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Doctorate in Psychology UCN – UTA




8 semesters


The Doctorate in Psychology is a scientific program taught jointly by the Northern Catholic University (UCN) and Tarapacá University, whose objective is to train researchers as experts, autonomous in the generation and dissemination of scientific knowledge, with high quality standards, in the context of the central-southern Andean area.

Lines of research

Health, Welfare and Close Interpersonal Relations

This line incorporates in its work the study of factors linked to physical and mental health in different areas, as well as indicators linked to human well-being (well-being, life satisfaction, happiness, quality of life) from an individual perspective and in close relational contexts, both in the general population as well as in childhood and adult clinical groups, as well as in specific groups (couples, families, minorities, migrants) and different contexts (work, education, health system).

Additionally, it considers on one hand the study of the psychological factors linked to the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of physical and mental diseases, with special emphasis on chronic pathologies and those derived from human behavior. On the other hand, it includes research on how attachment is associated with various aspects of individual functioning and in close affective relationships at different stages of the life cycle (satisfaction, interpersonal violence, adjustment to divorce, forgiveness, among others). Finally, it includes the adaptation and validation of instruments for research in the fields of clinical and health psychologies, self-report in the field of perceived health and the various indicators associated with human well-being.

Gender, Citizenship and Politics

From a perspective focused on human rights, this line includes research that considers the double aspect of theoretical developments of gender, either as an analytical concept of power asymmetries translated into the differential enjoyment of rights, or as a normative element that is based: on a strategy of search for equity, on the intersectionality of dimensions such as ethnicity, class, age, educational level, sexual diversity, among others, with relevance in the Andean center-south macro-region.

Likewise, it proposes approaches and practices of citizenship which are addressed through concepts such as empowerment, perspective of rights, cultures of peace, critical approaches in social sciences and sustainable human development, emphasizing the interrelations between ideological and structural issues. It includes research on political participation, violence, education, social movements and conflicts, sexuality, corporeality, human mobility processes; which are articulated seeking to generate situated knowledge and oriented towards inclusion, participation and social transformation.

Basic research in Methodology

This line groups research areas whose object of study is basic research in methodology. It includes qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches, whose objective is the analysis and development of data collection, production and analysis models.

From the qualitative perspectives, it approaches the development of production models located from discourses and narratives, which achieve visibility of subjectivity. Additionally, it focuses on the development of innovative models of compressive and intertextual analysis.

From quantitative perspectives, the analysis and development of statistical and psychometric models is addressed. Through simulation and empirical studies, it addresses psychometric problems related to the behavior of items and tests, as well as various methods of estimating parameters, effect sizes and clinical and practical significance. Additionally, this perspective brings together research in the field of applied psychometrics, in accordance with contemporary models of validity, for measurement in behavioral and health sciences, contributing to the instrumental development of the other research areas of the doctorate. 

Graduation profile

The graduate of the Doctorate program in Psychology is a researcher committed to knowledge, justice, equity and freedom. From this perspective, he carries out his duties by being socially responsible in the generation of new knowledge in the area of ​​Psychology, based on ethical principles, interculturality and respect for the dignity of people.

His training based on academic excellence gives him solid theoretical and practical knowledge, which are at the forefront of his disciplinary area, which together with a strong qualitative and quantitative methodological training, makes him a high level researcher, specialized in basic research in psychological, psychosocial and sociocultural problems.

The graduate is capable of generating and leading original research projects of high scientific impact, which comply with international ethical standards and scientific quality. Likewise, he effectively communicates the results of its research in scientific and non-specialized media, both national and international.

His flexible formation allows him to address problems, incorporating transversally the perspective of gender and human rights, with emphasis on the approach of national and regional problems. He stands out for its ability to work in teams, quality orientation, complex decision making, critical analysis, autonomy, innovation, efficient use of technologies and scientific rigor.


General purpose

The psychology doctoral program of the UCN seeks to train researchers and academic experts, autonomous in the generation and dissemination of scientific knowledge, with high quality standards, in the context of the central-southern Andean region.

Specific Objectives

To academically train doctoral students by updating their knowledge in the psychological discipline, with special emphasis on physical and mental health and the bio-psycho-social well-being of people. Developing skills for the generation of autonomous research in areas that imply an original contribution to the knowledge of Psychology and the resolution of bio-psycho-social problems relevant to the Andean center-south.

Addressed to:

All those who have an academic degree in Psychology can apply to the doctorate. Additionally, the Academic Committee of each University may evaluate the entry of graduates from other related areas such as Social Sciences, Health Sciences, Education or others. Candidates from other disciplines will also be eligible as long as their research project is developed in the field of Psychology and their professional and/or academic backgrounds are evaluated positively by the academic committee of the University to which they apply.

Plan of Studies

The study regime for this program consist of six months, morning till afternoon (09:00 am-18:00 hrs.) full-time. Eight semesters, in which the student must complete the 223 SCT credits of the following plan: six courses of the compulsory methodological area (8 SCT credits each), two seal courses (8 SCT credits each), three courses of advanced thematic electives, of which one must be in teacher training (5 SCT credits each), one elective methodological course (8 SCT credits), two update seminars (1 SCT credit each), four Thesis Workshop courses ( 2 workshops of 4 credits and two of 6 SCT credits), two teaching practices (6 credits each), two research practices (3 SCT credits each) and Thesis 1,2,3 and 4 (equivalent to 96 SCT credits in total). (See curricular mesh and SCT Doctorate Program).

Students must complete an internship in a national or international external university, equivalent to the credits of a thematic elective course = 5 SCT credits. The final grade for the conclusion of studies and that of the thesis should not be less than 4.0.


The program lasts for 8 semesters (4 years), where each student must complete a total of 233 SCT.


The applicant must present a nomination form to the program secretary of the University, addressed to the Director of the Doctorate Program, attaching the following documents:

1.- Letter addressed to the Academic Committee that includes:

– Motives and interests for which you want to apply for the program.

– Explain a specific area of ​​study and interest, as well as an outline of the possible thesis topics.

– Expose academic and work perspectives.

2.- Curriculum according to CONICYT format.

3.- Photocopy of identity documents or passport.

4.- Legalized photocopy of the professional title and academic degree. Documents issued abroad must be duly legalized (it can be submitted through the online system with the scanned document, although the original document must be presented at the time of registration)

5.- Grades obtained during undergraduate studies and graduation ranking.

6.- Two letters of recommendation from professionals and/or academics that endorse the application to the program (confidential).

7.- Digital photograph.


General Fee $285.000.- (CLP)
1st year Enrollment Fee $3.000.000.- (CLP)
Total Program Fees $12.000.000.- (CLP)
Observations:  The program fee is equivalent to the value of four basic program fees

*2020 Admission Fees

Headquarters and Hours

The Program is daytime (09:00 am-18:00 hrs.) and lectures are taught from Monday to Friday.


Director: Alfonso Urzúa Morales
Email: alurzua@ucn.cl


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