Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes


Italy - third cycle (PhD) programmes

The flag of Italy is a tricolour featuring three equally sized vertical pales of green, white and red
Country: Italy
Population (mln): 60,62
Official language/s: Italian
Internet TLD: .it
Calling code: +39
Member of the EU from: 25th March 1957
Unemployment rate Sep 2011 (%): 8.8
Unemployment rate under 25 years Sep 2011 (%): 30.4
Males enemployment rate Sep 2011 (%): 7.9
Females unemployment rate Sep 2011 (%): 10.2
Unemployment rate Sep 2012 (%): 35,9
Unemployment rate under 25 years Sep 2012 (%): 35.9
Males unemployment rate Sep 2012 (%): 10,2
Females unemployment rate Sep 2012 (%): 11.7
Population statistics 20-29 age group 2011 (%): 11
Country codes in education system: IT
Expected duration of education (years): 17

Postgraduate studies include Corsi di Dottorato di Ricerca-CDR (research doctorate programmes), Corsi di Specializzazione-CS (specialization courses) and Corsi di Master Universitario di 2° livello-CMU2 (second level university Master's degree courses). 1) CDR train postgraduates for very advanced scientific research or professional appointments at the highest level: they use suitable teaching methodologies such as updated technologies, study periods abroad, internships in specialized research centres. Access is based on an Italian second degree (LS/LM) or a comparable foreign qualification recognized as suitable and admission is subject to the passing of very competitive examinations. The official length of the programme is a minimum of three years. Students must write an original dissertation to be awarded the Dottorato di Ricerca-DR. 2) CS provide postgraduates with the knowledge and skills required for the practice of highly qualified professions. They may only be established in application of specific Italian laws or EU directives. Access is based on the LS/LM (second degree) or a comparable foreign qualification recognized as suitable. Admission may be subject to additional conditions. Courses last from two to 5/6 years in the health sector. 3) CMUs consist in advanced scientific courses or higher continuing education courses which are open to holders of an LS/LM or a comparable foreign qualification recognized as suitable. Admission may be subject to additional conditions. Studies last for a minimum of one year. The Master Universitario di 2° livello-MU2 is awarded to postgraduates who have obtained a minimum of 60 credits.

TRADITIONAL UNIVERSITY SYSTEM: Third level studies (Post-Lauream)  consisted in courses offered by Scuole di Specializzazione (specialization schools), Corsi di Dottorato di Ricerca (DR) (research doctorate programmes) and Corsi di Perfezionamento. The former aimed at professional training and academic education in specialized disciplines and the latter at advanced training in  research. The duration of studies at specialized schools was two to five years, depending on the field of specialization. A period of practical training was usually included, as well as some research activities. These courses were subject to a numerus clausus. They led to the award of the Diploma di Specializzazione, that gave the right to the title of Specialista in the field concerned. Entrance to DR programmes was based on very competitive examinations. The length of studies varied between three and four years as minimum law requirement. Since the latest DR reform (Art. 4 of Law 210/1998), the evaluation of candidates' performance once carried out by national examination boards, while the final titles were attributed by MURST, has become the responsibility of locally-appointed boards at individual university institutions; the DR title is now conferred by the Rector. Areas include Agriculture, Architecture, Economics, Pharmacy, Law, Engineering, Humanities, Modern Languages and Education, Biomedicine, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, Natural Sciences, Physics and Mathematics and Political Science. Corsi di Perfezionamento (CP) form a special branch of university studies. They should be classified as Post-Lauream (postgraduate) courses but their admission requirements may sometimes be an academic qualification below a Laurea degree. They also offer opportunities for professional retraining and for continuing education. The maximum duration of studies should not exceed one year. Attendance in Corsi di Perfezionamento used to lead to an Attestato di Corso di Perfezionamento and in some cases to a Diploma di Perfezionamento. This category used to include a considerable number of Master's programmes derived from the UK and US systems. The Italian Master's degrees had been adapted to the Italian system by making them third level university qualifications which, thanks to their problem-orientated approach and professional character, proved complementary to the theoretical contents of the long DL programmes.

Source: Eurydice,
Eurypedia - The European Encyclopedia on National Education Systems , Eurosta,, Agency for Science and Higher Education Croatia, Department of Education and Skills Irelan,  Ministry of Education and Culture - FINLAND

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