Doctoral School - UAH - Prospective Students - Duration of Studies
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Mode of Study

When pursuing doctoral studies, one may opt to be a full-time or part-time student, with the prior consent of the Academic Committee in charge of the programme. 

  • For full-time students, the duration of doctoral studies will be no longer than three years, from admission onto the programme to the examination of the thesis.
  • For part-time students, the duration of doctoral studies will be no longer than five years, from admission onto the programme to the examination of the thesis.

At the beginning of the academic year, at the time of renewing the enrolment, students may request to change their mode of study. The change from part-time to full-time will be automatic, upon request of the student presented at the Doctoral School. The change from full-time to part-time must be authorised by the doctoral programme’s academic committee, after justification by the doctoral of the reasons for that change.

For those students who alternate between periods of full-time and periods of part-time the duration of doctoral studies will be no longer than four years, from admission onto the programme to the examination of the thesis.

Permanence policy

First extension

If the established time limit is about to end without any request for the thesis to be deposited, the academic committee in charge of the programme may authorise a first extension, depending on the mode of study: 

  • In the case of full-time studies, the extension will be of one more year. 
  • In the case of part-time students, an extension of two years may be authorized.
  • Those students who alternate between periods of full-time and periods of part-time may request an extension of one year and a half.

To request an extension, students must verify that the standard length of study is about to exceed and that they will not be able to deposit the doctoral thesis in the established term. In that case, students should ask the academic committee of their doctoral programme, with the approval of their Supervisor(s), for an extension of the deadline for depositing their thesis.

Exceptional extension

In exceptional circumstances, the first extension could be renewed for an additional year in all modes of study. To this end, the doctoral candidate should have completed the research process of the doctoral thesis. To apply for this exceptional extension, the doctoral candidate must submit an application to the Official Postgraduate and Doctoral Studies Committee, attaching a reasoned report with the approval of the Supervisor(s).

Timeline for PhD students

For the purposes of computing the first period, no account will be taken of leave for sickness, pregnancy or for any other cause contemplated in current regulations.

Student leave policy

Doctoral students may also request to leave the programme temporarily for a maximum period of one year, which may be extended for a further year. This request must be directed to and justified before the academic committee of the programme, which will decide whether the request should be granted or not.

Likewise, the doctoral candidates may request their voluntary withdrawal from the doctoral programme at any time. If they later want to re-enter the same program, they should consider the following:

  • If the voluntary withdrawal occurs before the first annual assessment, the student may request readmission to the same doctoral programme, by writing to the Official Postgraduate and Doctoral Studies Committee, which must be endorsed by the academic committee of the programme. If the application is granted, the previous period in the programme will not be taken into account when calculating the new time limits. Likewise, the doctoral student may maintain his or her previous supervisor, tutor, Record of Activities Document and Research Plan.
  • If the voluntary withdrawal occurs after the first annual assessment, the student cannot request readmission to the same programme until after three academic years, and this procedure can only be initiated if there are no pending debts with the University. However, the student may be admitted to another programme of the University of Alcalá, being then considered a new doctoral candidate.