Prevention for health (3rd cycle)

Study programme 3rd cycle

The main objective of the study programme in Prevention for Health is to produce highly qualified independent researchers who will be able to solve complex questions in the field of prevention by applying interdisciplinary approaches, integrating their in-depth knowledge into comprehensive solutions, and generating new knowledge in the field. This third-cycle study programme represents an upgrade to the study programmes in Kinesiology, Dietetics, Physiotherapy and Healthcare, which are currently delivered by the Faculty of Health Sciences. The focus is on the student’s individual research work under the supervision of a mentor. Having completed the programme, the graduate will be equipped to carry out independent and creative research, design strategies for solving paramount issues present in today’s society, critically evaluate research results, develop novel research methods, report on scientific achievements and transfer them into practice.

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General competences or learning outcomes obtained through the programme

  • The ability to identify relevant research problems and analyse them by selecting an appropriate research methodology;
  • Autonomy in one’s scientific research and ability to work in interdisciplinary teams;
  • The ability to create solutions to current issues of topical concern in the discipline and transfer this knowledge into practice;
  • In-depth comprehension of the knowledge in the field and its interdisciplinary integration for the development of new added value;
  • Further development of the scientific method of thinking, supported by appropriate methodological research approaches and the ability of critical analysis of one’s own research work;
  • Expansion and further development of one’s communication skills, with particular emphasis on international engagement; publication of various scientific and technical texts;
  • The ability to act as a mentor to junior colleagues;
  • Commitment to professional research ethics and the ability of ethical reflection when designing one’s research;
  • Commitment to moral and ethical standards in healthcare with due regard for multiculturality.

Course-specific competences or learning outcomes obtained through the programme:

  • The ability of interdisciplinary investigation of the most important problems of contemporary society in the field of prevention for health;
  • The ability to conduct an in-depth analysis of the development of the discipline;
  • Revision of the methods of measurement and interpretation of results related to the responses of the human body to exercise, nutrition and the environment from various aspects;
  • The ability to interpret results and generate findings in the narrower and wider field of research;
  • The ability of science-based design and implementation of the strategies for the protection and maintenance of health;
  • Knowledge and ability to select and use advanced methodological approaches, analytical tools and software for data analysis;
  • The ability to perfect the existing and create new research methods and techniques;
  • The ability to disseminate the results of one’s research and communicate with the academic community and general public;
  • Appropriate use of communication resources and information and communication technology.
  • The ability to integrate individual research questions into a project.


Having graduated from the programme, the student is awarded the title:

doktor znanosti / doktorica znanosti – (Abbreviation: dr.)

Study programme general data


Admission to Year 1 of the programme shall be granted to applicants who have completed:

  1. a master’s study programme (2nd cycle) with the curriculum in the field of healthcare, sports, nutrition and dietetics, natural sciences and technology, or
  2. a study programme which educates for professions regulated by the European Union, provided that it consists of 300 ECTS, or another unified master’s study programme consisting of 300 ECTS with the curriculum in the field of healthcare, sports, nutrition and dietetics, natural sciences and technology, or
  3. a study programme leading to a university degree accepted before 11 June 2004 with the curriculum in the field of healthcare, sports, nutrition and dietetics, natural sciences and technology, or
  4. a study programme leading to specialization, whereby the candidate had beforehand completed a university degree programme with the curriculum in the field of healthcare, sports, nutrition and dietetics, natural sciences and technology (accepted before 11 June 2004), provided that prior to enrolment, the candidate had also completed the requirements specified by the responsible commission of the UP Faculty of Health Sciences (UP FHS) upon considering the candidate’s request and acknowledging the curriculum of the candidate’s previous studies. These requirements may be evaluated between 30 and 60 ECTS; or
  5. a study programme comparable to a, b, or c abroad, whereby the candidate has been granted the right to continue their education.

Prior to enrolment, the candidate must select a mentor (thesis advisor) and obtain their written statement of accepting supervision. Together with the mentor, the candidate then prepares a Plan of Education and Research, in which they outline their research scheme and select the elective subjects. This plan shall be confirmed by the Committee for Research Activity of the UP FHS.




(a video of how to fill an application for 2nd and 3rd cycle study programmes is also available)

After completing the application electronically, the candidate must print the application and sign it. Signed application together with the requested documentation must be sent by registered mail at the following address: UP FVZ, Polje 42, SI – 6130 IZOLA, »Application for enrolment to postgraduate programmes in 2020/2021«.

The language of instruction at the faculty is Slovene, some courses are held also in English. 

Application terms for EU citizens:

  • first application term: from 8 April to 27 August 2020,
  • second application term: from 11 to 16 September 2020,
  • third application term: from 24 to 25 September 2020 until 12:00.

Application terms for non-EU citizens and Slovene nationals without Slovene citizenship:

  • first application term: from 8 April to 1 July 2020,
  • second application term: from 20 July to 27 August 2020,
  • third application term: from 11 to 16 September 2020,
  • fourth application term: from 24 to 25 September 2020 until 12:00.

Candidates for enrolment in the doctoral study programmes must do the following:

  • choose a mentor and obtain his written agreement before enrolling.

