Language policy

The language of tuition is English for all core elements of the programme, including the thesis. Some elective modules and special skills courses may be replaced with equivalent offerings in other languages (subject to approval by the Academic Board), depending on the candidate’s language competence. At admission stage, non-native speakers of English must demonstrate, through the acquisition of a recognized qualification, proficiency in English at level C1 (‘proficient user’) as defined in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). This can be done in various ways, for example with an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) certificate at level 7.0, or through a score of 100 (including a minimum 22 in both writing and reading) in the internet-based TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). The paper-based TOEFL is not acceptable. Candidates whose native language is English will be required to demonstrate competence in another EU language at CEFR level B2 (‘independent user’).

During the programme, students will be required to attend basic language courses in the consortium languages of their two chosen places of study unless they can already demonstrate competence in those languages at CEFR level B2. Language training opportunities will be provided at all four sites at no additional cost. These language courses are not used for credit towards the doctorate, but are recognized as an essential tool in the professional and personal development of the candidates. Candidates will be encouraged to document their language abilities through Europass.

At the end of the programme, all students will have used at least two EU languages, and the majority of students will have acquired skills in a third or fourth EU language.