About our doctoral programme

About our doctoral programme


Subject 1.1.4 Education

Guarantor: Prof. PhDr. Branislav Pupala, CSc.
Co-guarantors: Doc. PhDr. Gabriel Bianchi, CSc., Doc. PaedDr. Ondrej Kaščák, PhD., prof. PhDr. Ivan Lukšík, CSc., prof. PhDr. Oľga Zápotočná, CSc.

Level of study: third (PhD)
Form and length of study: full-time (three years), part-time (five years)
Academic qualification awarded: Philosphiae doctor (PhD)

This doctoral programme is accredited as a joint programme between the Department of Preschool and Elementary Education at the Faculty of Education, Trnava University, and the Institute of Research in Social Communication at SAS.

Doctoral programme and graduate profiles

School education is an established and relevant part of academic thought in the field of education, and it covers the wide range of issues in school education at various degrees of generality without being limited to the education levels determined by the structure of the school system. The School Education programme is conceptually based around academic knowledge on schools, school systems, thinking and research in teaching in such a way that it covers the matrix of knowledge representing specific areas of current knowledge on schools, school education, its external contexts and internal activities.

Students who graduate from this programme will be trained to undertake academic work in school education. The main aim is to provide students with the theoretical training and methodological insights that will enable them to perceive schools and school education as a pertinent area of education knowledge and as the subject of interdisciplinary research. Future graduates will also be able to participate (methodologically, developmentally and conceptually) in improving the work schools do at all education levels, but especially within “regional education”. Through their studies students will receive a sufficient multidisciplinary theoretical grounding in school education that gives them a thorough grasp of schools and school education as seen through philosophical, sociological, political and education concepts and perspectives. They will obtain the foundations that will enable them to take a critical view of education policymaking and to make decisions regarding the application of education policy and education research in school work, especially in relation to school teaching and teaching assessments.

Graduates who undertake doctoral studies in school education will be able to take up positions as academic researchers at the education ministry or as university lecturers, primarily in teacher education but also as highly trained experts in teaching practice. This is an area that will soon require highly specialised and qualified individuals to draft quality school education programmes and specially tailored education projects, which will be important in developing the school sector as emphasised in current education policy. The doctoral programme should also be seen as part of the career path for teachers and teaching staff development, as the skills developed on the school education programme are precisely those required in a qualified and specialist career profile. Future graduates of this school education postdoctoral programme will be capable of making a substantial contribution to the theoretical development of school education as a discipline in education studies, but equally they will be able to contribute to good teaching practice through having the knowledge and skills to apply education policy requirements in specific schools or school regions.

Selection of candidates

The basic requirement for acceptance onto the doctoral programme is that applicants should hold an MA degree in either teaching, education or education science. Graduates who hold degrees in other related subjects (e.g. philosophy, psychology, sociology), who can prove a link between their existing professional interest in education and teaching (e.g. through publications or work experience) may also apply. The selection process involves:

  • a test of language skills in world languages
  • a test of academic writing skills
  • a test of study skills and subject knowledge

Information about the selection process for doctoral studies, as well as thesis topics and application deadlines is made available by the Dean’s Office at the Faculty of Education, Trnava University in Trnava, during the summer semester of each academic year – http://pdf.truni.sk/uchadzac

Further detail on the programme (creating student study plans, organisation of the thesis exam, thesis defence) and other conditions of study are contained within the Trnava University Course Regulations for the Faculty of Education and in other internal regulations (especially, Doctoral Study Rules, no. 1/2011). http://pdf.truni.sk/download?dolezite/smernica-PdF-TU-1-2013-o-doktorandskom-studiu.pdf