Europe can be a global attraction of PhD candidates, as it offers diversity and world class research training opportunities. In most European countries the number of doctoral students (and eventually number of doctoral degrees awarded) has increased over the last 10 years. Germany produces one of the highest proportions of doctoral degrees holders in relation to the number of university graduates worldwide. To find a PhD in Europe, PhD students should be aware of how doctoral education is structured in the biggest European countries (in terms of number of doctoral degrees awarded).
Germany offers the so-called doctoral research project that can also be conducted at a non-university or industrial research institution. However, the dissertation has to be submitted to the university providing the doctoral programme.
In two countries, namely the UK and the Netherlands, PhD students may find a professional doctorate among the PhD programmes.The term Professional Doctorate is used to refer to research doctorates with a focus on applied research, or research as used for professional purposes. Among others, these include the degrees of Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and some others in various specified professional fields.
In Spain doctoral candidates have the chance to be employed by the institution, or have the status of the student. Depending on the university, PhD students may also work in the private sector.
For PhD candidates searching for a PhD in France, doctoral departments (écoles doctorales) offer doctoral programmes. Every department is affiliated to a university or other higher education insitution. The doctoral departments at each higher education institution represent multiple research teams from one or more institutions.
For more information on available PhD programmes and research projects in Europe you can use our PhD programme search-engine.