PhD in Polar sciences

The PhD programme in Polar Sciences is a joint initiative of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) and the University of Milano-Bicocca.
Key research themes of the PhD programme include:

  • Glaciology
  • Ice core sciences
  • Ice sheet Modeling
  • Polar Biology
  • Polar Oceanography
  • Paleoclimate
  • Paleoceanography
  • Polar Climate
  • Remote Sensing
  • Polar Geography and Geopolitics
  • Spectral Methods for Climatic Time Series
  • Data Mining 

Programme content

The PhD in Polar Sciences is a 4 year programme. During the first year students complete their coursework in Venice, while from the second year onward they develop their research projects and work on their final PhD dissertations. After completion of the first year, PhD students are required to spend a period conducting research at a foreign institution or university, to be agreed with the tutor and approved by the PhD Board.

1st year

The programme comprises 12 core courses of 6 ECTS each, from a range of subject areas. Students benefit from a balance between teaching and learning through a mix of lectures, seminars, external speakers, discussion group exercises, and case studies. Credits are acquired by attending the courses and by passing a final exam. Attendance is mandatory. Seminars, guest lectures, and elective thematic courses are organized through out the year in order to facilitate interaction among students from different cycles and different programmes, as well as with invited guests from important research centers and universities. All PhD students are required to attend at least 50% of the seminars and educational activities organized by the PhD programme to be admitted to the subsequent year.

2nd & 3rd year - research at foreing institutions

During the second or the third years, PhD students must spend a research period in a foreign institution. The choice of the institution will be discussed with the tutor and the PhD Board, based on students' research topics.

4th year - thesis writing

In the fourth year, PhD candidates are mainly involved in the preparation of their thesis under the supervision of their advisors. The preliminary thesis presentation and the pre-defense will be scheduled during the fourth year. All theses will be externally reviewed by international referees.


Last update: 02/09/2021