Degree programme specification

The Doctoral Degree Programme in Psychology is primarily open to applicants with a Master’s degree in Psychology, or, in exceptional cases, applicants with a Master’s degree in other, related fields concerned with human behaviour and/or experience. Doctoral studies are exclusively single-subject and have a standard duration of 4 years. Their objective is to provide essential qualifications for conducting scientific research in the field. Doctoral studies can be completed in either a full-time or a combined form. Apart from completing the essential courses and working on the dissertation project, requirements in the full-time form include providing teaching assistance and additional research or related activities at the department.

The purpose of the programme is to provide advanced education, training and supervision for highly-skilled future researchers and university lecturers in various fields of psychology. The studies involve completing a set of requirements specified by the syllabi of compulsory doctoral courses within the Course Catalogue, and conducting original research under the supervision of a supervisor, which is subsequently reported in scientific publication and, most importantly, the final Doctoral Dissertation. After successfully completing the Doctoral Degree programme, doctoral candidates are awarded the internationally valid scientific Ph.D. degree (philosophiæ doctor).

The Doctoral Degree Program Psychology is based on the European Federation of Psychologists' Associations (EFPA) "Proposed Minimum Standards for Doctorate Degree in Psychology in Europe", developed by EFPA's Board of Scientific Affairs. In addition to the originality of dissertation and publications in international peer-reviewed journals, emphasis is placed on creating the meta-skills necessary for the independent management of scientific research projects and their supervision. Meta-skills include specific skills in using advanced research methods and statistics (both quantitative and qualitative), preparation of scientific lectures and posters, conducting scientific events, presenting data, preparing grant applications, reviews and publishing, teaching undergraduate students and their assessment . These skills complement the knowledge of ethics, especially the ethics of scientific research, and foreign languages. Competence development in these skills corresponds to the structure of scientific seminars.

The aim of doctoral studies is to ensure that the candidates acquire theoretical knowledge and skills, which they will be able to demonstrate through independent scientific work in their primary field. Most importantly, candidates are expected to develop a substantial capacity for integrating different sources of information and approaches from the chosen area and related areas and hone their critical and scientific thinking skills.

Candidates graduating from the PhD programme are able to integrate and critically evaluate current theoretical and methodological knowledge in the field within the broader context of evolving knowledge in psychology, which enables them to perform independent scientific research: identify important topics in recently developing lines and bodies of research; select appropriate methodological approaches for addressing research questions; identify and apply most suitable approaches to (quantitative or qualitative) data analysis; report research findings concisely and accurately in scholarly journals, at scientific conferences and professional meetings, as well as in other media targeting both the professional and the general public. The graduate is also able to pass deep knowledge of the field within the framework of pedagogical activities.

Study plans

Studies

  • Objectives

    The Doctoral Degree Programme in Psychology is primarily open to applicants with a Master’s degree in Psychology, or, in exceptional cases, applicants with a Master’s degree in other, related fields concerned with human behaviour and/or experience. Doctoral studies are exclusively single-subject and have a standard duration of 4 years. Their objective is to provide essential qualifications for conducting scientific research in the field. Doctoral studies can be completed in either a full-time or a combined form. Apart from completing the essential courses and working on the dissertation project, requirements in the full-time form include providing teaching assistance and additional research or related activities at the department.

    The purpose of the programme is to provide advanced education, training and supervision for highly-skilled future researchers and university lecturers in various fields of psychology. The studies involve completing a set of requirements specified by the syllabi of compulsory doctoral courses within the Course Catalogue, and conducting original research under the supervision of a supervisor, which is subsequently reported in scientific publication and, most importantly, the final Doctoral Dissertation. After successfully completing the Doctoral Degree programme, doctoral candidates are awarded the internationally valid scientific Ph.D. degree (philosophiæ doctor). The aim of doctoral studies is to ensure that the candidates acquire theoretical knowledge and skills, which they will be able to demonstrate through independent scientific work in their primary field. Most importantly, candidates are expected to develop a substantial capacity for integrating different sources of information and approaches from the chosen area and related areas and hone their critical and scientific thinking skills.

    Candidates graduating from the PhD programme are able to integrate and critically evaluate current theoretical and methodological knowledge in the field within the broader context of evolving knowledge in psychology, which enables them to perform independent scientific research: identify important topics in recently developing lines and bodies of research; select appropriate methodological approaches for addressing research questions; identify and apply most suitable approaches to (quantitative or qualitative) data analysis; report research findings concisely and accurately in scholarly journals, at scientific conferences and professional meetings, as well as in other media targeting both the professional and the general public.

    Requirements for the entrance exam: The entrance exam for the Doctoral Degree programme in Psychology is in the oral form. The admission committee, which consist of 5 members of the Doctoral Board, one of whom is an outside member, focus in their evaluation especially on the quality of the proposed dissertation project outline, compatibility of the project with the main research focus of the department and potential supervisor(s), the applicant’s capacity for scientific reasoning and research, and his/her language skills.

    Documents to be submitted for the entrance exam (interview) include:

    - signed structured curriculum vitae;

    - list of publications;

    - dissertation project outline (5 normal pages).

