Doctoral Programme in Literary Studies

Degree: Doctor of Philosophy

Duration: 4 years 

Extent:  240 ECTS

When to apply:  April / October

Start date:  Aug 1 / Jan 1

Tuition fee: none  

Programme web page

The Doctoral Programme in Literary Studies offers doctoral studies in Finnish Literature and Comparative Literature. Students may major in Comparative Literature regardless of the language area of their interest.

The programme's focus is on studying the historical continuum of literature, current forms of Finnish and international literature, and literary phenomena as a part of the field of arts and culture. In literary history, there is a special emphasis on examining the defining characteristics of Finnish literature in relation to national and international culture and literary tradition.

The programme also emphasises textuality, general and descriptive poetics, the development of concepts in relation to other disciplines, and the various intersections of literature, language and philosophy. The programme's faculty members participate actively in international discussion on narrative theory, which helps provide methodological tools for other disciplines studying texts both in the humanities and social sciences.

Research conducted in the programme in the above-mentioned fields is at the cutting edge in Finland, and it enjoys wide recognition internationally. It is therefore an attractive option for students coming from other universities. Graduates enjoy a good employment rate and are appointed to university-level research and teaching posts both in Finland and abroad.



General eligibility and assessment criteria

Programme-specific requirements and assessment criteria

The doctoral programme welcomes applications from students who have earned their Master's degree in Finnish Literature or Narrative Theory and Textuality at the University of Tampere, or in some other literary discipline at another university.

Applicants who have specialised in narrative theory and textuality may apply regardless of their major.

In some cases, the doctoral programme may require the student to take supplementary courses; the need for supplementary courses is considered on a case-by-case basis.

Admission to the programme

General eligibility for scientific doctoral studies is stipulated in the University Act (2009/558, Paragraph 37). The Faculty can admit to doctoral studies an applicant who has completed

  • a relevant Master's degree awarded by a university,
  • a relevant Master's degree awarded by a university of applied sciences, or
  • a relevant applicable study programme abroad which in the awarding country gives eligibility for the corresponding level of higher education
  • whom the university otherwise deems to possess sufficient knowledge and skills for doctoral education in the field of studies in question.

Recognition of the studies and eligibility for doctoral studies is approved by the professor of the main subject or a teacher authorised by the professor.

The aim of doctoral selection is to reach talented, motivated and committed doctoral students. The ability and aptitude of applicants is assessed on the following principles:

  • The scientific quality and relevance of the research and study and supervisory plan, and the feasibility of their implementation.
  • The appropriateness of the Bachelor and Master degree studies and the research topic for the doctoral programme and the main subject applied for.
  • The availability of sufficient expert supervision.
  • The applicant's skills and knowledge, the language proficiency necessary to complete the doctoral programme and the grade of the previous degree can be considered.
  • The level of promise and motivation demonstrated by the applicant.

Interviews may also be used to aid the selection procedure; the interview assesses the applicant's abilities and suitability. Assessments of individual doctoral students are not made public.

The Faculty may restrict the number of its doctoral student intake based on insufficient supervision resources.

A person accepted at a Finnish university or a polytechnic may accept only one study place in a degree programme leading to a higher education degree during one academic term.

Application documents

In addition, applicants who have not graduated from the Faculty of Communication Sciences or its predecessors must submit the following documents:

  • photocopies of Bachelor’s and Master’s degree certificates and their authorised translations in English, and transcripts of records (i.e. courses taken, grades and credits received) and their authorised translations in English. A syllabus of the Master studies must be submitted too (see below "Additional information on applying"). If you have completed your Master's degree in a Finnish university after 1995, a photocopy of your Master's degree certificate and transcript of records are enough.
  • copy of the Master's thesis in the original language (if applicable) and a synopsis in English
  • a reliable account that the applicant’s previous degree grants eligibility for doctoral studies in the country where that previous degree was completed.
  • international applicants must provide a reliable account of his or her language proficiency (see below). Applicants of the doctoral programme in Language Studies must hold a Master’s degree or have completed advanced studies in the field corresponding to the intended major.

Unless your former institution issues diplomas and academic records in English, Finnish, or Swedish, the documents must include the authorised, complete and exact translations into one of these languages.

Additional information on applying

UTA has country-specific requirements for applicants with a previous degree from e.g. Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Cameroon, Canada, China, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Uzbekistan (see the full list on University Admissions Finland page). The enclosures of degrees from these countries must be submitted directly to the Faculty of Communications Sciences (Ms Kirsi Tuominen).


Contact information

Questions on the admissions process:

Study Secretary Elisa Laatikainen

Questions on prospective supervisors and research plans: