Recent version of November 2021


The following doctoral degrees can be obtained at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences:

Doctor in Communication Sciences
Doctor in EU Studies
Doctor in Political Sciences
Doctor in Sociology

These faculty regulations do not affect the applicable procedures and regulations regarding doctoral studies at UGent ( and have to be regarded as a faculty supplement to these regulations. The Faculty Board can revise these regulations. The latest version is available on the faculty website

Admission conditions

Article 1

The Faculty Board decides on the admission to do a PhD at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences.

Admission from the Faculty Board has to be requested in writing at the Faculty Student Administration (FSA, Universiteitstraat 8, ground floor), at the latest 5 working days before the Faculty Board meeting during which the application is processed. ( students/administration/doctoral administration ). To this end, the following documents have to be submitted:

  • a letter / email addressed to the FSA () requesting an approval of the doctoral subject from the Faculty Board.
  • the doctoral registration form and the doctoral training programme signed by the doctoral candidate and the administrative responsible supervisor, stating the name (s) of the supervisor (s), and, if any, members of the doctoral advisory committee, and the choice of the doctoral school;
  • if not graduated from Ghent University: a copy of the obtained license / master's degree (see also article 2).

The decision of the faculty board is communicated in writing to the candidate doctoral student. After approval from the faculty, the dean signs the registration form for the doctorate and the doctoral training program and the FSA returns the form to the candidate doctoral student or the supervisor responsible for administration.

The candidate doctoral student hereby formally has to register at the Student Administration Department in the Rectorate, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 33 in accordance with the applicable registration guidelines. The candidate doctoral student is then automatically enrolled in one of the Doctoral Schools.

Article 2

Holders of a foreign higher education diploma have to meet the UGent admission requirements.

After approval by the central student administration, the file is submitted to the FSA of the faculty (see article 1) and the application is submitted at the next faculty board. Just like any other research, the doctoral student has to receive an ethical approval for data collection and he or she has to prepare a data management plan.

Article 3

The doctoral student can submit a motivated request to the Faculty Board in writing to amend the previously approved application for the intended doctoral degree, the doctoral topic, the name (s) of the supervisor (s), the language of the dissertation, the choice of the doctoral school and / or a change in the composition of the doctoral advisory committee. The documents can be found at: . The FR decides whether or not to allow the adjustment (s).

The supervisor, the doctoral advisory committee and the doctoral training programme

Article 4

The responsible supervisor plays a central role in supervising the doctoral student and has a stimulating, coordinating and evaluating role for the entire duration of the doctoral process.

The administrative responsible supervisor is preferably a professorial staff member associated with the faculty of Political and Social Sciences. In addition, one or more additional supervisors (s) from or outside UGent can cooperate.

If the responsible administrative supervisor is not a professorial staff member associated with the faculty of Political and Social Sciences, the co-supervisor has to at least be affiliated with the faculty.

Article 5

For each doctorate at the faculty of Political and Social Sciences, the Faculty Board appoints a doctoral advisory committee or several supervisors on the proposal of the supervisors and / or doctoral student in accordance with the provisions in the Education and Examination Code. This is done at the latest in March of the academic year of the first enrollment.

The supervisors and the doctoral advisory committee are responsible for the support and assessment of the doctoral student throughout the entire study and research period. The doctoral student reports once a year on the research progress to the supervisors and the doctoral advisory committee.

In the event of a negative assessment of the doctoral student's progress report by the supervisor(s) and the doctoral advisory committee, the doctoral student is heard by the supervisor (s), the advisory committee and the ombudsperson, and a motivated report is drawn up. This report is signed by all involved (including the doctoral student) and submitted to the research director of the faculty. The research director convenes the Faculty Committee for Scientific Research who issues an advice to the dean. The dean also follows the procedure as described in Article 89 of the OER. In the event of a conflict of interest, the faculty ombudsperson can replace the chairperson of the FCWO or dean in this procedure.

Article 6

The doctoral student has the right to follow a doctoral training programme. The organisation of this training programme is supported by the Doctoral School in which the doctoral student is enrolled. The doctoral student can be obliged by the supervisor (s) and doctoral advisory committee to follow all or a part of the doctoral training programme, adapted to the individual needs of the doctoral student. The actual content of the program is determined by the supervisors (s) and the doctoral advisory committee, without prejudice to the general Doctoral Schools regulations and the regulations of the Doctoral School to which the doctoral student belongs. The supervisor (s) and doctoral advisory committee can advise to reduce the size of the doctoral training programme on the basis of 'Previously Acquired Competencies’ or 'Previously Acquired Qualifications'.

