Doctoral Programme in Health Sciences

Degree: Doctor of Health Sciences, 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 programme provides training that prepares doctoral researchers to successfully work as an academic researcher or teacher as well as in other expert positions in the society and in the field of health. The employment prospects for graduates in the field of health sciences or medicine have been good. 


The fields of study available are  

  • biostatistics 
  • epidemiology 
  • gerontology 
  • health care management 
  • health economics  
  • health services research 
  • nursing science 
  • occupational health 
  • public health 
  • social and health policy 
  • social psychiatry 

Most PhD students do their dissertation work in one of the research groups. The field of study is determined by the supervisor’s discipline. 



General eligibility and assessment criteria

Programme-specific requirements and assessment criteria  

The Doctor of Health Sciences degree requires a previous educational background on Master’s level in the field of health sciences. 

Admissions criteria can be found from the Postgraduate Study Guide. 

Especially important facts for student selection in the application process are the following:  

  • the scientific, practical and theoretical relevance of the research topic for public health or nursing science 
  • how realistic and clear the research plan is 
  • the suitability of the proposed methods for the purpose of the study

Admission to the programme

The applicant must first choose a research topic/field of study and find at least one supervisor who is employed at the faculty. One of the supervisors must be a professor or a docent at the faculty, and the other supervisor must have a PhD in a relevant field. Then, together with the supervisor, a follow-up group should be selected for the dissertation work. 

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

The application must contain the following attachments:

The applications will be reviewed by the Scientific Postgraduate Committee. Incomplete applications cannot be rewieved.

More specific guidelines for the research plan and postgraduate study plan can be found from the instructions page on the application form.

Motivation letter

The motivation letter can be written in free format but should not exceed one page (A4, font 12, space 1,5).

The motivation letter is a document that describes the applying person's aims and abilities to pursue PhD studies and also brings other matters that may affect the completion of the studies to the committee's attention . All information is handled confidentially and will not be shared with persons or parties not involved in the selection process. The motivation letter should address at least the following issues:

  • Why do you intend to pursue doctoral studies?
  • What is your previous study and work background?
  • How do you see your future after completing the PhD degree? What new skills and possibilities/opportunities do you believe the PhD degree will equip you with?

Contact Information

Head of Study Affairs Leena Nikkari
+358 40 190 9844