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Doctorate in Law, Government and Public Policies

The Doctoral Programme is open to all study areas of Law and Political Science. The most representative lines of research include, but are not limited to:

  1. Economic Analysis of Law
  2. Solving International Disputes
  3. Municipal Organisation Law
  4. European Union Law
  5. Financial Law and Legal Science
  6. Private International Law and the European Union
  7. Criminal Law and Policy
  8. European Private Law
  9. Challenges to social order in the face of economic transformations
  10. Procedural Law and Arbitration studies
  11. Environment and Territory
  12. Justice and Law
  13. Freedom of Conscience and Law
  14. Modernisation of Patrimonial Law
  15. Public Policies and Social Welfare
  16. Current Problems of the Constitutional Court
  17. Intellectual Property
  18. Regulation, business and market
  19. Vicissitudes of Property Rights in European Law
  20. Democracy, participation and government
  21. Local Government, Administration and Public Policies
  22. African Studies
  23. History and Theory of International Relations
  24. History of Legal Institutions
  25. Political Theory

The Official Doctorate in Law, Government and Public Policies is undertaken in collaboration with the CSIC Institute of Public Goods and Policies. It has been designed in accordance with the provisions of Royal Decree 99/2011, of 10 February 2011, governing official Doctoral programmes. It was approved by the Universities Council Verification and Accreditation of Curriculums Committee in its 25 September 2013 session.

A student must spend a training period usually lasting three years before reading his/her doctoral thesis. Nevertheless, the programme envisages the possibility of admitting part-time students, in accordance with the provisions of Royal Decree 99/2011 and the UAM’s doctoral regulations. The same admission criteria apply to part-time students as to full-time students and they have a maximum of five years, from admission, to present and defend their doctoral theses. Students can change their part-time status to full-time and vice versa, upon prior application and approval from the Doctoral Academic Committee.

As a general rule, to be admitted to the Official Doctoral Programme in Law, Government and Public Policies it is necessary to have an official Spanish Bachelor’s Degree, or equivalent, as well as an official 60 credit University Master’s Degree or to have obtained 60 ECTS credits in a longer official Master’s degree, thereby assuring understanding and advanced skills in the lines of research that make up the Programme.

Nevertheless, students with a foreign degree that assures knowledge and skills in the field of legal and political sciences may be admitted to the doctoral programme without it being necessary to have their degree recognised, subject to the UAM checking that such degree:

  • evidences a level of training equivalent to that of an official Spanish Master’s degree;
  • allows access to doctoral studies in the country where it was issued;
  • provides sufficient understanding of theoretical and practical aspects relevant to the lines of research included in the doctoral programme.

The student’s admission will not imply, in any case, recognition of the prior qualification of the individual concerned nor its validity for purposes other than admission to the Doctoral programme.

The Doctoral Programme’s Academic Committee is the body responsible for deciding upon admission to the Doctoral Programme. The Academic Committee may only admit a student when the sum of the aspects and merits set out below exceeds 65%:

  1. The candidate’s academic record at undergraduate or equivalent level (maximum 30%).
  2. The candidate’s academic record at Master’s Degree or equivalent level (maximum 40%).
  3. Knowledge of English at B2 level or above (in accordance with the Council of Europe framework). For students who are not Spanish speakers, an equivalent level of Spanish will be taken into account (maximum 10%).
  4. Other merits such as scientific publications; prizes or excellence grants; a reference letter from a professor of recognised national or international standing; attendance and participation in congresses and seminars; the candidate’s international mobility (maximum 20%).

The UAM has a Support and Advice Service for students with educational special needs owing to disability (www.uam.es/centros/psicologia/paginas/cpa/paginas/). In such cases, the Academic Committee, in collaboration with the Action, Solidarity and Co-operation Office, will evaluate the need to make possible adaptations to the curriculum, itineraries or alternative studies and will resolve the specific needs of each applicant, offering information, advice and guidance.

One of the main aspirations of the Doctoral Programme is to create national and international academic networks in which teaching staff and researchers participate. The aim is to offer the necessary training in different research methodologies and encourage scholarly contributions in areas of research related to Law, Political and Administrative Science, Public Policies and, in general, in all those legal-political professional sectors interested in furthering their knowledge in their respective specialities.

