Postgraduate Doctoral Study
of Agricultural Sciences

The Postgraduate Doctoral Study belong to the biotechnical scientific field of agriculture. Its staff and modules cover practically all scientific branches of this scientific field.


Agriculture is interdisciplinary by its definition, covering various scientific branches - from the ones based on biology and general science, to the ones with a more technical and economic approach. These studies provide an easy connection among these branches, giving extraordinary possibilities of a broader interdisciplinary approach to individual scientific problems. A significant number of teachers from other Croatian or international scientific institutions have been engaged in its organization. This cooperation will be continued by inter-institutional agreements in the future, and it should contribute to a better colaborativity of these studies.

Partnership with the economy

At the Faculty of Agriculture, this work segment has always been very strong, and it included a series of projects organized in cooperation with economic institutions. Certain segments of these projects will contribute to the students' familiarization with the economic needs and the scientific challenges that belong to this area.

International Comparability

Our Doctoral studies are comparable to many others in the developed countries. Since 2003, the Faculty of Agriculture participates in the Tempus JEP project, whose basic aim is to harmonize the University programs with the targets of the Bologna Declaration. The main partners in this effort are the institutions cooperating with the University of Hohenheim (Germany), and the University of Agriculture in Vienna (BOKU). The program of our studies is fully compatible with the Doctoral studies at both these Universities.

The Doctoral program entitled Agricultural Sciences enables interdisciplinarity within a broad scientific field by combining modules from various scientific branches.

Mobility is also guaranteed by the possibility of acquiring part of the ECTS credits by attending modules and through scientific work in other scientific and educational institutions in Croatia and abroad.

Conditions for Admission to the Doctoral Studies

Completed graduate studies in biotechnical or other sciences (Bologna 3+2 degree structure or equivalent with min 300 ECTS, according to the previous system). The applicants that completed their studies at Faculties outside the biotechnical sciences may be asked to complete additional differential modules, which will be defined by the Council of Postgraduate Doctoral studies of Agricultural Sciences upon reviewing each individual case.

The average study grade is 3.5 (according to the 1-5 grading system, or equivalent acc. to other grading systems). Exceptionally, the Council may consider applications with a lower average grade, but only if they include sufficiently elaborated written recommendations provided by three University teachers.

A written recommendation by the prospective mentor, giving his/her consent to accept the applicant to the project with the doctoral thesis, and the principal researcher, if the mentor is not the principal researcher.

Knowledge of the English language at the level that enables the applicant to communicate and use technical literature (certificate issued by an authorized school of foreign languages). Students that do not have this level of knowledge of the English language may also enroll, but they need to fulfill this obligation before their enrolment in the third year.

Basic computer knowledge (Windows, Web, E-mail). This knowledge will be checked by the prospective mentor, and he/she will record the result in the recommendation.

Enrolment is also granted to students, who acquired their M.Sc. degree before the taking effect of the new Law on Scientific Work and Higher Education (Official Gazette Narodne novine 123/2003). They enroll the third year of the program with the obligation of public defense of the thesis topic at least 6 months before the defense of the thesis. The same conditions apply to the students currently attending programs for M.Sc. degree, if they have successfully completed all their exams.

Foreign students with a validated graduation certificate can also enroll this doctoral program if they meet the above mentioned criteria.

Conditions for Admission to the studies are publicly announced in media.

The Structure and the Organization of the Doctoral Studies

The research oriented doctoral studies of Agricultural Sciences lasts for three years (total of 180 ECTS credits). Up to 20% (min 30 ECTS credits) are acquired through direct teaching while the remaining credits are obtained through scientific work that is primarily directly related to the thesis topic. These credits are obtained by guided experimental work in laboratories, practicums, and /or field experiments, by publicly defending the reported dissertation topic, and by proven scientific activities.

