Complex Exam

Complex Exam
The complex exam aims at the comprehensive assessment of the students’ knowledge acquired in the education and research phase and the establishment of their successful preparation for the research and dissertation phase of their doctoral studies.

The complex exam consists of two parts: education and scientific. The education part of the exam also consists of two parts: theory and methodology.In terms of methodology, the student can choose between quantitative and qualitative methods.

In the education part, questions are posed by the committee (based on the theoretic and methodological topics listed, the latter based on the student’s choice). The student is given time for preparation, then they take the oral exam in front of the examination board. The board evaluates the student’s performance with Pass or Fail.

For the scientific exam (dissertation part) students have to hand in one chapter of their thesis and their thesis proposal. The thesis proposal has to include in the form of a study the brief summary and critical analysis of the literature relevant to the student’s research topic.

During the exam, these two materials are discussed. The students have to briefly summarise their knowledge of the relevant literature, present their research results, and the structure and timing of their research to be carried out in the research and dissertation phase, along with the schedule of their preparation of the dissertation and the publication of their research results. The supervisor and an external expert working in the particular research area are also invited to the exam. This part of the exam is also evaluated with Pass or Fail.

The registration deadline for the complex exam in the Spring term is 31st March and in the Autumn term 31st October. Students who register for the complex exam have to submit their registration on the registration form provided by the Doctoral School by those dates.  As a rule, the chapter and the thesis proposal need to be submitted along with the registration request for the complex exam, though the deadlines set by each programme may differ.

The supervisors hand in written evaluations on the students’ performance during the education and research phase and give their opinions about whether the students are prepared to take the complex exam. This evaluation has to be submitted also.

The chapter of the thesis is given to external readers for evaluation. The students have to respond to the readers’ opinion at the exam.

Students who fail either or both parts of the theoretical part of the complex exam may retake the exam for a fee. However, a failed dissertation part of the complex exam cannot be retaken.

Application form






Social theory


Outline of the thesis proposal