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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Enhancing digital teaching

Bi-national PhD Programmes

Bi-national PhDs are awarded jointly by the Humboldt-Universität and an international partner university. The PhD thesis is supervised at both universities, and candidates spend a substantial part of their studies at each of the partner institutions. The thesis is marked and the examination held by both universities together; the student will usually be awarded a joint PhD degree.

For a bi-national PhD, any diverging local regulations must be combined and where necessary reconciled by means of exemptions. This might include the precise stipulations concerning supervision and assessment, the form taken by the joint examination (including the way it is marked), and the publication of the thesis.


Cotutelle Agreements

The two universities usually draw up individual contracts for bi-national PhDs. Because this form of agreement was initiated by the French government, such contracts are often referred to by the French term ‘cotutelle (de thèse)’. To facilitate the cotutelle procedure, there has been an annotated sample contract (available in a German-English and a German-French version) on the Humboldt website since 2012.


Joint PhD Programme

In the case of certain permanent university partnerships, individually negotiated joint PhD contracts have been replaced by permanent agreements, such as for example the ‘joint PhD agreement’ between the Humboldt-Universität and King’s College London. This programme is currently coordinated by us. For more information see: Joint PhD programme between King’s College London and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (PDF).


For further information see: Wolfgang Deicke, Johannes Moes, Johannes Siemens (2016) Collision and Coalescence - German and British Cultures in Doctoral Education, in:  Blessinger, Patrick/Stockley, Denise (ed.), Emerging Directions in Doctoral Education, Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning Vol. 6, Bingley: Emerald Publishing Group, S. 149-169.