Doctoral Program in Sociology of Public and Social Policies


The Doctoral Program in Sociology of Public and Social Policies (SPPS) seeks to encourage critical reflection and academic research on the construction of a better society and a better democracy in which public space is seen as a non-transferable responsibility of citizens.

This program is linked to the Master in Sociology of Public and Social Policies and is the result of the collaboration among the departments of Psychology and Sociology, Economic Analysis, Accounting and Finance, Criminal Law, Public Economics and Business Organization.


Administrative support:

Secretaría del Departamento de Psicología y Sociología

Facultad de Economía y Empresa FCEE

Doctor Cerrada, 1-3. 50005 Zaragoza

Phone: 976761995 - Ext.: 841995


Basic Competences

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).


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

Program Specific Information

Oferta de plazas: 20

To apply for admission to the SPPS Program, candidates must submit, along with the application, a complete Curriculum Vitae and a brief statement (maximum of one page) in which he / she details the reasons why he / she wishes to join the program, their expectations regarding the same, the research field of interest and the subject that they want to deal with in the doctoral thesis, for which it is recommended to have the endorsement of a professor of the program.

Candidates who request to study the part-time program must add to the above a report in which they give an account of the reasons that lead them or force them to opt for this modality.

The Academic Committee of the Doctoral Program will evaluate and prioritize applications according to the following criteria:

  • Academic training: up to 30 points out of 100. The possession of the Master's degree in Sociology of Public and Social Policies (or equivalent) will count as 30 points out of 100. Possession of a Master's degree (or equivalent) in Sociology will be valued between 20 and 30 points out of 100. The possession of a Master's degree (or equivalent) in other areas of the social sciences may be valued between 10 and 20 points.
  • Academic record of the Master's studies: up to 30 points out of 100.
  • Research experience and scientific publications: up to 15 points out of 100.
  • Level of English and / or French, Italian or German: up to 10 points out of 100.
  • Academic stays in international venues: up to 5 points out of 100.
  • Other merits (professional experience, scholarships, grants and awards received): up to 10 points out of 100.

In the case of foreign students whose native language is not Spanish, it may be required to accredit knowledge of spoken and written Spanish comparable to the intermediate level of the Instituto Cervantes DELE.

Admission systems and procedures adapted to students with special educational needs derived from disability

Admission systems and procedures include adequate support and counseling services, which will assess the need for possible curricular adaptations, itineraries or alternative studies in accordance with the provisions of RD 99/2011)

Specific Training Activities

The Academic Committee may ask from candidates to take, in addition to the specific training of the doctoral program, training complements among the subjects of the Master's Degree in Sociology of Public and Social Policies or other pertinent courses up to 30 ECTS.

Periodo y procedimiento de matriculación

Thesis Supervision

The procedures for the supervision of doctoral students are set in article 11 of Royal Decree 99/2011, which regulates doctoral studies. 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 (info).

Other Specific Program Procedures

Requirements for the deposit of the doctoral thesis

Before requesting the deposit of the thesis, it is necessary to have approved the research plan for the current year, having uploaded the plan and obtained positive report of the director of the thesis onto the Sigma management platform.

A) Comply with the general requirements of the School of Doctorate

B) Comply with the specific requirements of the SPPS Program

Academic committee

The AC is integrated by the coordinator of the Program and 3 scholars, chosen by and among the professors of the program.

The AC is responsible for:

• Admission to the program

• Assignment of tutor and director

• Specific training activities

• Follow-up of the doctorate's training

• Evaluation of the annual research plan

• Authorization for the presentation of the thesis

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

The specific training activities of the program are open to SPPS students and also to those of other programs. To register, contact the person responsible for the activity.

The activities planned and suggested for the 2018-19 academic year are the following

Mandatory activities

 1st year students:

Presentation of thesis project and research plan,

May 20, 2019, at 9.00 in the SM-2 Seminar of the Faculty of Economics (Campus Paraíso).

Coordinator Mª José Bernuz:

Optional activities

Seminar "Postpolitics. About outraged and demopoiesis." (10 hours). June 4 to 8, 2019, from 4 to 6 pm. M2 Seminar, Faculty of Economics and Business. Contact: Prof. José Angel Bergua Amores (


Research Lines

  • Análisis, diseño y fundamentación de políticas públicas y sociales
  • Democracia y políticas públicas
  • Gestión y evaluación de políticas públicas

Research Teams

Democracia: políticas públicas y sociales

  • José Ángel Bergua Amores
  • Manuel Calvo García
  • Antonio Eito Mateo
  • Carmen María Elboj Saso
  • Francisco Javier García Marco
  • Pablo Emilio García Ruiz
  • Alessandro Gentile
  • Juan David Gómez Quintero
  • Iván López Pardo
  • Pau Vicent Mari Klose
  • Victor Manuel Montuenga Gómez
  • Ángel Daniel Oliver Lalana
  • David Pac Salas
  • María Victoria Sanagustín Fons
  • María Alexia Sanz Hernández

Diseño, gestión y evaluación de políticas públicas y sociales

  • María José Bernuz Beneitez
  • Santiago José Boira Sarto
  • Lucía Isabel García Cebrián
  • Andrés García Inda
  • Jesús García Martínez
  • Ana Isabel Gil Lacruz
  • Marta Gil Lacruz
  • María Josefa González Ordobás
  • Jaime Marcuello Servós
  • María del Carmen Marcuello Servós
  • José Mariano Moneva Abadía
  • José María Moreno Jiménez
  • Nuria del Olmo Vicen
  • María Teresa Picontó Novales

Academic Regulations

PhD Duration and Their Management Rules

Academic Calendar

Material Resources

The University of Zaragoza and the various departments and institutes, research groups and professors involved in the doctoral program offer the resources and suitable services for the realization of the doctoral thesis and its correct execution.

Further information: