Ph.D. in Sociology

Postgraduate Ph.D. Programme in Sociology
Degree (and type) of the programme: Ph.D. Programme
Duration: 3 years (6 semesters), 180 ECTS
Mode of study: part-time studies
Place of studies: Nova Gorica and Ljubljana
Title gained: Doctor of Science (D.Sc.)

Are you ambitious and want to achieve something important? Are you a thoughtful, innovative person and want to discover something new?

Varied social activities, significant changes, the explosion of information and other social challenges are perfect research tasks for ambitious and inquisitive individuals who enjoy working independently and are sufficiently engaged to carry out work assignments with high quality and integrity. Ph.D. Programme in Sociology offers to students the opportunity to gain a thorough understanding of theoretical and methodological concepts, and the ability to independently develop new knowledge and solve the most challenging problems with testing, improving the existing, and discovering new solutions for management of highly complex operation systems and scientific research projects from a wide range of professional or scientific fields, and to develop critical reflection.

The Ph.D. programme is therefore designed for individuals who wish to expand their knowledge in a specific field and phenomena, and to acquire the title Doctor of Science, which would increase their reputation in the society. It allows you to truly take advantage and upgrade your intellectual potential, manage research work, express your creativity, and look for innovative social solutions.



The Ph.D. programme is primarily individual with a small portion of organized study work, which comprises of two exams in the first year. It is carried out in the form of part-time studies (which is at least one third of hours spent in full-time studies), in the afternoon on weekdays and on Saturday mornings. In the event that there are less than 10 enrolled students, studies are carried out in the form of consultations.

First year

The first year contains the organized part consisting of mandatory methodological and elective theoretical subject and a seminar for the creation of doctoral dissertation outline. The first year is completed by an approved doctoral dissertation topic and submitted outline of doctoral dissertation.


Methods of triangulation

15 -
Optional theoretical course 15 -

Seminar for disposition

- 15
Individual work on disposition - 15
TOTAL 30 30

Second year

The second year is entirely intended for individual research activities for the purpose of preparing doctoral dissertation with the assistance of the selected mentor and possibly a co-mentor.

Individual work on dissertation 30 30
TOTAL 30 30

Third year

The third year allows the candidate, through the seminar, to address critical responses to his/her draft dissertation and to correct, complete, finalize and defend his/her doctoral thesis, taking into account relevant suggestions. 


Seminar for dissertation

15 -
Individual work on dissertation 15 30
TOTAL 30 30

Effective subject

The selection of theoretical in-depth knowledge, which will be selected by the student as an elective unit, primarily depends on his/her selection of doctoral dissertation topic. SASS, in this sense, offers two options, whereby a student can either choose one of them, which is thematically - depending on the intended dissertation topic - the closest, or the equivalent theoretical content at another relevant domestic or foreign accredited higher education institution. 


Contemporary theories in economic sociology


Contemporary theories in political sociology


Contemporary theories in sociology of culture


* Students may select one elective subject.

Explanation of acronyms:

  • CP - credits points (ECTS)
Enrolment conditions: 

Enrolment into the 1st year

The first year of Ph.D. study programme in Sociology is open to anyone who meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • graduates of the second cycle study programme (under the Bologna system) who have reached at least 300 ECTS credits (under the Bologna system) in the first and second cycle or in master’s studies;
  • graduates of the previous (old, i.e. before the Bologna system) undergraduate university degree programme;
  • graduates of the second level study programme (according to the Bologna system) who have also completed the previous higher education programme (before the Bologna system), and have also completed at least five years of studies.

The School may limit the enrolment, in case that number of applicants significantly exceeds the number of places available. In case of limited enrolment, the candidates will be selected according to their average grade of master’s studies without evaluation of their master's thesis (or the average grade of the last two years of study in the event that there are uniform master’s studies), and according to the grade of master's thesis. Each of the above criteria has equal importance. In the event that master’s studies did not include the master's thesis or it was not subject to evaluation, the average grade of the master’s studies shall be the only criteria.

Enrolment according to transfer criteria 

Pursuant to Article 6 of the Transfer Criteria adopted on the 18.11.2010 by the Committee of the Slovenian Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (hereinafter: SQAAHE criteria), transfer is possible between the following study programmes:

1. which, at the end of study, ensure the acquisition of comparable competences, and

2. where, under the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (hereinafter: ECTS) recognition criteria, at least half of obligations from the first study programme may be recognized, which refers to mandatory subjects of the second study programme.

Enrolment directly into the second year according to these criteria is also possible if the candidate has at least 45 ECTS credits from the first study programme, where at least half of them relate to the acquired competences, which are comparable with the competencies of the mandatory subjects in the second study programme.

