Preparatory Doctoral Program (PDP)

Preparatory year for PhD student candidates

Our mission

Our objective is to equip potential PhD candidates with comprehensive knowledge and skills in Academic English, Academic Writing, Research Methodology, and Project Work, thereby enhancing their readiness for rigorous research work.

Óbuda University is a prominent player of the higher educational sphere of Hungary in informatics, engineering and business sciences. Óbuda University, nestled in the heart of one of Europe’s most vibrant cities, Budapest, has a reputation for excellence in education and a commitment to fostering research and innovation. Joining the Preparatory Doctoral Program (PDP) at Óbuda University is not just about gaining the necessary skills for your future doctoral studies, but also about becoming a part of an inclusive, progressive, and globally respected academic community.

The university is renowned for its robust curriculum, distinguished faculties, and advanced research facilities. In the PDP, you will be taught by professors who are leading experts in their fields. These individuals not only possess a deep understanding of the subjects but also have extensive experience in guiding doctoral research. They can provide invaluable mentorship, helping you develop critical soft skills necessary for a research career. We do understand that technical skills and domain knowledge are crucial in academic research, we believe that developing wide variety of soft skills will complement your expertise and contribute to a successful research career. We support our students in critical thinking, problem solving, resilience and structured creativity, but also provide an opportunity for development of interpersonal skills, such as adaptability, communication, leadership, and networking, to help them create their strong professional network within the academic community which facilitates collaboration, knowledge sharing, and opportunities for research partnerships and career advancement.

Óbuda University’s strong connections with industry players and other universities worldwide also provide unique opportunities for collaboration and knowledge exchange. Our students will have the chance to work on real-world problems, contributing to projects that can make a difference in society. This exposure can help to enhance your research prospects and employability after the completion of your studies.

Furthermore, being at Óbuda University means living in Budapest, a city rich in history and culture. Studying in such an environment can be a source of inspiration and broaden your perspective, not just academically, but personally as well.

Finally, at Óbuda University, we believe in diversity and inclusion, and we are dedicated providing a supportive, nurturing environment for all our students. We offer a range of student services, from academic guidance to mental health support, to ensure that all our students have the support they need to succeed.

Choosing Óbuda University for the Preparatory Doctoral Program is, therefore, a choice for excellent instruction, strong mentorship, practical experience, cultural immersion, and a supportive academic community. It is a choice that prepares you comprehensively for your doctoral journey and beyond.

About the program – why pursue enrolment?

A preparatory doctoral program is a comprehensive training program designed to equip potential PhD candidates with essential knowledge and skills before they begin their doctoral studies. This type of program is beneficial for a variety of reasons.

  • Bridging Knowledge Gaps: Not all students entering a PhD program have the same level of familiarity with the skills and knowledge necessary for success in a doctoral program. A preparatory program can help level the playing field by ensuring all incoming students have a solid understanding of key concepts and skills, such as advanced academic writing, research methodologies.
  • Enhancing Research Skills: Research is a fundamental component of any doctoral program. A preparatory program can provide comprehensive training in research methodologies, allowing students to learn how to formulate research questions, conduct literature reviews, apply appropriate methodologies, and analyse and interpret results. This can greatly enhance the quality of their subsequent doctoral research.
  • Enhancing Academic Language Skills: Academic language proficiency is a crucial element of any doctoral program. A preparatory program offers intensive training in enhancing academic language skills, empowering students to understand complex texts, articulate sophisticated concepts, engage in academic discourse, and produce high-level written work. By developing their ability to use language effectively in academic contexts, students can significantly improve the calibre of their future doctoral studies.
  • Improving Academic Writing Skills: Academic writing is another crucial skill for PhD students. A preparatory program can offer rigorous training in this area, helping students learn how to construct clear, persuasive arguments; properly cite sources; avoid plagiarism; and write effectively for various academic purposes, such as journal articles, conference presentations, and dissertations.
  • Preparation for Coursework: While the focus of a PhD is largely on original research, there’s still a significant amount of coursework involved. A preparatory program can help students get ready for this aspect of the program by honing their study skills, improving their understanding of the field, and familiarizing them with the expectations and demands of doctoral-level coursework.
  • Cultural knowledge: Understanding Hungarian culture is an essential aspect of the learning experience for participants in the Preparatory Doctoral Program (PDP) at Óbuda University. Situated in Budapest, the university provides an immersive environment that naturally leads to encounters with the rich heritage and vibrant contemporary culture of Hungary. The PDP participants will have the chance to participate in various social programs in order to get used to with the Hungarian countryside and the Hungarian way of life.
  • Boosting Confidence: The transition to a doctoral program can be daunting. By providing a clear understanding of what to expect, a preparatory program can help reduce anxiety and build students’ confidence in their ability to succeed in a PhD program.
  • Increasing Success Rates: By equipping students with the skills, they need to succeed and giving them a clear understanding of what to expect, a preparatory program can help increase completion rates for doctoral programs, which are notoriously demanding and have high attrition rates.

About the program – details

While the aim of the program is to prepare the participants for an efficient and successful PhD program, participant also take part in international conferences to get used to the milieu and to submerge themselves into the scientific community they plan to be members of.

