The PhD in Sociology and Social Research (SSR PhD) offers a 3 years advanced training aimed at educating highly qualified research professionals in the fields of sociology and social research. The program emphasizes solid theoretical foundations and in-depth knowledge of research methods and techniques specific for social research.
Established in 1981 as the first PhD programme in Sociology in Italy, the Doctoral Programme  in Sociology and Social Research places a strong emphasis on theoretically driven empirical research.
Doctoral candidates are encouraged to engage with the international academic community and to progressively publish their doctoral thesis in the format of scientific articles, ensuring both internal validation within the programme and external validation within the broader scientific community.

The training activities in the Doctoral Programme in Sociology and Social Research are designed to provide a comprehensive and structured learning experience over the course of three years. During the first year, doctoral students attend lectures and start to work on their PhD research. Lectures cover foundational theoretical concepts, research design and advanced research methods specific for the social sciences, encompassing qualitative, quantitative, mixed, and computational approaches.The second and third years are primarily devoted to research and writing. Throughout the PhD programme, doctoral students attend seminars organized by the Department of Sociology and Social Research to foster critical thinking and engage with contemporary research topics. In particular, doctoral students benefit from a dedicated seminar series where they practice being a discussant for the research presented by international renown speakers. 

Throughout the programme, doctoral students benefit from the mentoring of two supervisors. The progress of doctoral students is closely monitored by the PhD board throughout the programme.      
At the end of the first year, students are required to submit a research report and an activity report, and by the end of the second year, a mid-term research reports. Successful completion of these milestones is a prerequisite for advancing to subsequent years.     
By the end of the third year, doctoral students are required to submit their thesis. The thesis undergoes a rigorous review process, which includes evaluation by three experts, two of whom are external specialists not affiliated with the PhD board.

Doctoral students are encouraged to actively participate in conferences, workshops and winter/summer schools and to spend at least 3 months at non-Italian research centers/universities to improve their international profile. For these activities, doctoral students are provided with research funds, as well as the support of a dedicated administrative office.