Social Sciences and Humanities


Coordinator: Prof. Mattia Guidi -

Department of reference: Social, Political and Cognitive Sciences (DISPOC)

Start of training activities 40th cycle: 1st November 2024
Course duration: 3 years


  • Mind and cultures
  • Society and politics

The PhD programme in Social Sciences and Humanities stems from the experience developed in the DISPOC during the 2018-2022 Project of Excellence, and aims to promote an interdisciplinary training programme that encourages exchange between complementary research areas. The ultimate goal of this programme is to contribute to the advanced study of interactions between social and political phenomena and cognitive characteristics.


The doctoral programme offers an interdisciplinary training plan, covering the ERC Macro Area of Social Science and Humanities (SSH), and it is composed of two curricula: the “Mind and Cultures” curriculum, which includes disciplines belonging to the ERC sectors SH4 (“The Human Mind and its Complexity”) and SH5 (“Cultures and Cultural Productions”), and the “Society and Politics” curriculum, which includes the sectors SH2 (“Institutions, Governance and Legal Systems”) and SH3 (“The Social World and its Diversity”).


PhD students of the course in Social Sciences and Humanities are expected to develop knowledge in different areas of advanced research in social and cognitive studies such as: formal and experimental linguistics – in its various fields of syntax, the study of meaning, the study of different forms of expression, whether oral or written; analytical and cognitive philosophy, in its articulations of philosophy of language, mind and science; behavioural and cognitive economics; cultural and social anthropology – in its most up-to-date aspects of the anthropology of otherness, gender, post-colonialism and heritage performance; political science – the study of political institutions, voting behaviour, political economy and international relations; general sociology; cultural and communication sociology; media and communication studies; computational thinking and its tools; computational applications in natural language and in the different fields of communication; statistical processing; social and cognitive psychology; design-thinking methods applied to the study of society and its transformations and to the innovation of products and services; economic geography and the study of the interactions between individuals and urban spaces; historical research.


The PhD training plan is conceived in such a way as to include both classroom training, through dedicated courses, and research activity on topics consistent with the PhD students’ research projects. The balance between the two lines of training – courses and research – is aimed at fostering an increasing autonomy of doctoral students: classroom training is concentrated in the first year, while the following years are mainly devoted to research activities and thesis writing.


All teaching activities are in English. PhD students are encouraged to write their doctoral thesis in English too, so as to allow them to be better integrated in the international research community and ensure better dissemination of the research carried out within the doctoral programme.