Doctorate Program on the Individual, Family and Society: a cross-discipline approach

Submission of applications:
Start: May 14, 2020
End: September 30, 2020

3/5 years (Full-time/Part-time study)

Universidad Pontificia Comillas 3-5, Madrid

Open Days


Information session


Places available:
12, Spanish

The Doctorate Program on the Individual, Family and Society: a cross-discipline approach is recommended for candidates who are interested in the research and acquisition of advanced knowledge on the most pressing current issues and problems that affect individuals, families, communication and the current social context, as well as the interaction between all of these dimensions, with a cross-discipline approach.

Call for a predoctoral contract for the Chair of Energy and Poverty: Social intervention against energy poverty in Spain

Entry requirements:

In general, to gain access to an Official Doctoral Program, it is necessary to comply with the entry requirements established in Article 6 of the Royal Decree 99/2011, of January 28, 2011, which regulates Official Doctoral Studies.

To this effect, it can be understood that, in the Study Plans for the degrees at Universidad Pontificia Comillas drawn up prior to the validity of the current regulations for Official University Education, an "LRU" credit is, in general terms, equivalent to an "ECTS" credit. And, in addition, all of the official degrees mentioned should be the equivalent of or exceed 60 credits to be considered at a Master's level.

For Official Undergraduate Degrees from other Universities, an individual study of the characteristics of the Study Plan in question must be carried out, for which standards of recognition, validation and adaptation of degrees from the university of origin and adaptation tables of the degree obtained must be provided, in accordance with a Study Plan prepared according to Royal Decree 1393/2007, which allows for inferring the equivalences used between credits of one plan and another, as well as defining the Master´s level of the 60 credits required.

Applicant profile:

The recommended entry profile to study on the Doctoral Program in the Individual, Family and Society: An Interdisciplinary Vision is that of a person interested in research and the acquisition of advanced and in-depth knowledge on the most pressing issues and problems that are framed in the field of knowledge about people, families, communication and interpersonal relationships and society, or the interaction among all of these dimensions, adopting a multidisciplinary approach and vision for this purpose. It is aimed at individuals who would like to develop the necessary research skills to carry out research projects with autonomy and steeped in quality, and who are motivated by the transfer of the knowledge acquired to society, in general, to their professional field of activity, in particular, and to the development of studies and research in their area of ​​interest. Applicants must have a level of prior training in applied social research acquired in the degree leading to the corresponding Master's degree. This will be assessed after a personal examination of the academic record of the studies that have been done previously. Likewise, a level of knowledge of English must be accredited, that is to say, at least a B1 level, according to the European Language Reference Framework, which certifies that, as a basic requirement, the use of source material in the English language is feasible.

Application period:

The normal period for submitting applications begins on May 14 and ends on September 30, 2020. There is also the possibility of an extended application period from January 11, 2021 to January 29, 2021.

Information about the documents to be submitted.

Admission process and criteria:

  • Fill out the web application form
  • Attach / send the documentation requested to the Registrar´s Office (known in Spanish as “Secretaría General”, Mercedes Barrionuevo, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
  • Once the complete set of documents and forms has been received, the candidate will be called for a personal interview with the coordinator/s of the program, who will take into account:
    • the motivations for the choice of Doctoral studies,
    • the applicant's academic record, which will be reviewed and commented on,
    • the accreditation of English skills which will be reviewed (a minimum level B1 is required),
    • the accredited academic training in methodology of research and data analysis in the field of Social Sciences and Health, According to the previous training in research methodology, the Academic Committee will judge the need to take any Complementary Training Courses during the first year of the Program.
    • the candidate will also be asked about a preference for a specific line of research for the program.
  • The information collected by each interviewer is registered on a formalized admission interview record that is delivered to the Academic Committee of the program, which is responsible for transferring the proposal for admission to the Rector.
  • Once the acceptance for admission is received, the candidate has 30 calendar days to finalize the formal registration for the

The information collected will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • 50% Academic Record
  • 30% Curriculum Vitae
  • 20% Interview for Admission.

Services for students with special needs

Support program for students with disabilities

Classes begin on:

October, 2020.

Attendance mode:

Attendance to classes is required.


3 years full-time and 5 years part-time.

