The PhD programme in Psychiatry derives from the PhD in Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, which formed the nucleus of the official postgraduate training in the Department of Psychiatry and Legal Medicine at the UAB  for over twenty-five, and continues to prepare postgraduate students from the fields of medicine, biology, psychology, neuroscience or related subjects, so that they have knowledge of and are able to use the leading methodologies for basic and clinical research in the fields of psychiatry, clinical psychology and neurosciences for mental health.

This programme therefore satisfies a systematic training need in handling research procedures and tools in one of the most important areas today, which is also in expansion in all the leading countries, which is neuroscience applied to mental disorders. This preparation of high level professionals with quality research capacity is essential, especially considering the extraordinarily high impact on health spending and social investment that mental disorders require, as has been reported in the studies on health perspectives for the 21st century by the WHO, the European Commission and the US National Health Institutes.

Candidate profile

The specific requirements of the programme aim to establish a PhD student profile that maximises the chances of success on the programme Students should have some research experience, thorough knowledge of the basic concepts and tools in psychiatry, addictions, psychological clinic, neuropsychology, neurosciences focused on mental health, as well as its specific connection with the legal and forensic medicine, ability to assimilate new knowledge, and a practical command of English, which is the main working language on this programme.

Professional opportunities

This PhD programme provides the following principal career options:

  • University hospitals
    Clinical management in psychiatry or clinical psychology.
  • Neuroscience institutes and biomedical research parks
    Senior research staff.
  • Second-level hospitals, primary healthcare centres and psychiatry or clinical psychology services: continuous professional development.

Objectives and justification

The PhD in Psychiatry offers advanced training in clinical research using dedicated techniques and procedures for discerning mechanisms of mental disorders and behaviour. The general objective is the production of a PhD thesis on one of the lines of the departmental research groups, under the supervision of a supervisor and director.
The specific objectives of this PhD programme are:
  • Updating and gaining further knowledge in psychiatry, clinical psychology and clinical neurosciences.
  • Training in diagnostic techniques and research procedures and quantitative methods oriented to psychological and psychiatric pathologies.
  • Systematic tutoring in the preparation and production of a PhD thesis that is original and research orientated, preferably clinical.
  • Promotion of the efficient dissemination of the results in international specialist literature, through the publication of articles deriving from the thesis. 


Antonio Bulbena Vilarrasa

Composition of the academic tribunal for the PhD programme

The academic committee of the PhD program is composed of the following members:
  • Dr. Antoni Bulbena Vilarrasa (Coordinator of the PhD program in Psychiatry).
  • Dr. Rafael Torrubia Beltri.
  • Dr. Beatriz Molinuevo Alonso.
  • Dr. Diego José Palao Vidal.


Departmental Secretary: Rafael Arroyo
Phone: +34 93 581 23 81
Fax: +34 93 581 1435

Coordinator: Antonio Bulbena
Phone: +34 93 581 2381

Medical Psychology Unit
School of Medicine
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Campus de Bellaterra, s/n - 08193 Bellaterra
(Cerdanyola del Vallès)


Number of places available: 20
Fees: aprox. €540 per year View detail of the PhD's fees

Languages in which the thesis may be written:
Catalan, Spanish, English. 
Organising universities and institutions:
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Associated departments or institutes:
Department of Psychiatry and Legal Medicine
Health Sciences

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