According to the curriculum, doctoral candidates have to obtain 30 ECTS credits to complete the doctoral programme in Social Sciences. At least 20 ECTS credits must be obtained through courses from the doctoral programme of our Faculty (SPL 40). All activities which are linked to the doctoral thesis (attending academic workshops, holding presentations at international conferences, subject-related aspects in the organisation of academic events, academic practical courses, teaching, participation in research projects, etc.) may be considered achievements relevant to the Curriculum.

Before the conclusion of the doctoral thesis agreement, doctoral candidates may complete courses with continuous assessment comprising 10 ECTS credits. (If you have started your doctoral studies before the winter semester of 2020/21 and plan to submit your doctoral thesis soon but would face a delay due to this requirement, please contact

  • All courses in the doctoral programme in Social Sciences are multidisciplinary in nature, i.e. they are open to doctoral candidates of all fields of doctoral research related to the doctoral programme in Social Sciences. Courses can focus on one or several disciplines by defining key focuses. Research colloquia are particularly suited for a focus on specific disciplines.
  • All courses offered as part of the doctoral programme in Social Sciences are courses with continuous assessment. A course with continuous assessment constitutes an examination which covers the entire duration of the course and includes at least two oral or written partial achievements to be completed.
  • Doctoral candidates obtain 5 ECTS credits for every course allocated to the doctoral programme in Social Sciences that they successfully complete.
  • Courses may be held in German or English. If possible, students should be allowed to complete partial achievements in a language other than the language of instruction (e.g. a German paper in an English-language seminar).
  • After the end of the registration period, the StudiesServiceCentre Social Sciences/Doctoral Studies checks whether students fulfil the prerequisites for the relevant course.

Types of courses

Type Description Prerequisites
Introduction course for early stage doctoral candidates The introduction course aims at preparing doctoral candidates for the public presentation at the Faculty (FÖP) through feedback from peers and lecturers. The course focuses on writing the research proposal and on the presentations of the research proposals. The introductory course is always offered in English to enable as many doctoral candidates as possible to participate. Doctoral candidates who plan to write their doctoral thesis in German and/or who plan to hold their public presentation at the Faculty in German may also submit a German research proposal and present their proposal in German. Introductory courses can focus on qualitative or quantitative methods. In addition to the introduction course, the Vienna Doctoral School of Social Sciences organises peer mentoring by postdoctoral researchers from the Faculty of Social Sciences. none; participation only possible if the public presentation at the Faculty (FÖP) was not yet successfully completed
Research colloquium A research colloquium focuses on the presentation and discussion of doctoral thesis projects with peers and the lecturer. They can have a subject-specific focus in order to ensure the compatibility of doctoral projects with disciplinary parametres. none
Theory seminar Theory seminars focus on the presentation and discussion of current theories and research approaches in the social sciences. These courses convey the foundations of theoretical debates, linking these to empirical case studies where possible or relevant. Theory seminars either focus on the participants’ research projects or are based on the respective academic literature (reading seminar). none
Methods seminar Methods seminars focus on qualitative, interpretative and/or quantitative procedures of data collection and data analysis. Participants learn how to develop their own conceptual and empirical approach, how to compare it to other approaches and, if relevant, how to combine different approaches. → Methods seminars that are offered on a regular basis none
Advanced methods seminar for doctoral candidates at an advanced stage Methods seminars may be offered as ‘advanced seminars’ if they serve the in-depth study of a specific methodological approach. These courses are aimed at doctoral candidates who have already successfully presented their research proposal at the doctoral advisory board and have completed their doctoral thesis agreement. → Advanced methods seminars that are offered on a regular basis Conclusion of the doctoral thesis agreement; in addition, subject-specific previous knowledge may be required. If this is the case, lecturers have to specify these prerequisites in the course directory.
Research workshop for doctoral candidates at an advanced stage Research workshops are aimed at supporting doctoral candidates with the analysis of empirical material that they have already collected and based on the methods specified in the research proposal. Lecturers offer solution-oriented guidance and participants support each other by providing intensive peer feedback. Research workshops may also extend over two semesters. → Research workshops that are offered on a regular basis Conclusion of the doctoral thesis agreement

Visiting scholars

The ViDSS strengthens education and international networking of doctoral candidates by organising and promoting seminars and guest lectures and international workshops by/with scholars from outside the University of Vienna.

Course registration

If you would like to attend courses with continuous assessment, you have to register via u:space.

You cannot attend courses with continuous assessment without registering. Places for courses with a limited number of participants are allocated according to a preference system.

You have to attend the first unit of the course, even if you registered for it. If you do not attend the first class without excuse, your place will be given to people on the waiting list. You can deregister from the course until the end of the deregistration period. If you do not deregister within the relevant deregistration period, or if you drop out of the course without giving a valid reason, you fail the course.