University of Primorska Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies
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Computer Science

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General information

Name of the programme: Computer Science
Type of programme: Doctoral, 3rd Bologna cycle
Degree awarded: “doktor znanosti” equiv. to a Doctoral degree
Duration: 3 years (6 semesters)
ECTS-credits: 180
Programme structure: 1 comprehensive course, 4 in-depth courses, individual research work, seminars, doctoral dissertation
Mode of study: part-time

Programme coordinatortop

Assist. Prof. Klen Čopič Pucihar, PhD

For information regarding the study programme please contact Student Services (phd-cs@famnit.upr.si).

About the programmetop

Computer and Information Sciences provide the basis for the advancement of intellectually demanding technologies, and do not require major material or natural resources for infrastructure. For successful development, it requires a solid and advanced educational basis in computer science which offers a quality education for experts at all levels, close connections with industry, and a research core that both pursues new technologies and is involved in cutting-edge research.

Additionally, developing computer technology in a way that enables optimal use of existing technologies and the development of programming equipment, including new technologies, also requires a familiarity with other Computer Science programmes at international institutions, and a firm understanding of the basic flow of science and technology in neighbouring regions as well as worldwide.

The doctoral programme takes two elements into consideration: companies (practice) and the needs of the academic environment (research activities and higher education activities). In companies and enterprises, doctoral students will be the primary members of development laboratories and the key expertise in increasing the profit level of production. In cooperation with the existing economy and the University Incubator of Primorska (the entrepreneurial centre at the University of Primorska), the doctoral studies programme will also equip graduates to create new high-tech enterprises, which are in high demand both in Slovenia and abroad. 

The study is designed as an international programme and is therefore appealing to international students. By reducing ‘in-breeding education’, this will improve the quality of the entire field. 

The study programme provides a high-quality core education in the areas of Computer and Information Sciences which, in collaboration with quality cores in other areas developed at the University of Primorska (Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Humanities, Economic Sciences), presents an interdisciplinary core of quality research.

Educational and professional goals  top

  • To develop the ability to conduct independent research (scientific and practical developmental) work
  • To enable in-depth understanding of Computer Science
  • To train students to use the theoretical apparatus in problem abstraction and solution
  • To train students to understand existing problem-solving tools and concepts, and to be capable of contributing to their further development or the development of new concepts

Course structure top

The framework of the Doctoral degree study programme is partly structured, but mainly individually-based. The main components of the study programme are the following: 
  • A comprehensive course in computer science
  • In-depth courses in computer science
  • Individual research work 
  • Seminar presentations 
  • PhD thesis (Doctoral dissertation) and defence 

The in-depth courses available to students in the 1st year of study are grouped in the following fields: theoretical computer science, data structures and algorithms, programming languages and techniques, computer communications and computing systems, system theory and information analysis. Within the framework of these contents, students will acquire up-to-date knowledge in the field of Computer Science. 

In the 1st year, students must complete a comprehensive course (1) and in-depth courses (4). Each year, students must also complete two seminars, and, in the 1st and 2nd year, perform individual research work related to their Doctoral dissertation theme, which they conduct under their mentor’s supervision. Students may complete their study with the Doctoral dissertation, constituting an authentic contribution to science.
 
All these activities must add up to at least 180 ECTS. 
 Courses ECTS
1ST YEAR 60
 Advanced Topics in Computer Science I 9
 Advanced Topics in Computer Science II 9
 Advanced Topics in Computer Science III 9
 Advanced Topics in Computer Science IV 9
 Comprehensive Course in Computer Science 6
 Individual Research Work 6
 Seminar 12
 2ND YEAR 60
 Individual Research Work 48
 Seminar 12
 3RD YEAR 60
 Seminar 12
 Doctoral Dissertation 48

Comprehensive Course in Computer Science 

The Comprehensive Course in Computer Science is intended for students to test their knowledge within the broader area of Computer Sciences. The course does not include lectures. At the end of the first semester, students must take a four-part examination consisting of: 
  • Theoretical Computer Science 
  • Data Structures and Algorithms 
  • Programming Languages and Techniques 
  • System Theory (including Hardware) 
Within the course, students may select subjects either at the first or second level to refresh or expand their knowledge. If the student fails to pass the examination, the examination commission determines which courses at the first or second level the student must pass in order to complete their knowledge.

In-depth Courses in Computer Science 

In-depth Courses in Computer Science are the courses that students may attend within the study programme they enrolled into. Subjects within any comparable study programme may also be chosen in consultation with the mentor. In particular, in the case of an interdisciplinary study programme, courses within other fields of expertise may also be chosen in consultation with the mentor. 
 
Courses are provided on an individual basis. A special emphasis is placed on the teachers’ research activities as the courses cover the latest knowledge and skills in computer science.
 
Organisation of courses: within a series of eight lectures, the teacher presents the subject, which the students then pursue through individual study of literature (articles) and preparation or review of original scientific articles. These articles are presented in seminars, where the subject is discussed. The majority of student work is concentrated on the study of literature and article writing. The courses available in an individual semester are announced no later than at the beginning of the semester. The courses available fall into one of the following areas:
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Programming Languages and Techniques
  • Computer Communications and Computing Systems
  • System Theory and Information Analysis
Courses may be chosen in agreement with the student’s mentor.
The literature list is available here.

Seminars

Within the study programme, a special emphasis is placed on the seminar subject (i.e. seminars). Within the seminar subjects, the students present the partial findings of their research work. These findings must be presented both in written form and verbally. The quality of the research and its findings must allow for a minimum of one contribution or article per year presented at an international conference or published in a scientific journal.  In the first year of study, presentations at Slovene conferences and publications in Slovene journals will also be accepted. Within the seminar subject, students are expected to attend the presentations of their fellow students and to actively participate in discussions.

