The study plan is organized into four years (240 ECTS credits). We have defined a four-year horizon because we believe that conceiving and executing a project and writing down the thesis require that amount of time studying, reflecting and discussing to mature innovative and robust research at the boundaries of sociological knowledge, and indeed expanding them.
Besides the seminars, during the first year each student benefits of the support of an assigned tutor, a professor or researcher in one of the institutions collaborating in OpenSoc, and from the second year on of a thesis supervisor chosen from among the teaching and research staff of the associated institutions.
Besides autonomous student’s work, the first year is composed of seminars for advanced learning, updating and deepening of theoretical and methodological knowledge and skills, having as its backbone the development of the students’ doctoral research projects. The class burden is of 8 hours a week, after working hours (from 6 p.m.), so as to accommodate study and tutorial support with other activities. Weekly classes take place in one of the institutions located in Lisbon.
The first year’s course culminates with the discussion and assessment of the students’ projects in Research Seminar II, leading up to the registration of the thesis and to the awarding of a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Sociology. The three remaining years are fully devoted to implementing the doctoral research project and writing down the thesis, followed and supported by the supervisor and by periodical discussions in the research seminars. The thesis project is registered in the institution to which the supervisor belongs, but it goes on being discussed in joint research seminars. Upon successful completion, the four universities will jointly award the doctoral degree.