PhD in education


Program Description

The Doctorate in Education from the Universidad de La Laguna responds to the present and future needs of research in the field of education, in a social context that includes change and innovation as a challenge, towards sustainability, technological development, attention to diversity, education throughout life and well-being. From a consolidated European social framework, it extends its international projection towards the incorporation of other scenarios, such as African and American spaces, through inter-university cooperation programs that facilitate the extension of the offer to students from other universities and mobility and exchange of all students. All this is reflected in the development of two lines of research, which bring together a wide range of situations and problems under investigation.

Precedents in doctoral training of the proposed program and data about the potential demand of the program

The adaptation of Spanish university training in all its cycles to the EHEA requires the conversion of postgraduate and doctoral studies; The Faculty of Education of the ULL, in the spirit of responding to these changes, began to adapt its training offer, from the beginning of the process (2008), and currently has a Doctorate Program in force - although in process Transformation - which includes all the official masters currently taught in the Faculty of Education, 2 in operation (Master Psychopedagogical Intervention in formal and non-formal contexts and Teacher Training Master in Compulsory Secondary Education and Baccalaureate, Vocational Training and Language Teaching), 1 approved by the ANECA and in the process of implementation, Master in ICT and Education: Training and learning in digital environments, and 3 more viable and in different phases of the verification process (Master of Advanced Pedagogical Studies, Master in Human Development and Sustainability, Master in Innovation in Early Childhood Education and Primary Education). Although, in the future, any master that is offered from the faculty of education, will also be an itinerary of direct access to the Doctoral Program that is presented.

In this regard, the Commission in charge of preparing this Feasibility Plan considered that the special characteristics of doctoral studies and the variety of needs and methods of research training in the different fields of knowledge, advise this high degree of flexibility and breadth in the regulation of these studies.

A brief memory of the precedents that, in terms of research training and production of doctors, which reflects the extensive experience of the different departments and areas of knowledge that make up this Center, endorse the heuristic trajectory of this faculty and support the present proposal. This is shown by the variety of programs offered since the beginning of PhD studies in Spain in the format of regulated third cycle studies. The table shows coordinated departmental and interdepartmental programs, which since 1986 have been taught at the School of Education of the ULL. In addition, the faculty of the same has participated in programs of other faculties and other national and international universities.

The Faculty of Education of the ULL, in the current Doctorate in Education program, hosted the departmental programs in force until its extinction, and in the last decade have defended 34 doctoral theses in our Faculty. In the last 5 years 15 doctoral theses have been read, not including in this recount the other collaborations in the direction or co-direction of the thesis with other faculties in national and international universities. At present we have 70 students enrolled in the doctoral thesis phase and of them there are already 51 thesis projects enrolled. In the follow-up of the progress and progress of our doctoral students in the preparation phase of their thesis, the forecast is to read and defend at least 8 doctoral theses in the 2013/14 academic year.

Taking into account the number of students graduated from the degrees in extinction (166 between the two degrees Pedagogy and Psychopedagogy - and 417 of the four specialties of Teacher), of the computation of students enrolled in the different grades in the current course 2013-2014 ( 690 in Teacher in Early Childhood Education, 924 in Teacher in Primary Education, 899 in Pedagogy, 27 in the Child Degree Adaptation Course, and 57 in the Primary Degree Adaptation Course: 57), as well as graduates (121 in 2011/2012) and enrolled (129 in 2012/2013) in the two Master's degrees that are currently taught in the Faculty of Education of the ULL, the consideration of the increase of the student population interested in continuing postgraduate and doctoral studies in this field of knowledge will be remarkable in the short term. Likewise, the increase in the international cooperation relations that this Center has played in recent years, abounds in the interest aroused by studying master's and doctoral studies in this Faculty by students from other latitudes. The demand, then, to expand the offer of Master's degrees, as well as to consolidate a Doctorate in Education Program in accordance with the requirements of training, research, innovation and social transfer of knowledge, justifies the proposals for feasibility and verification in progress , emanated from a Faculty conscious of the imperative need to give adequate answers to such demands of present and future.

For all these reasons, we consider it necessary to make room in the Doctoral Program in Education that is now proposed to the research traditions of the different areas of knowledge of the School of Education of the ULL, presenting a Doctorate Program that contains two main lines of research , namely:

  • Line 1: Research and Innovation in education
    • Pedagogical thinking: politics, society, development and sustainability;
    • Design, development, methods and evaluation of teaching and learning processes.
  • Line 2: Teaching and learning in specific areas of knowledge

The research topics are derived not only from the elements involved in each of the major lines, but from the different levels of analysis derived from the contexts of action: educational system, center, classroom and educational agents, as well as the different levels of action; children's education, primary, secondary, university, non-formal or community and life-long education.

