Placeholder image for Sustainability

Sustainability, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #314 (QS) Barcelona, Spain
The science and technology of sustainability is a field with a great capacity for integrating research disciplines. It offers the opportunity to understanding and solving problems that affect the welfare and development of peoples and societies but also in shaping a new analytical approach to our reality by integrating the perspectives of different disciplines and those of agents of change.
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The aim of this doctoral programme is for students to acquire research skills in the field of sustainability. In particular, it covers the following fields laid down in the Catalan government’s 2010-2013 Research Plan: mitigation and adaptation to climate change; water management and planning for sustainable use; energy efficiency and decentralised renewable energy; buildings, cities and regions for living, creating value and coexisting; and development of materials, production systems and eco-products with innovative designs.

Competencies that students must acquire:

  • Capacity for a systematic understanding of a field of study and mastery of the skills and research methods related to the field.
  • Ability to conceive, design, create, implement and take a substantial research with academic accuracy.
  • Capacity of making a contribution through original research that extends frontiers of knowledge.
  • Ability to make a critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas.
  • Capacity to communicate with their colleagues, the academic community as a whole and society in general about their areas of expertise.
  • Ability to promote, in academic and professional contexts, scientific progress, technological, social or cultural progress, in a society based on knowledge.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Languages
    • Partially taught in English
    • Partially taught in Spanish
    • Partially taught in Catalan
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

This programme includes all the research and studies that address the current challenges of sustainability: 

  • exhaustion, distribution and management of natural resources (including energy and water)
  • climate change impacts and mechanisms for adaptation and mitigation
  • modelling of socio-environmental systems and assessment of their evolution and development
  • poverty and imbalances in urban and rural environments
  • technological innovation and concepts forming part of the construction, design and management of public and environmental services
  • preservation and promotion of environmental and cultural heritage and memories.

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

General Requirements

Admission requirements:
  • CV of academic, professional and research activities, and portfolio designs.
  • References to research projects completed and publications.
  • Pre-proposal of the subject of the thesis (description, aims, methodology, point of view and bibliography). Maximum of five pages.
  • Report by a lecturer backing the applicant.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    696 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 2082 EUR for the full programme and a duration of 36 months.
  • National

    696 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 2082 EUR for the full programme and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Barcelona

  • 770 - 1360 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Research employment advice and support unit

To meet the growing demand for funding support, the RESEARCH EMPLOYMENT ADVICE AND SUPPORT UNIT assists in the management of predoctoral and postdoctoral grants and scholarships (official UPC grants, FPI grants from the Ministry of Science and Innovation, FPU grants from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport and FI grants from the AGAUR).

Enrolment aids

Large families with concession card

  • General category (3 or 4 children): a 50% reduction on the amount paid for academic university services (enrolment and administrative fees).
  • Special category (5 or more children): a 100% reduction on the amount paid for academic university services (enrolment and administrative fees).

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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