If it is decided that doctoral students have to follow a (part of the) doctoral training programme, this will be reported to the Faculty Board.

The dissertation

Article 7

A dissertation can take the form of a classical doctorate in book form, but can also consist of a bundle of min. 3 and max. 7 scientific papers. A deviation from the number of papers can be requested from the Faculty Board with justification. The doctoral student does not necessarily have to be the only or first author, but the articles have to be the result of personal research work of the doctoral student.

If the doctorate consists of a bundle of scientific articles written by several authors, a document has to be added when submitting the work in which an overview is given of all contributions stating authors and co-authors and in which the doctoral student indicates what exactly his / her share is in each article with multiple authors. With regard to articles for which the doctoral student is not the only author, the actual first author has to confirm in writing that he / she agrees with the inclusion of the article in the dissertation in advance. This confirmation and the document with an overview of all contributions has to be added to the dissertation as attachments. Articles that were published more than one year before registering for the doctorate are not eligible. Furthermore, no publication requirement or acceptance for publication is imposed on the bundled papers, but each paper has to be publishable in a journal with a reading committee. It is the authority of the Examination Board to assess (and accept or reject) the suitability and quality of the work. The articles have to be bundled coherently in terms of content. The contributions have to be preceded by an introductory chapter situating the existing work in the relevant research domain. The contributions have to be followed by a concluding chapter.

Article 8

Before the faculty board meeting takes place, the final digital version of the dissertation (pdf) has to be submitted to the FSA.

The examination board is composed according to the guidelines set forth in the university regulations. However, the chairperson of the examination committee may not be a member of the research group of the doctoral student.

Before the start of the Faculty Board Meeting, the administrative responsible supervisor, in consultation with the doctoral student, proposes possible dates on which the first meeting of the examination board can take place, taking into account the deadlines stipulated in the education and examination code and the faculty doctoral regulations. During the first exam part, it is determined when the public defense takes place (see art. 9).

At the latest two working days after faculty board meeting, the secretariat of the department has to receive the other copies of the dissertation in order to pass it on to all members of the examination board in time. The doctoral student also delivers one copy to the FSA. These versions are identical to the digital version submitted to the faculty board.

The doctoral exam

Article 9

§1. The doctoral exam consists of:

- the first assessment of the dissertation by the examination board.
- public defense of the dissertation This can only take place 3 weeks after the first examination part at the earliest (exceptions are possible for international doctoral students or if international researchers are part of the examination board.).

§2. The candidate receives the part of the written assessment of the dissertation intended for him / her from the members of the examination jury at the latest 3 working days before the first examination part.

§3. The chairperson of the examination boards opens the first part of the exam by asking the members for an initial assessment. The candidate then joins the meeting. The members of the examination board provide feedback and ask questions to the doctoral student. The candidate answers the questions and responds to the comments formulated by the members of the examination board. After the candidate has been heard, the candidate leaves the meeting. The board then deliberates and communicates the result to the candidate.

§4. The deliberation yields one of the following statements:
- admission to the second part of the exam (public defense).
- admission to the second part, after making corrections to the dissertation that can be carried out by the doctoral student within the period set by the examination board. The chairman and the supervisor (s), in consultation, ensure that the requested corrections are taking into account. The examination committee clearly states which corrections and adjustments are required. Afterwards the reworked and bound copies are submitted to the FSA and the secretariat of the department, unless otherwise decided by the examination committee.
- no admission to the second part. In this case, the dissertation can be resubmitted to the Faculty Board at a later date (see art. 8).

§5. If the candidate is admitted to the second examination part, the examination board determines the date for the public defense in consultation with the candidate. The supervisor and chairman of the examination board ensure that the proposed corrections are completed in time (which is at least two days before the fixed date of the public defense) in accordance with the agreement.

§6. During the second exam part, the doctoral student defends the dissertation orally and in public. The public defense starts with a presentation of the candidate about the dissertation of a maximum of 30 minutes, followed by a round of questions from the voting members of the examination board.


Article 10

The faculty ombudsperson acts as an ombudsperson for the doctoral student of the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences. In the absence of the ombudsperson, the chairman of the Research Faculty Committee acts as a substitute.

Commonly used abbreviations

Doctoral Advisory Committee
Faculty Scientific Research Committee
Faculty of Political and Social Sciences
Faculty Board
Faculty Student Administration
Education and Examination Code