Doctoral Program in English Studies 2022–2023


The Doctoral Programme in English Studies at the University of Zaragoza (99/2011) has been taught since the academic year 2013-14. It is a continuation of  successive programmes offered by the Department of English and German Philology since the year 1986-87, and its aim has been to provide students with an academic environment to continue their education and initiate their research in the field of English Studies.

Initially focused in the areas of English Literature and English Language and Linguistics, the programme has gradually incorporated other areas such as Film and Cultural Studies, Translation Studies, Language Acquisition and English for Specific Purposes. In the course of the last three decades the programme has consolidated its main lines of research supported by successive research projects and consolidated research groups.

Its three core lines of research are: a) English linguistics, with a special interest in digital genres, global English and the use of English in academic contexts: b) contemporary literatures in English, with a strong theoretical and cultural component; and c) film studies, with an emphasis on transnational cinema and the cinema of globalization, film genres and cosmopolitan theory.

Our students receive a strong theoretical training, and are offered opportunities to establish links and collaborations with the best international researchers in their respective areas.

Program Objectives

The general objective of the programme is to provide students with the theoretical, methodological, rhetorical and critical tools which are necessary to develop an in-depth line of research in a rigorous and documented way within the field of English studies, in the cultural context of English-speaking countries, through their various representations, especially literature, cinema and the English language itself.


Specific objectives:


1.     To use at an advanced level the techniques of critical, cultural and textual analysis in literature and film, as well as the techniques of discourse analysis in English.


2. To study in depth the main topics of English-speaking literatures, English-language cinema, and English-language linguistics and discourse analysis.


3. To deal with the research methodologies and techniques of English Studies in a fluid way.


4. To develop the learning strategies necessary to carry out original research works on the main topics of the program.


5. To get to know in depth the most important trends in the field of English-speaking literatures and to be able to achieve a personal approach to do research in this matter based on the knowledge of these trends.


6. To get to know in depth the most important trends in the field of film studies and to be able to achieve a personal approach to do research in this matter based on the knowledge of these trends.


7. To get to know in depth the most important trends in the field of discourse analysis and languages ​​for specific purposes and to be able to achieve a personal approach to do research in this matter based on the knowledge of these trends.


8. To get to know in depth the most important trends in the field of specialized, audiovisual and literary translation, texts and to be able to achieve a personal approach to do research in this matter based on the knowledge of these trends.

Outgoing Student Profile

- Teachers at tertiary level

- Trainers of language trainers

- Language consultants

- Translators

- Education advisors

- Consultants for international cultural projects with the United States, the United Kingdom and other English-speaking countries

- Intercultural mediators in international contexts (English as a Lingua Franca)

- Editorial consultants in bilingual and English-language publications

- Intercultural managers in national or foreign institutions and private organizations (NGOs)

- Literary critics

- Film critics



To be arranged with the students's tutor.

Administrative support:

Secretaría Departamento Filología Inglesa y Alemana

Facultad de Filosofía y Letras

C/San Juan Bosco, 7

50009 Zaragoza

Academic enquiries:

Teléfono: 976761532 - Ext.: 841532


Administrative enquiries:

Teléfono: 976761538 - ext.: 841538


Basic Skills

The students of the program acquire the basic competences indicated in article 5 of Royal Decree 99/2011 on doctorate. They are the following:

  1. Systematic understanding of their field of study and mastery of research skills and methods related to that field.
  2. Ability to conceive, design or create, implement and adopt a substantial process of research or creation.
  3. Ability to contribute to the expansion of the frontiers of knowledge through original research.
  4. Ability to perform a critical analysis and evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas.
  5. 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.
  6. Ability to promote, in academic and professional contexts, scientific, technological, social, artistic or cultural advancement within a society based on knowledge.

Personal Abilities and Skills

The RD 99/2011 highlights the high professional training of doctors in various fields, especially those that require creativity and innovation. Therefore, the doctors of the program will have acquired, at least, personal skills and abilities to:

  1. Develop in contexts in which there is little specific information.
  2. Find the key questions that must be answered to solve a complex problem.
  3. Design, create, develop and undertake innovative and innovative projects in their field of knowledge.
  4. Work both as a team and independently in an international or multidisciplinary context.
  5. Integrate knowledge, face complexity and formulate judgements with limited information.
  6. The criticism and intellectual defence of solutions.

Other Specific Program Competences

CE01 – Advanced knowledge of topics and concepts that are relevant in the area of English Studies (literature, film studies, history, culture and civilization, specialized discourses, teaching/learning, and translation) for the development of a personal approach to research in this area.

CE02 – The capacity to use advanced strategies and methodologies of close reading and critical and cultural analysis in literature, film and English language.

CE03 – Advanced knowledge of theories and critical perspectives in the field of English Studies that are relevant for the interpretation of texts in English.

CE04 – The capacity to understand and convey scientific knowledge related to English Studies at a C2 level of proficiency in English.

CE05 – The capacity to offer novel ideas and perspectives to English Studies scholarship.

CE06 – The capacity to offer critical analysis of social and cultural realities through their textual manifestations in English.

CE07 – The critical and self-critical capacity to assess the quality of research in English Studies.

General Information

The requirements for access to doctorate studies are set in RD 99/2011 and can be consulted in the corresponding Instruction of the Doctorate School (pdf). In general, an official Spanish Bachelor's and Master's degrees or equivalent are required, with a minimum global extension of 300 ECTS credits.

Candidates with university degrees issued by a country of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) may request admission directly (info). If the degree is issued by a country outside the EHEA, the application for access with a non-homologated foreign degree must be submitted (info).

Those interested can expand their information in the administrative section of the Doctoral School (web) or the administration of the program (see contact data in the program general information section).

Program Specific Information

Oferta de plazas: 10

The Doctoral School will establish in the academic calendar of the year the period of application for admission in its programs. The application for admission will include:

1 a motivation letter indicating the research line(s) of interest. It may also include the proposal of a researcher for thesis supervisor.

2 an official transcript of the student’s scores in the B.A. and Master degrees.

3 a Curriculum Vitae

4 a certification of C1 level in English of the European Framework of Reference for Languages. This is a compulsory requisite to gain access to the programme.

When the number of candidates exceeds the maximum number of positions available in the programme (12 per year) the following selectino criteria will be applied: academic transcript: 75%, cv: 25%. The Academic Committee may call the candidates to an interview if necessary.

In the resolution of admission, if this is favorable, the Academic Committee will appoint the tutor and the director of the thesis and assign the research line, or lines (up to two), of the thesis. It will also establish the type of dedication of the doctoral student (full or part time) and, if appropriate, the training complements that must be completed. Exceptionally, the director's appointment may be postponed until three months after the date of the doctorate's enrollment in the program. The Academic Committee may declare a candidate as unsuitable for the program, based on the information contained in the candidate's motivation letter.

If the admitted applicant does not enroll in the doctoral program, admission will expire one month after its concession date. In this case, individuals interested in starting doctoral studies must apply again for admission to the program. Open vacancies will be covered by the Academic Committee according to the corresponding waiting list.

Programs with available places will accept subsequent admission applications, until completion of the number of places offered by the program.

For all purposes, a candidate does not acquire the status of doctoral student at the University of Zaragoza until he/she formalizes his or her enrollment in the corresponding program. PhD students must register annually for academic tutelage.


To join the PhD Programme in English Studies, the academic knowledge acquired in the disciplinary field of the programme will be assessed, as well as the basic competency profile related the advanced competency profile that is developed in the degree.

In general, PhD candidates are expected to have:

1) interest, curiosity and sensibility for doing research in the language, literature and cinema of contemporary English-speaking societies;

2) general knowledge of the English language, literature and cinema in their different cultural contexts;

3) general notions of academic writing, linguistic analysis and commentary in literary and film texts;

4) knowledge at an advanced level of the main theoretical approaches of linguistics, literature, culture and cinema;

5) sensibility to appreciate and accept cultural diversity;

6) interest in promoting interest in the social value of culture.

Likewise, they must be able to:

1) perform autonomous work and develop independence of thought;

2) manage bibliographic sources and computer tools;

3) solve complex problems and make decisions;

4) develop and apply original ideas in the research context of English studies;

5) carry out quality research work with a methodological rigor and basic critical reasoning.

It is an essential requirement to have a knowledge of the English language, both oral and written, equivalent to a C1 level.

