Programme Overview

The objectives and scope of this doctorate programme are:
  • To attract talented individuals and support them in a process of scientific and cultural growth that can contribute to the advancement of knowledge in economics and business.
  • To provide students with:
  1. theoretical and methodological knowledge to generate scientific contributions independently and in teams with a high impact in the world of business, economic policy and academia;
  2. a solid theoretical and statistical-mathematical background in the economic-business area that can be used in the working environment in institutions, agencies and research offices of public and private companies and universities.
  • To create a network of alumni of the PhD programme of the Department of Economics and Business, through which an exchange of knowledge and experience between different generations of students and teachers can take place.
  • To promote cooperation with other PhD programmes in prestigious national and international locations through reciprocal visiting activities of lecturers and students. 
Functional to such objectives, the programme is structured as follows.

1st Year

Basic and methodological courses. Students will be required to attend basic and methodological courses, divided into modules of 15 hours, related to three disciplinary areas: (i) Economics; (ii) Management; (iii) Quantitative Methods. Each student is required to attend at least two modules of each area and six modules of a specific chosen area (for a total, therefore, of 30+30+90 hours of basic frontal teaching).

The teachers will be scholars belonging to the Department of Economics and Business and to Italian and foreign universities present at the department through a visiting professor programme dedicated to the PhD programme.

As part of the initial "alignment" activities, doctoral students may also be required to attend up to three subjects taught at master degree courses at the University. These courses will be defined by the College board, based on the student's initial preparation.

Attendance at teaching courses provided by the University may also be suggested to each specific student, according to the needs of the research project to be developed. Attendance at courses provided by the Scuola Superiore di Catania is also permitted and encouraged for courses related to the themes of the PhD.

2nd and 3rd Year

Specialist courses (with a seminar format lasting 10-15 hours) held at the Department of Economics and Business, or also in Italian and foreign institutions.

Each doctoral student will be required to attend at least 3 specialist courses. In order to stimulate and enhance the multidisciplinary approach to scientific research, the specialized courses provided at the Department of Economics and Business may have an expressly interdisciplinary slant, including the profiles of the legal regulation and the regulatory foundations of the institutions; they will refer, by way of example (but not exclusive), to the following topics:

  • Technological innovation
  • Sustainability
  • Institutions and political economics
  • Market competition and regulation
  • Healthcare markets
  • Cultural heritage and tourism
  • Data science
  • Decision theory and decision analysis
  • Big data analysis
  • Artificial intelligence

Doctoral students will be required to attend scientific seminars organised by the Department as part of its institutional activities.

Period as visiting student for at least one academic year at a foreign university. By means of agreements with other foreign universities and visiting programmes, PhD students will be required to spend at least one academic year at an internationally renowned university abroad (in the second or third year of their training).

Individual research finalized to the doctoral research project.

4th Year

Completion of the doctoral thesis.