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Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

PhD in

Education and Social Sciences

This PhD programme addresses the study of education and social sciences in an interdisciplinary context, providing the necessary skills to face research in the theoretical and empirical-experimental field and promoting the development of innovative application practices.

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Course description

The programme responds to the growing need in international research to develop complex interpretations of socio-cultural and educational systems and to deepen conceptual, theoretical and methodological models. The study plan foresees different activities to ensure that PhD students acquire basic epistemological skills, methodological skills, both qualitative and quantitative, as well as transversal skills.

Students and professors from different countries, different disciplines and scientific fields guarantee the international and interdisciplinary orientation of the programme.

Over the three-year period, several teaching activities are offered: lectures, practical sessions and seminars that aim to develop and illustrate the programme’s subjects and research areas and to focus on the most recent findings in the education and in the social sector.

The main teaching areas are philosophy of science, epistemology of related disciplines, research methodology, currrent questions and methods drawn from the international context.

The cycles of compulsory and optional lectures, workshops and seminars (study plan) are defined by the PhD Course Committee at the beginning of the cycle.

At a glance

Duration of the programme: 3 years
Courses will be taught in Italian, German and English
Places available: 5 positions with scholarship, 1 position for research assistant, 1 position without scholarship
Campus: Brixen-Bressanone
Tuition fees: € 189 per year

Programme structure

This is a full-time PhD programme and you can choose between two research areas: Education (which includes Pedagogical and  Didactics fields) and Social science. The research areas share modules on research epistemology and on qualitative and quantitative research methods.

During the three years, you will have to take part in diversified teaching activities: a series of introductory lessons, workshops and seminars that illustrate and explore in depth the issues and research fields available in the programme and the most recent developments in education and the social sciences.

Fieldwork abroad

During your PhD you are required to spend at least three months abroad. You can choose to split your trip abroad into three stays of at least three consecutive weeks each.

Partner universities and institutions

Our faculty collaborates with many universities and research centres in Italy and abroad. Among our partners, besides the two Euregio universities of Innsbruck and Trento, are also the universities of Dresden, Hildesheim, Oviedo, Thessaly, Vienna e Vechta.


PhD Programme Coordinator: Prof. Dorothy Louise Zinn (photo)
Student representative in the Lecturer's Committee: Giampaolo Santi


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Studying at unibz

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Application and Admission

You can find key information to apply and gain admission to this PhD Programme. For detailed information browse the general and specific calls below.

In order to gain admission to the PhD programme, you will need to have obtained 300 ECTS credit points (Master degree): Master degree (all disciplines); Master degrees according to Italian law previous to the introduction of D.M. 509/1999; Master of Science/Arts or equivalent degrees obtained outside of Italy. 

1st call

Application deadline: 11/07/2024 (by noon, local time)
Admission interviews: 19/07/2024, beginning at 9:00 am,  in presence at the Faculty of Education in Brixen-Bressanone, room A2.01 or via MS Teams. Candidates who make a motivated request by 11/07/2024 can participate in the admission interview online via MS Teams.
Publication of ranking lists: by 05/08/2024

Confirmation of the position

Applicants with scholarship: by 20/08/2024 by noon local time;
Applicants without scholarship: starting from 21/08/2024 until 30/08/2024 by noon local time.
Enrolment: Starting from 21/08/2024 until 31/10/2024

1st Call

Publication of the call: from 10/06/2024
Application deadline
: 11/07/2024 (by noon, local time)


Contact us by phone at +39 0471 012800 or send us an e-mail: