Program Description

The Doctoral Program in Culture Studies is a four-year research program in the Humanities and Social Sciences aimed at graduates and professionals from the cultural sector who wish to advance their university education within a theoretically solid and groundbreaking framework.

As part of a wide network of academic and cultural players, the program is born out of the commitment to develop a doctoral program that promotes both high-level research training at the forefront of scientific interest and responds to the cultural sector’s growing call for highly qualified professionals.

The Program stimulates problem-oriented and practice-based research approaches and provides broad opportunities for interdisciplinary interaction through a significant range of seminar options from the fields of Cultural Studies, Contemporary Art, Performance Studies, Literature, Translation, Media and Visual Studies.

The Doctoral Program is entirely taught in English.

You can check the curriculum here.


FCT-PhD Program (2015/2016 – 2019/2020)

The International Doctoral Program in Culture Studies is funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (Portuguese government) – FCT, and offers a joint-degree in Culture Studies awarded by Universidade Católica Portuguesa, the University of Giessen and the University of Copenhagen.

As part of a tri-national network, students benefit from up to two semesters at one of the partner institutions in order to conduct empirical or theoretical research. The period abroad is part of the co-tutelle agreement and will also allow the candidate to work with the second supervisor. A work program will be established for the duration of the stay at the partner institution.


The Lisbon Consortium – Universidade Católica Portuguesa

Program Director: Isabel Capeloa Gil

Graduate Center for the Study of Culture – University of Giessen

Program Director: Ansgar Nünning

Copenhagen Doctoral School in Cultural Studies – University of Copenhagen

Program Director: Frederik Tygstrup

External Advisory Board

Samuel Weber (Northwestern University)

Paulo de Medeiros (University of Warwick)

Monika Schmitz-Emans (Ruhr-University Bochum)

The Doctoral Program is entirely taught in English.

You can check the curriculum here.

Other international PhD co-tutelle agreements

PUC – Rio

Justus Liebig Universität Giessen (within the scope of the PhD-net)


Research Training Networks

PhD-net  (University of Giessen, Universidade Católica Portuguesa; University of Bergamo, University of Stockholm, University of Helsinki and University of Graz)

ESSCS (European Summer School for Cultural Studies – University of Copenhagen, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, University of Giessen, University of Amsterdam, University of Paris VIII, University of Trondheim, University of Ljubljana and Goldsmiths University of London)

Critical Humanities Network (Universidade Católica Portuguesa, University of Warwick, University of Sorbonne)


Background – What is Culture Studies?

Culture Studies have come of age over the last two decades. Within the framework of the crisis in the humanities and the growing call for renewed arts-based forms of knowledge production, the study of culture has changed from being a frame for humanities’ disciplines into gaining prominence in its own right. Two developments triggered this change. On the one hand, the rise of cultural studies in the 1960’s drew attention to the social-political dimension of culture, to its ordinariness and the many ways in which power was blended into creation. On the other, over the course of the 1980’s a new metadiscipline Kulturwissenschaft (science of culture) drew on the interpretative skills of the humanities and the growing attention to forms of mediation in media studies to look at the multiple ways in which culture matters as driver of artistic creation and also address how societies represent themselves and view others, look at the past and prepare the future. Bringing together the sociological methodology that is proper to British cultural studies with the interpretative qualitative approach of Kulturwissenschaft, Culture Studies is by definition transdisciplinary. It has risen to become a problem-oriented metadiscipline, representing a new paradigm of integrated reflection on the artistic forms of expression of individuals and societies, across the visual arts, literature, cinema and the media.

STRUCTURE OF THE PROGRAM (PhD and International PhD)






You can also watch our video

Applications for the FCT Scholarships 2019-2020, see here: INTDCS Call for Applications 2019

Admission to the FCT-International Doctoral Program in Culture Studies 2018. See here: INTDCS Results 2018-19