Autonomous University of Barcelona Masters and graduate diplomas UAB

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Ciències humanes
Arts and Humanities
Ciències experimentals

PhD in History of Science

2013 / 2014

General information

Qualification type


Excellence Award

This PhD programme obtained the prestigious Mention for Excellence of the Ministry of Education for the RD 1393/2007, which enabled the program could be submitted to calls for mobility grants for students and teachers, and that had other advantages in public calls.

Programme structure

The PhD forms the third cycle of official university studies and leads to the acquisition of skills and competences related to quality academic research.

The PhD programme basically involved the research and writing of a doctoral thesis and, therefore, the essential activity is research together with some specific and transferable training activities.

The PhD programme is completed in all cases with the writing and presentation of a doctoral thesis that has to include the results of original research.

PhD studies are made up of PhD programmes, which are organised and managed by the UAB School for Doctoral Studies, and have the academic tribunal of the PhD programme as the body responsible for the definition, updating and coordination as well as research progress and training and the updating of the presentation of the doctoral thesis for each of the PhD candidates on the programme.

PhD candidates also have a thesis supervisor, who is responsible for guiding the research tasks, and an academic tutor, who is responsible for adapting the training and the research activity to the principles of the PhD programmes and the School for Doctoral Studies.

Objectives and justification

The PhD programme in History of Science aims to ensure that the PhD student has a broad and interdisciplinary overview of history of science. The general objectives are to prepare researchers and specialist lecturers in the history of science and to promote, encourage and stimulate lines of research related to history of science.

The general aim of the PhD programme in History of Science is the production of a doctoral thesis in the discipline in which the PhD students meets the following specific objectives:
  • Knowledge of the conceptual and methodological tools of the discipline, applied to a particular area of study or field.
  • Capacity for critical analysis and synthesis of new and complex ideas.
  • Effective communication of the results of the scientific work to the academic and professional communities.
This PhD programme is a response to the historical importance of science, technology and medicine and also its importance today: history of science offers an broad overview of the processes that make up contemporary science, technology and medicine and is an excellent tool for analysing and understanding science and its social relationships, which complement scientific training by contributing humanistic and ethical perspectives, and anyone whose professional activity is linked to science, from communication and scientific dissemination to museology.

Languages in which the thesis may be written

Catalan, English and Spanish.

Competences and abilities

As a minimum requirement PhD students at the UAB are guaranteed the acquisition of basic competences through compulsory activities and their own research, with an annual evaluation of their training and the progress of the thesis, and a final assessment through the presentation and defence of the PhD thesis. The basic competences are the following:

  • Systematic comprehension of the field of study and mastery of the skills and methods of research related to that field.
  • Capacity to conceive, design or create and put into practice and adopt a substantial process of research or creation.
  • Capacity to contribute to the breakdown of limits to knowledge through original research.
  • Capacity to carry out critical analysis and evaluation and to synthesise new and complex ideas.
  • Capacity for communication with the academic and scientific community and with society at large in their areas of knowledge in the manners and languages that are habitually used in the international scientific community.
  • Capacity for promoting scientific, technological, social, artistic or cultural advances in academic and professional contacts within a knowledge-based society.

Obtaining the qualification offers the PhD student great professional capacity in different areas and especially in those that require creativity and innovation. PhD candidates should also have acquired personal capacities and skills to:

  • Operate in contexts in which there is little specific information.
  • Find key questions to answer in order to resolve complex problems.
  • Design, create, develop and carry out new and innovative projects in their area of knowledge.
  • Work independently and in teams in an international and multidisciplinary context.
  • Integrate knowledge, deal with complexity and make judgements with limited information.
  • Make intellectual criticism and defence of solutions.

Professional opportunities

This PhD programme provides the following principal career options:

  • Academic career in history of science, technology and medicine.
  • Science didactics.
  • Museology, archive management and publishing.
  • Conservation and management of the scientific and cultural heritage.
  • Science communication.
  • Science journalism.
  • Management of scientific information.
  • Science popularisation.
  • Scientific terminology.

Organising universities and institutions

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Universitat de Barcelona

Associated departments or institutes:
Centre d'Història de la Ciència (CEHIC)

Collaborating institutions

Institució Milà i Fontanals del Consell Superior d'Investigacions Científiques de Barcelona (IMF-CSIC)
Museu d'Història de la Medicina de Catalunya (MHMC)
Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya (UPC)
Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)
Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris) (UPMC)
Universidad de Málaga (UMA)




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