Doctorate in

Education and Cognitive Processes

Doctorate in Education and Cognitive Processes Doctorate in Education and Cognitive Processes

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Doctorate in Education and Cognitive Processes

Innovation and research in the professional field of education

Given the fundamental role of education in promoting the cohesion and inclusion of people with different profiles, contexts and abilities (Education and Training Monitor, 2017), the Doctorate in Education and Cognitive Processes emerges with the objective of providing a multidimensional and suitable answer for attention to diversity.

The program focuses its scientific activity on a single line of work aimed at generating basic and applied knowledge that allows delving into individual differences, to give an educational response really focused on an understanding of the multidimensionality of diversity. This line of research is defined as "Cognitive processes and individual differences in education", and arises from the convergence of thematic areas close to Education, such as Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, and the interest in giving an educational response to diversity based on scientific knowledge by studying individual differences.

Access to the Doctorate Programme

Admission profile

The access criteria to the PhD program are detailed in the following section, and are those established by the law for this purpose. Therefore, any candidate who meets these criteria would have legal access to the program.

  • In addition to the general access requirements set forth in current legislation, the recommended profile for entering this PhD program is that of a graduate in some degree in the area of education (Teachers of Early Childhood Education or Primary Education, Pedagogues, Educational psychologists and other graduates with postgraduate training in degrees related to education), who also provides a university master's degree whose structure contains at least 16 ECTS credits in subjects related to research, including the Master's Final Research Project.
  • A second admissible profile will be that of someone who accesses after having completed an official Master's degree that does not meet the requirements indicated above. In this case, if the candidate were admitted, he would also have to complete the necessary training supplements in accordance with what is established by the Academic Committee of the Doctoral Program. To this end, the candidate will be offered training supplements in research methodology for applied education, in accordance with the gaps in training evaluated by the Academic Committee of the Doctoral program.

Likewise, it is advisable to have an English proficiency equivalent to a B2 level, and a B2 level also in Spanish in the case of international PhD students.

Admission requirements and criteria

In general, to access an official doctoral program it will be necessary to have the official Spanish degrees of Bachelor's Degree (Grado) or equivalent, and University Master's Degree. Those who are in any of the following cases may also access it:

  • a) Have an official Spanish university degree, or of another country that is part of the European Higher Education Area, that enables access to the Master's degree in accordance with the provisions of article 16 of Royal Decree 1393/2007 of October 29, and have passed a minimum of 300 ECTS credits in all official university studies, of which, at least 60 must be of Master's degree level.
  • b) Have an official Spanish Graduate degree, whose duration, according to rules of community law, is at least 300 ECTS credits. Said graduates must attend the complementary training courses referred to in article 7.2 of RD 99/2011, unless the curriculum of the corresponding Bachelor's degree includes research training credits, equivalent in educational value to the research credits in Master's degree studies.
  • c) University graduates who, after obtaining a place in training in the entrance exam corresponding to specialized health training, have at least two years of positive evaluation in a training program to obtain the official degree of any of the specialties in Health Sciences.
  • d) Have a degree obtained in accordance with foreign educational systems, without the need for homologation, after verification by the university that it accredits a level of training equivalent to that of the official Spanish Master's degree and that it authorizes access to doctoral studies in the country issuing the degree. This admission will not imply, in any case, the homologation of the interested party's previous degree or its recognition for any other purposes than that of accessing Doctoral studies.
  • e) Having another Spanish Doctorate degree obtained according to previous university ordinances.
  • f) Have a Bachelor's, Engineer or Architect degree, qualifications all prior to the regulations of RD 1393/2007, in accordance with the equivalence regulations of the previous official Spanish degrees regulated in Royal Decree 1393/2007, of October 29 for the purpose of accessing official doctoral studies regulated in RD 99/2011, approved by the Government Commission of the Antonio de Nebrija University on 01/19/2016.

