PhD in Educational Science

The PhD degree programme Educational Science is a humanities and cultural studies programme. Graduates are capable of carrying out theoretical and empirical research in pedagogical and educational science. They contribute to the analysis and conceptualisation of problems in the field of pedagogical and educational science, advance theoretical considerations and publish nationally and internationally. Furthermore, they acquire the ability to teach pedagogical and educational science subject matters and to work in the field in relevant organisations and institutions. This also includes leading work teams, planning and analysis of work processes, and the ability to design, implement and evaluate educational measures and programmes.

Curriculum "Doctor of Philosophy" PhD in Educational Science

OLAT course PhD in Educational Sciences


Before studies/start of studies

What are the conditions of registration for the PhD degree programme? 

To register for the PhD programme, you need a Diplom (diploma) or master’s degree in a relevant subject. The following programmes at the University of Innsbruck qualify:

Studies at other universities or universities of applied sciences must be equivalent. The equivalence of a degree from a university of applied sciences master’s programme, a university of applied sciences Diplom programme or a master’s programme in a similar subject will be verified on a case-by-case basis. This occurs during the application process for the programme. A prior verification of equivalence is not carried out.

If equivalence is generally established and only a few items are missing for full equivalence, acceptance may be conditional on the passing of certain examinations to be taken during the PhD degree programme.

If you have any questions please contact the Office of Student Affairs.

Before registering for the PhD programme, you should ask yourself a few questions and think about why you want to study for a PhD. It is also a good idea to think about possible thesis subjects even before registering. The Faculty has drawn up Guidelines for self-assessment which you can use to ask yourself whether a PhD programme is the right choice for you and what resources are available to you.

What career options will the PhD degree provide? 

Career opportunities after completing a PhD are in universities, research institutions, institutions of higher learning, research departments of private and public institutions, lobbies and NGOs, psychosocial, pedagogical and educational facilities, including in the policy and media field, professional representation and administration.

How is the integration in the university?  

With a PhD you demonstrate your ability to work independently on an issue in pedagogical and educational science and so to contribute to the discourse of the specialist community. As a result, a lot of your research and writing work will take place independently, but with the support of advisors and/or peers.

At the Faculty of Educational Sciences, we organise regular meetings for the PhD students so that they can get to know each other and network. You can find the dates for upcoming meetings here.

Do I have to be employed by the University of Innsbruck in order to study for a PhD? 

No working relation with the University of Innsbruck is required to start studying for a PhD. However, a position as pre-doc is a very good opportunity for writing a thesis, because integration into the institute and to additional sources of financing can be useful.

But you can also make use of a large variety of funding sources and grants to obtain the necessary financial support to work on your thesis.

Funding options at the University of Innsbruck:

There are also other scholarships that are issued based by the funders based on the exposé.

Please also talk with your (possible) advisor about funding, as they can usually share more ideas and options!


During studies

What lecturers can act as advisors? 

Persons with a habilitation in the field of Educational Sciences may be advisors for a thesis. A list of the persons and their specialist subjects may help you get in touch with the right persons for your thesis.

What should I consider for when drafting my exposé? 

At the start of your PhD studies, you will draft and revise your exposé for your intended research over the course of several classes (the so-called thesis seminars). The process of presenting your exposé repeatedly to your peers provides you with important feedback to improve your research project. A special checklist for drafting an exposé can help you find and limit your research subject.

How can I demonstrate attendance in the elective module “Publishing and Presenting”? 

In the course of your PhD studies you will present your research findings at various research seminars and conferences. You can use the confirmations of participation at these conferences and seminars and a conference programme to demonstrate completion of this elective module worth 5 ECTS credits.

publication about your research is also counted towards this module. In this case your advisor must confirm that the publication is related to the research of your thesis and the published results contribute to the specialist debate. This confirmation and the publication become annexes to the examination protocol.


You can find information and instructions for (more) accreditations here:


At the end of your studies

The PhD studies are concluded with the thesis and the doctoral examination. Some deadlines should be considered.


What deadlines should I observe at the end of my studies?

  1. Submission of the thesis to the Examinations Committee, incl. examination protocol and any annexes.

  2. Evaluation of the thesis: The thesis is evaluated by at least two examiners. Only one of these may have previously been an advisor!

    Note: The legal deadline for the evaluation/assessment of the thesis is 3 months, but it may be shorter. For their own sake, students are asked to coordinate their schedule with the examiners in such a way that the written evaluations can be submitted to the Examinations Committee at the latest 1 month before the doctoral examination.
  3. Receipt of the evaluations and registration for the doctoral examination: The written evaluations and the planned date for the doctoral examination must be submitted to the Examinations Committee at the latest 1 month before the doctoral examination (the examination date must be coordinated by the student with the Examinations Council).
    Take care: The Examinations Council consists of 3 persons. As a rule, these are the two examiners (of which one is an advisor) and a third examiner who usually assumes the Chair. This person may not previously have been an advisor!

  4. Confirmation of the examination date: The examination date is confirmed to the student by the Examinations Committee by e-mail at the latest 2 weeks before the doctoral examination (as long as proof of the registration requirements was provided) and is notified publicly or at least within the Faculty.


How can I register for the doctoral examination? 

You will obtain the form “Registration for the doctoral examination” from the Examinations Committee when you submit your thesis. Then you just need to determine the time and place for the doctoral examination with the three-member commission and submit the form, signed by all participants, to the Examinations Committee.

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