• Admission requirements


General admission requirements for PhD programmes
  1. General admission requirements for official PhD programmes include an official undergraduate degree or the equivalent and an official Master’s degree.
  2. Candidates must comply with one of the following requirements:

·         Candidates must hold an official Spanish university diploma or one from another European Higher Education Area member country valid for access to Master’s degree programmes in compliance with article 16 of Royal Decree 1393/2007, 29 October. Candidates are also required to have earned a minimum of 300 ECTS credits in official university programmes, at least 60 of which must have been earned at the Master’s degree level.

·         Candidates must hold an official undergraduate degree, which, in compliance with EU law, requires successful completion of at least 300 ECTS credits. Candidates holding only undergraduate degrees are required to take additional courses unless the curriculum for the degree they completed includes research training credits, equivalent to those envisaged in at the Master’s degree level.

·         University graduates who have previously passed the official exams required to enter a residency programme to gain a speciality in Health Sciences and have successfully completed at least two years in the specialist programme.

·         Candidates who have obtained a degree in compliance with foreign educational systems, without the need to have the degree officially recognised. However, prior proof that the degree accredits qualifications equivalent to Spanish official Master’s degrees and allows entry to doctoral studies in the issuing country is required. Under no circumstances will this process imply recognition of the degree certificate for any purposes other than entering PhD programmes. The PhD diploma obtained through this procedure will be fully valid in Spain.

·         According to RD 99/2011, graduates in BA and BSc programmes, graduates in Architecture and Engineering with the Diploma in Advanced Studies, obtained in compliance with Royal Decree 778/1998, of 30 April, or who have completed the Research Aptitude Certificate as specified in Royal Decree 185/1985, of 23 January are eligible to enter PhD programmes.

·         Candidates holding another Spanish PhD diploma obtained in degree programmes which have been discontinued.


In addition to the general requirementsto enter PhD programmes, these studies havespecific requirements.



Programme-specific requirements

·         Completion of an official Master’s degree in Economics and/or Business or related fields, having preferably chosen the research track.

·         Certificate providing proof of a C1 levelor equivalent inEnglish. Having achieved this level of English implies that the student is capable of understanding a variety of long relatively difficult texts and recognising the implicit meaning; expressing him/herself fluently and smoothly making use of the appropriate expressions and vocabulary; using the language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes; and producing clear, well organised detailed texts on complex topics, demonstrating correct use of text organisation, structure and cohesion.

The following will also be favourably regarded:

·         Excellent academic performance in undergraduate degrees.

·         Excellent academic performance in Master’s degrees in Economics and/or Business or related fields.

·         Interest in the research focus areas of the PhD programme.

·         Research experience in the field of knowledge (participation in research projects, publications, etc.) prior to entering the PhD programme.

·         Continuing education courses related to this specialist area of knowledge.

·         Work or volunteering in this field.

·         Stays abroad.

·         Clearly defined career objectives, research ambitions and personal maturity.

·         Availability to carry out the activities envisaged in the programme, particularly stays at other universities or research centres.

·         A research grant awarded by a Spanish or international bodies, based on evaluation of the candidate’s CV


Admission to the programme will be determined by the academic committee, which will evaluate compliance with the profiles shown above. Full time and part time candidates may be eligible to enter the programme. In the latter case, availability to carry out the activities envisaged in the programme will be taken into account. 

Candidates are required to submit the following:

  1. Application form.
  2. Copy of the Identity Card or Passport
  3. Small photo
  4. Official transcript of the undergraduate and Master’s degree programmes completed.
  5. Copy of the official diplomas of the undergraduate and Master’s degree programmes
  6. Full curriculum vitae with supporting documents.
  7. Certificate providing proof of fluency in English (minimum level of C1).
  8. Presentation letter in which the candidate briefly describes his/her career achievements, work experience, expectations and main interests related to the PhD programme. Candidates who are employed and wish to enrol as part time students should fully explain their availability to ensure they have time enough to combine the programme with their professional duties. (maximum length of the letter: 800 words).
  9. Initial research proposal, explaining the focus area and topic and how it links to the PhD programme’s research teams’ work (maximum length of the proposal: from 2,000 to 5,000 words).
  10. Two letters of recommendation.
  11. Research grant recipients must clearly explain their current status. If a grant has been applied for and is pending resolution, information concerning this application must be included.

