The doctoral programme offers a challenge of intellect and persistence, consisting of 2 years of advanced course work plus 3 years of dissertation work. This includes systematic coaching and academic personality development by leading academics. A balanced amount of time is also devoted to developing and strengthening teaching skills, which are indispensable for a successful academic career. After completing the two years of course work each student receives a Master title; the PhD degree is awarded after defending the dissertation.

Candidates can enter the doctoral programme at three different stages; in the first year on the basis of a bachelor degree, in the second year on the basis on an MSc degree, and in the third year on the basis of a relevant MPhil degree. Selection criteria are challenging and only top students are able to enter the programme.

The precise amount and content of the course work depends on the candidate’s specific background and individual profile. First-year students need to complete a course programme of 120 ects without getting any waivers. The course load for students who enter in the second year will be at least 60 ects, with some waivers for first-year courses.

Doctoral students are provided with financial aid during the five year programme. This consists of a combination of (partial) tuition fee waivers in the first year, a personal research assistantship in the second year and a regular employment contract for a doctoral student (3 years) in years 3 to 5.