PhD programmes

Current year courses

PhD programme in Human Sciences
The Ph.D. programme in Human Sciences aims to provide students with the theoretical strength and the methodological skills required to design and complete high-quality research at Universities, Research Centers and public or private institutions, in Italy and around the world.

The main object of investigation shared by all PhD research projects in Human Sciences is the human experience, explored from the range of theoretical and methodological perspectives that are relevant to the three broad areas of Philosophy, Education and Psychology. The teaching plan utilizes the multidisciplinary competences of the members of the Doctoral Teaching Committee and numerous international collaborations. This wealth of contributions provides the PhD students with that combination of specialization and interdisciplinary vision they will need in dealing with the complexities of the contemporary world. The acquired competences are applicable both in basic research and in applied research in many contexts – educational, clinical, health, organizational – and in institutions responsible for socio-cultural policies.

The training programme consists of study and research activities, including lectures, seminars, and laboratories held by experts from Italian and foreign Universities. The teaching plan combines both interdisciplinary elements – intended to provide a high level of mastery in English and computer literacy and statistical skills – and the discipline-specific elements that provide the knowledge and research methodologies specific to the particular field of interest. The PhD programme also includes a period of training and research at a Host University abroad, for at least 12 months – consecutive or not – for students enrolled in the international Psychology curriculum (see below), and encourages joint thesis-supervision agreements.

The balance between the specificity of the individual disciplines and the interdisciplinary vision is ensured by the structure of the PhD course, divided into three curricula: Philosophy, Education and Psychology, which meet each other and "dialogue" within five interdisciplinary research areas:

1. Inclusive societies (gender and queer studies; multicultural and inclusive education). This research area includes theoretical and empirical studies of the ‘difference’ in terms of both gender and culture difference’. The first sub-area, focused on the various declinations of the categories of ‘gender’ and ‘sexual difference’, inserts a ‘sexed’ point of view into the analysis of the main theoretical and practical dilemmas of the human sciences. The second sub-area, focused on cultural differences and their relationships, uses intercultural pedagogy and didactics, and cross-cultural psychology to study the promotion of opportunities for multicultural coexistence.

2. Training and organizational dynamics (teacher education; personal development and wellbeing in organizational contexts). This research area is concerned with the interpretation of human behavior in organizational systems, that is, with those competences required to describe, assess, diagnose, and explain the main phenomena and psychological processes in organizations. The teacher education segment, in particular, focuses on how research on teaching practices can be used in teachers training.

3. Child development and educational practices (infant research; language acquisition and development; childhood education and care). This research area focuses on child developmental processes in their social contexts, particularly on interpersonal communication from the first months of life, language acquisition and educational practices that scaffold the child’s growth. The PhD students will undertake both basic research and applied research related to clinical and educational practices with typical, atypical and at risk populations (e.g., children with language delay and impairment, children of immigrant families, etc.), and educational research aimed at establishing and spreading best practice in nurseries, preschools and primary schools.

4. Theories and practices of care (phenomenology of care; caring in nursing; relationship philosophy; philosophy and psychoanalysis). In this research area the practices of care are investigated, theoretically and empirically. The investigations make use of conceptual and epistemological paradigms developed in the fields of moral philosophy, psychoanalysis, medicine and social psychology, and of qualitative and quantitative research developed in health and educational contexts.

5. Cognition and contemporaneity roots (body and cognition; visual studies; philosophy of music; critical theory of society and culture; genealogy of philosophical praxis). This research area embraces both cognitive science, studying the cognitive foundations of thought and sensory experience, and the philosophical perspective of visual studies applied to sensory/visual experience. The area also investigates the philosophical roots of contemporary cultures, in order to identify not only the influence exerted by specific thinkers and schools of thought, but also their significance for contemporary discussions.

The Psychology curriculum further offers an international doctoral programme in Cognitive Psychology and Linguistics in collaboration with Lund University (SE),  international exchange programmes in Developmental and Educational Psychology-Language acquisition in collaboration with Ohio State University (USA) and the University of Colorado, Boulder (USA), and Work and Organizational Psychology in collaboration with the Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven (BE) and Eindhoven University of Technology (NL).
 
