About Doctoral studies

By forming the third study cycle at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Banja Luka, the principle of “vertical mobility” envisaged by European documents on higher education has been fulfilled. This study cycle has provided the students with the opportunity to advance scientifically and professionally, to publish their research, to participate in clinical and basic studies, etc.

After completing their studies, the doctoral students are trained to perform research in medical science, to publish and present their research, as well as to participate and lead scientific and clinical studies, both at home and abroad.  

The enrolment conditions are defined by the Law on Higher Education (Official Gazette of the Republic of Srpska 67/20) and the Study Rules of the third study cycle. The curriculum is based on the experience of the universities in Bologna, Belgrade, Heidelberg, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Novi Sad. All courses are conceived in a modern way, i.e. they follow the trends in contemporary studies. 

The study programme of the third cycle of Biomedical Sciences is based on the following documents:

  • Law on Higher Education of the Republic of Srpska;
  • The Statute of the University of Banja Luka, the Statute of the Faculty of Medicine in Banja Luka and other normative legal acts of these institutions;
  • Study Rules of the third study cycle;
  • Bologna Declaration: The European Higher Education Area Joint Declaration of the European Ministers of Education convened in Bologna on 19 June 1999;
  • Lisbon Convention: Council of Europe / UNESCO Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region; Explanatory memorandum to the Lisbon Recognition Convention;
  • Prague Communiqué: Towards the European Higher Education Area – Communiqué of the meeting of European ministers in charge of higher Education in Prague on 19 May 2001;
  • Sorbonne Declaration: Joint declaration on harmonisation of the architecture of the European higher education system (Sorbonne, Paris, 25 May, 1998);
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) higher education qualification framework;
  • Curriculum and programmes of doctoral studies which are realised in Bologna, Heidelberg, Belgrade, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Novi Sad.

One of the key tendencies of the Bologna Process is providing internationally recognized diplomas and cooperation between higher-education institutions in regards to the implementation of higher education programmes.

The plan for the realisation of doctoral studies in Biomedical Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Banja Luka is to provide the doctoral students the opportunity to perform a part of their research in research centers in the Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and part in research centres abroad. Researchers and teachers from international universities are involved. 

The main formal academic parameters for doctoral studies in Biomedical Sciences are:

  • The study lasts for 3 years (6 semesters), and each year provides 60 ECTS credits.
  • One credit represents 30 hours.
  • The basic study programme unit is the course, and each course comprises an exam. 
  • The student workload for each semester may not exceed 35 ECTS credits, and annually it does not exceed 60 ECTS credits. 

The abovementioned parameters enable efficient mobility of study programmes along the vertical and horizontal criteria, which means the acceptance of credits according to the criteria of certain higher education institutions in the European Union.

During the study period, it is intended for the student to conduct theoretical and practical lectures, as well as the mandatory part of the student’s independent research work. Theoretical teaching is reduced to a minimum, while practical student activities (laboratories, research centres, institutes, etc.) make for the dominant part of the teaching. The most significant activities for the doctoral candidates are:

  • Active participation of candidates in teaching (theoretical and practical);
  • Working with a mentor on research projects (or clinical studies);
  • Independent scientific research of the candidate;
  • Participation and presentation of own research at scientific conferences;
  • Publishing the results of own research in reference scientific journals.

These activities will contribute to student independence in scientific work.

7.1. Knowledge

  • understanding the principles of scientific experiment in medicine;
  • understanding the most significant experimental models in biomedical research;
  • understanding the principles of valid design of experimental and controlled, randomised clinical trials;
  • understanding the criteria for assessing the validity and clinical significance of clinical studies;
  • understanding the principles of valid design of epidemiological studies (case-control studies, cohort studies, case series, cross-sectional studies, etc.);
  • understanding the principles of communicating results in the form of a scientific article or presentation at a scientific conference;
  • understanding medical statistics and informatics;
  • understanding ethical principles of research in medicine.

7.2. Skills

  • the skill of defining original and new research questions (research goal);
  • the skill of finding scientific literature relevant to own research with the help of information technologies (use of the Internet);
  • the skill of critical evaluation of scientific literature and selection of valid and significant results;
  • the skill of making a plan and protocol for individual research;
  • skills in handling devices used for research in biomedicine;
  • skill in handling experimental animals;
  • communication skills with patients;
  • skills of statistical processing of own results;
  • the skill of writing a scientific article based on own results;
  • the skill of communicating one’s own results at a scientific conference.

 7.3. Attitudes

  • responsible behavior towards the community and environment;
  • critical attitude towards own research results;
  • respect of the ethical principles in scientific research;
  • respect for the rights of patients and experimental animals;
  • fight against fraud and plagiarism in science.

The aim of the study program:

The main aim of doctoral studies is to train students in the following:

  • using modern techniques of scientific research,
  • writing and publishing research,
  • writing and conducting research projects, including a doctoral dissertation,
  • participating and conducting research studies,
  • using, adopting and monitoring of publications in biomedical journals.

The academic title attained upon completion of doctoral studies in Biomedical Sciences

Students who complete doctoral studies in BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES attain the academic title Doctor of Medical Sciences (depending on the elective courses – basic medicine, clinical medicine, preventive medicine, molecular medicine, public health), Doctor of Dental Sciences, Doctor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Doctor of Health Sciences.

Conditions of enrolment

The following candidates may enroll in the doctoral programme in BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES at the Faculty of Medicine in Banja Luka:

  • candidates who have completed the integrated studies in medicine, dentistry and pharmacy;
  • candidates who have completed studies in health care (first and second cycle);
  • candidates who have completed undergraduate studies in medicine, dentistry and pharmacy and postgraduate studies (master’s degree) in the same study programs;
  • At least 300 ECTS credits earned. 
  • Lowest average grade 8.00;
  • Fulfillment of additional conditions envisaged in the Rulebook on studying for PhDstudies at the University of Banja Luka and the Faculty of Medicine in Banja Luka.


Professor Miloš Stojiljković, PhD, Head of the 2nd and 3rd study cycle: milos.stojiljkovic@med.unibl.org

Slavica Serdar Janjuš, Officer for the 2nd and 3rd study cycle:


Telephone: 051/234-139