Enrolment directly into the third year is possible if the candidate has at least 105 ECTS credits from the first study programme, where at least half of them relate to the acquired competences, which are comparable with the competencies of the mandatory subjects in the second study programme.

According to these criteria, in order to enter directly into the second year of the third level of studies, it is further required to submit the dissertation proposal at the first or second study programme, and for direct entry into the third year, it is necessary to obtain the prior approval of the proposal of doctoral dissertation at the first or second study programme.

In accordance with the Article 39 of the Higher Education Act and the Criteria for transfers between study programmes, the transfer to the study programme of the third level is possible from the study programmes of the same level. Applications for transfer are treated individually in accordance with the school rules.

Pursuant to the Article 16, paragraph 3 of the Law on Amendments of the Law on Higher Education (OJ RS 94/06), graduates of the previous (old, i.e. Before the Bologna system) study programmes leading to a Master of Science degree or specialization after completing the programme of studies for a university degree, are recognized with 60 ECTS credits as the recognition of the fulfilment of students' obligations at the Ph.D. study programme of the third level. On these grounds, they are directly enrolled into the second year of studies, provided that until the end of the first semester, they submit the disposition of their doctoral dissertation.

In accordance with the Article 16, Paragraph 2 of the same law, graduates of previous study programs leading to specialization, which have previously completed a higher education programme, are obliged, before the enrolment into the second year of the Ph.D. programme, to fulfil additional study obligations - differential exams - in total volume of 30 credit points, which include the following subjects: Modern Social Theories, Quantitative Research in Social Sciences, Methods of Quantitative Analysis, Comparative Research Methods and Challenges of Globalization.

Differential exams should be completed before the enrolment into the next year. 

Acquired competences: 

Students of the doctoral study Sociology obtain the following general competencies:

  • the ability to identify a specific research problem, perform analyses and provide possible solutions;
  • the creation of new knowledge, which represents relevant contribution to the development of science;
  • the ability to master standard methods, procedures and processes of research in the field of sociology;
  • the ability of independent research and developmental work, and the ability to lead a research team;
  • understanding the importance of quality, and striving for quality professional work through autonomy, (self-) criticism, (self-) reflection, and (self-) evaluation of the professional work;
  • commitment to professional ethics.

Students of the doctoral study Sociology shall obtain the following course specific competencies:

  • the ability to solve specific research problems in different fields of sociology and its related disciplines;
  • development of skills in the service of knowledge in the research field of sociology and related disciplines;
  • the ability of innovative use and combination of empirical sociological research methods and methods of its related disciplines (triangulation method);
  • the ability of complex acquisition, selection, evaluation and placement of new knowledges, and the ability of interpretation in the context of sociology (and social sciences in general);
  • the ability to form and implement the original scientific solutions to specific social problems;
  • the ability of a complex system perspective on the society and interdisciplinary approach, which is reflected as an understanding of the general structure of social sciences and connection between its various disciplines and sub-disciplines;
  • the ability to present scientific results obtained in the form of publications in international scientific journals. 
Enrolment instructions: 

Instructions for the enrolment

Candidates can apply electronically using e-application portal eVŠ: . On the portal choose this option:  Call for application of the School of advanced social studies into Doctoral Study Programmes in the Academic Year 2020/21.

Find detailed information about the application/enrolment procedure here.

For more information contact:

Phone/mobile: +386 5 907 3461


In person at the address Gregorčičeva ulica 19 in Nova Gorica, every Monday and Wednesday from 9 am to 11 am and every Thursday from 12.30 pm to 4.30 pm.

Tuition fee: 

Price: EUR 2,690.00 per year.

Payment terms: Tuition fee can be paid as a single payment or in instalments (from 1 to 5 instalments*) at the maturity date: at the time of enrolment; at the latest on 30/11; at the latest on 31/1; at the latest on 31/3; at the latest on 31/5 of the current academic year.

Differential exams are additionally payable: the price of a single differential exam is EUR 150, and it should be paid before the registration for the exam.

* only for citizens of EU, citizens of other countries can only pay in one instalment.

Mode of study: 

Independent studies at the Ph.D. level are the main form of study. Independent work includes individual study of literature, preparation and presentation of individual projects, research work of students in research programmes undertaken within the framework of the school, and especially the preparation of the doctoral disposition and dissertation. This approach enables the students to develop their own creative potential as much as possible. The mentor guides the student through the learning process, encourages him/her to participate in teaching and research environment of the school. The mentor assists the student in the organization of studies, including monitoring during the studies, and setting direction for student's work. The mentor advises the student on appropriate research methodology and relevant literature. The mentor assists in preparing the design of the dissertation, designing the research methodology, choosing the literature and resources, and assesses when the doctoral thesis is ready for defence.

