This degree also exists in Spain under the name "Diploma de Estudios Avanzados" or "DEA". It confers a higher qualification credential than a Master of Philosophy or Master of Studies but lower than doctorate . The so-called "DEA" was achieved in two years: one year of coursework, which included research methods and theoretical approaches of the discipline at stake (depending on the area of specialization) and one year of research. All the work of the first and second years was defended before a panel. The DEA was a prerequisite for the preparation of the PhD proposal and the commencement of PhD research in Spain.