The program is offered for those who have graduated from their master programs with good grades and wish to work in the field of academic research or pursue PhD at any renowned universities worldwide.

The program consists of 2×14 weeks of in class study period, additional 2×5 weeks of special study period where independent research is conducted with the assistance of the assigned mentors.

Schedule for the program in the academic year 2023-2024:

  • semester: 11.09.2023 – 15.12.2023
  • semester: 12.02.2024 – 18.05.2024[1]

Curriculum of the program in general[2]

The curriculum contains five blocks, two of which are related to English language proficiency (English language and Academic English), an Introduction to Hungarian language and culture, (which will help students not only with understanding the local culture, customs and people better but also to learn the basic expressions necessary for everyday communication) and four PhD related courses (Research design and methodologies, Academic writing, Research in practice and Research project).

For our prospective students, the PhD related courses will be accounted for 16 credits in their doctoral studies, and on top if they will have the opportunity to co-create their research proposals together with their future supervisors under supervised conditions during this year, while exploring the relevant international literature of their chosen fields and publishing their first papers. Since the program is a preparation for PhD studies, multiple local and international conferences are offered for the participants to have a better understanding of the scientific plethora, and to encourage them to become an active part of the academic community. Students are expected to participate, either as visitors, or as presenters in at least one conference per semester.

Students, who wish to pursue PhD studies after the preparatory year shall also participate on an end of the year progress review before a committee and report the status of their research and their future plans. This will prepare them well for their prospective entrance exams and support their successful application.

The program is not only a certified postgraduate course providing intensive English language and research methodology training, but it also offers insight into the peculiarities of the Hungarian culture and language. While studying on the weekdays, students are invited to tour around the historical and scenic sites of Hungary and get to know the Hungarian culture and tradition from first-hand experience during the weekends. While the weekend programs are not mandatory, they are organised to support the students’ understanding of the local culture and the Hungarian national heritage. Hence, students are supposed to take part on at least 5 programs each semester to have first-hand experience regarding the Hungarian culture and have an opportunity to get to know some of the most renowned sight-seeing places of the country.

About the program – relation of the program and the PhD enrolment at Óbuda University

The preparatory programme includes an entrance examination to a given doctoral school of the University[5] with a potential doctoral supervisor, according to the research topic developed.

Candidates who are recommended by the admissions committee for admission according to the evaluation of the research plan developed will be admitted to the proposed training programme of the selected doctoral school.[6]

Academic writing and Research methodology subjects are counted as 16 ECTS credits of the preparatory programme in the first semester of the PhD programme in accordance with the internal regulations of the given doctoral school.

Doctoral School of Applied Informatics and Applied Mathematics (link:
Doctoral School on Materials Sciences and Technologies (link:
Doctoral School on Safety and Security Sciences (
Doctoral School of Innovation Management (

Extracurricular activities

Excursions offered in connection with the Introduction to Hungarian language and culture courses.

There is an extra charge for participation in the excursions. The excursion will only be organised if the minimum number of applicants for the programme is exceeded.

We reserve the right to make changes.

  • Sightseeing, the historical sites of Buda,
  • Sightseeing, the historical sites of Pest
  • Cog-wheel train trip to Normafa
  • Bike tour around the Velence lake
  • Boat trip across the lake Balaton
  • Boat trip to the holy city of Esztergom
  • Boat trip to the castle city of Visegrád
  • Introduction to the Hungarian folk culture, visit to the Szentendre Skanzen
  • Introduction to the wine culture of Mór
  • Skiing at Eplény
  • Trip to Mezőkövesd, the heart of Matyóföld
  • Trip to the coronation city of Székesfehérvár
  • Trip to the art nuveau city of Kecskemét
  • Visiting an ethnographic Palóc village, Hollókő
  • Visiting Miskolc and its underground lakes
  • Visiting the Hungarian State Opera (with additional guided tour of the premises)
  • Visiting the Royal Palace of Gödöllő
  • Visiting the Tihany Benedictine Abbey
  • Wine tasting of volcanic wines in Somló
  • Two days sightseeing with wine tasting in Eger
  • Two days trip to Pécs and the Mecsek mountains
  • Two days trip to Sopron, the town of fidelity and Vienna
  • Two days trip to the „Hungarian Sea”, Lake Balaton
  • Two days visit of the Mátra and Kékestető, the highest point of Hungary
  • Two days visit to Debrecen, the Calvinist Rome
  • Two days visit to Keszthely and the open air natural thermal bath of Hévíz
  • Two days visit to Szeged, the City of Sunshine

[1] depends on the holidays and rector’s breaks the schedule can be slightly modified in practice (the semester schedule for 2024 is not determined yet).

[2] The curriculum reflects the big picture here. Please ask about your individual curriculum after you have been admitted.

[3] the English language subject provides 15 ECTS in general, however, we do not provide credits within the PDP.

[4] the Academic English subject provides 15 ECTS in general, however, we do not provide credits within the PDP.

[5] Óbuda University does have four doctoral schools from which the student can choose based ont he research topic and suggestion of the supervisor.

[6] The admission decision does not mean automatically a scholarship supported program. Óbuda University offers national and specific scholarships to support doctoral studies. The applicant shall indicate during the entrance examination whether she or he requires a scholarship support.

Updated: 24.08.2023.