutes and may be inter-university or mixed with other public or private organisations.
Master’s and doctoral programmes are carried out under the direction and academic responsibility of a faculty or school, a department, a university research institute or a specific organisation set up for this purpose, under the supervision of the Postgraduate Studies Committee.
Master’s degree programmes
Successful completion of the second cycle of university studies leads to an official Master’s degree. This cycle is dedicated to the advanced training of a specialised or multidisciplinary nature and is aimed at academic/ professional specialisation or research tasks. These programmes range from 60 and 120 ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer System), which take one to two academic years to complete. Master’s degree programmes consist of theoretical and practical training and conclude with the preparation of a final project. Furthermore, when the programme is professionally oriented, it includes work placements/internships in businesses and institutions. The official Master’s degree programmes may or may not continue on to a doctoral programme.
The Royal Decree 99/2011 that regulates the organisation of doctoral studies corresponding to the third course of the official university teachings are addressed to the obtaining of the Doctor Degree, that shall have official nature and validity throughout the national territory in its article 1, establishes the following definitions:
1. Doctorate refers to the third cycle of official university studies, aimed to the acquisition of the competences and skills related to the high quality scientific research.
2. Doctorate programme refers to a set of activities addressed to the acquisition of the competences and skills needed for obtaining the Doctor degree. The programme will have as an objective the development of the different training aspects of the doctorate and will establish the procedures and lines of research for the development of doctoral theses.
3. It is considered a doctor, whose previous accreditation of the established requisites in the present royal decree, the one who has been admitted in a doctorate programme and also enroled in the programme.
It is recognised as a doctor the one who, previous accreditation of the established requisites in the current royal decree, has been admitted in a doctorate programme and he/she has been enroled in the programme.