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Doctoral studies

In the Berlin Communiqué (2003), the European Ministers considered it necessary to go beyond the focus on two main ↑cycles of higher education and to include the doctoral level as the third cycle in the ↑Bologna Process.[1] Doctoral studies usually form the third cycle of academic studies leading to degrees such as "PhD" or "Dr.". In the Bergen Communiqué (2005) it is stated that "doctoral level qualifications need to be fully aligned with the EHEA overarching framework for qualifications using the outcomes-based approach. The core component of doctoral training is the advancement of knowledge through original research."[2] Moreover, in the Bergen Communiqué (2005) "the need for structured doctoral programmes and the need for transparent supervision and assessment" is considered and it is noted that "the normal ↑workload of the third cycle in most countries would correspond to 3-4 years full time". The European Ministers "urge universities to ensure that their doctoral programmes promote interdisciplinary training and the development of transferable skills, thus meeting the needs of the wider employment market". They also state that "[o]verregulation of doctoral programmes must be avoided".[3] The level of qualification that has to be reached with a doctoral degree is described within the European ↑qualifications framework.[4] According to this framework, a doctoral degree should be awarded to "students who: -  have demonstrated a systematic understanding of a field of study and mastery of the skills and methods of research associated with that field; -  have demonstrated the ability to conceive, design, implement and adapt a substantial process of research with scholarly integrity; -  have made a contribution through original research that extends the frontier of knowledge by developing a substantial body of work, some of which merits national or international refereed publication; -  are capable of critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas; -  can communicate with their peers, the larger scholarly community and with society in general about their areas of expertise; -  can be expected to be able to promote, within academic and professional contexts, technological, social or cultural advancement in a knowledge based society."[5]
Related term:
↑European Higher Education Area (EHEA)

[1] Berlin, p. 7.

[2] Bergen, p. 4.

[3] Bergen, p. 4.

[4] Cf. Qualifications.

[5] Cf. Qualifications, pp. 68-69.

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