Doctoral Program in History, Society and Culture: Medieval and Early Modern Ages 2023–2024


This Doctoral Programme is the result of a combined effort of the Areas of Knowledge of Medieval History, Early Modern History and Historiographic Sciences and Techniques of the University of Zaragoza. These are fully consolidated Areas in university teaching and research and in the management and conservation of cultural heritage. The Program enhance the comprehension of the present time from the knowledge of the past. A past in which current society has its roots and that contributes to forge the collective memory, which is a necessary ingredient for the maintenance of social cohesion. This argument alone would justify the need for this Doctoral Programme.


Developing a Doctorate Programme in this field is also justified by the need to train competent professionals in Economic, Social and Cultural History research. Doctors qualified by this Program may integrate into University and Secondary education, in public and private research centers and in other socio-professional sectors, such as companies in the cultural industry and companies or public bodies oriented to the management of historical and cultural heritage, both national and international. In all the aforementioned sectors, they will be able to perform functions of the highest level.

The main research lines connect with the studies conducted by these Areas of the University of Zaragoza, that date back to the early 20th century and have always been highly valued in the Spanish and European context. Some of these research lines are:

-History of Population: historical demography and demographic structures, migrations, History of the Family.

-Economic History: formation of markets, institutions and economic development.

-Social History: elites, urban society, rural world, minorities, social relations, conflict, marginalised groups.

-Cultural History: culture of the elites (dynamics of writing, manuscripts, book production, cultural transfers, representations) and popular culture (religiosity, spectacle and theater, popular literature, oral culture).

-History of Women and Gender: construction of masculinities and femininity.

-History of Political Structures and Institutions of Power: seignorial system, state organization, taxation, parliamentary institutions, political crises and dynamics of political thought.

In that sense, the Programme seeks to:

-Form and guide doctoral students in research, ensuring that they acquire the technical and intellectual skills and theoretical competences that are necessary for the defense of a doctoral thesis that represents a significant advance in our knowledge in the mentioned fields.

-Bring to the doctoral students the latest methodological procedures and results of research in Medieval and Early Modern History, insisting on the value of transversality that allows to overcome the traditional subdivisions of current areas of knowledge.

-Introduce doctoral students in the research groups and in the academic networks that develope research activity related to their subject of work.

The achievement of these purposes requires the collaboration of the aforementioned areas of knowledge. These areas have a list of specialized researchers with proven experience to show doctoral students the main lines of the current panorama research, and capable of supervise Doctoral Theses in a wide range of fields. These researchers enjoyed a high rate of research sexenios, which is the best evidence in this regard.


It should be noted, that the Research Groups that participate in the Programme, CEMA Group (Center for Medieval Studies of Aragon), Blancas (Early Modern History) and Sigdoc (former DAMMA, Historiographic Sciences and Techniques) maintain extensive contacts with other national and international Groups, manifested through the collaboration of researchers, research fellowships, intervention in thesis committees, seminars and colloquia, among others.


Apoyo administrativo:

Secretaría del Departamento de Historia Medieval, Ciencias y Técnicas Historiográficas y Estudios Árabes e Islámicos

Facultad de Filosofía y Letras

Pedro Cerbuna, 12. 50009 Zaragoza

Consultas Académicas:

Teléfono: 876553858 - Ext.: 843858


Consultas Administrativas:

Teléfono: 876552139 - Ext.: 842139


Comisión Académica

Dr. D. Carlos Laliena Corbera (Coordinador), Dra. Dña. Encarnación Jarque Martínez, Dr. D. José Ignacio Gómez Zorraquino, Dra. Dña. María Narbona Cárceles, Lcda. Dña. Cristina M. García García (Doctoranda invitada)

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

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: 8

Specific Training Activities

In order to the admission of those candidates with a degree of 300 ECTS without a postgrade and, more specifically, for those that have not taken basic subjects in their degrees related with the topic of the Programme, the Academic Comission may provide, after the proposal of tutors/supervisors, individualized complementary courses, up to 18 credits. The aim is that the doctoral students acquire the basic skills required by the Programme.

The complementary courses are as follows. Candidates with a degree in History of Art, Spanish Studies, Anthropology, Sociology or other Human Sciences, that in their postgrades have not taken subjects related with Medieval or Early Modern History or Historiographic Sciences and Techniques, may take, with the proposal of the tutor/supervisor and according to the subject of their doctoral thesis, the complementary courses mentioned below.

The aim is to complete the knowledge about specific aspects of Medieval and Early Modern History and its research tools, for non-History graduates, and for those students with a History degree from a foreign University with a proper educational base, but in need of Medieval and Early Modern Hispanic History knowledge and competencies. Depending on the requirements of each candidate, the Comission will propose one or more of the following subjects:

a) Degree:

History of Early Middle Ages (5th-13th) (6 c.)

History of Late Middle Ages (13th-15th) (6 c.) 

Medieval Spain (6 c.)

Late Medieval History (16th) (6 c.)

Early Modern History (17th-18th) (6 c.)

Native and Colonial America (6 c.)

Paleography (6 c.)


Classical Languages: Latin (6 c.)

b) Master's degree

Techniques to read and understand History: social utility (6 c.)


Violence and conflicts in Middle Ages (6 c.)

Absolutism and Parlamentarism in Early Modern Age (6 c.)

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

Title: Conferencias Lacarra. Optative

Length: 25 hours

The skills are obtained across two methods of work and his evaluation: - Assistance to 8 seminars along the academic course (80 %). - Draft of a final test of bibliographical character, which shows the knowledge of the problems approached (20 %).

Title: Cultural History Seminar. Optative

Length: 25 hours

The skills are obtained across two methods of work and his evaluation: - Assistance to 8 seminars along the academic course (80 %). - Draft of a final test of bibliographical character, which shows the knowledge of the problems approached (20 %).

Title: Annual Doctoral Workshop. Obligatory

Length: 20 hours

Control proceedings: Reading a paper, that includes the research progress during the previous year, in a session and participating in the debate. The Academic Comission may excuse non-attendance due to employment commitments and remoteness.

Title: Research periods in international or national centers


The evaluation will need a report of the investigator principal or responsible for the center of reception and a Memory done by the researcher in order to explain the characterics of his work during this period and his importance in this formation and his thesis.


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

  • Medieval state development: medieval institutions, taxation and culture of power
  • Editing medieval and modern written fonts
  • Modern political thought: Forality and political constitutionalism
  • Arab and Islamic, medieval and modern studies
  • History of women in Spain and Latin America
  • Social history of Modern Spain
  • Medieval social history, with special reference to the Crown of Aragon
  • The formation of the Spanish internal market in the modern period
  • Modern minds: culture, party and celebration
  • Medieval and modern social minorities: Jews, Mudejars and Moors
  • Production, marketing and consumption in the late Middle Ages in the Crown of Aragon
  • Local power networks. The urban oligarchies
  • Religion and society. Religious discourses and opinion in the modern period
  • Medieval urban societies, processes of urban social change and prosopography of the elites

Research Teams

Historia, sociedad y cultura: Épocas Medieval y Moderna

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