Written agreement

Evidence of fulfillment of the admission requirements

The evidence of fulfillment of the admission requirements includes certificates and other requested documentation:

1. the final certificate of the completed study programme (notarized copy or original);

2. the transcript of records for the previous study with the data on the candidate’s average grade (copy);

3. Curriculum vitae with emphasis on professional references.

In case the certificate/diploma is issued in English, Italian or Croatian language the translation is not required. Candidates should first enquire about the translation.

Candidates who have completed a comparable study abroad must apply for the recognition of completed education prior to enrolment.

Decision on admission and enrolment procedures

After the conclusion of the pre-enrolment procedures, each candidate receives a decision containing the information whether he/she has been accepted or not. The candidates having applied for enrolment obtain the decision on selection in September (the exact date will be published later).

If the application of the candidate is approved he/she receives also the invitation for the enrolment with detailed instructions for enrolment. A receipt certifying the payment of enrolment fees must be submitted upon enrolment.

Candidates will enroll in the study programmes no later than 30 September 2020.


Academic performance (grade point average and the grade of the final project in the ratio of 80:20) – 50 %

The grade obtained in the selective oral examination – 50%

Among other topics, the oral examination will focus on the candidate’s presentation of their previous research work and achievements in scientific and professional work (published research and professional articles, awards, etc.). Grading shall be determined by the Commission for Scientific and Research Work.


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Study Programme Curriculum

Subject Lecturer ECTS
Individual research 1 21
Interdisciplinary aspects of prevention in health prof. dr. Nejc Šarabon, prof. dr. Vesna Zadnik, doc. dr. Mirko Prosen, doc. dr. Mojca Stubelj 15
Research methods and advanced data analysis in public health izr. prof. dr. Boštjan Žvanut 12
Elective subject 3
Advanced exercise physiology doc. dr. Tim Podlogar 6
Design of evidence-based injury prevention programs in sport prof. dr. Nejc Šarabon 6
Development of inovative products based on kinesiology science prof. dr. Nejc Šarabon 6
Development of methods and research in the field of nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics izr. prof. dr. Zala Jenko Pražnikar 6
From research to practice in health care doc. dr. Melita Peršolja 6
Genetics in public health 6
Global health: disparities, determinants, advanced research methods doc. dr. Sabina Ličen 6
Inovative food development doc. dr. Boris Kovač 6
Investigating bioactive compounds in food doc. dr. Saša Kenig 6
Molecular mechanisms of nutrition and exercise doc. dr. Nina Mohorko 6
Psychological factors in researching health and nutrition izr. prof. dr. Maša Černelič Bizjak 6
Public health challenges in food safety and protection prof. dr. Darja Barlič Maganja 6
Qualitative research in health promotion and health education doc. dr. Mirko Prosen 6
Research of sedentary behavior and physical inactivity prof. dr. Nejc Šarabon 6
Simulations as a research method in healthcare sciences doc. dr. Igor Karnjuš 6
Spatial epidemiology of chronical diseases prof. dr. Vesna Zadnik 6
Trends and challenges in environmental physiology 6

Conditions for advancement in the programme:

In order to proceed to Year 2 of the programme, the student must earn 42 ECTS from Year 1. As an exception, the student can enter Year 2 having only earned a total of 36 ECTS if the Committee for Student Affairs of the FHS grants the student’s request based on justified reasons. The student must fulfil the missing obligations before enrolment to Year 3 of the programme.

In order to proceed to Year 3 of the programme, the student must complete all academic obligations from Year 1, earn a total of 42 ECTS from Year 2, and have the topic of their thesis confirmed.

Before the defence of the thesis, the student must complete all academic obligations including having a research paper accepted for publication.

The students can re-enter the same year of the programme if they have earned a minimum of 8 ECTS. A student who shows an above-average academic performance will be able to advance through the programme faster. The decision on this shall be taken by the UP FHS Senate upon the candidate’s request and following a reasoned opinion of the relevant UP FHS commission.

Conditions for the completion of the study:

To graduate from the study programme, the student must complete all programme requirements, thus accumulating a total of 180 ECTS credits. The student must prepare and successfully defend their doctoral dissertation. Before the defence (viva voce), the student must publish a research article as  the first or leading author (or have it accepted for publication) in a journal indexed in SCI and SSCI with the IF≥0,1. The paper must be related to the thesis. The research article is considered accepted when it is assigned a DOI number. The dissertation may be composed of research articles if the candidate is the first or leading author of at least three publications in journals indexed in SCI or SSCI.

The student completes the programme by obtaining a positive evaluation of their doctoral dissertation. Having successfully defended their dissertation, the candidate receives a diploma, which is an official document.

The procedure is defined by the University of Primorska official rules on the preparation and defence of the doctoral dissertation entitled »Pravilnik o pripravi in zagovoru doktorske disertacije na Univerzi na Primorskem«. The link to the website is available here:

Conditions for transfers between study programmes

Transfers between study programmes are possible as described in the Republic of Slovenia’s Higher Education Act and other national regulations. Transfers are only possible between 3rd-cycle programmes.

Tuition fee

The tuition fee for the first school year is 3.500,00 EUR.

Every year at the beginning of October, the University of Primorska publishes a call for the co-financing of doctoral studies. In the year 2020/2021 two fellowships for doctoral students are available, each of which amounts to 10.000,00 EUR per year. MORE INFO