Individual Research Work

Individual Research Work is scientific research carried out by students in the area covered by their doctoral thesis. It is conducted under the mentorship and in consultation with the student’s supervisor. To this end, students must select their supervisor before the end of the first study semester.

PhD Thesis (Doctoral Dissertation) 

The Doctoral dissertation is an original contribution to science and has to conform to the University PhD rules and regulations. The Doctoral dissertation may also be a collection of related scientific contributions that the student has presented at Slovene and international conferences. At least one of these contributions must have been granted publication in a quality review (either presented at a conference or published in a journal). When these contributions have been previously published in international sources, while the majority of the doctoral thesis is not written in English, the aforementioned contribution may still be included in the thesis in English.
 
Students may select the topic of the doctoral dissertation upon passing an examination in the Comprehensive Course and examinations in no less than three In-Depth Courses. Other limitations regarding the selection of the doctoral dissertation topic are laid down in University rules and regulations on Doctoral Dissertations. 

Admission requirements  top

Admission to the 1st year shall be granted to applicants having: 
  • A Master's degree in Computer Science or Computer and Mathematical Science or Mathematics or Electrical Engineering (Bologna study programme); or
  • A Master's degree in other studies.

For the sake of better performance in the study programme, the Faculty particularly recommends prior education in the fields of Computer Science, Mathematics and Electrical Engineering. 

In the case of enrolment limitations in the 1st year, preference shall be granted to applicants already possessing prior education in the following fields: Computer Science, Computer and Mathematical Science, Mathematics, and Electrical Engineering. Candidates shall be selected on the basis of their performance demonstrated in their second-cycle studies (average grade, Master’s thesis grade) and academic excellence.

Admission may also be gained by an applicant having completed a comparable study abroad. Prior to enrolment the applicant must apply for the recognition of completed education.

Continuation of studies according to the transfer criteriatop

Transfers between study programmes are possible on the basis of the Higher Education Act, Criteria for Transferring between Study Programmes and in accordance with other regulations of this field.

The transition between study programmes is the enrolment in the higher year of the study programme, in case of leaving the education at the initial study programme and continuing the study process at another study program of the same degree. The transition takes into account the comparability of the study programmes and the completed study obligations of the candidate in the initial study program.

Access to year 2 or year 3 of the doctoral degree programme of Computer Science on the basis of the Criteria for Transferring between Study Programmes is open to candidates of a related third-cycle doctoral degree programme, provided that the following conditions have been met:

  • the candidate fulfils the requirements for admission to the study programme of Computer Science;
  • completion of the first study programme which the candidate is transferring from ensures the acquisition of comparable competencies as those envisaged by the study programme of Computer Science; and
  • other conditions in accordance with the Criteria for Transferring between Study Programmes have also been met (a comparable course structure, course requirements completed).

Entry into Year 2 of the doctoral degree programme of Computer Science on the basis of the Criteria for Transferring between Study Programmes is also open to graduates of a related pre-Bologna reform Master’s degree programme.

Individual applications for transfer shall be considered by the relevant committee of UP FAMNIT. Apart from comparability between both fields of study, the committee shall also consider comparability between the study programmes, in accordance with the Criteria for Transferring between Study Programmes. The applicant may also be required to complete differential exams as defined by the relevant Faculty committee.

Enrolment on the basis of the Criteria for Transferring between Study Programmes is also open to candidates of a related study programme abroad who have been, in the process of recognition of their studies abroad, legally granted the right to continue their educational training in the study programme of Computer Science.

In the case of limited enrolment, applicants shall be selected on the basis of the average grade obtained during the study programme they are transferring from.

Advancement requirementstop

Students may advance to the 2nd year upon acquiring 42 ECTS-credits in the first study year, or, exceptionally, at least 30 ECTS-credits upon the mentor’s recommendation. An examination from the Comprehensive Course is obligatory in both instances. Students may advance to the 3rd year upon completing all obligations required within the structured study programme of the first two years (i.e. In-depth Courses and Comprehensive Course).

Graduates' competenciestop

General competencies

  • The ability to analyse, synthesise and predict solutions and consequences of the factors related to the discipline of Computer and Information Science.
  • The ability to place Computer and Information Science into a broader social context.
  • The ability to critically reflect on social events in general.
  • The ability to critically assess the developments in the field of Computer and Information Science.
  • The ability to work within a wider social community.
  • The ability to autonomously search for and acquire professional knowledge and to integrate it with the existing knowledge.
  • Autonomy in professional and scientific research.

Subject-specific competencies

  • The ability to apply the mathematical and computer-science apparatus in concrete research.
  • The ability to place Computer and Information Science into a broader social context.
  • The ability to communicate within the global computer science community.
  • The ability to design a hierarchy enabling decomposition of a problem into sub problems and integration of partial solutions.

Graduate employment opportunities  top

Computer Science, as one of the fastest growing economic branches, provides graduates with countless employment opportunities. For a number of years, the majority of computer companies and information sectors within all major regionally-based companies have been faced with a lack of quality computer and information personnel. Graduates also have many opportunities open to them for employment in educational and research fields, as well as in the economy (notably in research and development sectors and executive positions). In addition to knowledge in Computer Science and basic mathematical knowledge, graduates acquire a wide array of general areas of knowledge, enhancing their opportunities for employment and innovative activities.