The PhD programme in Audiovisual Communication and Advertising provides students with the competences and skills to conduct original, high-quality research in communication: the doctoral thesis.

The programme's highly-experienced teaching staff has pioneered high-quality, cutting-edge research. This is testified to by the over 120 PhD theses that have been defended, by the PhD graduates that have gone on to work in companies, national and international research centres and European and Latin-American universities, and by the participation of the programme's teaching staff in other national and international doctoral programmes.

The programme is organised around the lines of research of the consolidated research group Research Group in Image, Sound and Synthesis (GRISS), which are complemented by contributions from other lecturers in the Department of Audiovisual Communication and Advertising who are working on related lines of research. The GRISS is one of the UAB's consolidated groups, set up in 1980 and recognised by the Government of Catalonia (Grup 2009 SGR 1013).

The programme's predecessor, the PhD in Communication Content in the Digital Age, was recently presented for a Pathway to Excellence Award and was given a favourable report by the ANECA (the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain).

In recent years work has been done towards the transfer of knowledge to society, in response to the challenges facing both the scientific community and the professional and industrial sectors. This university-business-society connection is achieved through the different research projects in the PhD programme that have been given support from various institutions and companies.

Candidate profile

Priority will be given to students with university master's degrees in the area of audiovisual communication and advertising, or in other specialisations, such as design, art, journalism, architecture, humanities, sociology, psychology, etc.

Professional opportunities

These PhD studies prepare students for a wide variety of professions related to communication:

  • an academic career as university lecturers;
  • developing research and innovation projects in companies in the field of communication, advertising, journalism, telecommunications, communication policy, etc.;
  • consultancy or research services in both public and private institutions.

Objectives and justification

The PhD programme in Audiovisual Communication and Advertising trains up highly-qualified researchers, and employs quantitative, qualitative and experimental methodologies. The students analyse and interpret the complex universe involved in the conception, production, circulation and consumption of audiovisual communication and advertising content, with the aim of writing a doctoral thesis.

The dynamism and broad scope of our field requires a balance between basic and applied research and also a range of different approaches, which contributes to the rich intellectual environment that is essential for high-quality critical research. The learning that takes place must lead to a thesis that makes a contribution to knowledge on the chosen object of study, or else extends or challenges an existing theory.

Transferable competences:

  • Use bibliographic repertories, document archives, databases and audiovisual collections to obtain important information for the research.
  • Master search techniques that are appropriate for the variety of sources involved in the universe of communication.
  • Integrally understand, systematise, interrelate and analyse primary and secondary data from oral, written and audiovisual sources of different types.
  • Master the discipline's own techniques, especially those related to the chosen object of study.
  • Know the specific previous scientific production on the research topic.
  • Know the consolidated theory and current debates on the area of research.
  • Know the requirements of scientific research and meet these when designing, developing and presenting the thesis.
  • Present and disseminate research findings.

Research infrastructure

Besides the physical resources for teaching and research that the UAB provides for all its PhD programmes, students on this programme also have a large collection of books, periodicals and audiovisuals specialising in communication and advertising at their disposal in the Library of the Faculty of Communication Studies.

Infrastructures specific to the PhD in Audiovisual Communication and Advertising

PhD students have partial access to the workspaces, infrastructures, software and bibliographic resources used in the department’s many research projects. In addition, the consolidated research group GRISS has a research laboratory that allows the storage and processing of digital data and audiovisual signals. Students can also make use of the documentary collection of the Centre for Olympic Studies (CEO) and the Institute for Communication (InCom).

All these resources can assist students greatly in the process of writing their theses and in producing high-quality results.


María Gutiérrez García



Department of Audiovisual Communication and Advertising
Faculty of Sciencies Communication
De la Vinya Street
08193 Bellaterra

Tel.: 0034 93 581 15 45
Fax: 0034 93 581 20 05


Number of places available: 8
Fees: aprox. €540 per year View detail of the PhD's fees

Languages in which the thesis may be written:
English, Spanish and Catalan (It could be allowed other Romanic languages ​​upon acceptance of the Phd Commission)
Organising universities and institutions:
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Associated departments or institutes:
Department of Audiovisual Communication and Advertising

Collaborating institutions:
Collaboration agreements for joint international supervision PhD thesis with:
  • National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, Kiev, Ukraine.
  • Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3.
  • University of Vienna.
  • Karlstads Universitet.
  • Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos.

ERASMUS Conventions for Official Master’s Degrees student exchange with the Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen "Konrad Wolf" Potsdam-Babelsberg, Potsdam, Germany.

Social Sciences and Law

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