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The doctoral thesis

The doctoral thesis is an original piece of research that should prepare the student for independent work in the R&D and Innovation sector.


Students may write and defend the thesis in Catalan, Spanish or English.


If sufficient justification is provided, the Academic Committee for the doctoral programme may authorise a doctoral student to write and defend the thesis in another language.


Thesis supervisor

The thesis supervisor must be a lecturer and/or researcher, in possession of a doctoral degree and with proven research capacity and experience in the relevant area of science or technology.


Lecturers and researchers will be considered to have the necessary research capacity and experience if they meet any of the following requirements:


  • Supervision of a doctoral thesis during the last five years.
  • Direction of a current research area (approved during the last seven years).
  • Principal investigator of a project receiving competitive funding from another public institution.

Researchers whose contractual arrangements or affiliation preclude application of the above criteria must be evaluated favourably by the UPC’s Research Committee before joining the doctoral programme as accredited researchers.

Appointment of the thesis supervisor

Once the research topic has been agreed between the student and the supervisor, the Academic Committee of the corresponding doctoral programme will confirm the appointment of the thesis supervisor or appoint a new supervisor if this is deemed necessary.


In exceptional and duly justified cases, the Academic Committee may decide to appoint an expert from outside the UPC. In such cases, the prior approval of the UPC Doctoral Studies Committee is required, as well as the backing of an internal examiner, who must be a doctoral-level member of the UPC's teaching and research staff with demonstrated research experience.