Doctoral Programme of Communication, Media and Theatre

Degree: Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Social Sciences, Doctor of Arts (Theatre and Drama)

Duration: 4 years 

Extent:  240 ECTS

When to apply:  April / October

Start date:  Aug 1 / Jan 1

Tuition fee: none  

Programme web page

The programme trains specialists, experts and researchers in journalism, media studies, media education, cultural studies, speech communication, music research, theatre and drama research and theatre work.  

The programme is unique in Finland, because it not only offers first-rate instruction in different disciplines, but the disciplines offered also meet and intersect. The goal of the education is to link theoretical ambition and practice-based research with each other in new ways and to strive for creating dialogues between the different subjects of the Faculty. The postgraduate education is implemented in interaction with basic research and research activities.

After completing the doctoral studies, the students can act as experts with the ability to reform practices in their own field both in the University and elsewhere in working life. Graduates work in public professions which require tangible skills, involve a societal aspect and approach communication through meaning – as pictures, words and stories.



General eligibility and assessment criteria

Programme-specific requirements and assessment criteria

The Faculty of Communication Sciences requires that those admitted to postgraduate studies hold a Finnish Master's degree or a corresponding degree from an institution of higher education abroad. The Master's degree or its equivalent should be in the field of the intended major subject.

The Faculty may also admit applicants who have demonstrated their knowledge in the prospective major subject in some other way. If the applicant does not hold a Master's degree, the professor of the prospective major subject decides whether the applicant's previous studies are equivalent.

If you wish to attend an English-language programme, the following scores are required:

  • TOEFL score must be 90/Internet-based or 575/paper-based.
  • IELTS Academic score, International English Language Testing System: Minimum score: 6.5. with no individual score below 5.5.
  • PTE, Academic English Language Proficiency test by Pearson: Minimun score: 62.

In the assessment of the applicants, an important aspect to be remembered is how the prospect of reseach relates to the Faculty's research foci.

The applicants for doctoral studies are assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Topicality of the research plan and the scientific and social significance of the new information.
  • Clarity of the research problem and the research questions.
  • Specification of the theoretical framework and context. Positioning of the study in relation to earlier research.
  • The suitability of the theories concepts to the research topic and problem.
  • The relevance of the methods and materials in answering the research problem.
  • How realistic is the timetable?
  • In the case of those applying for a full-time doctoral researcher position:  - How realistic is it to carry out the research plan in four years’ time? - Plan for publication.
  • Summary: the central strengths and potential problems of the plan (summary, not a mechanical sum, 1-8)

In addition to the criteria mentioned above, the research committee assesses the doctoral researcher’s connection of the research to the research strategy of the Faculty and the supervision resources by the potential supervisor.

Admission to the programme

Prior to applying for admission, the applicant must contact the professor of the main subject s/he is applying for, or a possible supervisor of studies, in order to draft the research plan as well as the study and supervisory plan.

The application and enclosures must be saved in the UTA electronic admissions system by the application deadline.

Please make sure your application form has your personal information and that you have indicated the degree in which you are applying the right to study. If you wish to earn the degree of Doctor of Philosophy or Licentiate of Philosophy, please also state your major.

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 Elisa Laatikainen).


Contact Information

Professor Mikko Lehtonen

  • information about the subjects and field of study of the doctoral programme, research interest

Study Secretary Elisa Laatikainen

  • information about eligibility (e.g. level of the degree, international degrees, language test)