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Thesis document and defense

Thesis regulations

Academic regulations for doctoral degree courses (chapter 10-14)

Article-based theses - Computació [pdf in Catalan]

Thesis types

The program allows two different types of Thesis: standard and article-based. A standard thesis consists  of a self-contained document including original research contributions. An article-based thesis consist of some publications on prestigious journals or conference proceedings showing significant research contributions together with brief document giving the appropriate context.

If a candidate wants to submit an article-based thesis, a specific request has to be made (form) to the Academic Committee get an authorisation prior to the  review process.

If you wish to submit a thesis that is subject to confidentiality agreements with companies or contains patentable material you must ensure the necessary authorisation of the Academic Committee prior to the  review process. The Academic Committee will follow the necessary steps to guarantee that the process  is done with the required guarantees. 

In specific cases determined by the Academic Committee, such as company involvement or the possible generation of patents from the content of a doctoral thesis, in which confidential aspects of the thesis should not be made public. In such a case you have to inform the Academic Committee so that the procedure could be complemented and  guarantee the required  confidentiality level. 

Thesis review process

Review process of the Thesis document to obtain the conformity of the department.

Before being submitted, both types of thesis go through an identical review process made by anonymous reviewers.This process is managed by the CS Department Review Manager (). The reviewer's report will be analyzed by the CS Department Post-graduate Committee and one of the following outcomes will be given:

- The thesis is ready for submission

- The thesis has to go through a minor revision.

- The thesis has to go through a major revision.


Documentation that is needed to present 

It is mandatory to create a zip file that contains the files which are listed next and to send it to the PhD Thesis Review Manager of the CS Department, Lluís Padró.

  1. Summary of the thesis in English and list of publications, in plain text and not exceeding two pages.
  2. PDF file of the thesis document to be sent to the reviewers.This document should be a preliminary draft version of the final PhD thesis document, where the publications must be properly referenced.The fundamental objective of the document to be delivered is to show to the reviewers the work developed, to put it in context to the state of the art and to highlight its novel contributions, its originality and its relevance. Each reviewer will receive an electronic copy of the document and an electronic copy of the publications related to the thesis.
  3. PDF files of the papers enumerated in the list of publications.
  4. List of 10 people who are experts in the subject of the thesis, to be candidates for being reviewers; in plain text. A maximum of 3 of them can be affiliated to Spanish universities, excluding the UPC. None of the reviewers may be co-author of the PhD student. The proposed persons have to have a category equivalent or superior to Associate Professor (Profesor Titular de Universidad). The following data are required for each candidate: name and surname, academic category (Professor, Associate Professor...), affiliation, postal address (not P.O. box), e-mail and personal webpage (preferably) or webpage of the institution he/she belongs. If the candidate applies for the mention of International Doctor, the proposal has to contain a minimum of 6 reviewer candidates from non-Spanish universities. Do not forget to inform the PhD Thesis Review Manager of your intention of obtaining International Doctor mention.
  5. Approval of the director(s) of the doctoral thesis (as well as that of the "ponent" when applicable). A PDF file.


The Post-graduate Committee informs of the result of the external review process within a maximum of 12 weeks from receipt of the documentation.
For the purpose of accounting periods, you must take into account that:

  • the period from July 21st to September 1st will not be accounted
  • the non-lecturing periods (Christmas and Holy Week holidays) from September 1st to June 30th will not be accounted

IMPORTANT: The thesis approval will expire after one natural year (Modification approved by the CS Department Board (Junta de CS) on 27/10/2004).

Steps previous to the PhD thesis deposit

Once the Postgraduate Committee gives its approval after the review process of the thesis document, then, in order to be able to proceed to the thesis deposit the PhD candidate or director must fill out the corresponding following documents and deliver them electronically to the Secretariat of the Department. In case that the PhD director is external of the PhD Programe, the PhD tutor must take care that the documents arrive to the secretariat. 

The PhD candidate and his/her director will be informed of the moment in which they can proceed to the thesis deposit.