Relationship of the proposal with the current IDI situation of the professional scientific sector in the thematic area.

The two lines of research proposed are linked to the European Strategy Europe 2020, which includes among its five generic objectives, two closely related to the research lines promoted by this Doctoral Program, namely:

  1. Improve education levels and reduce school failure rates.
  2. Promote social integration through the reduction of poverty and social exclusion.

The recent State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2013-16, approved by the Council of Ministers on February 1, 2013, includes four objectives, one of which is the Promotion of IDI actions geared to society's challenges, in order to contribute to solving the present and future needs of our society, in line with the challenges of the Spanish strategy and the European strategy reflected in the Horizon 2020 program. Many of these challenges include change and social transformation, which requires educational systems put into practice educational strategies aimed at raising awareness and acquiring new habits and behaviors in a new society oriented towards sustainability, technological development and well-being. In the development of how to achieve this challenge, in the National Plan it is added: the research in social sciences and humanities, as well as the research that incorporates the gender perspective will have a transversal character and as such will be incorporated in the development of the research scientific-technical and innovations aimed at finding solutions in all the challenges of society. Research in education thus becomes a priority social need for research and innovation: a) the citizenship of the knowledge society needs other educational attention and other forms of teaching and learning; b) the educational challenges of current societies require new contrasted knowledge to meet the new demands of educational contexts. The technologies of communication and information, intercultural education, gender equality and respect for diversity of all kinds, education throughout life, are just some examples of these new challenges.

Therefore, the National Plan ID i 2011-2015, among its five priority sectors includes the Educational, sociocultural and economic, which establishes that the achievement of qualified human resources begins at the lowest levels of education, and therefore It requires developing continuous learning skills among its citizens: These capabilities not only allow acquiring key competences with which to guarantee employability, but also help to activate and develop an active citizenship, with a critical spirit, capable of addressing social and intercultural dialogues, which it can lead to a change in the economic development model, in line with the promulgated by the European strategy Education and training 2020 (ET 2020).

Finally, among the research lines of the Government of the Canary Islands, proposed by the Canary Islands Agency for Research, Innovation and the Information Society, the mechanisms to establish the objectives and priorities of the research and innovation policy of the Autonomous Community are defined. term, and a specific sectorial scope is the educational and cultural development of the Canary Islands.

Other more specific initiatives in the educational field that support research in education in the Canary Islands are those of the Canarian Foundation for the promotion of education in the Government of the Canary Islands. Among its purposes we have:

a) The management of educational programs of cooperation with developing countries, especially in Africa and Latin America, following the guidelines of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports;

b) The promotion of relations with other institutions with management functions of aid for study, research and cooperation.

The Canary Islands, being a geographically isolated territory, presents educational scenarios with limitations from which situations with specific educational needs derive and therefore demanding specific attention. Limited private educational offer, mobility difficulties, social, industrial and natural environment scarce are some of those limitations, as well as a densely populated area with high percentages of foreign population, and visitor by the tourism industry that characterizes our area.

This contextual weakness that characterizes us and at the same time of privilege due to its strategic situation, has agreed the unification of objectives with those of other local initiatives such as the Pact for Education in the Canary Islands, led by the Ministry of Education of the Canary Islands Government, and Campus of Excellence Tricontinental of the Universidad de La Laguna .

This proposal, therefore, not only aims to accommodate all real and potential research trajectories, but also to encourage the advances, openings and vanguards that occur in the production of pedagogical knowledge, as well as the social transfer of it. All this is part of a broader master plan that addresses a new general map of graduate degrees, also expanding the range of master's offers in line with the training needs prior to the new heuristic proposal of the doctoral phase.

In a moment of consolidation of academic convergences in the European space, we intend to open that spatial and conceptual range - which incorporates divergences - to Latin America and Africa; coherent with that south of the north that constitutes the Canary Islands, bridge of union and affective and intellectual junction between continents; especially attending, due to its strategic geographical situation and historical presences, to the unique and manifest tradition of linking this region with the African and Latin American continents.

The Universidad de La Laguna has always shown special attention to this condition of bridge of international relations, in such a way that the links with different academic and cultural institutions of this geographical area have become key strategic values ​​within our internationalization policy. In large part, as a result of this distinctive feature, numerous studies have emerged in many areas of knowledge, joint research projects, a wide range of exchanges and many cooperation agreements. The university, social and political context of the Canary Islands can not be excluded from the tri-continentality project in which the Universidad de La Laguna sustains its status as a campus of excellence.

