The Italian university system is organised in three cycles, according to the Bologna structure: the main academic degrees are the Laurea (1st cycle), the Laurea Magistrale (2nd cycle) and the Dottorato di Ricerca (3rd cycle). The system also offers other study programmes and related qualifications.
The main degree programmes in the 3rd cycle are Corsi di Dottorato di Ricerca (research doctorate programmes); the students/young researchers enrolled in these programmes will acquire methodologies for advanced scientific research, will be trained in new technologies and will work in research laboratories, wherever appropriate.
Access is by a Laurea Magistrale degree (or a comparable foreign degree, at least 300 CP/Laurea Magistrale 120 CP); admission is based on a competitive exam.
Studies last at least three years and include the completion and public defence of an original research project.