The following scale is established for accessing these doctoral programs:

  • (60%) Currículum Vitae y formación pre-doctoral del candidato. Se evaluará particularmente el CV, el plan de estudios del Máster, el expediente académico que obtuvo en el programa cursado y el Trabajo de Fin de Máster (o trabajo de investigación equivalente)
  • (20%) Entrevista personal con el coordinador del programa de doctorado, que documentará mediante informe justificativo. La entrevista versará sobre la formación académica pre-doctoral, la formación en metodología de investigación, la experiencia investigadora en procesos cognitivos y la experiencia profesional vinculada a la educación, los intereses investigadores del candidato, el nivel de dominio del inglés y/o español. Esta entrevista podrá realizarse por medios telemáticos en caso de que el candidato resida en el extranjero.
  • (20%) Adecuación del perfil del candidato a alguna línea de investigación (de entre las que consten en el registro de grupos de investigación de la OTRI), valorando la formación pre-doctoral del candidato y sus intereses investigadores.
  • Completed and signed application
  • Updated Curriculum Vitae
  • Certified copy of the Bachelor's (or undergraduate) degree diploma*
  • Certified copy of the official Master's degree diploma*
  • Certified copy of the curriculum certificate for Master's degree studies (or similar)*
  • Copia compulsada del certificado académico del Grado*
  • Copia compulsada del certificado de la universidad de origen que acredite la posibilidad de acceso a estudios de doctorado en su país desde la titulación obtenida (en caso de estudios extranjeros).
  • Photocopy of ID (Spanish) or passport (foreigners)
  • A photo (passport size)
  • A PDF copy of your Final Research Project or Diploma of Advanced Studies (if applicable)
  • A letter of recommendation (from your Final Research Project director, or from anyone who can refer research experience)
  • Proof of work activity (if applying for part-time admission)
  • A thesis project outline containing Objectives (and/or Research Questions) / Methodology / Expected Results

* In the case of non-European diplomas: "apostille" in documents issued in countries that have signed the Hague Convention or legalization through diplomatic channels, in other cases
**If the documentation has not been issued in Spanish, it must be accompanied by the corresponding official sworn translation

Send the application with all the documentation by e-mail to [email protected]

Admission and enrollment

Provisional resolution admission

Send the completed admission application and claims to [email protected]

  • September 1-23
    Send the completed and signed admission application by email, along with the required documentation of the program.
  • September 26-29
    Notification by email of the provisional decision of those admitted to the doctorate.
  • September 26-29
    Provision of a period of three days, from the notification of the provisional decision of those admitted, to submit any claim by email.
  • Until October 2
    Resolution of claims.
    Email notification of the final list of admitted students.
  • September 26 to October 13
    If you are admitted, send the completed and signed application along with the documentation sent earlier in the admission process, by mail to:

    Universidad Nebrija – Escuela de Doctorado
    Campus de La Berzosa
    28240 Hoyo de Manzanares (Madrid).

    If the required documentation is not provided within the established period, the Doctoral School will proceed to cancel the enrollment application.
  • October 3-28
    Self-enrollment through the Universitas XXI application.
    Send by email ([email protected] and [email protected]) proof of payment corresponding to the registration fees and annual tutelage fees in the doctorate.
    Students who are admitted and do not formalize their enrollment within the period indicated by the Doctoral School will lose their place in the program.
Complementary training courses
PhD Programs AMOUNT ECTS S/TOTAL 21-22 Training Complements (6 ECTS) Training Complements (12 ECTS)
Doctorate in Education and Cognitive Processes 88 € 528 € 1.056 €

Those candidates admitted to the program but who do not have sufficient specific training in research methodology in applied education must take additional actions to their previous training.

Specifically, they will have to take a maximum of 12 ECTS credits, between 6 and 12 depending on the assessment of the candidate's training made by the Academic Committee of the Doctoral program. Given their complementary nature, these credits must be taken by students during the first year of the doctorate.

The criteria and procedures that will be applied to assess whether or not candidates have sufficient specific training in Research Methodology will be:

  • Analysis of his curriculum vitae and the curriculum with which he has completed his Level 7 studies (Master's degree or DEA).
  • Analysis and evaluation of the research methodology with which the candidate carried out his supervised Master's degree or DEA research work.

The subjects proposed as a complement to training are the following:

  • Introduction to educational research (6 ECTS credits)
  • Research design and data analysis in Education (6 ECTS credits))
Procedure to assign a tutor/thesis director Fees
PhD Programs AMOUNT ECTS S/TOTAL 21-22 Training Complements (6 ECTS) Training Complements (12 ECTS)
Doctorate in Education and Cognitive Processes 88 € 528 € 1.056 €

In each academic year, until the reading of the thesis, the student must renew the registration within the established period.

