The courses for the PhD in Geography began in 1977-1978 but the first actual formal PhD programme in Geography was first offered in 1986-1987. Initially, the programme was called PhD in Geography but in 1994-1995 it was divided into two options: Human Geography, which continued the traditional programme, and Demography, offered by the Centre for Demographic Studies (CED) at the UAB.
In 1999-2000, the option of Demography became an independent programme and since then this PhD programme is officially “Geography”. In 2003-2004 it received the Quality award from the Ministry of Education and Science (MEC) and which it maintained until 2007-2008.
From 2006-2007 the official Master’s degree in Regional Studies and Population has been offered and has absorbed the taught part of the postgraduate phase whereas the PhD has become the stage for research and the production of the PhD thesis. During 2011-2012, the official PhD programme in Geography (RD1393/2007) obtained the prestigious Pathway to Excellence award from the Ministry of Education. Since its inception, the program has presented around 150 doctoral theses. 

Candidate profile

The candidate profile for the PhD programme in Geography is the following.

  • Excellent academic record in studies related to the programme.
  • Proved research experience and vocation
  • Interest in developing an original research project that stretches the boundaries of knowledge in one of the programme's lines of research, which are at the forefront of contemporary worldwide research in geography.
  • Desire to establish synergies with other academics by sharing the research process and findings
  • Language and communication skills (or a clear intention to acquire them) that are sufficient to carry out such academic exchanges, in a context of increasing internationalisation of research.

Professional opportunities

This PhD programme provides the following principal career options:

  • Training of researchers and lecturers in research centres and universities.
  • Specialist staff and advisers in study centres operated by the public administration, companies, international organisations, foundations, NGOs, associations, etc.

Objectives and justification

This program has actively collaborated in the training of a large part of the teaching staff of the Department of Geography of the UAB, as well as other Spanish and foreign universities. Throughout its course, the program has provided the society of prestigious researchers in socioeconomic and environmental issues linked to the territorial problems. Doctors have shown a high leadership capacity in applied research (territorial planning, environmental conflicts and current social issues, among others).


Mireia Baylina Ferré

Composition of the academic tribunal for the PhD programme

Anna Badia Perpinyà
Mireia Baylina Ferré (coordinator)
Gemma Cànoves Valiente
Maria Antònia Casellas Puigdemasa
Maria Dolors García Ramon
Carme Miralles Guasch
Oriol Nel·lo Colom
David Saurí Pujol



Alba Palma (secretary of the Department)
Department of Geography
Building B, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra
Phone: 93 581 1527



This PhD programme has been awarded the Excellent Accreditation seal by the Catalan Quality Agency (AQU). To obtain this accreditation, the following items have been assessed: quality of the training programme, relevance of public information, teaching staff, learning support systems, quality of the results of the training programme and the SGIQ. You can consult more information in the 'Quality' section of this page.

Number of places available: 10
Fees: aprox. €540 per year View detail of the PhD's fees

Languages in which the thesis may be written:
Catalan, Spanish and English.
Organising universities and institutions:
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Associated departments or institutes:
Department of Geography

Collaborating institutions:
Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics (UAB)
Universidad de Guadalajara (México)
Universidades Generale de Santa Caterina (Brasil)
Social Sciences and Law

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