This Academic Committee has also contemplated the need to promote this flexible and diverse postgraduate offer in content, characteristics and performance modalities, in order to expand and feed from there the important international projection. In particular, nurturing and renewing our traditional relationships and interests also in the extra-community sphere (that is, promoting that other privileged place of exchange with Latin America and Africa, that of postgraduate training and joint research). All this, without ignoring the entire network of agreements and contracts established within the European Environment, as administratively owned territory. In this sense it should be noted that the ULL School of Education has not been alien to the mobility of students and teaching staff through the regulated programs for this purpose, nor at the beginning of joint research and publication strategies with European colleagues of a Wide geographical origin.

Integration of the doctoral program within a doctoral network

The Universidad de La Laguna is in the process of creating the Doctoral School, of which this program will be part. Its creation was approved in the Governing Council on September 26, 2013.

Studies with full-time and part-time dedication

Of the student forecast, it is estimated that 2/3 (approximately 16 students) do it full time, and 1/3 (approximately 8 students) part time.



  • CB11 - Systematic understanding of a field of study and mastery of research skills and methods related to that field.
  • CB12 - Ability to conceive, design or create, implement and adopt a substantial research or creation process.
  • CB13 - Ability to contribute to the expansion of knowledge frontiers through original research.
  • CB14 - Ability to perform a critical analysis and evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas.
  • CB15 - Ability to communicate with the academic and scientific community and with society in general about their fields of knowledge in the modes and languages ​​commonly used in their international scientific community.
  • CB16 - Ability to promote, in academic and professional contexts, the scientific, technological, social, artistic or cultural advancement within a society based on knowledge.

Personal abilities and skills

  • CA01 - Develop in contexts in which there is little specific information.
  • CA02 - Find the key questions that must be answered to solve a complex problem.
  • CA03 - Design, create, develop and undertake innovative and innovative projects in their field of knowledge.
  • CA04 - Work both as a team and independently in an international or multidisciplinary context.
  • CA05 - Integrate knowledge, face complexity and formulate judgments with limited information.
  • CA06 - The intellectual criticism and defense of solutions.

Other competences

  • CG0 - The acquisition of additional skills is not contemplated

Formation activities

  • Participation in educational research seminars or workshops.
  • Participation in national or international congresses:
  • Preparation and publication of scientific reports
  • Mobility
  • Specialized methodological and bibliographic training courses

Admission criteria

Admission criteria

The candidate who wants to access the Doctoral Program of Education must request access and admission according to the procedures established by the Universidad de La Laguna in the Graduate Commission transitorily until the authorization of creation of the Doctoral School by the Community Autónoma, process that agreed to initiate the Governing Council of the ULL in its session held on September 26, 2013.

The Academic Committee of the program will be responsible for applying the scale of admission to applicants after it is verified that they meet the general access requirements established by Royal Decree 99/2011, of January 28 and the Regulation of Official Teachings of the ULL that develops it, as it provides in its article 15, which provides the functions of the Academic Committee of Doctoral Programs.

The Academic Committee will be composed of 7 professors, according to what is established in article 14 of the Regulation of Official Teaching of Doctorate of the Universidad de La Laguna , in sections 1 and 2:

  1. The academic commission of the official doctoral program will be composed of a maximum of seven professors and / or researchers participating in it, including the academic coordinator, who will act as president of the same. In the academic committee must be integrated at least one member of each line of research that conforms to the doctoral program, respecting the previous limit. In the case that there are more than seven lines of research, at the end of each term there will be a renewal of the academic committee, integrating as members of the same, professors and / or researchers of those lines that had not had representatives in the previous mandate. Where appropriate, a rotating system for the appointment of members for each line of research will be established, so that each line does not have a representative in the academic committee for more than two consecutive terms.
  2. The members of the academic committee that are professors or researchers must meet the same requirements established to be a thesis director in the corresponding doctoral program.

In the Doctoral Program in Education the members will be 7, as indicated and will be:

The Academic Coordinator of the Doctorate Program

3 Representatives of Line 1 of research: Research and Innovation in Education

3 Representatives of Line 2 of research: Teaching and learning in specific areas of knowledge

In case the number of registrants exceeds the new access places offered, the allocation of places will be made, according to article 7 of Royal Decree 99/2011, of January 28, according to the following criteria for the evaluation of merits of selection:

  • Academic record of the degree or equivalent qualification accredited by the candidate (25%)
  • Academic record of a university Master's degree linked to the research lines of the present doctoral program: Research and Innovation in Education and Teaching and Learning in Specific Knowledge Areas (35%).
  • Professional experience linked to education (10%).
  • Research experience (participation in congresses, publications, membership in research projects (10%).
  • Obtaining grants and research grants (10%).
  • Accredited knowledge of B2 or higher languages ​​(preferably in English) (10%).

The Program of Assistance to Students with Disabilities of the ULL, in compliance with the provisions of RD 99/2011, will contribute in the case of students with specific educational needs derived from disability to assess and address possible needs for adaptations for educational integration and of the people enrolled in the doctoral program who need it.