The form must be filled out only with the PhD candidate and thesis  data and the publications and projects associated to the thesis and sent by e-mail by the candidate to the secretariat of the doctorate programme, , so that the Academic Committee can complete its report. For doctoral students regulated by RD99 

Doctoral Student Activity Report RD 99/2011 [DAD99] you should  fill all the information on the DAD section of the Atenea-Phd/Drac  systems (see annual evaluation).  Once the director(s)/tutor have generated and validated the document, it will be accessible to the Academic Committee. 

The form containing the proposal of the examination panel must be filled out and sent by e-mail to the secretariat of the doctorate programme,  together with

  • the curriculum vitae of the members external to the  PhD Program.

Requirements for the thesis examination panel member

Five doctors with demonstrated research experience.  This experience has to be accredited by their research curriculum for the non UPC members. Members from UPC may be required to issue a declaration of fulfilment of  the UPC requirements.

According to the actual UPC regulations a doctor is considered to have demonstrated research experience if he/she meets any of the following conditions:

  • has supervised a doctoral thesis defended in the last five years.
  • has a live  research evaluation period  of six years (last accreditation obtained in the last seven years).
  • has, in the past five years, served as principal investigator on a project that received competitively awarded funding from an external public institution.

3 of the proposed members will act as holders and the other 2 as substitutes, however

  • No more than one member of the UPC are permitted to act in the final examination panel.
  • The majority of the proposed members must be non UPC members.
  • If a panel member is a  co-author of the candidate a justification of  the necessity of his/her participation in the panel is required.
  • If the thesis director is not a member of UPC, then the examination panel must include a member of the UPC.
  • It is recommended that the person that acts as Secretary of the examination panel is a member of the department.
  • If the student is pursuing the “International Doctor” distinction, the thesis examination panel must include at least one expert from a non-spanish institution of higher education or research. This expert can not be the person who certifies the student’s stay at the international host institution.

The examination panel cannot include:

  • The thesis director and co-director(s), and the tutor, if any.
  • Anyone with a direct interest or incurring in whatever legal cause for abstention.

Recommendations, please take into account

  • if possible wrote the short  cv of the panel members in such a way that it makes clear that they have demonstrated research experience.
  • that even if a replacement by a substitute is needed the evaluation committee cannot include more than  two members of UPC.
  • the UPC co-financial restrictions, the secretariat of the doctorate programme, , will inform you of the current budget.

Thesis deposit 

The PhD student must fill out the following documents and deliver to the  Doctoral unit of the UTGCNTIC.

The appropriate forms can be found on the  forms pages of the Doctoral School.  

  • Original and copy of the DNI, NIE or (valid) passport.
  • Original and copy of the degree that gave access to the doctorate programme.
  • 2 summaries one in English an another one in Catalan or Spanish (see UNESCO codes)
  • Authorization of the thesis director UPC (ADT) 
  • Authorization of the thesis director external UPC (DDTF) 
  • Authorization of the Academic Committee of the programme (which the secretariat already has after the thesis review process, from a step previous to the thesis deposit)
  • Proposal of the examination panel (which the secretariat already has)
  • Curriculum vitae (200 words) for each non-UPC member of de panel.
  • An e-mail address where to contact the candidate within at least 3 years after the defense of the thesis. 
  • TDX (PhD Theses Dissemination on the Web)
  • Registration of the deposit (the registration form properly signed by the director/tutor must be delivered). Once the payment has been made, the payment receipt must be delivered to the secretariat.
  • Fee of the deposit registration: public prices and registration
  • A copy of the thesis in electronic format (pdf) and another in  paper. 
  • The CS department will make a contribution of up to 90 euros in concept of copies and bindings. The invoice must be issued on behalf of

    UPC- Dept. de Ciències de la Computació
    c. Jordi Girona Salgado, 31
    08034 Barcelona
    CIF Q0818003-F


  • If the Internacional Doctor Mention is demanded:
    • the authorization of the Academic Committee of the research stay (usually kept at the Secretariat).
    • the original certificate of acknowledgement of the research stay, properly signed and stamped by the receiving institution,
    • the request of Mention of International Doctor


  • If the Industrial  Doctor Mention is demanded  the request of Mention of Industrial Doctor. UPC officers will check that the requirements are fulfilled.

