Doctoral studies in law in Poland: How should they be conducted?

Konrad Osajda

Abstract


The paper deals with organization and curriculum of doctoral studies in law in Poland. The aim of this article is to identify scope of law schools’ freedom concerning the curriculum from the perspective of Polish participation in the Bologna process and law in force. Then the paper explains foundations of Bologna process and restrictions resulting from the process as to the status of doctoral studies as well as Polish regulations concerning doctoral studies (particularly law issued by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education). Although the Bologna process defines doctoral studies as a third level (the most advanced level) of regular studies, the author claims that it does not oblige to consider doctoral studies in the same manner as master and bachelor studies. The curriculum of doctoral studies should rather be focused on providing PhD
candidates with skills necessary to conduct research and doctorate should be regarded as a “gate” to becoming a scholar. Then doctoral studies need to be seen as dedicated advanced graduate studies, not as “next” undergraduate level of studies. Such thesis leads to several important consequences as reducing number of students admitted to doctoral studies, limiting number of PhD candidates supervised by one professor, eliminating professional benefits resulting from being awarded PhD (in terms of legal studies – admission to bar exam without prior professional three years long training).

Keywords


doctoral studies; legal studies; PhD; Bologna process; doctoral studies curriculum

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