At the time of admission, the academic committee of the doctoral program will assign the candidate an academic tutor, who will be a ULL doctor professor with accredited research experience who belongs to the doctoral program in which he has been admitted (Article 9 of the Regulation of Official Teachings of Doctorate of the ULL).

The academic tutor is assigned the following obligations and dedication:

  • Ensure coherence between the tasks of the doctoral student and the director and his research group.
  • Ensure the interaction of the doctoral student with the academic committee of the doctoral program.
  • Ensure the adequacy of the doctoral training and research activity with the principles of the program and the Doctoral School.
  • Sign the documents of commitment and activities of the doctoral student.
  • Review and sign the research plan of the doctoral student.
  • Prepare the mandatory reports for the monitoring commission.

The academic committee of the doctoral program can establish, for all cases, that the academic tutor is the thesis supervisor, unless the director is not a professor of the ULL.

The appointment of the academic tutor can be modified at any time during the period of completion of the doctorate: on the one hand, once the doctoral student has been heard and whenever justified reasons are present, and on the other hand, a thesis tutor can also renounce the tutorship of the student. thesis, if there are also justified reasons. In this case, the academic committee of the doctoral program must propose a new tutor to the doctoral student.

The regime of dedication of the students to the Doctorate Program, according to the provisions of article 7.2 of the Regulation of Official Teaching of Doctorate of the ULL, in development of article 2.2 of the regulation of progress and permanence in the official degrees in the ULL will be by definition full-time, and from its admission to the program until the presentation of the application for the doctoral thesis deposit will take a maximum of three years. After this period, the Academic Committee of the Program may authorize, at the request of the doctoral student, informed by his Thesis Director, the extension of this term for one more year, which may be extended in any case, and exceptionally, to another additional year.

According to article 7.3 of said Regulation, the dedication may be part-time upon request of the doctorate and express authorization of the Academic Committee of the doctoral program. In this case, the deadline for submitting the application for the doctoral thesis deposit will be a maximum of five years, extendable for two more years after authorization from the Academic Committee at the request of the doctoral student informed by the thesis supervisor. This extension will be extendable in any case, and exceptionally, to another additional year.

Students who wish to study a Doctorate Program on a part-time basis must request it when they submit the application for admission to it or, once admitted, when they meet any of the circumstances listed below and enable the recognition as part-time students, as provided in article 7.3 of the Official Teaching Regulations of the ULL.

In order to be considered a doctoral student on a part-time basis, the corresponding application must be submitted in the manner and within the periods established for this, justifying the impossibility of carrying out these studies on a full-time basis for reasons of work activity, special educational needs, family care needs, high performance athletes or high level, as well as those that are contemplated in the rules of permanence of the ULL or, where appropriate, the regulations that develop them.

These applications will be resolved before the period established for enrollment in doctoral studies by the academic committee of the corresponding doctoral program. Against this resolution, an appeal may be filed before the Rector within one month of its notification.

Each doctoral program will establish the maximum percentage of students who will be able to do a part-time doctorate. This information can be obtained by consulting the academic guide of the program and will be established before the start of each academic year.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, during the development of the Doctoral Program, changes in the modality of dedication may be requested, provided that the following circumstances occur:

  • Doctoral students with part-time dedication who lose the circumstance for which they were admitted and recognized as such throughout the Doctoral Program will automatically become students of the Doctorate Program with full-time dedication. From that moment, they will have three years until the submission of the application for the doctoral thesis, provided that no more than two years have elapsed under the condition of part-time student.
  • PhD students who have begun doctoral studies on a full-time basis are required to apply for a part-time student status and meet any of the requirements expressed above, will have from the granting of that condition to the presentation of the request for the deposit of the doctoral thesis of a maximum of time that as a whole, with the time elapsed, does not exceed 5 years.

In the case of doctoral students who have changed their dedication regime in the course of their studies (article 7.4 of the regulations governing doctoral studies of the ULL), a factor of 5/3 is established for the passage from full-time dedication to part-time dedication and from 3/5 for changes from partial to full dedication, for the purposes of the temporary computation established in sections one and three of this article.

Likewise, the recruitment of students from other countries will be encouraged, paying special attention to students from European and Latin American countries.

Last updated Mar 2020

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La Universidad de La Laguna ha ejercido una importante función de liderazgo educativo, científico y cultural en Canarias durante sus dos siglos de historia, impulsando el progreso de nuestra comunidad ... Read More

La Universidad de La Laguna ha ejercido una importante función de liderazgo educativo, científico y cultural en Canarias durante sus dos siglos de historia, impulsando el progreso de nuestra comunidad y contribuyendo decisivamente a su modernización. Read less
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