• Duration: 3 years
  • Admission: academic qualifications and interview
  • Contact persons: Prof. Paolo Trovato; Prof.ssa Marta Arzarello
  • Head office: Ferrara
  • Internationalisation: an agreement between Università di Ferrara and Pontificia Universidade Católica do Paranà (Curitiba – Brasile) is established for an International Joint PhD programme. 
  • Final Ph.D title: Ph.D Doctor in Humanities - A double degree is awarded to students enrolled in the Joint PhD Programme between Università di Ferrara and Pontificia Universidade Católica do Paranà (Curitiba – Brasile). Website

The course aims to train young researchers with an excellent scientific profile in the human sciences. Cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary approaches favoured by involvement of teachers from foreign universities, aim to prepare professionals who: have a solid knowledge of individual and collective cultures and behaviors; know how to interpret cultural heritage, both material and non, from the most remote stages of prehistory to current productions; are able to communicate and interact fruitfully with specialists from different sectors. The PhD program integrates perfectly into companies that are increasingly giving importance to the professional figures operating in the human sciences.

In accordance with the forecast of occupational and professional needs in Italy (2019-2023), the SUM doctorate takes into account both the "expansion demand" and the "replacement demand" and aims to train specialists in the following areas: specialist and intellectual professions scientific and managerial professions in the public and private sectors (estimated need between 140,000 and 149,000,000 units over the next five years).

  • Curricula:
  1. Prehistory and History
  2. Signs, Texts and Interpretations

  • Training program:

The doctorate is divided into two curricula that deal with issues related to the different and multiple aspects that define the Man. Both curricular offer a series of courses, partly borrowed from the Master's degree courses and generally set up specifically, cycles of meetings and seminars involving the active participation of the PhD students and the intervention of internal and external professors at the University, that guarantee basic training.

An adequate specialized training is planned through attendance of schools, courses, placements in public and / or private institutions and internships abroad; from the second year there will also be the participation in national and international conferences and the presentation of the results of the research of the PhD students in the most appropriate conference venues. Transversal activities (language courses, informatics, communication techniques and seminar talks) at compulsory attendance will be organized by the Istituto Studi Superiori of Ferrara (IUSS) and macroarea activities are planned to stimulate and develop the multidisciplinary knowledge among the different area doctorates humanities.

The assessment of learning will take place through individual interviews, class discussions, oral reports, written exercises, workshops and by presenting a card with the activities carried out and a written report on the progress of the research. At the end of each academic year, the College will decide to admit the following year, after a positive evaluation of the activities carried out.

At the end of the doctoral course, each doctoral student will have to present the results achieved to the entire Teaching Committee for admission to the final exam, whose judgment will be entrusted to an external Commission.

Research topics:

The curriculum Prehistory and History is focused on the study of the evolution of man, of environments and cultures in a diachronic perspective. Thanks to the contribution of several disciplines (anthropology, archaeology, geology, paleobotany, palaeontology, ancient and modern history and history of science) the students will be able to integrate theoretical and experimental approaches (numerous laboratories, archaeological sites run by members of the college).

The curriculum Signs, Texts and Interpretations allows to acquire transversal knowledge in the analysis of language and other systems of signs. The historical perspective allows us to interpret texts and signs of different languages and periods with tools provided by history and literary theories, philology, artistic disciplines and entertainment, aesthetics, philosophy, anthropology, education sciences.

Within the curriculum "Signs, Texts and Interpretations" a Joint Program is active with the Doctoral School in Philosophy of the Pontifical Universidade Catòlica do Parana in Curitiba, (Brazil): "Transcendental philosophy: stories and forms".

This course, which is financed with a dedicated scholarship that involves 12 months of mobility abroad over the 3 years, concludes with the simultaneous acquisition of the Italian and Brazilian doctorate degree.

More information on the joint path is available at this link