Doctoral degrees - PhD Programmes

For all information on the PhD Programme in Historical, Geographical, Anthropological Studies, visit the PHD course web site and the specific page on the university site.

The PhD Programme in Historical, Geographical, Anthropological Studies

The doctoral programme in Historical, Geographical, Anthropological Studies (University of Padova, University of Ca’ Foscari Venice, University of Verona) was introduced in 2011, and is among the first regional Ph.D. programmes in Italy. It aims at enhancing and coordinate the skills and areas of research developed in the three Universities of Padova, Ca’ Foscari Venice and Verona, extending the territorial scope and increasing the opportunities for dialogue and scholarly debate among teachers and doctoral students. This union emerges from the strong academic links of the three Universities at individual level, and from numerous joint activities (seminars, research, tutorials) established in the past in the three doctoral schools of Veneto in the disciplines of History, Geography, Anthropology and Historical Religious Studies.

The Course intends to be a landmark, at a national and international level, for the training of young researchers and of teachers in these disciplines. The presence, within the Course, of scientific areas such as history, physical and human geography and cultural anthropology aims at stimulating, in the research of doctoral students, the learning and mastering of specific methodologies and the habit of posing open questions about the potential for cross-links both among the disciplines related to humanities research, and between the humanities and the hard-sciences. The Course can assure the doctoral students of a complete training which, each institution, would find it difficult to offer independently. Each candidate who is successful in the final examination will be awarded the title of Philosophy Doctor, and the diploma shall be awarded jointly by the Rectors of the three Universities.

The Programme foresees the following areas of study:
- Historical Studies (at the University of Padova) (at the University of Ca' Foscari Venice) (at the University of Verona)
- Geographical Studies (at the University of Padova)
- Historical and Religious Studies and Antropology (at the University of Padova) (at the University of Ca' Foscari Venice) (at the University of Verona)

Universities and Partner Departments

Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and the Ancient World, University of Padova
Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, University of Ca' Foscari Venice
Dipartimento Culture e Civiltà, University of Verona

Duration, admission and scholarships

Students are expected to complete their work within 3 years. An extention may be granted is the case the writing of the dissertation needs additional work. About 12 students enter the programme every year, they are selected among 250 candidates. The Programme aims at selecting the best candidates applying from all over the country as well as from abroad. Admission is made on a competitive basis and is open to persons of all ages and citizenship who have either an Italian Diploma di Laurea (vecchio ordinamento) or Laurea Specialistica/Magistrale (nuovo ordinamento), awarded in Italy, or an academic qualification of equivalent level awarded by a foreign university and recognized by academic authorities, or by an interuniversity agreement of cooperation and mobility. Competitions are held annually, with details being published within the Summer of each year. Courses commence the following Autumn (for 2015, courses start in early October).


China Scholarship Council (CSC) grants available for Chinese Students
The Call for applications expires in January every year

The China Scholarship Council (CSC) offers one scholarship per academic year to a candidate from the People’s Republic of China who may be interested in carrying out his/her research within the PhD Programme in Historical, Geographical, Anthropological Studies.

For details please visit:
If you have any questions about the scholarship scheme, please contact
Download a promotional leaflet presenting the Programme and the PhD course (in English and Chinese).


Most available positions are supported by scholarships from the University of Padova, the University of Ca’ Foscari Venice and the University of Verona or from other institutions (awarded on the basis of qualifications only). The annual scholarship amounts around 13,638 euros. For periods of study abroad (up to 18 months) the scholarship value is increased by 50%. Moreover, the Course contributes to travel and living expenses abroad, subject to budget availability. Special additional grants for non-Italian students (awarded on the basis of qualifications only) are awarded by the CARIPARO Foundation. These grants include all University and Department fees, full board at University accommodation facilities and provide an additional personal scholarship of 13,638 Euros per year for a total of 3 years.

The call for applications is available here.
For any additional information, please contact

Study Programme

The teaching consists of 120 hours of instruction for each student in the period given by internal and external teachers, coming from both Italian and foreign universities. The lessons are mainly addressed to first year students (90 hours) and to second year students (30 hours), that should give more freedom to third year students, more engaged in the writing of their dissertation. During their first year, students with an English language level B2 participate in the course of Academic English, which should improve their ability to express themselves in academic contexts, both orally and in writing. All students also participate in the GIS course on  in the Intercomprehension language (French and Spanish) course.

The teaching activity is organized as follows:

A group of lectures and seminars on topics of introductory character on common areas of interest:
- lectures on bibliographic tools and electronic resources, web sites and search engines devoted to the historical, geographical anthropological disciplines ; on the techniques of presentation and display of a research ( power point , posters, abstracts) , on the Italian and European university policy on job opportunities in the field of research and professions;
- Seminar Course, for all students, which aims at addressing the scientific issues related to the use of historical sources, the development of methodological and historiographical interpretations and the interrelationship between natural processes and human actions;
Cycles of specialized seminars, directed preferably to groups of thematically homogeneous graduate students;
Seminars focusing on the themes of research of PhD students, who have to get used to the presentation and public discussion of their subjects in front of their colleagues and of the teaching staff of the PhD Course.

Research Areas

During the first year PhD candidates start their own research programme to be developed during the second and third year.

The Course teaching Board assigns a supervisor to each PhD student, who guides and directs the research program. Original research results should be presented in the PhD dissertation, at the end of the third year, to be discussed both in front of the teaching Board and (subject to positive evaluation by the Board) in front of a Committee composed by Italian and foreign experts on the thesis topic. Intermediate results are to be presented every six months. During the second and third year up to 18 months can be spent at an University or other highly qualified institution abroad. In this case the grant is 50% more, for the whole period spent abroad. The thesis can be written either in Italian or in English.

Broad areas of research include:
SOCIETY AND CULTURAL REPRESENTATIONS: the study of identity and identity construction (national and international, professional, religious, racial, family, intergenerational), rules and law, public and private sociability. Ritual and religious practices. The history of spirituality.
POLITICS AND ITS FUNCTIONING: institutions (civil and ecclesiastical), the history of communication, of public opinion, military history, colonialism and post-colonialism.
SOCIAL HISTORY AND ANTHROPOLOGY OF TANGIBLE AND INTANGIBLE HERITAGE: ethnographic museums, understanding the natural environment, the history and anthropology of the countryside (natural and semi-natural), the history of business and of industrial heritage, cultural and religious transformation, the history and anthropology of cities, of migration and of the workforce.
ANALYSIS OF SPACIAL AND TERRITORIAL PROCESSES: the dynamics of the physical environment; the impact of man on the physical environment, (climatic variations, geomorphological processes, and population), the development and sustainability of projects within the country; studies and presentations of the countryside; the produce of a locality. The historical, geographical and anthropological problems of globalization: technology, politics, ethics.



PHD Office

Elisabetta Traniello
Palazzo Jonoch Gulinelli, ground floor
Via del Vescovado, 30 - 35141 Padova, Italy
Tel. +39 049 827 8520