About our program

General information

From the beginning of academic year 2016/2017 (September 2016), the duration of doctoral studies is 2+2 years. In the first two years students are obliged to take certain number of core and optional courses (at our doctoral school, students are obliged to pass 10 courses in the first 4 semesters: 4 core and 6 optional courses) and do research as well. At the end of every semester student is obliged to submit a detailed research report containing all of his/her professional research activity (conference presentations, papers, etc.).

At the end of the first stage (in the exam period of the 4th semester) there is a so-called complex examination with two separate parts: general knowledge of the research area and methodology of legal research (part I) and evaluation of the student's research activity in the first 4 semesters (part II). If the complex examination is successful, student can continue his/her studies.

In the second part of the PhD program there are no courses, only research activity must be done. It is expected that at the end of the 8th semester the dissertation should be completed and the defense process can be started (or, if it is possible, completed). Doctoral dissertation can be submitted after a successful preliminary debate organized by the doctoral school. (Preliminary debate is valid if at least 5 experts holding PhD, CSc or DSc titles evaluate the dissertation.)

Language requirements at the end of the 8th semester: PhD students need two different (one at least B2 level and one at least B1 level) state-accredited international language exams. English shall be the first language (at least B2 level). The second language (at least B1 level) could be Hungarian, the mother language and any other existing language, esperanto and similiars excluded.

Course descriptions

Students are obliged to pass 4 core and 6 optional courses in the first 4 semesters. Course descriptions are available here:


Students are obliged to collect 240 credits within 8 semesters (30 credits/semester as an average). Main categories of credits are:
  • core and optional courses: 20 credits (2 credits / course, all courses shall be fulfilled in semesters 1-4)
  • research report: 70 credits (10 credits / semester, excepting the 4th semester)
  • presentation at the research forum, based on the research report: 35 credits (5 credits / semester, excepting the 4th semester)
  • publications (articles, conference presentations, conference papers etc.): 115 credits

Main categories of publications:
  • PhD conference presentation: 9 credits (1-4. semesters) / 6 credits (5-8. semesters)
  • Non-PhD conference presentation: 12 credits
  • Conference presentation abroad: 16 credits
  • PhD conference paper: 6 credits (1-4. semesters) / 3 credits (5-8. semesters)
  • Non-PhD conference paper: 9 credits
  • Paper of a conference held abroad: 12 credits
  • Yearbook, collected essay etc.: 16 credits (in Hungary) / 20 credits (abroad)
  • Journal publication: 12-40 credits (depending on the ranking of the journal)

At the end of the 8th semester, at least 4 publications in a high-ranked journal is a minimum requirement.

About the dissertation (formal requirements)

Length of the dissertation: 400.000 – 600.000 characters (including spaces, footnotes, list of bibliography, annexes)

b, Dissertation shall be printed on A/4 sized paper, one-sided printing (the rear side of the paper must remain blank). Pages shall be numbered (with the exception of the blank rear sides) with Arabic numbers starting from page 1.

c, The indication “PhD dissertation” shall be printed on the outside cover page, together with the full title, the full name of the author and the date (year) and place of submission (Debrecen).

d, The margin shall be 3 cm on the left side and 2.5 cm on the right side, top and bottom.

e, The whole text of the dissertation shall by typed with “Times New Roman”, font size “12”, with line spacing of 1.5 lines. Only italic typing can be used for highlighting. However, chapter (and subchapter) titles shall be printed with font size “13” or “14”, using bold typing style. Footnotes shall be typed with font size “10”.

f, The candidate shall keep to the order of the following structural elements when preparing the dissertation:
  • internal front page
  • table of contents
  • explanation of abbreviations (if necessary)
  • recommendation of the supervisoe
  • main text of the dissertation (divided to chapters and subchapters)
  • bibliography
  • annexes, appendices (if necessary)