Specific learning outcomes
At the end of the doctoral course in Human Sciences, PhD students will have acquired the following research competencies:
  • Identifying the key sources for exploring a specific topic, and performing complete bibliographic searches  
  • Mapping the state of the art of a specific topic
  • Identifying controversial issues
  • Developing hermeneutical and critical text analysis
  • Designing a research project in autonomous and original way, and accomplishing it
  • Knowing and using different research methodologies, and selecting the most adequate according to the research project
  • Knowing and using qualitative and quantitative techniques for collecting, coding, and analysing data, and selecting the most adequate according to the research project
  • Evaluating limits and future perspectives of an accomplished research project
  • Writing scientific reports, abstracts and papers based on research results
  • Disseminating research results within the scientific community (presentations at conferences and workshops, papers in local and international scientific journals, chapters in volumes etc.)
  • Applying research findings in educational, clinical, and organizational contexts, and in the development of social and cultural policies
  • Taking advantage of the above mentioned competences to apply to local and international programmes for funding.

Courses not currently running

PhD in Education and Lifelong Learning (last intake in 2013) Course partially running (all years except the first)
The Phd study involves a three year mainly interdisciplinary programme that will provide students with competence on scientific research and related methodologies in the field of education and vocational training processes. The Doctorate will focus on models and theories finalized at enhancing students’ capability on planning, managing and evaluating educational activities carried on different targets of population delivered in complex social contexts and organizational systems. Phd study will enable to conduct theoretical, epistemological, historical, empirical, experimental research, also with the involvement in national as well as international research projects.
Phd study programme: 1) basic and specific activities for which the attendance is compulsory: class lessons, seminars, laboratory sessions; 2) optional activities (participation in conventions, meetings, stages, research groups in Italy and/or abroad); 3) a personal research project on an original subject to be developed across the three years curriculum under the tutorship of an academic. The outcomes will be embodied into a substantial dissertation.
PhD in Organisational Psychology: Differentiation and Integration Processes (last intake in 2013) Course partially running (all years except the first)
(2013-2015 – lectures will be in English language)
The PhD course’s aim is to supply a theoretical, methodological and technical level preparation, in order to describe, explain and interpret the relationships, and the differentiation and integration processes in the organizations. All this is referred to the man/work relationship (i.e. new technologies for work and learning, etc.), to the relational and social dynamics inherent to human factor within the organizations (work values, competences, relations within the organizations, etc.) and to the climates and cultures which liven to the organizational dimension of work.

Aims of the course:
·         acquisition of knowledge of fundamental psychological theoretical models sustaining the study and the intervention in the organizations;
·         acquisition and expansion on thematic areas (both theoretical and applicative) concerning the organizations;
·         acquisition of scientific research methodology (both quantitative and qualitative) for the design and realization of research projects in complex organizations;
·         acquisition of appropriate statistical analysis techniques utilizing the most significant statistical packages;
·         acquisition of competences in conceiving, planning, realizing a scientific research project starting from an appropriate knowledge of theories, fundamental models, and methodological knowledge of both base and applied research;
·         acquisition of competences for the diffusion of scientific research results (national and international congresses; national and international scientific publications);
·         application of scientific results at development and improvement of work life and organizational policies and practices.
Teaching activities include courses concerning thematic issues in most advanced organizational psychology and methodological courses with quantitative and qualitative perspective. The general teaching plan is to work in collaboration among Italian professors member of the PhD board  and scientists of eminent foreign sites.
Each phd student will benefit from a customized tutorship, a co-tutorship with an Italian and a foreign tutor, aimed to build a personal research project.
PdH students will perform a stage abroad, to deepen subjects and methods about their research project.
The teaching staff includes professor from University of Verona (Department of Philosophy, Pedagogy and Psychology, all members of the PhD Council) and invited foreign scholars, academic and professionals, with a long history of collaboration with the PhD Course.
PhD in Philosophy (last intake in 2013) Course partially running (all years except the first)
The doctorate aims at allowing students to attain autonomous abilities in scientific and scholarly research, by providing methodological tools and opportunities that enable them to acquire theoretical, historical and philosophical expertise which are indispensable to a scholarly research in the field of philosophy.
On the basis of the scientific qualifications of the members of the school (teaching staff), four core curricula have been developed:
1) philosophy of religion and phenomenology;
2) epistemology, ontology, metaphysics;
3) history of modern and contemporary philosophy;
4) moral and political philosophy.
Such curricula are to be understood as wide spectrum paths, allowing specific in depth research ? either author or theme-related ? chosen by doctoral students in accordance with the teaching staff.
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