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Poland:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

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Overview Poland

Contents

Poland:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Poland:Historical Development

Poland:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Poland:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Poland:Political and Economic Situation

Poland:Organisation and Governance

Poland:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Poland:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Poland:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Poland:Organisation of Private Education

Poland:National Qualifications Framework

Poland:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Poland:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Poland:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Poland:Funding in Education

Poland:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Poland:Higher Education Funding

Poland:Adult Education and Training Funding

Poland:Early Childhood Education and Care

Poland:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Poland:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Poland:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Poland:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Poland:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Poland:Primary Education

Poland:Organisation of Primary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Poland:Assessment in Primary Education

Poland:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Poland:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Poland:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Poland:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Poland:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Poland:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Poland:Higher Education

Poland:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Poland:First Cycle Programmes

Poland:Bachelor

Poland:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Poland:Second Cycle Programmes

Poland:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Poland:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Poland:Adult Education and Training

Poland:Distribution of Responsibilities

Poland:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Poland:Main Providers

Poland:Main Types of Provision

Poland:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Poland:Teachers and Education Staff

Poland:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Poland:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Poland:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Poland:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Management and Other Education Staff

Poland:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Poland:Management Staff for Higher Education

Poland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Poland:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Quality Assurance

Poland:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Poland:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Educational Support and Guidance

Poland:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Poland:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Poland:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Poland:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Poland:Mobility and Internationalisation

Poland:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Mobility in Higher Education

Poland:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Poland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Poland:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Poland:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Poland:National Reforms in School Education

Poland:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Poland:National Reforms in Higher Education

Poland:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Poland:European Perspective

Poland:Legislation

Poland:Institutions

Poland:Glossary

Organisation of doctoral studies

Doctoral programmes, offered in university-type HEIs (uczelnia akademicka) and research institutions other than HEIs, prepare for the award of a doctoral degree (doktor or doktor of fine arts) in the areas and disciplines listed below.

The relevant Regulation defines the following areas of knowledge, fields of science and arts and scientific and artistic disciplines in which HEIs may provide third-cycle programmes:

  1. Area of knowledge: Humanities
    1. Field of science/arts: Humanities
      1. Archaeology
      2. Scientific information and library science
      3. Ethnology
      4. Philosophy
      5. History
      6. History of art
      7. Linguistics
      8. Cultural studies
      9. Family studies
      10. Art studies
      11. Management studies
      12. Religious studies
    2. Field of science/arts: Theology
  2. Area of knowledge: Social sciences
    1. Field of science/arts: Social sciences
      1. Safety studies
      2. Defence studies
      3. Media studies
      4. Politics studies
      5. Public policy studies
      6. Cognitive and social communication studies
      7. Education studies
      8. Psychology
      9. Sociology
    2. Field of science/arts: Economics
      1. Economics
      2. Finance
      3. Management studies
      4. Commodity science
    3. Field of science/arts: Law
      1. Administration studies
      2. Law
      3. Canon law
  3. Area of knowledge: Science
    1. Field of science/arts: Mathematics
      1. Mathematics
      2. Computer science
    2. Field of science/arts: Physics
      1. Astronomy
      2. Biophysics
      3. Physics
      4. Geophysics
    3. Field of science/arts: Chemistry
      1. Biochemistry
      2. Biotechnology
      3. Chemistry
      4. Environmental protection
      5. Chemical technology
  4. Area of knowledge: Natural sciences
    1. Field of science/arts: Biology
      1. Biochemistry
      2. Biophysics
      3. Biology
      4. Biotechnology
      5. Ecology
      6. Microbiology
      7. Environmental protection
    2. Field of science/arts: Earth sciences
      1. Geophysics
      2. Geography
      3. Geology
      4. Ocean studies
  5. Area of knowledge: Technology
    1. Field of science/arts: Technology
      1. Architecture and urban studies
      2. Automation and robotics
      3. Bio-cybernetics and biomedical engineering
      4. Biotechnology
      5. Machine building and exploitation
      6. Construction engineering
      7. Electronic engineering
      8. Electrical engineering
      9. Energy studies
      10. Geodesy and cartography
      11. Mining and engineering geology
      12. Computer science
      13. Chemical engineering
      14. Materials engineering
      15. Production engineering
      16. Environmental engineering
      17. Mechanical engineering
      18. Metallurgy
      19. Chemical technology
      20. Telecommunications
      21. Transport
      22. Textile engineering
  6. Area of knowledge: Agricultural, forestry and veterinary sciences
    1. Field of science/arts: Agricultural sciences
      1. Agronomy
      2. Biotechnology
      3. Agricultural engineering
      4. Environmental protection and management
      5. Horticulture
      6. Fisheries studies
      7. Food and nutrition technology
      8. Animal husbandry
    2. Field of science/arts: Forestry sciences
      1. Wood science
      2. Forestry
    3. Field of science/arts: Veterinary sciences
  7. Area of knowledge: Medical, health and physical culture sciences
    1. Field of science/arts: Medical sciences
      1. Medical biology
      2. Medicine
      3. Dentistry
    2. Field of science/arts: Pharmaceutical sciences
    3. Field of science/arts: Health sciences
    4. Field of science/arts: Physical culture sciences
  8. Area of knowledge: Art sciences
    1. Field of science/arts: Film studies
    2. Field of science/arts: Music studies
      1. Conducting
      2. Instrumental studies
      3. Composition and music theory
      4. Sound engineering
      5. Eurhythmics and dance studies
      6. Vocal studies
    3. Field of science/arts: Visual arts
      1. Fine arts
      2. Design studies
      3. Art conservation and restoration
    4. Field of science/arts: Theatre studies