Confirmation of these activities is adjusted to the conditions for the appointment to the scientific degrees within the biotechnological sciences, so the applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • to publish at least one paper that refers to the topic of the thesis in a journal indexed as group a1 (CC, SCI),
  • to publish two papers (at least one directly related to the dissertation topic) in journals indexed in the specialized databases of a2 group (CAB, ASFA and others, as specified in the Regulations on the Requirements for the Appointment to the Scientific Titles of the National Science Council, in Official Gazette, Narodne novine 84/2005, 11th July, 2005),
  • to elaborate and present, orally or by poster, one study on a national and one on an international scientific conference (at least one related to the dissertation topic).

The Curriculum:

  • First semester

    Courses are held in five modules (6 ECTS credits per module) according to the time table. For smaller student groups employed at other institutions, or outside Zagreb, these courses can be organized as a block lectures in the periods of lower teachers' activities on undergraduate and graduate studies. Depending on the time table of lectures these modules can be attended in other semesters as well. If required, modules of the graduate program can also be enrolled, up to maximum of 6 ECTS credits. The Scientific and Research System module is mandatory for all students, and it provides the fundamental knowledge on the preparation and structure of scientific work and the statistical methods, models and computer programs used in agricultural sciences. Additionally, each student must attend one of the modules that are broadly connected to the topic of their thesis, where his mentor is a coordinator or one of the associates. The remaining three modules related to the dissertation topic are elected and enrolled by the student in agreement with his/her mentor, and approved by the Council of Postgraduate Doctoral studies of Agricultural Sciences. The elective modules can also be chosen from the other study programs in Croatia or abroad. If so, the number of the ECTS credits after successful completion is in compliance with this doctoral studies.

  • Second semester

    A student is required to pass a guided practicum followed by the experimental work in laboratories and/or experimental stations and studies. A student is supposed to get familiar with all Faculty resources, and the majority of the time the student works in the facilities related to the dissertation topic. These practicums are organized by the mentor, who confirms their successful completion by signing in index. Instead of these guided practicums (or a part thereof), the ECTS credits may be acquired from the attended and completed modules or specialized courses at other institutions in Croatia or abroad as decided by the mentor and the relevant Council. During the second semester, the student prepares and publicly defends his/her thesis topic before the commission defined by the Faculty Board for Postgraduate Doctoral Studies and Doctorates. The mentor cannot be a member of the named commission. The students must submit the application of the dissertation topic as a condition for the enrolment to the second study year.

  • Third semester

    The students are expected to work in guided practicums, but only related to the topic of the thesis. These activities continue during the remaining semesters, confirmed by the mentor's signature in the index, which finally leads to the preparation of the doctoral thesis.

Activities and Preconditions for the Defense of the Thesis

  • The student must present and defend his thesis orally or by poster presentation at a scientific conference organized by an international scientific organization and at a scientific conference in Croatia. At least one of these works must be related to the topic of the thesis. These activities are confirmed by the organizer's written confirmation stating that the student has presented the work and the paper published in the conference proceedings.
  • The students must also publish two papers (at least one should refer to the topic of the dissertation) in journals indexed as a2 databases. Instead of these two papers one a1, or one paper published in the Agriculturae Conspecuts Scientificus will also be acknowledged.
  • The student must also publish an article that refers to the doctorate thesis indexed in a1 databases, while the sixth semester is foreseen for the completion of the thesis (30 ECTS credits).

Conditions for Admission of the Students into Senior Study Year:

  • II Study Year

    Complete the exam for the module Scientific and Research System. Submit the Application for the doctoral thesis topic.

  • III Study Year

    Complete the exam for the module led by the mentor (or the one at which the mentor is an associate). The doctoral thesis topic must be accepted.

  • Thesis defense

    All the other study program requirements must be fulfill.

  • End of the Study

    The Doctoral Studies end with the thesis defense before the expert Commission after the procedure defined in the Statute of the Faculty of Agriculture has been completed. The deadline for the completion of the studies (4 years recommended), as well as the conditions for a possible extension for the preparation of the thesis must be in compliance with the appropriate Book of Regulations of the University of Zagreb.

List of Modules (PDF)

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