PhD in Human Cognition and Evolution

Academic year 2019-20

General and specific competencies

The goal of the PhD programme is to train and prepare researchers who are focused on studying:

  • (i) the human perceptual and cognitive structure, in particular higher functions among which are the unique features, in evolutionary terms (autapomorphy), of linguistic communication, moral behaviour, and aesthetic judgments (language, moral, and aesthetic),
  • (ii) diseases and ageing, based on particular circumstances, specifically changes due to emotional states, and
  • (iii) groups that, being shaped by social dynamics throughout history, have taken on behaviours derived from individuals.


Core Skills

  • CB11 - Systematic comprehension of a field of study and mastery of research skills and methods related to this field
  • CB12 - The ability to devise, design or create, implement and adopt a substantial research or invention process
  • CB13 - The ability to contribute to widening the frontiers of knowledge through original research
  • CB14 - The ability to perform a critical analysis, assessment and synthesis of new and complex ideas
  • CB15 - The ability to communicate with the academic and scientific community, as well as with society as a whole, about their areas of knowledge in the methods and languages commonly used within the international scientific community
  • CB16 - The ability to promote scientific, technological, social, artistic or cultural advancement in academic and professional settings within the knowledge-based society.

Personal Skills and Abilities

  • CA01 - Work in contexts where there is little specific information
  • CA02 - Uncover key questions that need to be answered in order to resolve a complex problem
  • CA03 - Design, create, develop and undertake new and innovative projects in their area of knowledge
  • CA04 - Work in a team and independently in an international or multidisciplinary setting
  • CA05 - Incorporate knowledge, handle complexity and provide opinions with limited information
  • CA06 - Intellectual criticism and defence of solutions.

Acces and entry Requirements

The PhD programme in cognition and human evolution at the University of the Balearic Islands admits students with the following backgrounds:

  1. Those with the ability to prepare a PhD thesis related to the field of research in human cognition and cognitive development, particularly in regard to: (i) the management of the bibliographical sources (journals, databases) most used in this kind of research, and (ii) familiarity with the concepts, methods, and general interpretative models of research in this field.
  2. Those with knowledge equivalent to that which is provided in the bachelor's level studies in Anthropology (Physical and/or Cultural), Biology (especially Human Genetics), Psychology (especially General Human Cognition, Experimental Aesthetics, and Neuropsychology) or Philosophy (Philosophy of the Mind, Philosophical Anthropology). And at the graduate level, more specialized knowledge in at least one of the following areas: (i) human evolutionary processes, (ii) anthropological characterizations of modern groups in the process of globalization, (iii) relations between cognitive processes, behaviours, and brain structures. Knowledge of the research carried out related to neo-Darwinism, psychology of basic cognitive processes, analysis of mental disorders, and neuroimaging will be especially appreciated.

Support and guidance information

The Academic Committee will ask students who have completed the master's degree programme in cognition and human evolution what their research interests are and whom they would prefer to have as a director for their thesis. For admitted students who have not taken this master's programme, the Academic Committee will consider their interest in and motivation for enrolling in the programme and students can suggest a tutor based on their chosen line of research.

At the end of the first year, students must present and defend their thesis project (the "live thesis"), before at least two professors, not counting their director or directors.

The Academic Committee will resolve cases in which a change of director or resignation is duly requested. 

The Code of Good Practice and the Thesis Charter, with the rights and duties of the director, tutor, and candidate, are models provided by the University of the Balearic Islands for establishing a guide of good practices for the management and monitoring of training/educational activities and the doctoral dissertation. Regulations and guidelines regarding the organization of university doctoral teachings at the University of the Balearic Islands are stated in Articles 9-13, as per Royal Decree 99/2011.

Guidance and supervision of training/educational activities and the doctoral thesis conform to the
"Procedures for doctorates of the UIB (RD99/2011)"