Doctoral programmes in both HEIs and research institutions other than HEIs last between 3 and 4 years, the predominating model being a four-year programme. The exact duration of a doctoral programme is determined in regulations establishing such a programme in a given unit of an HEI or other research institution.

Curricula for doctoral programmes are developed by boards of the units providing such programmes in both HEIs and research institutions other than HEIs, and are approved by the authorities of a given institution. Curricula in both HEIs and other research institutions must specify the number of compulsory course hours to be attended, coursework to be completed and examinations to be passed in each year of study. In addition, doctoral students in HEIs are required to teach courses (for a maximum of 90 hours) as part of their practical training.

Admission requirements

Access to doctoral programmes, which are provided by university HEIs (uczelnia akademicka) and research institutions other than HEIs, is open to applicants who hold a Master's degree (magister) and fulfil admission conditions laid down by a given institution. Detailed admission conditions are defined by the board of the organisational unit authorised to provide doctoral programmes in a given institution, and must be published not later than by 31 May of the year preceding the academic year to which they refer.

Status of doctoral students/candidates

The Law on Higher Education defines a doctoral student as a participant in a doctoral programme. The statutes of an HEI specify the selection procedure and percentage share of representatives of academic teachers, doctoral students, students and non-academic staff to be members of the board of a basic organisational unit of an HEI. The percentage share of representatives of doctoral students and students in the board of a basic organisational unit may not be less than 20%. The number of representatives of doctoral students and students is determined in proportion to their numbers in both groups in the basic organisational unit, with students and doctoral students to be represented by at least one representative from each group.

Doctoral students have influence on the plans and curricula of doctoral programmes through opinions voiced by the relevant doctoral student self-government body.

The basic obligations of doctoral students include following the programme of doctoral studies, and conducting research and reporting on its progress. Doctoral students are also required to undertake practical training which involves teaching or participation in the teaching of classes. The maximum teaching load for a doctoral student is 90 class hours per year.

Doctoral students are entitled to holidays, in total not exceeding 8 weeks per year, which should be taken in periods when no classes are taught. They are also covered by social security and health insurance schemes.

A doctoral student may also receive financial support in the form of a maintenance grant, aid payment, scholarship for learning achievements, meals grant, accommodation grant or a special grant for the disabled. Full-time doctoral students may also be granted doctoral scholarships, amounting at least to 60% of the minimum basic wage of an assistant as specified in the regulations on salaries for academic teachers.

Supervision arrangements

Academic supervision of doctoral students is exercised by the student’s supervisor. Academic supervision may involve monitoring progress in the student's research work and providing advice and guidelines, including those concerning the preparation of the doctoral thesis and various aspects of research activity (publications, participation in conferences, etc.).

Employability

A large number of HEIs have established careers services/offices, drawing on the experience of their partner HEIs in other EU countries or more experienced HEIs in Poland, and/or in co-operation with the National Labour Office. Careers services provide information about jobs available for professionals in a given area, guidance in the choice of career paths and training for students or graduates as prospective job applicants. Moreover, students and graduates may obtain information and guidance from careers advisors working in public employment services and private employment agencies concerning the preparation of CVs and letters of motivation, behaviour during interviews, etc. (such meetings are frequently organised as group training sessions by careers services).

Pursuant to the 2011 amendments to the Law on Higher Education ,HEIs are obliged to monitor the career of their graduates in order to adapt their programmes and curricula to the needs of the labour market. The monitoring should take place, in particular, three and five years after graduation.

Co-operation between the higher education sector and the labour market is also supported by job fairs organised in many HEIs where employers present their job offers.