  • In the first year the PhD student must pay the registration fee and the annual supervision fee:
    • Full-time: €450 registration fee and €1100 annual supervision fee.
    • Part-time: €980 registration fee and €570 annual supervision fee.
  • From the second year until the end of the thesis, you will have to pay the annual supervision fee, full time €1,100 or part time €570.
  • In order to be able to defend the thesis, the PhD student must pay the thesis deposit: €1,600.
  • Issuing of the doctoral degree: €311.

The Doctoral Commission can also be asked annually for partial exemptions from the doctoral fees for doctoral students who actively collaborate in Nebrija research groups, among others.


  • Full-time Students:
    The duration of the doctoral studies will be a maximum of three years, full-time, from the admission of the doctoral student to the program until the presentation of the doctoral thesis. (If after the aforementioned three-year period he has not submitted the application for thesis deposit, the commission responsible for the program may authorize the extension of this period for one more year, which could exceptionally be extended for another additional year, under the conditions that have been established in the corresponding doctoral program).
  • Part-time Students:
    The academic commission responsible for the doctoral program may authorize the completion of part-time doctoral studies. To request this modality, candidates will have to prove some work activity. In this case, the studies may have a maximum duration of five years from admission to the program until the presentation of the doctoral thesis. (If the application for deposit of the thesis has not been submitted after the aforementioned period, the commission responsible for the program may authorize the extension for two more years which, exceptionally, could be extended for another additional year).
Research Lines

Cognitive Processes and Individual Differences in Education.


  1. Executive functions and their relationship with learning
  2. Learning modalities and contexts
  3. Cognitive profiling
  4. Reading and reader training
  5. Neuroscience of memory
  6. Teacher training

Basic or General Competences

  • BC11. Systematic understanding of a field of study and mastery of research skills and methods related to that field.
  • BC12. Ability to conceive, design or create, implement and adopt a substantial research or creation process
  • BC13. Ability to contribute to the expansion of the frontiers of knowledge through original research.
  • BC14. Ability to perform a critical analysis and evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas.
  • BC15. Ability to communicate with the academic and scientific community and with society in general about their fields of knowledge in the modes and languages commonly used in their international scientific community.
  • BC16. Ability to promote, in academic and professional contexts, scientific, technological, social, artistic or cultural progress within a knowledge-based society.

Personal skills and abilities

  • PA01. Get along in contexts where there is little specific information.
  • PA02. Find the key questions to answer in order to solve a complex problem.
  • PA03. Design, create, develop and undertake new and innovative projects in his field of knowledge.
  • PA04. Work both as a team and autonomously in an international or multidisciplinary context.
  • PA05. Integrate knowledge, face complexity and make judgments with limited information.
  • PA06. Critique and intellectual defense of solutions.
Educational activities

Doctoral students will have to take 125 hours of training, of which 45 hours will be of multidisciplinary training, common to all doctoral students of the university; and 80 hours of specific training, of the doctoral program in Education and Cognitive Processes

  • Multidisciplinary training: The PhD student will have to carry out 16 hours of compulsory activities + 29 hours of elective activities.
    The 80 hours of specific training are compulsory.

The distribution of activities for full-time students has a decreasing logic and is concentrated in three years, while in the case of part-time students, itis distributed over five years of education.

Industrial specialization

The objective of the industrial specialization is to train researchers in companies or public administrations to carry out their doctoral thesis in the framework of an experimental development project in any of the branches of knowledge.

In order to obtain the industrial specialization, the doctoral student must have a labor or commercial contract with a public or private company linked to the development of an experimental project in which the doctoral thesis will be framed.

In the following document you will find the specific regulations:

