The study programme is based primarily on research, and all the activities and obligations of the doctoral students are in the function of research work and attaining research competence. The programme includes different forms of work such as: supervisor/mentor work that has a prominent role, workshops, research seminars, discussion groups, primarily in the form of internal annual conferences for the doctoral students, all of which are in the function of developing understanding and skills in research work and critical thinking, and the writing and publication of papers in journals. The share of classical lectures is minimal (two compulsory and three elective courses).
The programme is modular in structure and consists of 5 modules, which are based on and represent the main active research fields in Geography at the University of Zagreb and in Croatia as a whole, and the current research field of world Geography, as follows:
Full-time study lasts for three (3) years, with the possibility of extension to five years, while part-time study lasts for five (5) years with the possibility of extension to seven years. When enrolling in the study programme, each doctoral student signs a statement on whether he/she intends to study full-time or half-time. A part-time doctoral student also attaches a statement warranting that the working time available to him/her shall enable fulfilment of requirements set in the study plan.