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Thesis defence

Which is the deadline for completing my thesis defence?

If you have begun your doctoral studies under earlier regulations as: Royal Decree 185/1985, Royal Decree 778/98, Royal Decree 56/2005 or Royal Decree 1393/2007 you should complete your thesis defence before 11 February 2016. After this date, you shall be permanently dismissed from the doctoral programme.

You can be automatically transferred to the new regulations, if you meet the eligibility requirements set out in the Royal Decree 99/2011 and the doctoral programme in question is verified under this Royal Decree. If you began your doctoral studies under Royal Decree 185/1985 and you have already achieved research proficiency, or you began your doctoral studies under Royal Decree 778/1998 and you have the Diploma of Advanced Studies, adaptation is automatic.

Once I have completed my thesis, how long will I have to prepare for the thesis defence?

You should allow approximately 35 days, although the exact period will depend on the unit in charge of your doctoral programme. The following conditions apply in all cases:

  • The thesis will be held in deposit for at least 10 days.
  • The thesis defence date will be set at least 10 days after appointment of the examination panel, for administrative reasons.
  • At least 10 days must be allowed for notification of the thesis defence to the Doctoral Studies Committee. The Committee will be notified by the secretary of the examination panel or the administrative coordinator of the unit in charge of the doctoral programme.

You should also bear in mind that the thesis will be assessed by the unit in charge of the doctoral programme before the thesis defence can be organised. This assessment includes an appraisal by two independent experts, who may request that changes be made before the thesis can be deposited.

Further information

What documentation will I need to register the thesis?

To register your thesis, you must submit the following documentation:


N.B. If your qualification was issued by a non-EU member country, you must provide a certified photocopy of the degree certificate and (if applicable) official master’s degree certificate and all corresponding legalisations or homologations. In addition, if the original documentation was not issued in Spanish, you must provide official translations.

  1. A certified photocopy of the national identity documend (DNI), passport or foreigner identification number (NIE) (original and photocopy).
  2. The enrolment form.
  3. A paper copy of the thesis, for submission to the Doctoral Studies Office.
  4. An electronic copy (PDF, etc.) of the complete thesis.
  5. An electronic copy (PDF, etc.) of the thesis summary, in English and Catalan/Spanish, of no more than 4,000 characters (see the forms section).
  6. The doctoral training log, signed by the tutor and the thesis supervisor.
  7. Authorisation from the thesis supervisor and the internal examiner (if applicable).
  8. Authorisation from the academic committee to proceed to the thesis deposit, including original copies of the external expert reports, if applicable, or a statement from the academic committee that the thesis has been externally assessed and approved for public defence.
  9. Examination panel proposal. There should be five or seven candidates, for a proposed panel of three members and two substitutes or five members and two substitutes:
    • President
    • Secretary
    • Member
    • Member (optional)
    • Member (optional)
    • Substitute
    • Substitute

    The following conditions apply:

    • Only a minority of the panel should be from the UPC (or, in the case of an interuniversity doctoral degree course, from any of the universities involved).
    • Members should be recognised experts in their field. UPC members must prove they have accredited research experience.
    • If the author of the thesis has requested the International Doctorate certification, the examination panel must include at least one doctor from a higher education institution or research centre outside Spain. This examiner cannot be the supervisor of the period of study or research at the foreign institution.
    • Neither the supervisor(s) nor the reader may sit on the examination panel.
  10. A brief CV (max. 200 words), in electronic format (PDF, etc.), for each of the external examiners proposed.
  11. Acceptance of each examination panel member.
  12. The author statement for the incorporation of the thesis to TDX.
  13. Optionally: application for the International Doctorate qualification and the accompanying documentation listed in the international doctorate certification section.
What documentation do I need to submit if I want to apply for the International Doctorate qualification?

- Request for the International Doctorate qualification (Model MI, which you will find in the forms section).
- Preliminary reports issued by at least two PhD holders from higher education institutions or research centres in countries other than Spain, on official headed paper. These external experts may be the same as in the pre-assessment phase.
- Certification of the minimum stay of three months, on official headed paper of the institution or research centre at which the period of study or research was carried out. The period of study or research must be approved by the thesis supervisor and authorised by the academic committee for the doctoral programme. Students must obtain a certificate from the director(s) of the research group, institution or institutions in question and submit the original, complete with institutional stamp. The details of the period of study or research spent abroad will be included in the doctoral training log.

To be eligible for the International Doctorate qualification, the thesis defence must be held on UPC premises.

Does the three-month stay have to be completed over a single period?

No. In addition, you can conduct your study or research at more than one institution or research centre. However, the total period must be at least three months.

Can I submit my doctoral thesis as a collection of published articles?

Yes, but you must request express authorisation from the Doctoral Studies Committee before submitting the thesis to the unit in charge of your doctoral programme (this process takes approximately 15 days).


You will find more information in this link.

Can I defend my thesis in another language?

The thesis can be written and/or defended in Catalan, Spanish or English. If sufficient justification is provided, the academic committee for the doctoral programme may authorise a doctoral student to write and defend the thesis in another language.

Who can be a thesis supervisor?

As a general rule the thesis supervisor should be a lecturer or researcher contracted by the UPC, in possession of a doctoral degree and with proven research experience. This includes doctoral-level staff at associated schools, as decided by the Governing Council, and at UPC-affiliated research institutes, under the corresponding collaboration and affiliation agreements.

Further information

Can I change my thesis supervisor or co-supervisor?

The thesis supervisor (or one of the supervisors, if more than one has been appointed) can be changed at any time before the thesis deposit, at the request of the academic committee for the doctoral programme, the current supervisor(s) or the student. A written request outlining the reasons for the proposed changed must be submitted. If the new supervisor belongs to the same doctoral programme, approval must be given by the academic committee.

How do I publish my thesis once I have completed the thesis defence?

This process is mandatory for all doctoral students who defend their doctoral theses after 11 February 2012.


The TDX server allows users to view full-text theses and to search for a thesis by author, title, topic and university.


All doctoral theses read at the UPC may be consulted exclusively for research and teaching purposes from anywhere in the world, at no cost.

What documents do I need to upload my thesis to the TDX repository?

In addition to the documentation required for the thesis deposit, you must provide:

    Two signed copies of the completed Author statement for the incorporation of the thesis to TDX

    Can a publishing firm publish my doctoral thesis?

    Yes, as long as the thesis is also published in an open repository (in the case of theses defended at the UPC, in the TDX repository). Compulsory publishing in an open repository does not, however, apply to theses that are susceptible to patent protection or bound by a confidentiality agreement.

    Visit for information on the procedure for publishing theses in TDX. If you need to check that you are not infringing the compulsory publication requirement, seek the advice of the UPC’s Legal Services on the publishing contract that you have been offered by sending it to

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