Individual or structured doctoral studies?

There are two possible ways to obtain a doctoral degree at the University of Münster: either as an individual doctorate, or in a structured doctoral programme. Different departments at our University have different doctoral study cultures. The decision about the type of doctoral study strongly depends on your department and your dissertation topic.

The video "How to obtain your PhD in Germany" illustrates the two ways.

  • Individual doctoral studies

    Individual doctoral supervision scheme is a traditional way of pursuing a doctoral degree, especially in the humanities and social sciences. In this case, a doctoral supervisor helps a doctoral candidate choose a research topic on which the doctoral candidate works either independently or in a research team. The doctoral regulations (Promotionsordnung) may presume various events, courses, conferences or other similar accomplishments that have to be fulfilled in addition to the dissertation itself. Such elements may be ommitted from other doctoral regulations, meaning that doctoral candidates may focus solely on their dissertation.

  • Doctoral studies in a structured doctoral programme

    Structured doctoral study programmes focus on specific research topics that are built into different projects. Regular exchange amongst fellow doctoral candidates about own doctoral work generates new ideas which are beneficial to their projects. Admission to a structured programme is preceded by a strict application process. Doctoral candidates usually have more than one supervisor, all of who are members of one supervision committee.

    Doctoral studies in a structured doctoral programme involve disciplinary and cross-disciplinary elements (events, courses, conferences or other activities) that have to be completed in addition to working on one's own project. Here [en] is a list of structured doctoral programmes at the University of Münster.