Industrial Specialization Regulations

Publication requirements for defending doctoral theses

A publication indexed in the first two quartiles of SCOPUS


Nuria Camuñas Sánchez-Paulete Dra Nuria Camuñas Sánchez-Paulete Professor Doctora en Psicología por la UCM. Máster en Intervención en la Ansiedad y el Estrés (UCM). Licenciada con grado en Psicología (UCM). Directora del Departamento de Educación de la Facultad Lenguas y Educación. Profesora de la Facultad de Lenguas y Educación en grado y postgrado. Docente de distintos cursos de formación y máster, sobre ansiedad, emociones y educación, estrés, modificación de conducta y dificultades del aprendizaje. Autora de distintas publicaciones y presentaciones en congresos relacionadas con procesos cognitivos, emoción y educación, prevención y control del estrés, etc. Miembro del grupo de investigación en Cognición, Educación y Diferencias Individuales (CEDI) de la Universidad Antonio de Nebrija y del grupo de investigación Cultura, Sociedad y Educación, de la Universidad Camilo José Cela. Otras líneas de investigación: Cognición, Emoción, Salud y Educación. Elvira Carpintero Molina Dra Elvira Carpintero Molina Professor Doctora en Psicopedagogía por la Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Profesora Titular del Departamento de Investigación y Psicología en Educación de la UCM. Centra su docencia en las áreas de Pedagogía Diferencial y Orientación Educativa. Sus principales líneas de investigación giran en torno a las estrategias de aprendizaje y la educación adaptativa. Jon Andoni Duñabeitia Landaburu Dr Jon Andoni Duñabeitia Landaburu Professor Doctor en Psicología por la Universidad de La Laguna, Licenciado en Psicopedagogía por la Universidad de Deusto y Diplomado en Magisterio por la Universidad del País Vasco. Es experto en neurociencia cognitiva del lenguaje. Es Profesor Director e Investigador Principal de la Facultad de Lenguas y Educación de la Universidad Nebrija donde dirige el Grupo de Investigación LAELE, y además es científico asociado al Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL), donde durante los últimos años ha dirigido el Grupo de Investigación Multilingual Literacy. También es miembro del panel de profesores de posgrado de diferentes universidades nacionales e internacionales, y forma parte de la Junta Directiva de la Sociedad Española de Psicología Experimental. Desde que inició su carrera investigadora, ha publicado más de 80 artículos en las principales revistas científicas internacionales, y es miembro del consejo editorial de varias revistas científicas con impacto internacional. Ha actuado como Investigador Principal en varios proyectos de investigación financiados por el Gobierno Vasco, el Gobierno Provincial de Gipuzkoa y el Gobierno de España. Además, participa activamente en el equipo de investigación de diferentes proyectos internacionales financiados por diferentes agencias europeas. Su trabajo de investigación se centra en el estudio científico de los aspectos relacionados con la adquisición de lenguas nativas y extranjeras a lo largo del ciclo vital, explorando el papel de la alfabetización multilingüe y el rol de la alternancia de lenguas como medio de instrucción. Coral González Barbera Dra Coral González Barbera Professor Licenciada en Psicopedagogía y Doctora en Ciencias de la Educación por la Universidad Complutense de Madrid. En la actualidad, Profesora Titular de Universidad en el Departamento de Métodos de Investigación y Diagnóstico en Educación de la Universidad Complutense.
En términos cuantitativos la trayectoria de quien suscribe cuenta con 50 publicaciones científicas, entre artículos, capítulos de libro e informes técnicos, sin contar las que se encuentran en prensa o en proceso de revisión. Entre sus cargos de gestión destaca la coordinación del Máster de Investigación en Educación durante sus 3 primeros años y el Vicedecanato de Ordenación Académica de la Facultad de Educación en la actualidad.
Irini Mavrou Dra Irini Mavrou Professor Irini Mavrou, Licenciada en Psicología por la Universidad Aristóteles de Tesalónica (Grecia) y Máster en Lingüística Aplicada a la enseñanza del español como lengua extranjera por la Universidad Nebrija, impartirá este seminario. Tiene experiencia como docente ELE en Grecia y ha realizado algunas publicaciones en Psicología y español/LE. Sus líneas de investigación se centran en el papel de la memoria operativa en la expresión escrita y la posibilidad de aplicar formulas psicométricas en la comprensión del proceso de adquisición de lenguas extranjeras y la evaluación.
