The doctoral course is an educational path aimed at offering to its students all the facilities, the experience, and the results of long lasting research of two Universities with different but complementary traditions of studies.
Our PhD students are expected to progressively produce an original contribution to knowledge in the research field of their dissertation. They should relate their studies to the scholarly body of knowledge within the specific area, and present the results of their research in a critical and scientific manner. Students should be accustomed to use, when necessary and useful, scientific approach to the object of their research and evaluate, test, and measure the material aspects of the investigated topic. They should know when and how to resort to instruments in order to improve and expand the knowledge of the cultural heritage, how these instruments work and the limits of their use in terms of reliability, meaning of the results, possible comparisons with similar cases, and related problems. Students shoud be able to use, when required, different methods and to exploit the results by combining them in an appropriate form, according to the different features and value of the methods themselves.
The outcomes of the doctoral studies could consist in a thesis alone or, when appropriate, in a combination of thesis and informatic documents or products, such as databases, internet sites, three-dimensional documents, meterials for a public exhibition.
Students should be informed of the variety of methods and of theoretical and historical frameworks thanks to which their chosen research can be approached and organized. They should be able to choose, read and understand all the available historical documents and texts related to the topic of their dissertation. Every approach to art and archaology cannot be just descriptive, but should be, first of all, conceived within a historical framework and could, hopefully, also produce a better historical knowledge of the studied period.
Moreover, students should be aware of the possible professional or even commercial value of the studied documents and monuments, and they should know what the normative and legal requirements preview for the study, the eventual publication, and the other uses of the object of the research itself.
Students are also encouraged and supported in developing or improving methodologies, theoretical frameworks, new educational opportunities, forms of preservation, and other possible ways to know and use the cultural heritage.
Students should know and use appropriately specialised terminology typical of their research field. They should be able to read, understand, and evaluate the modern bibliography on the specific topic, even if it is written in different European languages, such as English, Flamish/Dutch, Italian, French, German, and Spanish.
Students are expected to show a personal ability in evaluating the correctness and the scientific weight of previous approaches and to create their own original research paths within the chosen theme.
With reference to the two curricula, students of archaeology should be also trained in carrying out field research, such as digging activities, geo-physical prospections, and other predictive forms of knowledge before digging, documentation of both excavations and related finds. Aerial photographs, satellite images, three-dimensional models of either an area or a find are means to recognize traces and remains of human activities in a certain areal, and PhD students should be acquainted with such forms of study, when they are useful for the chosen thesis.
Students of art history should be specifically trained in museum practices, such as the conservation, registration, and inventorisation of art objects, the managment of museum practice, the preparation and elaboration of exhibition projects. Also, the students will be taught how to display objects in museum ambiences and how to deal with various problems related to the conservation and preservation of monuments.