Doctoral Programme in Medicine (SOC)

Degree: Doctor of Medical Science, 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 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 
  • global health and development
  • gerontology 
  • health economics  
  • nursing science 
  • occupational health 
  • public health 
  • social and health policy 
  • social psychiatry 
  • sociology of health

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



General eligibility and assessment criteria

Programme-specific requirements and assessment criteria

Applicants who hold the Finnish degree of Licentiate in Medicine or a corresponding degree from a corresponding higher education institution abroad are eligible to the programme.

Admissions criteria can be found from the Postgraduate Study Guide.

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

  • the quality of the research plan, innovativeness of the research topic, the suitability of the methods and materials in relation to the research question, the realism and clarity of the research plan
  • the suitability of the research topic for the doctoral programme
  • the practical or theoretical relevance of the research in its own field
  • the realistic feasibility of the study plan
  • the student's success at undergraduate and graduate level
  • the student's methodological and theoretical abilities
  • the student's international competence and the language proficiency necessary to complete the doctoral programme
  • the availability of competent supervision

The Scientific Postgraduate Committee may also assess the level of suitability and motivation demonstrated by the applicant by interviewing him/her.

Admission to the programme

Application rounds for postgraduate studies are open twice a year, in October and April. More specific application dates can be found on the faculty's website.

To apply, potential students must:

  • Contact a possible supervisor to agree upon the supervision well in advance before applying.
  • After your supervisor has approved the application, submit it, including all appendices, to the Postgraduate Committee.

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

The completed application must include the following documents:

  • Application form for the right to study
  • Research plan
  • Postgraduate study plan
  • Motivational letter
  • Consent from the members of the followup group
  • Possible statement from the Ethics Committee or justification for not providing it
  • Applicant’s CV and list of publications if applicable
  • Copies of diplomas or a copy of the basic degree student’s academic records. This attachment is not needed if the applicant completed his/her basic degree at the University of Tampere
  • A copy of their identification (driver’s licence, passport or another identification document containing a photo) This is not required if the applicant has studied at the University of Tampere.

More information about preparing a good application can be found on the application form available at the faculty's website.

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