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Doctoral Programme in Cultural Heritage

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Read about the concept behind the Doctoral Programme in Cultural Heritage, as well as study information, courses, learning objectives and outcomes, language policy and duration of study.


Una-Her-Doc programme is a unique European doctoral programme in Cultural Heritage. It is offered by eight Una Europa universities and open to doctoral candidates simultaneously enrolled in two of them, through bilateral co-supervision agreements. Aside from a double or joint doctoral degree from these two universities, Una-Her-Doc awards a Certificate on Cultural Heritage co-signed by all the eight Una Europa universities to doctoral candidates who fulfilled programme requirements.

Una-Her-Doc is a transnational, multilingual, interdisciplinary and student-centered programme. It is a training in research and through research, which includes the individual production of original scientific work on Cultural Heritage.

The learning objectives of Una-Her-Doc are to prepare high level researchers, specialized in the field of Cultural Heritage (tangible and intangible), with a strong knowledge of interdisciplinary approaches and methodologies, and an excellent mastery of the European Cultural Heritage context. Thus, the programme covers an extensive and varying range of interdisciplinary research focuses both in terms of physical treatment of heritage and of methods of conservation and valorisation, as well as in terms of analysis of heritage as a multi-faceted social, cultural, political and economic phenomenon. Through heritage, Una-Her-Doc thus problematizes complex and multi-vector contemporary challenges, such as cultural and environmental sustainability, economic inequalities, conflict resolution, social cohesion and the future of cities, in Europe and beyond.

Una-Her-Doc offers innovative educational formats; high quality interdisciplinary educational materials; alternative forms of transnational mobilities – digital and virtual. Its contents are flexible and adjustable, targeting at the same time academic and transversal skills development and allowing the doctoral candidates to build their own career in concert with their supervisors.

Furthermore, the program ambitions to create a transnational research ecosystem in Cultural Heritage consisting of professors, researchers and doctoral candidates from Una Europa universities. The international cohorts of doctoral candidates regularly interact and learn from each other, in PhD workshops, transnational research teams or joint courses and activities.

Finally, the program aims at contributing to the education of experts in different fields of Cultural Heritage for jobs in academia, consultancy, NGOs, heritage and culture institutions, the private sector, European administration, etc. Its ambition is to create European profiles of young professionals aspiring to work in a European and international environment in relation to Cultural Heritage. Therefore, it facilitates contacts and learning from European professionals from the Cultural Heritage sector, creating a real trans-sectoral environment to benefit our doctoral candidates and researchers, bringing together academic, professional and institutional words.

Study Programme

The framework of the study programme contains:

  • Co-supervision by two co-supervisors in two Una Europa universities.
  • Annual presentation of the progress to the Cultural Heritage Expert Committee.
  • 12-months (cumulative) mobility to the Host university.
  • Active participation in one of the Una Europa transnational research teams in Cultural Heritage.
  • Mandatory & elective courses (see below).
  • Possibility of additional mobility within the Consortium or outside, including internship.
  • Possibility of teaching experience.

During their studies, students should gain the defined number of ECTS (for the universities offering ECTS), or produce the defined workload (for the universities not offering ECTS), based on the local requirements of the co-supervising universities. All the details are agreed upon in doctoral candidate's bilateral co-supervision agreement.

Each doctoral candidate's programme is defined ad-hoc in collaboration with the co-supervisors. It is composed of Una-Her-Doc mandatory (16 ECTS) and elective contents (14 ECTS). The elective contents may be selected among the list of elective courses below. However, in agreement with the co-supervisors, doctoral candidates may obtain a part of the 14 elective ECTS through courses selected among the national or other international PhD programmes.

Click here for the list of Una-Her-Doc mandatory contents

Click here for the list of Una-Her-Doc elective contents

Some of Una-Her-Doc Activities

Discover some of Una-Her-Doc activities organized since the opening of the programme:

Learning Outcomes of the Una-Her-Doc Programme

At the end of the programme, doctoral candidates will have reached the learning outcomes foreseen for the Level 8 of the European Qualifications Framework, and will in particular be able to:

  • Master the concept of Cultural Heritage (historical foundations and current challenges) and its contemporary implications, in Europe and beyond
  • Master inter- and transdisciplinary approaches of Cultural Heritage
  • Know and critically analyze the national contexts, stakes and challenges in all Una Europa countries in the field of Cultural Heritage
  • Get familiar with specialized terminology in other languages in the field of Cultural Heritage
  • Experiment innovative teaching methodologies
  • Excel in research presentation, argumentation of the research choices and debate with other students, professors and researchers
  • Do independent research within a PhD implying critical assessment of existing research and developing new thinking
  • Master various transversal skills, namely: transnational academic and trans-sectoral networking; team management; project cycle management; multilingualism; action-research, social engagement and citizen science for tacking global societal challenges.

Language Policy

All the PhD courses offered by the Una-Her-Doc study programme are taught in English. However, doctoral candidates can follow courses offered in other languages at the universities in which they have registered. The PhD thesis can be written and defended, after explicit agreement between the relevant authorities of the two co-supervising universities and mentioned in the bilateral co-supervision agreement, in English or one of the languages of these universities. A 20-30 pages summary in English must be provided in this case.

Duration of Studies

The duration of the PhD studies will be defined in the bilateral co-supervision agreement. It is normally three / four years, depending on the regulations in force in Home and Host university. This duration can be extended, according to the regulations in force in both countries, if fully recommended by the thesis directors.

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