PhD in Architecture and Urban Planning


What you learn

Fundamentally, one learns to do a doctoral thesis. However, its implementation requires that the doctorate stop being a mere receiver of information to become a generator of it. In other words, it must be transformed from student to researcher. In the future, this will enable it to address the challenges of innovation in the architectural or urban areas, which are the ultimate goal of the doctoral program.

List of basic competences that students must acquire during their studies (established by Royal Decree 861/2010)

  • Basic Competence 1 (CB11): Systematic understanding of a field of study and mastery of the skills and research methods related to that field.
  • Basic Competence 2 (CB12): Ability to conceive, design or create, implement and adopt a substantial process of research or creation.
  • Basic Competence 3 (CB13): Ability to contribute to the expansion of the frontiers of knowledge through original research.
  • Basic Competence 4 (CB14): Ability to perform a critical analysis and evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas.
  • Basic Competence 5 (CB15): Ability to communicate with the academic and scientific community and with society in general about their fields of knowledge in the modes and languages commonly used in their international scientific community.
  • Basic Competence 6 (CB16): Ability to foster, in academic and professional contexts, scientific, technological, social, artistic or cultural advancement within a knowledge-based society.

List of other general competences that students must acquire during their studies

  • General Competence 1 (CG1): Ability to propose and direct research projects in their field of specialization.
  • General Competence 2 (CG2): Acquire advanced knowledge of specialization in one of the fields of Architecture or Urbanism.

List of specific competences that students must acquire during their studies.

  • Specific Competence 1 (CE1): Ability to make new scientific contributions in its field of specialization, based on the knowledge and skills acquired.

List of transverse competences that students must acquire during their studies.

  • Transversal Competence 1 (CT1): Capacity for research and interdisciplinary scientific development, with related fields of knowledge.
  • Transversal Competence 2 (CT2): Ability to develop research activity with social responsibility and scientific integrity.

Professional and academic career

Professional and academic career

The current program replaces other previous programs that have been linked to the School of Architecture, with longer duration and that allow us to obtain concrete data. So far the ETSA has formed through different programs more than 50 doctors. Many of them have joined university teaching, since it requires this requirement. But also many of them have developed their activity outside the university working in positions of great responsibility in companies of first international level.

Research lines

This are the main research lines for current study.

  • Espacio y Proyecto en Arquitectura.
  • Estructuras en Arquitectura.
  • Génesis, Lenguaje y Representación de la Arquitectura.
  • Matemáticas aplicadas a la Mecánica de Medios Continuos.
  • Patrimonio, Teoría e Historia de la Arquitectura.
  • Planes y Proyectos. Del Territorio al Paisaje y la Ciudad
  • Rehabilitación, Nuevos Sistemas Constructivos y Sostenibilidad en Arquitectura

Planning for teaching

Additional subject teaching

Candidates who do not meet all the necessary prior learning conditions for the programme may be required to complete additional courses in the form of subjects and modules from UDC Master’s and undergraduate programmes. The number of credits from additional subject teaching will not exceed 15 ECTS credits, which students may choose to complete before or after enrolment in the PhD programme.

Students who do not opt to complete additional coursework prior to enrolment should register for their extra subjects or modules at the same time as the PhD. Failure to complete additional coursework within a period of three consecutive terms will result in the termination of the student’s registration.

See also UDC PhD Policies and Regulations, Article 16: Applications.

complements credits
Técnicas de Investigación Tecnológica en la Arquitectura. 3
Técnicas de Investigación y Documentación en Arquitectura 3
Teoría y Método de la Planificación General y Urbana. 3
Inspección de las Estructuras. 3
Técnicas de Levantamiento Gráfico en rehabilitación y restauración. 3

EIDUDC teaching and training activities

EIDUDC teaching and training activities

Programme-specific teaching and training activities

From the Doctorate Program it will be encouraged that the student, under the supervision of his tutor and / or thesis director, carry out training activities aimed at completing his training, in a special way:

  • 1. Attendance at congresses and scientific meetings.
  • 2. Writing of scientific articles in Architecture and Urbanism.
  • 3. Stays in other research centers.

Supervision agreement

The PhD supervision agreement defines the academic relationship between the candidate and the University, the rights and responsibilities of each (including any intellectual and/or industrial property rights resulting from the candidate’s research), the procedures in place in relation to conflict resolution, and the duration of the agreement. It also specifies the duties of the PhD tutor and supervisor.

The supervision agreement must be signed by the candidate, tutor and designated university representative (or representatives) within a maximum period of one month as from the date of registration. The supervisor’s signature may be added subsequently, once a supervisor has been appointed.

When the document has been signed by all the relevant parties, the agreement is then added to the candidate’s record of activities.

See also UDC PhD Policies and Regulations, Article 31: Supervision agreement.

Research plan

The candidate must prepare a research plan within six months of registration, with information regarding methodology, objectives, resources and milestones. The research plan is submitted together with the report of the supervisor and/or tutor for approval by the Academic Committee for PhD Programmes (CAPD). Improvements to the plan may be introduced with the approval of the supervisor and/or tutor based on the annual review of the student’s research progress.

Research plans are subject to annual review by the CAPD, including the report(s) of the supervisor and/or tutor and the candidate’s record of activities. Students will be permitted to continue with their studies if the outcome of the review is satisfactory. If the outcome is negative, the student will be required to submit a new plan within a period of six months. If the committee is still not satisfied, the candidate will be removed from the programme.

See also UDC PhD Policies and Regulations, Article 30: Research plan.

Student mobility

UDC holds student mobility agreements with universities and other third-level institutions across four continents. Students are offered several opportunities each year to apply to study abroad in one of these centres (for a single term or for a whole year), with the guarantee that all credits obtained will be duly recognised in their academic record upon their return.

For each round of applications, the University publishes the list of exchange options available to students and, where relevant, the specific conditions associated with each. Students may also apply to the University for funding for international work experience placements and internships.

Work experience placements are accredited in the student's academic record and the European diploma supplement. Students are free to decide in which host company or academic institution within the EHEA they wish to carry out their placement. To assist them in their search, the University has created an online noticeboard with jobs postings and other news.

Work-study placements in A Coruña are arranged by the International Relations Office (ORI) of the UDC in collaboration with the international relations coordinators in the student’s home university. The general entry criteria, rights and obligations of students, and admission and acceptance procedures for the programme, are regulated by the UDC Mobility Policy.