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Human Rights, Society, and Multi-Level Governance, PhD

University of Nicosia, Cyprus

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About Human Rights, Society, and Multi-Level Governance, PhD - at University of Nicosia

The Joint Doctorate (PhD) in Human Rights, Society, and Multi-Level Governance is an existing three-year, interdisciplinary, joint academic programme managed by the University of Padova in Italy, the University of Zagreb in Croatia, Western Sydney University in Australia and Panteion University, Athens in Greece. The joint degree in its current form results in a Dottorato di Ricerca in Italy, a Doktorat iz društvenih znanosti in Croatia, a Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) in Australia, and a Didactoriko Diploma in Greece. All information pertaining to the degree can be found on its website: and the website of the Human Rights Centre of the coordinating institution, the University of Padova:


The main aspects of the scientific design of the joint doctoral programme, and its added value in relation to the existing European and national courses in the concerned countries are the following:

  • The doctorate will produce researchers with a multi/interdisciplinary profile. The doctorate programme is assumed to organize teaching, research and training in the area of human rights studies, covering the legal, political, social, philosophical and economic approaches and methodologies in different geographical areas. Law, politics, economics and sociology are the main disciplines involved. Both theoretical dimensions and practical analyses will be given relevance in the overall approach to be embraced.

  • The doctoral programme shall address the multi-level dimensions of human rights implementation policies. Focusing on the most innovative and critical developments, research will delve into the areas of human rights' concern and critically assess the effectiveness, impact, and consistency of doctrines and practices.

  • The doctoral programme will be organized around the fundamental dimensions of contemporary multi-level governance in light of the subsidiarity principle. Accordingly, the focus will be on: the global dimension (the UN and UN-family legal frameworks, institutions, policies and practices); the European regional context and its global impact as well as other regional systems; the national-level dimension with the possibility of a comparative approach; and, the local-level community actors and dynamics (cities, regions, transboundary territories). Both institutions and private actors' roles will be addressed, such as transnational civil society, social movements, religious and cultural groups, NGOs, corporate companies.

  • Study and research topics will reflect the subjects addressed in the international and regional human rights legal instruments as well as in the practice that accompanies their implementation (e.g. cultural/religious pluralism and universality of human rights; evolution of regional systems of protection of human rights; justiciability of social rights as human rights: models for the fulfillment of social rights; the impact of relocation of sovereignty on human rights affirmation and implementation, multi-level governance and human rights protection).

  • The doctoral programme will develop students' in-depth understanding, critical analysis, and application of current theoretical literature and research methodology to enable them to carry out their doctoral research project.

  • The doctoral programme will enhance students' research skills and facilitate the development of expertise relevant to their research specialization area.

  • The doctoral programme will educate students in how to disseminate research findings, conclusions and suggestions, for example through publishing in academic journals and/or presenting their work in academic conferences and seminars.

Career Prospects

Τhe programme aims to offer the highest level of scientific knowledge in the field and to prepare students for a career in tertiary education and scientific research. Students are expected to conduct state-of-the-art research that advances original and practically applicable solutions to scientific problems. Graduates of the program will be able to demonstrate aptitude in the preparation, execution and management of an independent research study, and to disseminate their findings to the wider academic community through publishing their work in academic journals and/or giving presentations in academic conferences and seminars.

There is no other program with a specific focus on human rights, society and multi-level governance in Cyprus, not only at the doctoral level but at any level of tertiary education. That will make the graduates of the programme uniquely qualified and possessing a competitive edge in an emerging academic discipline and environment. In addition, the interdisciplinary nature of the subject matter and the structure of the programme will develop skills and competencies that enhance graduates' employability prospects; not only is this combination of disciplinary approaches not offered in a similar fashion at the national level but - in fact - such programs are relatively rare both at the regional and at the international level.

At the same time, the scientific design of the programme affords graduates with employability prospects beyond academia. Both in terms of the interdisciplinary nature of the program as well its multidimensional focus at different levels of analysis on different actors and institutions will render graduates more employable by the private sector, civil society organisations, regional and international organisations.

Entry requirements for this course

Contact University of Nicosia to find course entry requirements.

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Related Information

Find out more about studying in Cyprus