    The exam is an oral discussion of the dissertation project proposal.

    The Dept. of Psychology of the Faculty of Arts provides a list of specific research topics for applicants to choose from, which correspond with the long-term research orientations of the department and the ongoing research projects (for more information, see http://psych.phil.muni.cz/en/studies/doctoral_studies_topics). However, an applicant with an original high-quality proposal can be considered for admission even when the proposal is not directly related to any of the primarily offered areas. The emphasis in doctoral studies is especially on promoting and supporting excellence.

  • Learning Outcomes

    After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:

    • Demonstrate top-level knowledge of theory and research in their primary field
    • Critically evaluate both classic and contemporary theory and research in their primary field
    • Synthesize information from different sources and use them to derive specific approaches and solutions to problems in research and innovation
    • Propose and justify novel ideas, plans, approaches, and innovations
    • Propose and implement appropriate research designs to address specific issues and questions
    • Demonstrate high-level knowledge and skill in research methodology, including basic and advanced (quantitative/qualitative) data analyses commonly used in their primary field
    • Demonstrate potential to generate and implement novel solutions, as well as responsibility and independence in addressing problems in science and research
    • Engage in high-quality research, educational, and related activities on a regular basis
    • Conduct basic and/or applied research as independent researchers
    • Identify unaddressed research topics relevant to recent areas and lines of research
    • Coordinate activities of researchers and specialists from different fields to conduct interdisciplinary research and design interventions and other applications
    • Communicate important research findings to the academic, professional and general public both in their native language and at least one other (preferably English) language
  • Occupational Profiles of Graduates

    Graduates of the Doctoral Degree Programme in Psychology have sufficient knowledge and skill to engage in independent research and educational activities in both basic and applied areas related to their primary specializations. They are therefore qualified for highly specialized scientific and educational positions in institutions concerned with basic and applied research, strategic planning, and/or education of future specialists (e.g. research institutes, universities and colleges, health-providing institutions, etc.).

    Graduates from the Doctoral Degree Programme in Psychology who do not hold a Master’s degree in Psychology are qualified for scientific and academic professions only – they are NOT qualified to work as practising psychologists.

  • Practical Training

    Relevant practical experience is acquired by students during the course of study in solving general and specific assignments within the individual subjects of the recommended study plan, during the ongoing fulfillment of study duties and in the preparation of the research project of the dissertation.

    Students also gain practical experience in the framework of a compulsory stay abroad at an academic or research institute, in participating in the fulfillment of the research plans of the Institute of Psychology and in teaching undergraduate students and leading bachelor's theses (supervised by a supervisor).

  • Goals of Theses

    A doctoral dissertation presents the results of work carried out by a candidate in the course of his/her studies in a doctoral programme. It must contain original results which have been either published or accepted for publication. A body of work previously published or accepted for publication in printed or other form may be recognized as a doctoral dissertation in case a comprehensive introduction and commentary are provided by the candidate. A doctoral dissertation is written in the language a given programme is implemented in or in a language designated for this purpose in the doctoral programme specifications. If so specified in a faculty-issued regulation, a programme implemented in Czech may allow the submission of a doctoral dissertation written in Slovak. A doctoral dissertation may always be submitted in English unless explicitly proscribed by the programme specification. A doctoral dissertation may be submitted in a different language following the approval of the doctoral board.

    Candidates who wish to take the Doctoral State Exam and defend their doctoral dissertation are required to register for both events one semester in advance. They submit a registration form to the assistant for doctoral studies at the Study Department complete with the following attachments:

    - Doctoral dissertation (3 hardcover copies);

    - Doctoral dissertation summary (10 copies in A5 format);

    - Structured curriculum vitae;

    - List of publications.

    Doctoral dissertations can be submitted throughout the academic year; however, both the dissertation and the registration form need to be submitted at least one semester before reaching the maximum duration of studies as specified by the study regulations. A doctoral dissertation must always be submitted electronically via the IS MU. If so specified by the doctoral board, the dissertation is also submitted in printed form. The doctoral dissertation must fulfill the additional requirements:

    a) In case the submission of printed copies is stipulated, the cover and title page must be of the same design, the dissertation format must comply with standard usage at the faculty and all copies must be hard-bound. The number of copies is determined by the doctoral board.

    b) In case the work submitted for a dissertation defence constitutes a joint project a candidate has participated in, the parts he/she has written must be clearly indicated as such. The dissertation must include an attached statement of co-authorship attesting to a candidate’s authorship of the indicated parts of the dissertation and evaluating his/her contribution.

    Other information relevant to the Doctoral State Exam and to doctoral dissertations can be found in the official MU Study and Examination Regulations:

    https://www.muni.cz/en/about-us/official-notice-board/mu-study-and-examination-regulations

  • Additional Information

Basic information

Type
doctoral degree programme
Degree
Ph.D.
Length of studies
4 years
Language of instruction
Czech Czech

Faculty of Arts
Programme guaranteed by
In cooperation with
The Czech Academy of Sciences
Psychologický ústav AV ČR
Programme guarantor