The Structure of the Study Programme

Faculty of Sciences of the University of Novi Sad is a young and dynamic institution which established its reputation both in the field of education of high-quality professionals and by showing excellent results in research work as well. Today, our Faculty is one of the key players in the scientific arena of the region.

By providing a special care to our young researchers, we strive towards a sustainable process of scientific research within our institution. The best evidence of our policy is  more that 500 Ph.D theses theses defended in the last 40 years or so (since the Faculty was founded as an independent institution within the University of Novi Sad). This policy is formalized through two documents: The program of scientific research of the Faculty, and The development program for young researchers. It should be noted that the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia has already granted an accreditation to the Faculty of Sciences, University of Novi Sad, and therefore officially recognized it as an institution capable to perform high quality scientific research.

Currently, our Faculty and its researchers are benefactors of 128 domestic and international research grants. The scientific results are regularly presented in peer reviewed high-quality journals. A list of 493 papers published in the year 2011 alone can be found enclosed as Table.

Name and the Goals of the Study Programme

The study program Informatics is a Ph.D. program in informatics and computer science carried out by the Department of Mathematics and Informatics of the Faculty of Sciences, University of Novi Sad.

Professional Title, Academic, or Scientific Title

After the thesis is successfully defended, the student receives the title of Doctor of Informatics.

The Time Allotted for the Realization of Particular Study Forms

Its duration is 3 academic years (6 semesters).

Credit Values of Particular Courses

Total credit value of 180 ECTS (60 ECTS per year) and after finishing studies and defending Ph.D theses students obtained Ph.D degree in Informatics. Applicants for admission must previously acquire at least 300 ECTS points on academic bachelor and master studies. The program comprises of a total of 8 courses which should be completed in the first 4 semesters, along with defending 4 seminar papers which are meant to contribute to further development of research skills. Each course is worth 5 ECTS points while each seminar paper is worth 20 ECTS. The third year is entirely devoted to writing the Ph.D. thesis, the value of which is the remaining 60 ECTS.

Diploma Work

The Ph.D. thesis is independent scientific work of a student. Before the student can approach writing the Ph.D. thesis, he/she has to collect at least 120 ECTS and must have at least one paper accepted for publication in a journal from the SCI list. In order to enter the oral defense of the Ph.D. thesis, except the previous condition, the student must have one paper accepted for publication in a journal from the SCI list related to the student’s research presented in the Ph.D. thesis.

Way of Choosing Courses from the Other Study Programmes

In accordance to our strategic guidelines oriented towards a dynamic development of young researchers, the basic principle of the program is the free choice of courses comprising the curriculum. Upon admittance, an advisor is assigned to each student. The student and her/his advisor define an individual curriculum and work out its details, bearing in mind the student’s research interests.

The Purpose of the Study Programme

The purpose of the Ph.D. program is to enable students to carry out independent research in informatics and to review and critically analyze other research work in this and related fields. Upon successful completion of the program, the students will be able to take on essential scientific roles at universities and other scientific institutions, as well as corporate subjects in which the realization of research and development projects requires application of modern methodologies and achievements in the field of informatics. This enhances the development of science and new information technologies from which the society benefits and it is in accordance with the Serbian Government’s course towards the development of information society.

The Goals of the Study Programme

The main goal of this program is to enable students to acquire detailed understanding and a strong knowledge about the most modern trends in the Informatics. Furthermore, the involvement of young researchers with the modern trends of scientific research in Informatics (preparing, publishing and presenting the results of scientific work) is also one of the goals of this program. As a consequence, the student will be prepared for autonomous research, but also for teaching at universities and other institutions of higher education. This program directs a student towards up to date information in the areas of Theoretical Computer Science and different mathematical models of computational processes (combinatorial, probabilistical, algebrical) but also towards modern trends in Computer Science, Information Technology, Software Engineering, Software Quality and designing and modeling sophisticated complex software systems.

