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UOC to offer four new doctoral programmes

The four new additions the Doctoral School is planning for the coming academic year are Health and Psychology, Humanities and Communication, Tourism, and Business Administration and Management

Creating websites with information about specific health problems, developing apps to help track certain diseases or using virtual reality to help teach surgical procedures are just some examples of research to improve people's health and well-being. This is precisely the goal pursued by the new doctoral programme in Health and Psychology that the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya's (UOC) Doctoral School  will be offering starting in September 2020, along with Humanities and Communication, Tourism and Business Administration and Management.

The director of the new Health and Psychology programme, Rubn Nieto, who is also a member of the Faculty of Health Sciences, said, "Each thesis will contribute its grain of sand to improving people's health and well-being". The programme will give students the chance to explore seven lines of research revolving around the following topics: e-health; psychological aspects and tools; neuroscience and language disorders; nutrition and healthy lifestyles; healthy work environments; community care and health; and gender, health and sociocultural models. Nieto went on to say that the goal was to make sure research carried out within the framework of this programme was "efficient, sustainable and innovative, without forgetting the scientific impact within the field of health and psychology".

E-health is a strategic area of activity for the UOC; the University's eHealth Center is proof of this. Two and a half years ago this academic centre opened its doors with a mission to educate and empower professionals and ordinary citizens through the use of technologies, to lead the paradigm shift in health. It is people-centred, using research, education and guidance to contribute to social progress and well-being.


Inequalities and social movements, under analysis

Another new programme for the autumn of 2020 is the doctoral programme in Humanities and Communication, which will train students to research the social change phenomena taking place in social practice and ideology. By studying new forms of social interaction, communication and artistic expression, the aim is to broaden their understanding of phenomena such as globalization, neocolonialism, inequalities, social movements and appropriation of technological innovations.

Under the management of Joan Pujolar, professor at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, the programme's different research groups will study issues related to gender equality and fostering social and political inclusion, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, disability, race, ethnic group, origin, religion, economic situation or any other condition. Mobility and migrations, along with an interest in protecting and safeguarding cultural heritage, are other topics that a large proportion of the research groups will be looking at.


The digital transformation of enterprises

The new doctoral programme in Business Administration and Management seeks to inspire, develop and channel research in areas related to economics and the world of business. With the rapid pace of technological change, the skills required to manage a business organization proficiently are evolving rapidly. The doctoral programme therefore aims to provide new opportunities for students to acquire complex and versatile skills. It also transfers knowledge that students can then apply in the production system, either in terms of rolling out improvements and innovations or by means of a greater ability to analyse organizations and the environment in which they operate.

The research lines addressed in this programme cover regional development; strategic management; corporate and business policy; economics; finance and accounting; training and human development in organizations; innovation and entrepreneurship; marketing; production, logistics and stock control; human resources; information systems and organizational technology; and sustainability and the environment.

It is a joint programme given by the Universitat Politcnica de Catalunya (UPC), the Universidad Politcnica de Madrid (UPM), the Universidad Politcnica de Cartagena (UPCT), and the UOC.


Proposing new forms of tourism based on more sustainable and responsible models

Another of the UOC Doctoral School's new programmes for September is the joint doctoral programme in Tourism.  This programme's research lines focus on tourist destination planning and management; tourism and local society; economic analysis of the tourism industry; management and innovation in tourism organizations; tourism and heritage; and smart tourism, technology and data analysis. Given jointly by the UOC and another eleven Spanish universities, the doctoral programme has been designed in cooperation with Redintur, a network comprised of 19 universities that offer postgraduate studies in tourism and one of the key players in the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Tourism's 2012-2015 National Tourism Plan. Julie Wilson, deputy dean of research and professor at the UOC's Faculty of Economics and Business, will be the programme's director.

Once these four new programmes come on-stream, the UOC will have eight online doctoral programmes:

The Doctoral School's director, David Masip, said,  "The new programmes will significantly increase talent recruitment and enhance the training of highly qualified professionals who will have the necessary expertise to address the complex challenges that society will have to face in the near future".

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