Specific Training Activities

The Doctoral Programme in English Studies is primarily addressed at students who have completed a degree in English Studies with a master's degree in English Studies or equivalent, or the Master's Degree in Teachers for Secondary Education at the University of Zaragoza. These students will have direct access to it, without training supplements. provided they meet the general entry requirements.

Candidates who have completed a degree in English Studies together with an official master's degree in the field of humanities not related to these studies, as well as graduates in humanities degrees with a master's degree in the field of English Studies will require complementary training in content related with the line of research or research methodologies chosen. The Academic Commission will establish these supplements based on the student's entry profile and the line of research selected.

In addition, the program will regularly offer its students seminars, workshops and research study days to be carried out as part of the regularactivities of the programme.

Enrolment Dates, Deadlines and Procedure

Doctoral students, as researchers in training and students of the University of Zaragoza, have to formalize every year the enrollment with the corresponding rights to the academic tutorship while continuing their doctoral training. The enrollment period will be set  in the academiccalendar approved each year by the Doctoral School. 

As a general rule, enrollment will be done online through the Secretaría Virtual ofthe University of Zaragoza. Previously a personal identification number (NIP) and password will have been obtained in the identity management service. Face-to-face registration will be allowed to those who cannot do it online, by going to the doctoral school during public service hours. PhD students must submit every year in which they enroll, documentation about their previous studies, depending on whether they have been taken in countries of the European Education Area or outside that space.

Full and up-to-date information on the enrollment procedure, including key points, is provided on the website of the Doctoral School, as well as prices, discounts and insurance, legalization and translation of documents and some others practical details.

Thesis Supervision

The procedures for the supervision of doctoral students are set in article 11 of Royal Decree 99/2011, which regulates doctoral studies and the rules about Thesis (Reglamento sobre Tesis Doctorales de la Universidad de Zaragoza)The doctoral student admitted to the program has to enrol each academic year in academic tutelage at the University of Zaragoza. The Academic Committee of the program will assign a Thesis Director and a tutor, who may or may not be the same. The Thesis Director will be the person in charge of the overall management of the doctoral student's research tasks, of the coherence and adequacy of the training activities, of the impact and novelty in his/her field of the subject of the doctoral thesis and of the guide in other projects and activities where the doctoral student is involved. The tutor is responsible for the adaptation of the training and the research activity to the principles of the program and the Doctoral School and will ensure the interaction of the doctoral student with the Academic Committee of the program, the body responsible for supervising the progress of the research and training and the authorization of the thesis presentation of each doctoral student of the program.

The supervisory functions of the doctoral students will be documented in the Doctorate Letter which, once the registration is made, will be signed by the doctoral student, its tutor and its director, the program coordinator and the director of the Doctoral School. Those interested can expand the information on the thesis supervision in the administrative headquarters of the program (see contact information in the general information of the program) or by consulting the program coordinator.

Student's Follow-up and Evaluation

The follow-up of the training process leading to the presentation of the doctoral thesis is carried out through the research plan and the doctoral student's document of activities. The research plan is presented before the end of the first year of enrolment and includes, at least, the methodology to be used and the objectives to be achieved, as well as the means and the temporal planning to achieve it. The plan may be improved and detailed later and must be endorsed by the Director and the tutor. The document of activities is the register of all the activities -research stays, courses, attendance to congresses, or others- that the doctorate carries out from his enrolment until the presentation of the doctoral thesis. Annually, the Academic Committee of the program will evaluate the follow-up of the research plan together with the document of activities. The positive evaluation will be an essential requirement to continue in the program. In the case of a negative evaluation, the doctoral student must be evaluated again within a maximum period of six months. Those interested can expand this information in the administrative headquarters of the program (see contact information in the general information of the program) or by consulting the program coordinator.

Once the thesis is concluded, the doctoral student must proceed to deposit and defend it according to the dispositions included in the thesis regulation of the University of Zaragoza and its procedure (info).

Transversal Training Activities

The Doctoral School offers an annual series of voluntary activities for all doctoral students. This formation has a transversal and interdisciplinary nature. The offer is dynamic and covers the following formative aspects: communication (oral and written), access and information management, and skills for a future social and professional performance.  Information about the activities, admission and enrolment can be found in the website of the Doctoral School  (info).

Additionally, other formative activities of interest for a wide range of our doctoral students are disseminated through our web (info).