José Antonio Hinojosa Poveda Dr José Antonio Hinojosa Poveda Professor Licenciado en Psicología y Doctor en Neurociencia por la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Acreditado como Profesor Titular en Psicología(ANECA, 2018), es profesor contratado doctor en la Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Su investigación ha sido financiada mediante la concesión de cinco proyectos de investigación por parte de distintos ministerios y organismos oficiales, de los que he sido investigador principal. Desde el año 2013 coordina el grupo de investigación denominado “Affective Neurolinguistics and Cognition” ( Manuel Perea Lara Dr Manuel Perea Lara Professor Doctor en Psicología por la Universidad de Valencia, es Catedrático en el departamento de Metodología de la Universidad de Valencia. Su investigación se ha centrado, aunque no exclusivamente, en el estudio sistemático de los procesos de lectura. Cuenta con 4 sexenios de investigación y más de 100 artículos publicados en revistas de Q1, incluyendo Psychological Review; Trends in Cognitive Sciences; Behavioral and Brain Sciences; Psychological Science; Developmental Science; Biological Psychology; Cognition; Learning & Instruction, etc. Ha recibido el premio de la sociedad española de psicología experimental (SEPEX) durante 2015 al mejor artículo. Este artículo, en Trends and Cognitive Sciences (IF=15.402), está en la lista de “highly cited articles” del “InCites Essential Science Indicators”. Miguel Ángel Rumayor Fernández Dr Miguel Ángel Rumayor Fernández Professor Doctor en Filosofía y Letras por la Universidad de Navarra. Acreditado como Profesor Titular de Universidad en Teoría e Historia de la Educación (ANECA, 2015). Ha realizado estancias post-doctorales como Research Associate Fellow en Notre Dame University (Indiana, EE.UU), Catholic University (Washington, EE.UU), Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, EE.UU). Ha presentado ponencias en más de treinta congresos internacionales y publicado 35 trabajos académicos entre libros, capítulos de libros y artículos especializados en España, Estados Unidos, México, Turquía, Canadá, Colombia, Chile y Grecia. Además, ha publicado en México más de cien columnas en prensa de divulgación en periódicos como Mural, El Informador, Itsmo, etc. Sus libros más recientes son: El Yo en Xavier Zubiri (2013, Pamplona, Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra), Ciudadanía y democracia en la educación (2008, Pamplona, EUNSA). María Vaíllo Rodríguez  Dra María Vaíllo Rodríguez Professor Licenciada en Psicología y Doctora en Educación. En la actualidad dirige el Instituto de Competencias de la Universidad Nebrija. Ejerce como docente universitaria y ha trabajado para distintos organismos públicos, como el Centro Nacional de Innovación e Investigación Educativa (CNIIE), dependiente del Ministerio de Educación, y elaborado contenidos didácticos para organismos como la Xunta de Galicia o la Secretaría de Estado de Servicios Sociales e Igualdad. Entre sus líneas de investigación se encuentran la inteligencia ejecutiva, creatividad, educación y género y libros de texto Laura Virginia Sánchez Vincitore Dr Laura Virginia Sánchez Vincitore Professor Doctora por la Universidad de Columbia, actualmente es catedrática en la Universidad Iberoamericana (República Dominicana). Es directora del Laboratorio de Neurocognición y Psicofisiología de la UNIBE. Su investigación se centra en los fundamentos psicofisiológicos de la alfabetización en niños y adultos, y en el desarrollo cognitivo de niños de nivel socio-económico bajo. Sara Uceda Gutiérrez Dr Sara Uceda Gutiérrez Professor Licenciada en Psicología y doctora en Fisiología por la Universidad de Sevilla. Actualmente coordina el “Master de Cognición y Emoción” en contextos educativos de la Universidad Nebrija. Ha participado en 6 proyectos de investigación financiados, y ha publicado en revistas de reconocido prestigio.

Academic commission

  • President: Claudia Poch
    (Program Coordinator)
  • Secretary: Jon Andoni Duñabeita
    (Lead Researcher)
  • Member: Nuria Camuñas
    (Director of the Education Dept.)

Research Profile

Cognitive Science Research Center



Main career opportunities

  • Professionals in the psychoeducational field
  • Teachers in Higher Education Institutions
  • Scientists in research centers


Direct collaborations

  • Pontificia Universidad Javeriana of Bogotá
  • Shanghai International Studies
  • Wenzao Ursuline College of Languages

Other collaborations

  • Complutense University of Madrid
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  • Universitat de Valéncia
  • Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE)
  • Universitat de Valéncia
  • Panamerican University
Dra Claudia Poch CONTACT

Dra Claudia Poch

Coordinator of the Doctorate in Education [email protected]

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Speakers of the Ministry of Education, Instituto Cervantes, Google and the British Council participated in the various events of Nebrija University's Education Week.

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