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What degree is required to apply to the Programme?

A Master’s degree or equivalent degree is required for admission to the PhD Programme. Candidates who will fulfill the minimum degree requirements by 30 September of each year can apply. They may be admitted under condition of getting the degree by end of September.

Can I apply if I have a degree in a subject area not covered by the PhD Programme?

Yes, but you must have a sound knowledge of the fields covered by the PhD Programme. The Examining Board will assess the content and quality of the candidates’ academic record to decide if it fits the requirements for admission to the PhD.

Can I be admitted without grant?

No, self-financing candidates cannot be admitted to the PhD.

How long does the course last?

The duration of the course is 3 years. The thesis must be submitted at the latest by the end of the third year.It is allowed an extension for a maximum of six months. After the submission, two external referees will be asked to review the thesis and provide a written evaluation. At that stage, you will either be asked to discuss your thesis within a few weeks or to make some revisions for which you will be granted a maximum of 6 months. After those corrections, the discussion will take place no later than 8 months from the submission of the thesis.

What is the Programme’s structure?

During the first year the Ph.D. programme includes mandatory lectures. Some of the courses will address methodological skills (research design, research skills, definition of a research question, comparative research methodologies, theoretical approaches, academic writing and presentation skills), while two main multidisciplinary courses will revolve around the topics of Human Rights and Global Politics.

During the second year students will be asked to spend a research period abroad (a minimum of six months is compulsory).

The third year is usually devoted to writing up the thesis.

During the three years PhD students are welcome to attend any other course and seminar offered at the Scuola.

How long is the residential period? Are there other presence requirements?

Our Ph.D is a residential programme. Students are required to stay in Pisa during the first year, until they have passed all the exams. During the 2nd and 3rd years, Students must remain in close contact with their supervisor and are strongly invited to participate in the Scuola's academic life.

How will each course be evaluated?

A final exam is foreseen at the end of each course, according to modalities decided by the lecturer (e.g. oral exam; multiple choice test; presentations; essays; etc.)

Are there language requirements for the course? How much Italian does one need to know to study at Sant’Anna?

The language for the PhD is English, thus proficiency in English is expected.

The Ph.D. students are required to attend language courses in order to obtain, at the end of the Programme, a good knowledge (i.e. A2 level) of at least a second foreign language, besides English, chosen among the languages taught at the Scuola.

Even though the Programme is entirely in English, in order to improve their quality of life in Italy, foreign Ph.D. students can be invited by their supervisors to attend Italian courses during the first year of the Ph.D. Programme.

Are there teaching opportunities during the PhD?

It is up to each individual supervisor to determine if and to what extent PhD students will be involved in teaching activities (up to a maximum of 40 hours per year)

Is there any opportunity to be included in a research team?

This will depend on the level of proximity with existing research lines of each student’s project. Again, it is up to the supervisor to make the call.

What support do students get for extracurricular research activities?

Students are encouraged to carry out extracurricular activities (seminars, summer schools, etc.). An extra budget is allocated to each student to finance the attendance of such activities. Decisions on which activities to attend need to be approved by the supervisor and the Ph.D Board.

What facilities are available for students?

Ph.D. students will be allowed to use most of the facilities of the Scuola, such as the Library, and computer rooms. Wi-fi access is available throughout the campus.

Students can make free use of the canteen for the entire duration of the Programme (one meal per day from Monday to Saturday). They will have to find an accommodation outside the Scuola (usually in a shared flat).

Do Ph.D students get employment restrictions for the duration of the Programme?

Yes, PhD students will be granted scholarship and they are not supposed to carry out any other paid work during their Ph.D. However, the PhD Board can decide to authorize students to undertake a professional activity that is closely related to the topic of their research project and that can expand the student’s capacity in the relevant field.

Are there special arrangements for students with families?

No, the Scuola does not provide special arrangements for students with families.