PhD Programme: Sociology


Area of Studies

social sciences



Degree (in English)


  • English
Course Duration

4 years

ECTS points

Four compulsory taught courses (each 60 hours)


Graduate School for Social Research Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences

Tuition and Other Fees

Students commencing full-time doctoral studies in GSSR will NOT be required to pay fees.
Stipends will be paid to all new students regardless of the applicant’s country/region;

Application Deadline(s)

For details see

Course Description

Course Profile

In 2019 under the provisions of the new law on higher education and science, the GSSR in the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences became the home of a new doctoral school in cooperation with two other institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Institutes of Psychology and of Political Studies. Doctoral students recruited by the three Institutes are members of a single interdisciplinary doctoral school. They will still defend their theses to be awarded doctorates in one of the four disciplines but will enjoy the benefits of working in a broader interdisciplinary environment.
The PhD programme lasts four years – the maximum period for such a programme normally allowed by Polish law (limited additional time is permitted for students interrupting their studies for various reasons). Students are required to follow a small number of compulsory courses in essential topics in their first two years, devoting the remaining two years entirely to research. Which compulsory courses are required depends on the discipline in which the PhD thesis will be defended. The GSSR offers four disciplines: philosophy, political studies, psychology and sociology
In addition to the compulsory courses, a range of optional courses is available to students who wish to 'broaden their horizons.' These are open to all doctoral students regardless of their chosen discipline.
Details of the courses are available on the School website.
In addition to the Individual Research Plan, each PhD student will work together with their supervisor each academic year to agree a programme of individual study for the next twelve months. In addition to compulsory courses taught in GSSR, students will be expected to join wherever possible a research project underway within one of the three participating Institutes (or, exceptionally, in an equivalent research centre). Your individual study programme should be designed by you in cooperation with your supervisor to ensure that you have the methodological skills and theoretical knowledge necessary for successful completion of your doctoral research and, for those who choose, for your further academic career. These skills and experience will be gained by participating in taught courses and the Institutes' research work.
On completion of the four years of the programme, in addition to completion of your doctoral research, you will have gained insight also into aspects of a research group's work, such as elaboration of a concept and its realization by the different stages of proposal writing, grant administration, preparation of work for publication, as well as the important 'soft skills' gained from working in a team.

Education Requirements

Any graduate of a Polish or foreign higher education institution with the degree of magisterium or its equivalent may apply to doctoral studies at the Graduate School for Social Research (GSSR). Students who have not yet been awarded the magisterium degree or equivalent may be conditionally accepted to the programme. The Director of the School will specify the maximum period for which a student may enjoy conditional status before presenting proof of award of the necessary degree.
Admission to the GSSR depends only on the applicants' academic qualifications, research skills, and command of English. Admission is not determined by the subject background of the candidate.
Knowledge of the English language is one of the basic conditions for admission to doctoral studies at GSSR. During the individual interviews, each candidate has to display a level of knowledge of the English language, allowing them to conduct research and take part in classes held in that language.