The UPM PhD Programme in Software, Systems and Computing, which complies with the provisions of Royal Decree 99/2011 (amended by other Royal Decrees), is the result of a merger between two official PhD programmes, namely, the PhD in Software and Systems and the PhD in Advanced Computing for Science and Engineering. Both were accredited PhD programmes awarded a Mention of Excellence from the Ministry of Education (PhD in Advanced Computing for Science and Engineering, MEE2011-0063, and PhD in Software and Systems, MEE2011-0242).
The mission of the PhD in Software, Systems and Computing (PSSC) Programme is to train researchers and professionals who lead research groups in business, higher education institutions and research centers that are specialized in any branch of science or technology. To this end, the research lines under this PhD programme are designed to explore two avenues: on the one hand, they cover the scientific and technological groundwork of computer systems development and, on the other, they delve into the relationship and application of computer systems to problem-solving in other branches of science and engineering.
As such, the recommended profile for incoming students is broad. Both students whose previous experience focuses on the study of information systems as an end in and of itself (graduates in computer science and majors closely related to computer and telecommunications systems and mathematics), as well as students qualified in the use of advanced computing capabilities in science and engineering whose methods of research are of great importance, are eligible. Students who do not meet these conditions may be conditionally admitted to the PhD programme, provided that they take bridge courses, lasting from 6 to 12 months. These courses are specified based on their previous training to ensure that they learn the skills that they will need to properly conduct their research.
The figure illustrates the PhD in Software, Systems and Computing Programme's structure. The regular period for PhD thesis development lasts three years, during which time the candidate will be primarily concerned with thesis development. During the first two years, however, students are required to engage in the formative research activities, such as scientific seminars and cross-curricular training seminars (bibliography management, writing scientific-technical documents, industrial property, etc.) that are proposed by the PhD programme in order to acquire all the necessary competences.
RD 99/2011 accounts for the possibility that the PhD in Software, Systems and Computing Academic Committee may grant a one-year extension that could be exceptionally extended for an additional year for students who have not submitted the application for thesis deposit at the end of the regular three-year period.
The maximum duration of the regular period for part-time students admitted by the committee is five years from admission to the programme to submission of their PhD thesis. Part-time students may be granted an extension of two more years, which could be exceptionally extended for an additional year.