Doctoral Study Programme

While the doctoral research project is obviously the heart of the PhD process, each PhD student at the University of Antwerp is also obliged to complete a doctoral study programme worth a total of 30 study credits (≠ ECTS credits). It is important to emphasise that this doctoral study programme is not an additional or separate course, but rather a training process that is put together by the PhD students themselves — in agreement with their supervisors — and integrated into the research process. In some faculties, a number of activities are mandatory (see the additional faculty regulations). The aim of the UAntwerp doctoral study programme is twofold: first and foremost, the courses are meant to support the PhD project and the PhD student's development into an excellent researcher; secondly, they prepare the PhD student for his or her future career in or outside of the academic world. 

In order to help PhD students put together their individual doctoral study programmes, the Antwerp Doctoral School uses a competence profile. The entire doctoral study programme is based on this profile: the programme's content, the types of training and courses available, the diploma supplement you receive after the defence, and so on. The competence profile is divided into seven different categories which give PhD students a clear overview of the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to complete the doctoral research project successfully and to obtain a strong starting point for developing their personal careers.

Support from the Antwerp Doctoral School

The Antwerp Doctoral School supports PhD students in their doctoral study programme:

  • Courses: The Antwerp Doctoral School offers free courses to PhD students taking the doctoral study programme.
  • Educational credit: The training credits available allow PhD students taking the doctoral study programme to participate in relevant activities.
  • Progress report: PhD students have to provide an annual progress report on their doctoral research and doctoral programme.

Exemption from the programme

Under very exceptional circumstances, candidates with particular qualifications may be exempt from the doctoral study programme (as described in the additional faculty regulations). In most faculties the faculty council or departmental council is responsible to make the decision based on a reasoned proposal, substantiated with the necessary documents. PhD students who are exempted from the doctoral study programme are not entitled to receive training credits. No diploma supplement will be issued following their PhD defence. More information about the procedure in your faculty can be found in the additional faculty regulations