Accordingly, the programme maximises the potential of the UAM’s extensive network of collaboration agreements with many public and private institutions. The agreements with the following institutions are noteworthy, amongst many others: Colegio Notarial de Madrid (Madrid Association of Notaries), Colegio de Registradores de España (Spanish Association of Registrars), Agencia Estatal BOE (Official State Gazette Agency), Banco Santander or Fundación Notarial Signum created for the promotion and advancement of arbitration and mediation. On the other hand, the UAM’s Law Faculty has signed three specific agreements for Doctoral Student mobility (Inter-university Agreement for the Doctorate in “History and Comparison of European Political and Legal Institutions” with the universities of Messina, Cordoba, Milan and the Università Per Stranieri “Dante Alighieri” in Reggio Calabria; Agreement with the Università di Macerata in “History of Law”; and an Agreement with the European University Institute in Florence). Additionally, the UAM has signed specific agreements for student exchange with about 40 foreign universities. These agreements have made it possible for 25 doctoral candidates to travel, spending an average of three months, through grants for training research staff, and another 10 doctoral candidates who have benefited from aid for research personnel in training, offered by the UAM.

On the other hand, the alliance between the Law Faculty and the CSIC Institute of Public Goods and Policies, affords the doctoral programme the benefits of agreements and alliances to which the Institute is a party. By way of example: the Agreement with the European University Institute; the Agreement with the School of Public Affairs of the University of Colorado Denver; the Agreement with the School of Public Affairs and Administration of Rutgers University - Newark, New Jersey; or the Agreement with the School of Public Policy - Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia.

Attending conferences, seminars and scientific symposiums, is considered to be one of the most relevant training activities for the doctoral candidate in so far as it promotes the exchange of experiences and interdisciplinary academic knowledge and enables candidates to contact and get to know other researchers in their specific field of academic discipline. The Doctoral Academic Committee will ensure a wide range of these training activities, taking into account the available resources. In any case, the onus rests on the tutor and director to suggest and indicate to doctoral candidates which training activities are most relevant to develop the skills and capabilities necessary for their training.

The Law, Government and Pubic Policies Doctoral Programme provides for a Seminar for Researchers in Training to be held, for doctoral candidates to explain the progress and development of their work in public and discuss the results achieved. Please find information about the seminars held in the current doctoral programme.

In the first eighteen months, full-time doctoral candidates will present their research programme in the Seminar for Researchers in Training; they will attend and participate in academic awareness-raising conferences; and finally, they will participate in methodology workshops and courses organised by the Faculty, aimed at providing them with the necessary training to begin their research.

In the following eighteen months, full-time doctoral candidates should take part in the following training activities: presentation of the progress and development of their research in the Seminar for Researchers in Training; attendance at specialised courses on research methods and acquisition of skills relevant for producing and disseminating academic works, such as: research methodology; publication strategies and ethics and good practice in academic research. Part-time doctoral candidates will carry out these activities in the following two years.

Doctoral candidates may complete their training by attending seminars scheduled by the departments and official master’s degrees relevant to their field of research specialisation. Additionally, they may attend seminars organised by centres which carry out research placements or other academic centres in Madrid. Similarly, in the second eighteen months of the period established for full-time doctoral candidates, at least one academic paper must be presented in a national or international congress, during the preparation of the doctoral thesis. Part-time doctoral candidates should carry these activities out in the third of fourth year, depending on the progress of their research work.

A research stay in a foreign centre is a recommended training activity. Doctoral candidates are recommended to spend a minimum of three months in a foreign research centre in order to conduct specialised research. The stay in a foreign centre is compulsory for Doctoral candidates wishing to obtain an International Mention in their doctoral thesis. Part-time doctoral candidates may split their stay into various periods.

One of the most important primary concerns of the doctoral programme is to ensure a personal and direct relationship between the student and his/her tutor and director. To this end, the functions of supervision, tutorship and follow-up of the doctoral candidate will be reflected in a supervision undertaking which will be part of the doctoral candidate’s activities document. This undertaking will set out the conditions for preparing the thesis, the rights and obligations of the doctoral candidate, including possible intellectual and/or industrial property rights deriving from the research, as well as a dispute resolution procedure. It will also state the duties of the tutor and director.

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