The Skills of Students upon Completion of the Programme

The Ph.D. program, after completion, enables students to: solve practical and theoretical problems in informatics; plan, organize and perform scientific research in the field of informatics; participate in international research projects; understand and use latest tools and advances in informatics; be capable of critical thought; act creatively and independently; follow ethical principles and good scientific practice; communicate research results professionally either through publishing of scientific papers or by presentations on scientific conferences; contribute to advances in informatics and science in general. Implementation of given abilities implies scientific research on university or other scientific institution, participation in implementation and development of diverse projects in industry, flexibility and adaptability to various situations and new technologies, and ability to successfully apply theoretical knowledge.

In order to guarantee the above, each Ph.D. student is required to have at least one scientific paper accepted for publication by a journal on the SCI list in the field of his Ph.D. thesis. Willingness of international scientific community to accept and publish his research results is sufficient verification of student competence and ability to conduct scientific research. This position is laid out in acts of the Accreditation Committee and Committee of Experts for Natural Science and Mathematics of the University of Novi Sad.

The Curriculum

There are two forms of active teaching within the study program: lectures and student research work (SRW). Each of the first four semesters is organized in a similar fashion: winters semesters includes 23 teaching hours of active teaching, while summer semesters include 22 hours, 8 of which are lectures in the winter and 7 in the summer, while all semester have 15 more of SRW organized through seminars. It can be seen that in the first four semesters 33% of active teaching is conducted through lectures. At the last year of doctoral studies active teaching consists solely of SRW, oriented towards the preparation of the Ph.D. thesis.

The study program is divided into three years during which the student takes 8 exams, participates in 4 seminars and prepares the Ph.D. thesis. In each of the first four semesters the student attends two courses and one seminar, while the third year (fifth and sixth semester) is reserved for the preparation of the Ph.D. thesis. The description of each course (name, type, year and semester, ECTS points, name of lecturer, course goal and expected results, requirements for enrollment in the course, course content and recommended literature, teaching methods, means of examination and grading, and other relevant data) are given in the Book of Courses.

After enrollment at doctoral studies, each student is assigned an advisor who assists the student with the selection of classes and articulation of scientific interests, until the election of the official supervisor.

Elective classes are selected from the list of classes given in the study program,

and can be selected only within the specified semester.

A seminar represents a thematically narrower, specialized form of teaching which is conducted in agreement with the student, and is directly oriented towards the preparation of the Ph.D. thesis. At the start of each school year, all Chairs publish a list of doctoral seminars to be organized that year. The content of a list depends on the current research work conducted by members of the chair. The exam is passes by defending a seminar paper or some other activity which can be recognized as equivalent (i.e. presentation at a conference).

The Ph.D. thesis represents independent scientific work of a student. The third year of studies is reserved for its preparation. In order to start the preparation of the thesis, the doctoral student must have collected at least 180 ECTS points during studies, and must have at least one paper accepted for publication in a journal from the SCI list. In order to enter the oral defense of the Ph.D. thesis, except the previous condition, the student must have at least one paper accepted for publication in a journal from the SCI list related to the student’s research presented in the Ph.D. thesis.

The number of ECTS points corresponding to elective courses and seminars is 120, that is, 100% of the total number of points which the student needs to collect in the first two years of study.

Elective classes, above all, have an educational role. They carry 49 out of 180 ECTS points (27.22%). On the other hand, seminars followed by different forms of work (exams, research, participation in national and international conferences as a form of work equivalent to a seminar) represent the basis for independent research work of a student. Through seminars the doctoral student is introduced to research work leading to the preparation of the Ph.D. thesis. The sum of points allocated to seminars and thesis preparation is 64 ECTS + 60 ECTS = 124 ECTS, which carries 68.89% of the total number of ECTS points of the study program. Therefore, at least one half of ECTS points allocated for the doctoral studies are related to the Ph.D. thesis and courses connected with the topic of the thesis.

A Distribution of the Courses into Semesters and Academic Years

Elective courses in the Study Program