Act of public thesis defence


Once the thesis has been deposited, a minimum of 30 days is needed prior the thesis public defense. This time corresponds to the 10 days that the thesis should be under deposit, plus a second period of 10 days for panel of examiners designation plus a third period of 10 days needed after the notification to the Academic Committee of the date of the public defense.

The Academic Committee must ensure that mechanisms are in place for hosting the thesis defence on its own premises or in other UPC facilities. If a location outside the UPC is chosen, express authorisation must be received from the Doctoral Studies Committee and the Academic Committee must ensure that the arrangements comply with doctoral studies regulations and standard thesis assessment procedures.


The thesis defence must be held on a teaching day and is open to the public.


Reading and defence

The thesis defence consists in presenting the research carried out, the methodology used, the results obtained and the conclusions, focusing particularly on novel contributions to the field arising from the research.

In specific cases determined by the Academic Committee, such as company involvement or the possible generation of patents from the content of a doctoral thesis, the Doctoral Studies Office will ensure that confidential aspects of the thesis are not made public.

Once the general presentation has been made, the examiners will ask questions and may seek clarification of particular aspects of the work. In addition, PhD holders attending the defence may ask questions when invited to do so by the chair of the examination panel.

The examination panel has access to the doctoral training log (DAD), which lists the principal activities carried out during the doctoral programme. The training log is not graded but the examiners will use it as a qualitative indicator to complement their assessment of the doctoral thesis.


Once the defence and discussion of the thesis have been completed and the public has left the room, each examiner draws up an assessment report using a standard template. The completed reports are attached to the doctoral training log.

Finally, the examination panel will award the overall mark that it considers appropriate from the following: No apte, aprovat, notable o excel·lent. The mark is recorded on the assessment certificate, which must be signed by all of the examiners in attendance.

Before closing the session, the chair of the examination panel will notify the student and the public of the mark awarded.


Cum laude distinction

The cum laude distinction may be awarded if examiners reach a unanimous decision through secret  ballot. Votes are issued and counted in a separate session, following the procedure established by the UPC Doctoral School.

Thesis dissemination

PhD Theses Dissemination on the Web

The TDX  server allows the remote consult of the complete text of the theses, as well as searches by author, title, subject of the thesis, university where it has been presented, etc.

The objectives of this service, coordinated by the Consorci de Biblioteques Universitàries de Catalunya (CBUC (open link in a new window)) and the Centre de Supercomputació de Catalunya and  by the Departament d'Universitats, Recerca i Societat de la Informació de la Generalitat de Catalunya, are:

  • To disseminate, worldwide and through Internet, the results of the Catalan universities research.
  • To offer the authors of the theses a tool to increase the access and the visibility of their work.
  • To improve the bibliographic control of the theses.
  • To boost the electronic edition and the digital libraries.
  • To encourage the creation and use of the own scientific production.

TDX was born as an outcome of a collaboration agreement signed on January 11, 2001 between the Catalan universities, CESCA and CBUC, from which the PhD theses presented in these universities can be viewed worldwide, free of charge and with research and education purposes only.

All the theses housed at TDX must be the original versions deposited in the Doctorate Office just before the thesis defense; either the digitized version of the paper copy or the digital version that is delivered to the Doctorate Office since 2004.

Required documentation:

  • Contract of thesis dissemination (Form TDX): it must be filled out and signed by duplicate.
  • Matter and keywords related to the thesis (Form CDU): mark the matter of the doctoral thesis in list of disciplines and write no more than 10 descriptors that identify its contents.

All this documentation has to reach:


UPC-Campus Nord,  office 003, Edif. B3
C/ Jordi Girona Salgado, 1-3 
08034 Barcelona

Digitization of the doctoral thesis

Those authors who defended their thesis before 2004 and want to incorporate it to the TDX deposit are addressed to:

Montse Hidalgo Carrasco
Servei de Biblioteques i Documentació UPC
C/ Jordi Girona 31, ed. TG (08034 - Barcelona)
Tel. 93 401 09 42
E-mail: TDX