The programme coordinator or deputy coordinator will carry out aninitial evaluation of the documents submittedand, if necessary, willarrange a personal or videoconference interview(this interview may be delegated to a PhD faculty member attached to the programme).

The initialresearch proposal will be evaluated with the principal researcher of the most suitable teamto determine if the team’s research plan and candidates’ interests are a good fit.


Candidates’ suitability and merits will be evaluated as follows:





Qualifications and academic record (undergraduate)

Grade point average+ match with the programme’s focus area

15% + 10%


Qualifications and academic record (Master’s)

Grade point average+ match with the programme’s focus area

15% + 20%


Match between the candidate’s research aims and the programme’s focus areas

Assessment by the academic committee


Research proposal

Previous research experience

Publications and projects


Curriculum vitae

Other merits

- Continuing Education

- Professional or volunteer experience

- Stays abroad.


Curriculum vitae

Other merits

- Career objectives

- Expectations concerning the programme

- Attitude and personal maturity

- Foreseen dedication to the programme


Presentation letter and personal interview

Grant recipients

Award, duration and amount of the grant


Proof of award of the grant


Based on the documents submitted and the report from the programme coordinator or deputy coordinator, the academic committee will evaluate the candidate’s suitability, decide whether to accept him/her and duly notify the General Secretariat by the deadline.

Applicants who have not completed a Master’s degree research track will be required to take additional courses.The curriculum of the Master’s degree programme completed will be examined andthe research training subjectsthat the student will be required to complete to enter the PhD programme will be specified, in compliance with the provisions in the section “Additional courses”.


As was stated above, the academic committee will analyse the competences candidates have attained in their previous postgraduate studies. Research competences related to the PhD candidate’s proposed dissertation and methodology competences will be evaluated. The additional courses required will depend on the results of this evaluation.

The academic committee may require candidates who have not completed the research track at the Master’s degree level to take additional courses in order to attain the basic competences envisaged in the Master’s degree research profile. Whether or not candidates are required to take additional courses will mainly depend on the type of research they plan to carry out and their previous background. The curriculum of their Master’s degrees will be analysed and candidates will be recommended to complete the subjects needed to ensure they are properly prepared to do their PhD dissertation. 

There are two specific additional courses to be completed prior to the PhD programme.

Course 1: Theories and scientific bases applied to research on competitiveness, innovation and sustainability (12 ECTS credits) 

Course 2: Research methods and dissemination of results applied to academic research. (12 ECTS credits).

Additional courses: content

The content of the additional courses is as follows:

Course 1:Theories and scientific bases applied to research on competitiveness, innovation and sustainability(12 ECTS credits)

·         Transaction cost theory

·         Agency theory

·         Evolutionary theory

·         Behavioural theory of the firm

·         Stakeholder theory

·         Game theory

·         Resource-based view

·         Knowledge-based view

·         Dynamic capabilities

·         Additional theoretical developments related to competitiveness, innovation and sustainability

·         Analysis, criticism and synthesis of theory contributions

·         Propositions and hypotheses: generation, logic and premises

·         Monitoring propositions


Course 2: Research methods and dissemination of resultsapplied to academic research (12 ECTS credits).

·     Epistemology of Science

·     Information sources

·     Questionnaires as tools to collect primary data

·     Fundamentals of quantitative research methods

o    Variable types and codification

o    Descriptive analysis

o    Contrast hypothesis testing

o    Fundamentals of linear and multiple regression

o    Discriminant analysis

·     Factorial analysis and automatic classification

·     Fundamentals of qualitative research methods

o    Case studies

o    Action research


·     Fundamentals of academic writing