The schedule of lectures: The lectures are organized in the afternoon during the weekdays, or on Saturdays. The studies take place at the headquarters of the School, the address: Gregorčičeva 19, Nova Gorica. The access to the schedule and materials is available via online portal after the candidate is registered.

Advancing through the programme: 

To advance from the first to the second year of studies, students must achieve at least 30 ECTS credits from the first year, submit the application form OBR-SASS-010 to apply for a dissertation topic, approved by the Commission for Science and Research Activities (hereinafter KZRD), and submit a dissertation proposal, justified by the signature of their mentor on the form OBR-SASS-011.

Conditions to advance from the second to the third year are to complete all obligations of the first year consisting of 60 CP, to complete individual work of the second year consisting of 60 CP, which is assessed on the basis of the mentor’s opinion, and to obtain the confirmation of the Senate of SASS regarding the dissertation proposal.

The status of the student shall cease if the student:

  • acquires Ph.D. degree, i.e. completes the studies,
  • withdraws,
  • is excluded,
  • during the studies does not enrol into the following year or semester,
  • does not complete doctoral studies of the third level within the relevant term stipulated by the Statute.      

Finishing Year, i.e. an additional year, is a term that applies to the time after the end of the last semester, when the student may retain his/her status, if he/she did not complete his/her doctoral studies. The student asserts the right by enrolling into another year or the Final Year. The student may use this right only after finishing the last semester, provided that:

  • the student did not complete postgraduate studies of the third level within the relevant term stipulated by the Statute.     
Knowledge assessment and grading: 

The assessment of knowledge is part of the study process of teaching and learning, and it takes place during the course of the study process (after the first semester) and after the completion of the course of individual subjects of the programme (after the second semester), while at the same time, students are expected to continue with ongoing activities. The intention and objective of knowledge assessment is to acquire accurate and quality information about how students are achieving the planned general and subject-specific competences, and information on the achievement of the goals of the study programme.

The method of knowledge assessment and grading is determined for each subject and defined in its syllabus, adjusted to verify the achieved goals in individual subjects, anticipated achievements of the study, and development of general and subject-specific competencies. Methods of knowledge assessment and grading may vary because of different teaching methods, which provide criteria of validity, reliability and objectivity, but also take into account the quality of the structure and organization of knowledge.

The purpose of assessing knowledge is:

  • to assess knowledge and skills of students,
  • to assess output made in the context of academic work,
  • to offer quality feedback on the progress and results achieved, aiming to motivate students to acquire additional knowledge and skills,
  • to enable integration into continuing education, and
  • to obtain data for the evaluation of teaching quality.

Criteria for evaluation are based on the objectives of the study programme and anticipated achievements of students, identified in individual syllabuses. Students are informed on elements of knowledge assessment and grading criteria in writing, as part of curriculum, and at the start of each course (at the beginning of each semester). Moreover, higher education teacher informs students on the curriculum of a subject, study obligations, shares held by individual components of knowledge assessment in the final assessment of the subject, and relevant literature.

Estimated methods of knowledge assessment and grading are:

  • oral exams,
  • written exams,
  • research papers,
  • the oral presentation of research work and findings,
  • solving real problems (case studies),
  • projects, peer evaluation,
  • doctoral dissertation. 
Conditions for the completion of the studies: 

A prerequisite for completing the studies is to have successfully completed all academic requirements according to the programme, and prepared as well as successful defended the doctoral thesis. The student shall complete the studies when he/she acquires the total number of 180 credit points, prescribed by the study programme.

After completing the studies, the student will be granted the Ph.D. degree, which is a public document.

Pursuant to the Law on professional and scientific titles (Official Journal of RS No. 61/06), after completing the studies, the student is entitled to the scientific title Doctor of Science, abbreviated title: dr., which is placed before the first and last name. The Ph.D. Degree also contains the scientific area, in which the title was granted, stating: in the field of Sociology.

Employment opportunities for graduates: 

Typical employment fields:

1. In scientific research and higher education institutions in the field of social sciences, the need for a Ph.D. profile is obvious, since it is expected from the operational core of these organizations to possess a high degree of innovation, autonomy and management skills in research and development activities, and a superior ability to transfer knowledge, on one hand, to young researchers and students, and, on the other hand, to the commercial field and other relevant users.

2. In commercial companies, particularly larger ones, the Ph.D. profile in sociology is important for an independent expert and / or research work and / or for leading research or expert groups, especially in areas of demanding market research, public opinion research, demanding public relations, most complex organizational and personnel issues.

3. In public administration, local government, international institutions and non-governmental organizations, a PhD profile in sociology is competent to deal with the most complex organizational, communication, human resources and other issues, where innovative solutions are needed, drawing on the application of the most complex theoretical knowledge. One should also consider expert consultancy at the level of organization, as well as consultancy at the levels which include individual aspects of directing the company and its subsystems at the macro level.