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Doctoral Programme (PhD)  

The PhD is an advanced research degree, awarded on the basis of a thesis and an oral viva voce examination. The primary purpose of the PhD is the preparation and presentation of a substantial piece of independent and original academic research, completed in three years.

Every PhD student is supported by a supervisor.

Throughout the three years course, students must attend the Doctorate’s lectures and workshops in their subject area of research to share their work and collaborate with visiting speakers, academic and peers.

Historical Studies  

Ca' Granda

Research themes and objectives

The themes of the doctoral programme cover a chronological span that runs from the history of the late classical period to the contemporary age, with particular focus on political, cultural, economic, religious and institutional history. The programme also develops studies on the history of ideas, science, publishing, political thought, archival training and palaeography.

The principal objective of the doctoral trajectory is to provide PhD students with the tools for the advancement of the historian’s craft in terms of methodology and in the correct analysis of the sources. Under their supervisors’ guidance, doctoral students will need first of all to acquire historical sensibility and a solid knowledge of the nature and development of historical events; moreover, they will need to demonstrate their knowledge of the historical and historiographical debate in the appropriate context. Through specific tools (bibliography, archival sources, printed primary sources, etc) PhD students will be able to provide by the end of their third year a solid thesis, which will demonstrate their capacity for a critical and conscious interpretation of complex historical events.

The doctoral programme also aims to connect the students with the wider international research context, both by establishing contacts with universities and research centres abroad (many co-supervisory arrangements are in place), and by including in the postgraduate board historians based at the most prestigious international universities (in France, Germany, Britain, Japan, the US and Brazil).

Research environment

The doctoral programme can count on a specialised research library with more than 350.000 volumes, a patrimony that is constantly updated, and with access to many other resources – both hardcopy and in electronic format: periodicals, data banks, encyclopaedias, dictionaries etc.

The Historical Science library also provides PhD students with dedicated study space, computers for catalogue research, and one meeting room.

The Department of Historical Studies provides technical equipment (computer, printer, photocopier, telephone, screen for projections etc), one shared office and one conference room.

Moreover, PhD students have free access to the University’s facilities such as IT laboratories, study rooms, libraries, and to the wifi network Eduroam.

Training programme

The PhD in Historical Science includes training activities in the field of historical disciplines that involve members of the postgraduate board, both from our university and from other universities abroad (among the board members are colleagues from the following countries: France, Germany, the US, Britain, Japan and Brazil). Lectures are also held by scholars from other Italian and international universities invited as visiting professors by the Department of Historical Studies.

Every year subjects that are functional for the scientific and cultural itinerary of PhD students are taught, in order to provide new knowledge and skills. The teaching on offer is evaluated each year and included in the University catalogue for PhD training. The doctoral students’ training will also be enhanced thanks to their own participation to seminars, meetings and study days organised by the doctoral programme and by the department as well as by other institutes within the University of Milan. An important landmark of the doctoral training is the annual upgrade: it is a moment of evaluation, but also of discussion with the members of the postgraduate board. All PhD students are requested to present their work to its members, both internal and from other Italian and international universities. The protagonists of these study days are both PhD students from the programme in Milan and the many based at universities abroad with shared supervision.

PhD Coordinator: Daniela Saresella 

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