Structure and modules of the academic doctoral programme

For a complete curriculum including a module overview, which is also the legal basis for the programme of study, please click here: Academic doctoral programme curriculum. Below is a short version, which is intended only for basic orientation.

Curriculum summary

  1. The doctoral programme is comprised of 180 ECTS, which corresponds to a duration of six semesters of full-time study.
  2. The doctoral programme is divided into four modules

The research doctoral programme is comprised of:

Module 1 = Exposé and Presentation (12 ECTS)

The exposé serves to confirm the indispensable research competencies needed to complete the dissertation, and should, ordinarily, be submitted by the end of the second semester. The exposé includes the objectives of the research project, hypotheses, research questions and themes. Through the candidate’s choice of research methods, context, and literature review in the chosen research field, it may be ascertained that the doctoral candidate is capable of pursuing his or her research objective.

Module 2 = Doctoral studies seminar, courses (VO, SE), artistic presentations and projects (30 ECTS)

As part of the doctoral programme, students must complete doctoral studies seminars, courses, special activities, and projects amounting to 30 ECTS in consultation with their supervisor and co-supervisor. The chosen courses should relate to the dissertation topic or complement the methodological approach, and are to be agreed upon with supervisors. Included are such lectures and seminars as “Foundations and Concepts of Research”, “Methodology”, “Privatissimum”, “Doctoral Collegium”, and special activities such as subject-related courses, active and passive participation in conferences, artistic presentations, etc.

Module 3 = Dissertation (130 ECTS)

The dissertation is to be written in German, however, with the agreement of both supervisors, may be written in English. The dissertation must be a newly written work of at least 150 pages (at least 270,000 characters including spaces). All copyright laws must be observed in the writing of the dissertation.

Modul 4 = Defence (8 ECTS)

The defence is a presentation of the results of the dissertation. The supervisors then pose questions to the student/s on the content of the dissertation with the aim of evaluating the mastery of the subject and the ability to create larger connections to the subject area. Members of the examinations commission as well as members of the audience may subsequently pose questions to the doctoral candidate, under the moderation of the chair of the examinations commission. The duration of the defence is max. 90 minutes.

The defence is public and held before an examinations commission.

Awarding of the degree of "Doctor of Philosophy“ (PhD.)

Following a positive overall assessment, the dean will grant the award of “Doctor of Philosophy”,  if not immediately, within a month.