Admission to the program may include the requirement of specific complementary training courses. In such case, the time necessary to carry them out will not count toward the established limit (see regulations).

You can consult the flow chart with the diverse deadlines stipulated for the different due dates and stages of the Doctoral studies leading to the awarding of the title of Doctor in the two profiles in the following link.

Language of activities:

Spanish (some complementary training activities are taught totally or partially in English).

Number of places available for admission:

25 places.


The training activities as well as the complementary training courses, if applicable, will be offered from Monday to Friday, from 3:30 pm to 8:00 pm.


Tuition for the entire academic process (from admission to defense of the thesis):

  • Full-time students: € 2,600.00, in 2 installments; the amount of each installment is € 1,300.00.
  • Part-time students: € 2,245.00, in 2 installments; the amount of each installment is € 1,122.50.

Complementary Training Courses: € 141.85 / credit.


  • 1st installment: at the time of registration.
  • 2nd installment: February.

Those students who start their studies in the second semester will pay 50% of the annual enrollment fee for the corresponding Doctoral Program. For the remainder of courses taken each academic year, the financial conditions approved by the Governing Board for Doctoral Programs will be applied.


Payments can be made in up to six installments (two per year) for the duration of the first three years of the Doctorate. In each year:

  • 1st installment: at the time of formalization of registration
  • 2nd installment: February


  • Full-time students must have paid the registration for at least three academic years in order to defend their Doctoral thesis.
  • Part-time students must have paid the registration for at least four academic years in order to defend their Doctoral thesis.

In the calculation of the amounts paid, the fees paid for previous Doctoral programs will be included, where appropriate.


  • Reservation of place in the program (pre-registration to be deducted when the registration is completed): 132.00 €

If registration and / or enrollment are not carried out, this does not confer the right to a refund of the price paid, except in the cases contemplated in article 89.3 e) of the General Regulations of the University

Call for a pre-Doctoral contract for the Chair of Energy and Poverty: Social Intervention in the Face of Energy Poverty in Spain

PhD Program Coordinator:

Pedro José Cabrera Cabrera

Academic Commission:

To consult on the members of the Academic Committee, please click on the following link

Information point:

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Elena Montero
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
C/ Universidad Comillas, 3
28049 - Madrid
Tel. +34 91 734 39 50 - Ext: 2512


  • Social problems, intervention, and social policy
  • Educational innovation and teaching-learning processes: past, present and future
  • Health and clinical psychology
  • Family, protection and development
  • Interlinguistic and intercultural analysis


The following guide shows the detailed steps that students must follow to register the activities that they carry out during their Doctoral studies: Guide to Managing Doctoral Activities for the Student.

The designated Tutor will advise Doctoral students individually on their enrollment by indicating which Training Activities should be carried out in accordance with the area of dedication / specialization in professional activities.

The training activities offered in the program are intended to guarantee the acquisition of research skills by Doctoral students. In the event that the Doctoral student has previous experience in research activities, the academic recognition of this experience can be considered, along with the adjustment of the training activities to the student´s profile, after receiving the authorization of the Academic Committee. The training activities are of two types: transversal (for all Doctoral students in the Doctoral School) and specific (specific to each Program).

The training activities in the Doctoral Program are detailed below



The Doctoral student may not need to take any complementary training courses, or may need to take one or several courses. The decision is made by the Academic Committee after the interview for admission and assessment of the documents provided.

Profile 1:

Applicants with a Master's Degree of a fundamentally professional nature and with little methodological training will have to take up to 21 ECTS credits in Complementary Training Courses focusing on the following contents: 


Profile 2:

Applicants with a Master's Degree of a fundamentally professional nature, specially orientated to the carrying out of a Doctoral thesis project of a legal nature, will have to take up to 21 ECTS credits in Complementary Training Courses focusing on the following contents:


Profile 3:

Applicants who, in their studies have not taken subjects oriented to data analysis, in addition to the above Complementary Training Courses, must complete 9 ECTS credits focusing on:

In this Doctoral program, it is recommended that students carry out a period of stay abroad/outside of the university in a center for higher education / research center with which the Universidad Pontificia Comillas has established specific agreements for collaboration for Doctoral studies. This period of stay can have a variable duration and intensity depending on the specific needs of the Doctoral students and their Research Plans.

