Information and Communication Technologies - PhD

Doctoral programme of the UPF Doctoral School, governed by Royal Decree 99/2011
APPLICATION PERIOD Application dates
The total duration of the doctorate is three years from the initial registration. In duly justified cases, up to two one-year extensions may be requested.
CALENDAR From October to June
TIMETABLE Full time dedication
LOCATION Communication Campus - Poblenou
Department of Information and Communications Technologies

Program with a Quality Mention concedes by the Spanish National Agency for the Evaluation of Quality (Agencia Nacional de Evaluación de la Calidad, ANECA)  


The doctoral programme in Information and Communication Technologies covers many of the most important research topics in the information society. This is an innovative programme, unique in Catalonia and Spain in terms of its content, which aims to provide a bridge between various disciplines in this field. These are grouped into four main areas: cognitive and intelligent systems, audiovisual technologies, networks and communications, and computational biology and biomedical systems. The themes of the programme are the same as the lines of research that are worked on at the DTIC.

The programme received a Mention of Excellence from the Ministry of Science and Innovation in 2011.

UPF master's  degrees that can be taken prior to this doctorate

Training objectives

The doctoral programme has the following training objectives:
  • Systematic understanding of the scientific discipline represented by the programme and command of the skills and research methods related to this discipline.
  • The ability to conceive, design, implement and adopt a substantial research process with academic rigour.
  • The production of original research that extends the frontiers of knowledge of this discipline at a level which merits national or international publication.
  • The ability to foster technological progress in the information society in academic and professional contexts.

Academic contents

In addition to producing the doctoral thesis, the programme includes the following training activities:

  • Research seminars, in order to address specific issues of interest for various research lines. Attendance at the seminar is compulsory, and includes work on one of the topics presented.
  • Before the end of the first year, doctoral students prepare a research plan that includes at least a summary of the state of the work, the methodology to be used and the objectives to be attained, and the means and the timeframe to achieve them. According to the research plan, the Postgraduate and Doctorate Academic Committee will assign a three-person tribunal to evaluate the public presentation of the research plan.
The thesis supervisors can also recommend specific courses on some of the master's programmes coordinated by the department to their students, in order to complete their research training.

The thesis supervisors can also recommend specific courses on some of the master's programmes coordinated by the department to their students, in order to complete their research training.

Lines of research of the doctorate

The research lines are the research work carried out by the research groups in the department. These research groups are grouped in four areas:

Cognitive and intelligent systems

  • Cognitive, computational and robotics
  • Synthetic and emotional perception and cognitive systems
  • Artificial intelligence and theoretical computer science
  • Natural language processing
  • Ubiquitous computing
  • Information retrieval and data mining
  • Cognitive media technologies

Audiovisual technologies

  • Image processing and computer vision
  • Image processing for enhanced cinematography
  • Audio and music processing
  • Human-computer interaction, graphic and educational technologies

Networks and communications

  • Network technologies and strategies
  • Information theory and coding

Computational biology and biomedical systems

  • Computational neuroscience
  • Biomedical instrumentation and signals
  • Simulation, vision and modelling systems in biomedicine
  • Biomedical data analysis
  • Non-linear signal analysis

Competences that must be demonstrated at the end of the programme

On completing the doctorate course, candidates must:

  • Have acquired a level of training that incorporates the most advanced knowledge in the field of information and communication technologies in one of the department's research areas, in both theoretical and methodological terms.
  • Have designed and carried out a substantial research process of the highest level in one the department's areas of research.
  • Be able to apply the main research methods to a project at the highest level within the field of information technology.
  • Be able to make a contribution by means of original research that extends the frontiers of knowledge of information and communication technologies with the development of a substantial corpus, of which all or part or merits national or international publication.
  • Be able to present and convincingly defend scientific studies in the area of information and communication technologies before an expert audience.
  • Be able to incorporate and use these technologies in an efficient, coherent and justified manner in research problems.

Career prospects

Researchers in companies in the field of the information society or academia.

Grants or scholarships specific to the doctorate

The doctoral programme offers a varying number of RDI and DTIC-UPF scholarships every year. These scholarships are cofinanced by the Department and the research group which the student joins, and entail a contribution to teaching in the Department.

More information:

Other grants: