PhD in Public and Social Policy


Program Description

Description of the entrance examination and evaluation criteria

Oral entrance exam:

During the entrance examination interview, applicants must demonstrate ability to defend their research proposal in critical discussion and prove that they

• can formulate research questions,

• understand their topic’s broader context, and

• are fairly knowledgeable in public and social policy and related disciplines.

Priority topics of research projects for entrance examination:

(Other topics are not excluded, but they should be consulted and agreed upon by a future supervisor in advance.)

Public and social policies

  • Policy of social insurance and social security

  • Educational policy

  • Health policy

  • Anti-corruption policy

  • Drug policy

  • Tobacco control policy

Public sector

  • Public sector´s efficiency

  • Public policies´ efficiency evaluation

  • Impact analysis of public policies (qualitative and quantitative analysis)

  • Public procurement and its impacts on public policy


  • Strategic governance

  • Relationships between market, state, and media

  • Partnership of public and civic sector

  • Systemic corruption

Public Administration

  • Public administration reforms and their impact on public policy

  • Modernisation of public administration (comparison of the EU countries and design of modernization models for the Czech Republic)

  • Decision making in public administration and its impact on public policies´ efficiency

  • Computerization of public administration as a support for public policies´ performance

  • Inspection systems of public administration as an instrument of efficient functioning of public policies

  • Public administration employees – their roles, competencies, expectations

Cross-cutting issues

  • Policy work and policy workers

  • New methods and methodologies in policy analysis (process tracing etc.)

  • Policy design – theoretical and analytical approaches

  • Policy analysis – new methods and approaches

  • Policy evaluation

Criteria for entrance exam evaluation:

• research proposal quality,

• applicant’s scholarly potential,

• qualification for participating in the programme’s research and teaching activities.

Evaluation of applicants in admission proceedings for the Public and Social Policy doctoral programme:

  1. Research proposal quality: up to 30 points

  2. Knowledge of the field’s theoretical foundations and methods: up to 10 points

  3. Existing scholarly texts and experience (Master’s thesis, scholarly publications, research participation): up to 10 points

  4. Project feasibility (grant, financing): up to 10 points

Applicant’s existing research experience or professional experience in public, civic, or commercial sector jobs is assessed as a bonus.

Total: up to 60 points

Other entrance conditions for applicants:

Completion of a master program.

Achieve the minimum number of entry points (will be declared by the Dean).

Information on the exercise of graduates

Our doctoral program aims to produce experts who are able to pursue research and analytical work with creativity. It aims to expand their theoretical and methodological knowledge and skills and to deepen their ability to grasp scholarship and social reality with a critical mindset. Graduates will be able to use these skills to identify and analyze important social issues in their proper context, the links between the behavior of social actors and their interests, values, and strategies, and the shaping and implementation of public policy. The Faculty of Social Sciences of the Charles University includes the Center for Social and Economic Strategies which shares staff with the Department of Public and Social Policy.

Last updated Jul 2020

About the School

Charles University (CU) was founded in Prague in 1348 by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and belongs among the oldest, largest and most prestigious universities in the world. Charles University is c ... Read More

Charles University (CU) was founded in Prague in 1348 by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and belongs among the oldest, largest and most prestigious universities in the world. Charles University is currently ranked among the top 2% of the world´s universities in Shanghai University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities. It is the number one university in Eastern Europe according to the The Webometrics Ranking of World Universities. Read less