In order to qualify for this period of stay, the Doctoral candidate must submit a request to the Academic Committee, which must be accompanied by a report on the desired period of stay from the Tutor and the Director of the thesis. In the case of students with part-time dedication, their availability for the period of stay outside of the University will be assessed and the necessary adjustments will be made in order to favor their participation in programs for mobility.

At the host university, Doctoral students will be assigned a tutor or expert as a contact for their research topic to support and guide them during their research stay, who will report on the progress of the Doctoral student at the end of this period. Simultaneously, Doctoral studenst will stay in touch with both their Tutor and their thesis Director, who will supervise the adequate progression of their training during the period of mobility and the fulfillment of the objectives intended throughout this phase.

The purposes of the period of stay for research in the Doctoral program in relation to the competences to be acquired by the student, in all of the host universities, are the following:

  • Students can make contact with high-level international researchers in conjunction with their research topic.
  • Students can carry out any of the complementary training activities provided in their Document on Doctoral Activities at a foreign institution or university.
  • Students can develop teamwork skills and competencies with other researchers at an international level.
  • Students can, additionally, acquire better linguistic competences in languages ​​other than their own.
  • Students can get to know other research institutes, universities and other institutions of relevance in research on subjects related to their field of study.
  • Students can collect specialized documentation difficult to access by usual means, on their specific thesis topic.
  • Students can expand their study data and statistical samples through the application of data collection instruments in other countries.
  • Students can get to know, first-hand, services, programs, and institutions, whether from public administration or private entities and civil society, working in areas of their specialization and which are international benchmarks as examples of good practices.

Comillas Pontifical University maintains educational collaboration agreements with a large number of Universities and Research Centers around the world, which may be suitable for them to carry out Doctoral exchanges and periods of stay for research:

Currently, new agreements are being negotiated for these periods of international stay for the students of this program at Universities in other countries.

You can access the file on training activities on the following link: 

Stays at international research centersStays at international research centers.

The Doctoral Program in the Individual, Family and Society: a Multidisciplinary Vision, provides Doctoral students with a global and interdisciplinary framework of knowledge to facilitate the development of their research activity in different areas and themes in the Social Sciences.

The Universidad Pontificia Comillas, in addition to its recognized prestige in teaching, is ranked in a prestigious place within our country as a university research center, with its four university institutes, twelve chairs and thirty-four research groups, from which knowledge is generated on the most varied subjects.

Our program has recognized Faculty members, with extensive research experience at both the national and international level,  as well as with an extensive network of collaboration agreements with public and private institutions, Universities, and Research Institutes spread all over the world.

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences makes the necessary spaces and resources available to its Doctoral students so that they can successfully complete the preparation process for their Doctoral thesis. Our Library service is an essential and excellent tool, through which the researcher will have access to one of the most important bibliographic collections in the Humanities and Social Sciences in our country, as well as to databases, bibliographic search engines and other electronic resources for research.

Skills to be acquired on the doctorate program:

  • Systematic understanding of a field of study, and command of the skills and research methods related to this field
  • Ability to conceive, design or create, put into practice and adopt a substantial research or creation process
  • Ability to contribute to the expansion of knowledge frontiers through an original piece of research
  • Ability to carry out critical analysis and to evaluate and synthesize new and complex ideas
  • Ability to communicate with the scientific and academic community, and with society as a whole, about their knowledge areas through the most common means and languages used in their international scientific community
  • Ability to promote, in professional and academic contexts, scientific, technological, social, artistic or cultural progress within a knowledge-based society
  • To function well in contexts where there is little concrete information
  • To discover the key questions to be answered in order to solve a complex problem
  • To design, create, develop and undertake new and innovative projects in their area of knowledge
  • To work in teams as well as autonomously in an international and/or multidisciplinary context
  • To integrate knowledge, to tackle complexity and to make judgments with limited information
  • To intellectually critique and defend solutions


List of doctoral theses defended in the program

See the theses and their scientific contributions

List of funded research projects

See the research projects

© Universidad Pontificia Comillas | C. Alberto Aguilera 23 Madrid-28015 - Tel.:(+34) 91 542 28 00

LinkedIn  Twitter   Facebook   YouTube   Instagram""