Assessment

Doctoral students in HEIs and research institutions other than HEIs are required to attend courses and take examinations provided for in the doctoral study regulations, to conduct research and submit reports on the progress in research, and to prepare their doctoral dissertation. Doctoral students in HEIs are also required to teach classes in a given organisational unit of their HEI. Examinations are conducted by the academic teacher (in HEIs) or research staff member (in other research institutions) responsible for a given course/type of classes. The progress in research and the preparation of a doctoral dissertation is assessed by the supervisor of a doctoral student (academic teacher/researcher holding a post-doctoral degree /doktor habilitowany/ or a professorial title /profesor/ in a given or related area) or a different authorised body. The teaching of classes by doctoral students in HEIs is assessed by the supervising academic teacher. Detailed arrangements are laid down in doctoral study regulations adopted by the unit in an HEI/research institution providing a given doctoral programme.

Progression of students

Detailed rules for progressing and taking examinations are laid down in the doctoral study regulations by the units of HEIs and research institutions other than HEIs which provide doctoral programmes. In order to be admitted to the final stage leading to the award of a doctoral degree (doktor), applicants (students following a doctoral programme or other applicants because enrolment on a doctoral programme is not a precondition for the award of this degree) are required to pass doctoral examinations as decided by the board of a given unit and to submit their doctoral dissertation.

A student enrolled on a doctoral programme may be struck from the register of doctoral students in cases where he/she has not passed examinations provided for in the curriculum, has not demonstrated any progress in research or the preparation of the doctoral dissertation or has not submitted reports on the progress in his/her work. Such decisions are taken by the head of a given doctoral programme.

Certification

Upon completion of a doctoral programme, students are awarded a certificate of completion of a doctoral programme (świadectwo ukończenia studiów doktoranckich) in accordance with a specimen defined in a regulation by the minister responsible for higher education after consultation with the Central Commission for Academic Degrees. However, as mentioned in the previous sections, enrolment on a doctoral programme is not a precondition for the award of a doctoral degree (doktor). It may be awarded to a person who fulfils the following conditions:

  • holds a Master's degree (magister) degree or an equivalent degree;
  • has successfully passed doctoral examinations, the precise scope of which is determined by the board of a given organisational unit; such examinations cover the core discipline corresponding to the topic of the doctoral dissertation, an additional discipline and a modern foreign language;
  • has submitted and successfully defended a doctoral dissertation (public defence).

Doctoral dissertation defence takes place in public – except the examination committee, the doctoral supervisor and reviewers, anyone can sit in the audience. An announcement about a forthcoming defence is usually issued, together with the research summary and the reviews. When defending the dissertation, the author presents key theses of the research, and reviewers voice their opinions and questions. The discussion is open for everyone. Once it is finished, the committee decides about the award of a doctoral degree.

A doctoral degree (including an equivalent degree in fine arts) is awarded in a given area and discipline. All proceedings leading to the award of a doctoral degree are conducted, and the degree is awarded, by the faculty board in a HEI or the academic board in another research institutions. A resolution awarding a doctoral degree becomes valid immediately after its adoption by a given faculty/academic board.

Organisational variations

Doctoral programmes may be offered by organisational units of an HEI which is authorised to award a post-doctoral degree (doktor habilitowany) or to award a doctoral degree (doktor) in at least two different disciplines of a given area of science. Doctoral studies may also be provided jointly by several organisational units. The tasks of the individual organisational units involved and financial arrangements for a given doctoral programme are specified in an agreement between these units.

Pursuant to the 2011 amendments to the Law on Higher Education, HEIs are obliged to monitor the career of their graduates in order to adapt their programmes and curricula to the needs of the labour market. The monitoring should take place, in particular, three and five years after graduation.

Detailed arrangements concerning distance learning are defined in the Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 25 September 2007 on the conditions for classes as part of degree programmes to be conducted using distance learning methods and techniques, as amended by the Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 9 May 2008. If an HEI plans to provide programmes based on distance learning, it must fulfil a range of requirements with respect to: the employment of academic staff trained in such techniques and methods of teaching; the installation of appropriate equipment and programmes; the availability of electronic teaching materials; ensuring meetings with academic supervisors; continuing and periodic evaluation of students; and the monitoring of academic teachers conducting distance learning classes. The number of class hours for full-time and part-time programmes based on distance learning may not be greater than: 80% of the total number of class hours as specified in the programme requirements for individual fields and levels of study, excluding practical and laboratory classes, in the case of HEI units authorised to award post-doctoral degrees; and 60% in the case of HEI organisational units authorised to award doctoral degrees.