Specific Training Activities

Research in the Doctoral Programme in English Studies is framed within the activities of the various research groups and projects integrated in the programme. The activities of these groups include regular meetings in which readings, research activity and results are shared among its members. The students in our programme are invited to participate in these meetings. The programme coordinator and the students’ tutors advise their tutees on the specific research meetings that may be more useful for their research. The schedule of these meetings will be published yearly. Each research group will hold approximately five sessions per year.

The programme organizes a yearly study day/research symposium. Budgetary considerations permitting, the programme will invite a guest speaker in one of our areas of research. Additionally, senior members of the programme and research groups will also participate and share their research with the students. Students are encouraged to present their own research papers on topics related to their theses. The call for papers is also opened to doctoral students from other universities.

Students are encouraged to carry out research stays in other research centres. Tutors will help them with the organization of these stays by establishing contact with colleagues. The programme strongly recommends that students apply for the International Doctorate mention. One of the requirements for this is a minimum stay of three months in other centres.

The programme regularly organizes individual talks, seminars and workshops by colleagues from other universities. These are announced in advance. Finally, tutors inform their students of conferences, study days, lectures and other scientific activities that might be useful for their training. All of these activities, once carried out, will be recognized as official activities of the programme.

Students enrolled in this programme must carry out a minimum of 5 specific activities in each academic year, taking into account the variety of typology indicated above. At the end of their studies, students need to have carried out a minimum of 15 specific activities offered by the programme, of various types.


Doctoral students enrolled in doctoral programs benefit from mobility aids established in various national and international calls. The calls for the Erasmus + program stand out.

In the Erasmus + Studies mode, doctoral students can choose a wide range of destinations, since most of the agreements signed by the University of Zaragoza with other universities include places for PhD students of all branches.

In the Erasmus + Stays / Practices in companies modality, PhD students access two calls: the one from the University of Zaragoza and the one carried out by the Iberus International Campus of Excellence for the universities that comprise it, the one from Zaragoza among them.

Other mobility calls are specifically designed for Latin American students and for international stays of students with predoctoral contracts. The mobility of doctoral students of the University of Zaragoza is also encouraged with cotutela agreements signed with foreign universities.

Research Lines

    Research Teams

    Academic Regulations

    The Doctoral School of the University of Zaragoza has rules and procedures to achieve its various goals, which have been written with the agreement of the different levels of the Doctoral School, and are published on its website.

    The regulations section of the Doctoral School website contains other important regulations, both national and of the University of Zaragoza, such as RD 99/2011 por el que se regulan las enseñanzas oficiales de doctorado, el Reglamento de los Estudios de Doctorado (2012) y el Reglamento sobre tesis doctorales (2014).

    PhD Duration and Their Management Rules

    Rules of duration and permanence in the doctorate are established in Instrucción de23 de mayo de 2018 de la Escuela de Doctorado relativa al acceso, admisión,dedicación y permanencia en los estudios de doctorado de la Universidad deZaragoza (R.D. 99/2011).

    Full-time thesis should be complete in three years, from the date of admission to the doctoral program, although the Academic Committee of the program may authorize the extension of this period for one more year. Part-time doctoral students will have five years from their admission to the presentation of the thesis, and the Academic Committee may authorize an extension for two more years. Exceptionally, an additional year of extension can be added.

    PhD candidates may request a change in dedication (full-time / part-time) as well as the temporary withdrawal for justified reasons of the Academic Committee. They can cause a definitive withdrawal and see their file closed in these cases: if the available time to deposit the thesis is exceeded or if they receive two consecutive negative evaluations of the research plan.

    These processes are explained in detail on our website (info) and the doctoral students are told how to proceed in cases of temporary withdrawal (info).

    Academic Calendar

    The academic year is governed by the deadlines established in the specific Doctoral School´s academic calendar.

    This calendar sets the periods of request for entry, admission to the programs, enrollment at the University of Zaragoza, as well as how the students must present every year the research plan and the activities document, deadlines for defending doctoral theses, etc.

    The Doctoral School website publishes the calendar of the current course as well as the two previous courses (info).

    Learning Resources

    The Doctoral Programme in English Studies offers its students access to the facilities of the Biblioteca María Moliner and the general university library service, as well as the Service of Audiovisual Media (SEMETA) and the administrative service of the Doctoral School. Through the library services students have access to most of the bibliographical materials that they need to carry out their research.