The Structure of the Study Programme

Name and the Goals of the Study Programme

The Name of the Study Programme is Doctoral Academic Studies in Environmental Protection (3 years, 180 ECTS).

The aim of the study program is to connect various scientific disciplines of the fundamental and applied natural sciences and mathematics, to educate and train experts capable of solving environmental problems with a high level of autonomy, originality and ability to make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations, which occur in the environmental sciences. The students are expected to master the techniques for eliminating environmental waste and methods for improving the quality of the environment by striving to include in the process of environmental protection all social, political, economic, and legal aspects. This goal will be achieved through a unique program, which combines broad and in-depth mastering of the scientific disciplines needed for understanding and management of the natural environment.

Type of the Study and the Outcome of the Education Process

Type of the Study: Doctoral academic studies in the duration of three years (six semesters). The ECTS value of the Study Program is 180.

Professional Title, Academic, or Scientific Title

Scientific degree is PhD in Environmental Protection.

Admission Conditions

Conditions for the enrolment in the Study Program:

  • Completed Bachelor and Master Studies in the area of Environmental Sciences or the corresponding academic studies worth 150 ECTS points;
  • Position in the rank list within the approved enrolment quota.

The Structure of the Study Programme

The Study Program is realized through teaching the courses given in the Book of courses. The courses enable the students to obtain extensive and in-depth knowledge of the environment and its protection from the aspects of biology-ecology, physics, chemistry, and based on their personal choice, direct their interests specifically towards the biological, physical, or chemical principles of environmental sciences. The courses, apart from lecturing, include study research work, preparation and defending of the seminar works and projects, work with supervisor, etc.

The Time Allotted for the Realization of Particular Study Forms

Doctoral academic studies in the duration of three years (six semesters).

Credit Values of Particular Courses

The basic ECTS values of every course are expressed in concordance with the European ECTS credit transfer and accumulation system.  The scientific research work which is a direct function of the PhD thesis is worth 70 ЕCTS, аnd the work on the thesis itself is valued 20 ECTS, which makes altogether 90 ЕCTS points.

Diploma Work

In the Study Program, 50% ЕCTS credits are to be earned by completing the doctoral thesis.

Way of Choosing Courses from the Other Study Programmes

The student can choose any course from the given list of elective courses provided that such a choice contributes to his/her further education leading to the academic title and makes preconditions for the realization of the target activities. At the very start of the doctoral studies, one of the teachers involved in the realization of the Doctoral Study Program is nominated as the student’s supervisor (advisor), and his/her task is to guide the student and help him/her in selecting the appropriate courses. The advisor need not be the person who will be the supervisor of the student’s future PhD thesis.

Transferring from Another Study Programme

The conditions for transferring from some other study programs in the frame of the same or similar study areas are defined in the corresponding Rulebook and the Statute of the Faculty.

The Purpose of the Study Programme

The objective of the Study Program is to provide students with the high-quality education for an effective realization of academic and professional assignments in the area of environmental science, preparing the students to play leading roles in environmental science in the future. The Study Program ensures all necessary competences that may be expected from highly educated professionals in the area of the environment and environmental protection. The students acquire high-level knowledge and understanding, which makes them competent to perform highly professional or research work, with the further development and transfer of their own original ideas into practice related to environmental issues. Тhis assumes the application of fundamental scientific principles in the environment and its improvement with the aim of satisfying the current and future needs in the area of environmental protection. During the studies, students are able participate in national and international scientific meetings, where they have opportunities to gain experience in presenting their results to the international scientific community. At the end of their studies, the acquired modern theoretical knowledge makes the students confident, not only to present their results to a professional audience but also to publish them in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The students are supposed to acquire the highest level of capability of understanding and presentation of scientific information, as well as the ability to critically evaluate experiments in this area, assuming further development and transfer of their original ideas into practice. The PhD students, if needed, will also have the possibility to participate in the teaching process – by supervising the laboratory exercises in the BSc and MSc studies, which gives them the opportunity to acquire the necessary pedagogical experience.

The existence of such a study program is fully justified and useful for the whole society, bearing in mind the essential importance of environmental protection, especially from the aspect of the sustainable development. Environmental professionals are indispensable in every modern society, as they represent a key factor in the preservation of the environment, and thus in ensuring all the necessary conditions for a sustainable development of the society as a whole.

The Goals of the Study Programme

The primary goal of this program is to connect various disciplines of fundamental and applied sciences and mathematics to enable students to plan and carry out research in the field of environmental protection, including risks and environmental impact assessment. Students have to master methods for the elimination of pollution in the environment, methods to improve the quality of the environment, and environmental protection processes from social, political, economic and legal aspects. The objective of this program is to educate and train professionals capable of working independently in the diverse and dynamic field of environmental protection. Of equal significance is the development of creative abilities and skills necessary to develop and apply all aspects of environmental protection. The most important general objectives of the study programme are to provide stimulating environment for professional and personal development of students and to apply teaching methods in an interesting and intellectually challenging way to improve analytical, critical and self-critical thinking when addressing the challenges of environmental protection. That means education based on the latest scientific achievements, as well as obtaining knowledge in biology-ecology, chemistry, physics, and related fields. In this way, competent and well-trained workers, able to improve their own knowledge and revitalize the environment will be created.

The Skills of Students upon Completion of the Programme

A person with the PhD degree in Environmental Protection is competent to lead a research team, perform educational duties in higher-education institutions, as well as manage companies, work in the state and local government bodies and agencies in the area of environmental protection and improvement. He/she is competent to apply fundamental knowledge from chemistry, biology, physics, and other natural sciences, and, as a qualified environmental analyst, design and perform tests and experiments and interpret obtained results, participate in the teams for designing systems for environmental protection, especially of particular components and processes yielding the protection and improvement of the environment, to work in multi-disciplinary teams engaged in solving problems of the environment and sustainable development, to identify, formulate and solve problems in the environment, to possess professional and ethical responsibility, efficient communication skills, and be capable of using modern methodologies and equipment.

The Curriculum

The study program of Doctoral Academic Studies in Environmental Protection lasts for three years and comprises 6 elective courses (4 in the first and 2 in the second year), to be chosen from a list of 29 courses, plus Scientific Research Work, which is specifically related to the research in the function of preparation and concrete work on the PhD thesis itself. The student begins his/her scientific research work in the third semester and this work is extended to the sixth semester, the third study year being devoted only to this activity. The subject of the research work is defined in the frame of the scientific research project, which is realized at the Institution. Active teaching consists of lectures and Scientific Research Work, through which the student is prepared for work on the PhD thesis itself. The student may choose any course from the proposed list of elective courses, provided that the selected course contributes to his/her education in the direction of acquiring the academic title and represents a prerequisite for the assignments he/she is preparing for. At the beginning of studies, each PhD student is assigned an advisor, one of the teachers involved in the realization of the appropriate study program, whose task is to direct the student and help him/her in selecting the appropriate courses. The advisor need not remain the future supervisor of the student’s PhD thesis.

The student’s average workload is 40 hours a week during all of the three study years.

If the student in the course of the previous education did not pass the exam in Methodology of Scientific Work, he/she is obliged to take this exam in the frame of the PhD study; however the corresponding ECTS credits do not enter the required overall score of ECTS credits, but are considered a prerequisite to begin work on his/her PhD thesis.

A Distribution of the Courses into Semesters and Academic Years

Elective courses in the Study Program