PhD in Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology


What you learn

The programme is expected to provide technical training and knowlege to research in these fields, and to provide a framework for interaction and relationship among the PhD students. It aspires to promote an integrative and multidisciplinar scientific space to the study of the brain, from morphologic, estructural, functional, computational and developmental approachs, as well as its reciprocal relation with psychosocial variables. This must contributes to the understanding of human behaviour and the developing of preventive and therapeutical strategies to treat the main neurological and psychiatric disorders. This programme is formed by seven main research lines. Here, these lines are described, indicating the researchers developing them, and listing the topics where the PhD projects can be integrated.

  • Neurobiology. Structure, evolution, development and regeneration of the nervous system.
  • Pharmacogenomics in Neurosciences.
  • Neurophysiology.
  • Cognitive Neuroscience.
  • Clinic and Health Psychology and Psychiatry.
  • Dopaminergic mechanisms of neurodegeneration and neuroprotection in Parkinson disease and new therapeutic strategies.
  • PET and SPECT studies in Neurology. Fusion of morphological and functional images.

Generic skills

When obtaining the PhD degree, students must to have demonstrated the next competences, that will be evaluated across the work and defense of their doctoral dissertations:

  • Systematic understanding of a field of study and mastery of the skills and methods of research associated with that field.
  • Ability to conceive, design, implement and adapt a substantial process of research with scholarly integrity.
  • Have made a contribution through original research that extends the frontier of knowledge by developing a substantial body of work, based on an original research.
  • Are capable of critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas.
  • Can communicate with their peers, the larger scholary community and with society in general about their areas of expertise.
  • To be able to promote, within academic and professional contexts, technological, social or cultural advancement in a knowledge based society.

Specific skills

Students must to be able to:

  • Formulate relevant problems at the frontiers of knowledge in the specific field of their doctoral research.
  • Formulate original hypotheses that significantly contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the fields of neurobiology, cognitive neuroscience or clinical psychology.
  • Know and select the appropriate research design, data analysis methods, and experimental techniques in any of the field of research into the PhD Programme, to develop their work with a high level of autonomy.
  • Put the object of study in the general framework of research on neuroscience and behaviour.
  • Communicate the results of research in relevant scientific publications and national and international forums in the fields of neuroscience and clinical psychology and psychiatry.

Professional and academic career

Professional and academic career

The specific output of professional doctorates is a research career in universities and research centers, which is the only thing that is required this title.

Companies and institutions involved

University of Maryland, USA A collaboration agreement for research in the fields of Neurobiology and Psychiatry. This agreement, in effect since 2003 aims to promote and develop the exchange of teaching and research staff from the University of Santiago de Compostela and the University of Maryland in the field neurobiological and psychiatric research. It was signed on the initiative of the group involved in the Neurobiology Doctoral Program.

Research lines

This are the main research lines for current study.

  • Estudos PET e SPECT en Neuroloxía. Fusión de imaxes morfolóxicas e funcionais
  • Farmacoxenómica en Neurociencias
  • Mecanismos de neurodexeneración e neuroprotección dopaminérxica na enfermidade de Parkinson e novas estratexias terapéuticas
  • Neurobioloxía. Estrutura, evolución, desenvolvemento e rexeneración do sistema nervioso
  • Neurociencia Cognitiva
  • Neurofisioloxía
  • Psicoloxía clínica e da saúde en Psiquiatría

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.

EIDUDC teaching and training activities

EIDUDC teaching and training activities

Programme-specific teaching and training activities

According to the RD 99/2011, the PhD programmes can organize transversal or specific training activities for their students. These are the activities considered in this programme:


  • Information collection and bibliographic review, duration: 50 h, Time sSchedule: 1st curse.
  • Participation in scientific congress or meetings, duration: 20 h, Time sSchedule: Throughout the 3 curses.

Optative, students may complete 2 of this 3, Throughout the 3 curses (preferently throughout the earlier 2):

  • Methodological and technical training, duration: 20 h.
  • Training in communication and dissemination of scientific information, duration: 20 h.
  • Training in research management, duration: 20 h.
  • Optative:

    • Stays, duration: 160 h (1 month).Throughout the 3 curses.

    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.