PhD program in Humanities, technology and society

XXXIX cycle - a.y. 2023/2024

Duration 3 years
Position 6 position available - 5 scholarships
Director/Coordinator Prof. Matteo Rinaldini
PhD website »
Admission Expiration date 27/07/2023 at 13:00
Call for admission
Final ranking Published 22/09/2023
Enrollment deadline 29/09/2023 at 13:00:00

Scientific areas

M-FIL/01 (Theoretical philosophy), M-FIL/04 (Aesthetics), M-FIL/07 (History of ancient philosophy), M-FIL/08 (History of medieval philosophy), M-STO/04 (Contemporary history), L-FIL-LET/07 (Byzantine civilization), L-FIL-LET/11 (Contemporary Italian literature), IUS/07 (Labour law), IUS/11 (Ecclesiastical and canon law), IUS/19 (History of medieval and modern law), IUS/20 (Philosophy of law), SPS/09 (Economic sociology and sociology of work and organisations), SECS-P/01 (Economics), SECS-P/10 (Organization studies), ING-INF/05 (Information processing systems)

Admission requirements

Italian second level degree (laurea specialistica, under D.M. 509/99 or laurea magistrale, under D.M. 207/04) or Italian degree obtained prior to D.M. 509/99 or equivalent qualification obtained abroad.
More information available in the Call.


Description The PhD Course in Humanities, Technology and Society incorporates the guidelines of the European Commission regarding the need for the use of new digital technologies, for the benefit of cultural and artistic, social, environmental and economic heritage, to be informed by principles of sustainability, social inclusion and human centricity and that the processes of development and adoption of new technologies i.e. the digitalization of social relations (citizenship, work, market, etc.) are governed by means of a reflective approach, capable of critically considering their premises and implications.

If the objective of the use of new technologies is to foster collective well-being and social, economic and environmental sustainability, the current and growing technological and digital infrastructure of companies, cultural institutions, public administration, the third sector and, in general, the country needs to be steered by socio-economic and legal skills and, above all, to rest on a robust humanistic and ethical basis. It is therefore necessary to intervene through higher education, continuous training and lifelong education, accompanying the acquisition of new skills and encouraging their development in frontier areas that require the ability to master theories, methods and techniques from different disciplinary fields.

In this sense, the course makes use of the wealth of multidisciplinary skills, cultural resources, research experience and higher education present in the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, and enriches it with the precious endowment of humanistic skills developed by the partner cultural institutions the Fondazione Collegio San Carlo in Modena and the Almo Collegio Borromeo in Pavia during their long and prestigious history.

The training course, innovative in content and method, and of international scope, integrates theoretical and methodological skills typical of the human and social sciences, combines them with technological and computer knowledge, and orients them, including with application in mind, towards both frontier and current areas and issues. Intended as an incubator of critical thinking and inspired in all its articulations to a logic of interdisciplinary hybridization, the training course involves the humanities (history, philosophy, philology, the science of books, etc.), socio-economic disciplines (economics, sociology, law, organizational sciences, management, etc.) and computer science disciplines, and will be enriched by a wide range of conferences, seminars and workshops in the disciplinary fields of the doctorate, with the aim of presenting to the PhD students themes and dimensions of research in which to work. The doctoral students will be encouraged to spend time abroad, in order to promote in-depth study and scientific comparison at international level.

Course Objectives

The PhD Course in Humanities, Technology and Society aims to impart state-of-the-art and innovative scientific skills related to current processes of the transformation of society associated with technological evolution, indispensable both for carrying out high-level research activities in the academic field, and for the governance of the digital and green transition of the country, its government, companies, public and private cultural institutions and third sector bodies.

The course therefore trains highly qualified figures with two possible and distinct profiles. One profile is of a researcher with a solid humanistic preparation, able to relate to theories and methodologies of the human and social sciences, with the aim of increasing knowledge and understanding of the relationships between technology, nature and society operating in the fields of national and/or international university and scientific research. The second profile is of an official or consultant for the digital transition with particular attention to the relationship between new technologies and nature, with robust interdisciplinary and critical skills in the design, management, organizational and communication fields. They will be able to apply them in fields of work of strategic importance for the country and its economy, generating positive effects in all organizational contexts (government, companies, third sector bodies, intermediate networks and associations, public and private cultural institutions, etc.) affected by digital and green transition processes.

Career Opportunities

In light of the profound transformations seen in contemporary societies, the PhD course aims to train professionals who, on the one hand, possess adequate skills to carry out research of high scientific and cultural value both autonomously and in teams, including to a transnational extent. On the other hand, they will be able to encourage the interaction of the depth and solidity of the conceptual reflection that derives from the humanities and social sciences with sustainability and adaptability to the changes required by technological progress and the world of work.

The possible outcomes of the doctoral program primarily include traditional pathways such as research, teaching, publishing and journalism in the scientific disciplines represented among the faculty; on the other hand, partly based on the emphasis in the PhD course on multidisciplinarity and interaction between knowledge, it is intended to encourage the acquisition and development of techniques, skills and methods to guarantee the inclusion in public or private businesses that form part of the new knowledge economy, such as:

- design and management of cultural activities and functions of museums, libraries, foundations, public administration, companies and third sector associations;

- advising public and private sector entities on the conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage, including through digital systems and new technologies;

- building or strengthening networks between public or private institutions aimed at defining policy frameworks;

- support and promotion of the results of corporate research and innovation at formal and informal levels;

- design and proposition of training courses for teachers, educators, officials and company staff;

- governance of the digital transition process, with attention to the ethical implications and principles of sustainability, inclusion and human-centricity.


Three years (01/11/2023 - 31/10/2026)


The course venue is in Modena.


» Call for admission and changes

» Selection committees

» Final ranking

Based on a rigorous selection process, applications are processed normally once a year. The admissions will be open in June or July 2023 (please refer to the Call).

More documentation

How to apply for the PhD Programmes (pdf)

How to apply for the Italian National PhD Program in Religious Studies (pdf)

» Guide for admission application to Ph.D. programmes

Please complete the application form and submit it electronically following the application guide. A non-returnable administrative fee of 25 € will be charged. The decision on admission as well as on financial support is published on the web.

FAQ Frequently asked question

PhD Certificates and Self-certifications

PhD original diploma (Parchment)

Contact office

For further information please contact:
PhD Office
via Università, 4 - 41121 Modena
» Opening hours (italian only)