International Doctoral Programme in Epidemiology

Degree: Doctor of Health Sciences, Doctor of Medical Science, Doctor of Philosophy

Duration: 4 years 

Extent:  240 ECTS

When to apply:  please see the programme web page

Tuition fee: none  

Programme web page

The International Doctoral Programme in Epidemiology (IPPE) is a doctoral training and research programme for highly qualified epidemiologists, researchers and public health personnel worldwide who are aiming at a PhD degree in epidemiology or public health.

The main objectives of the programme are to

  • increase knowledge and understanding of major public health problems, particularly in low-income countries, and to
  • build sustainable public health capacity in these countries by working with global partners in training epidemiologists and public health personnel for leadership positions in research, administration, programme planning and policy development.

In the IPPE programme the doctoral studies are offered as an intensive one-year coursework period. The aim is that students will complete the theoretical studies and their research plan in Finland and possibly start the data analysis, but that a large proportion of research will be conducted in the students' home countries after the theoretical studies. Degree: Doctor of Health Sciences, Doctor of Medical Science, Doctor of Philosophy


General eligibility and assessment criteria

Programme-specific requirements and assessment criteria

The admission criteria to the doctoral programme is a master's degree (equivalent to at least four years of study) in a relevant study area, such as medicine, public health or biostatistics. 

For the degree of Doctor of Medical Science only applicants who hold the Finnish degree of Licentiate in Medicine or a corresponding degree from a higher education institution abroad are eligible. The degree of Doctor of Health Sciences requires a previous educational background on Master’s level in the field of health sciences.

Basic knowledge in epidemiology and statistics is desirable. Priority will be given students who have a research plan or at least a preliminary idea of a research project that can be used as research material for the doctoral degree in epidemiology.

The programme requires residence in Tampere, Finland, for 10 months during the theoretical part of the programme. After completing their independent work on the dissertation the students will return to Tampere to finalize their work and have the oral examination (defence).

Doctoral researchers are selected on the basis of their

  • merits in past education
  • work experience in public health
  • language skills and writing ability
  • demonstrated success in the field of public health practice and epidemiology

Strong applicants already work in a research project which can be used as material for their PhD thesis or have an available dataset and a feasible research plan.

Applicants should submit a preliminary research plan as part of their application. Research plans are evaluated for their scientific quality and innovativeness, feasibility of the proposed research, research environment and, support of a research group.

The International Doctoral Programme in Epidemiology mainly follows the general language requirements for academic English used by the international degree programmes at the University of Tampere. For more information, please see

Admission to the programme

Please submit all your application documents through the University's online application system , by 15.45 (CMT +2) on January 13, 2017, and submit ALL the following attachments with your application (maximum file size for a single attachment is 5mb).

Note! The application form will be open during the period of November 14 - December 23, 2016 and again on January 9 - 13, 2017 due to maintenance break on the system.

1. Cover page (max. 1 page)                       

  • Full name
  • Citizenship
  • Country of residence
  • E-mail address
  • Title of the research plan
  • Highest degree and year obtained
  • Names, titles, affiliations and e-mail addresses of up to three (3) persons who will provide a letter of recommendation

2. Curriculum vitae (max. 5 pages)

  • Please use the Europass format (in English)
  • The list of publications should be organized as follows: international peer-reviewed publications, other publications
  • Include a list of completed epidemiology courses (level, number credits)

3. Motivation letter (max. 1 page)
    The motivation letter describes your personal goals for PhD studies  It should address the following:

  • Why do you want to pursue doctoral studies in the IPPE Programme?
  • How will PhD studies complement your previous education and professional experience?  
  • What new skills and opportunities are you looking for in the IPPE Programme?
  • How do you plan to use the experience gained in IPPE training after completing the PhD degree?  What are your future career goals.

4. Research plan (Please see detailed guidelines, max. 8 pages including summary and references)

5. Photocopies of degree certificate(s) and official transcript(s) of records certified by a notary public (as a single pdf-file)

6. Certificate of proficiency in English for academic purposes. For this requirement, no exceptions will be granted.
    There are two ways of indicating your English language proficiency;

  • Previous studies
    • A Master’s degree in English in a university in an EU/ EEA country, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States.
  • Language tests
    • TOEFL, Test of English as a Foreign Language; 90/Internet-based, 575/paper-based
      (NB: scores from "TOEFL ITP / institutional testing programme" are not accepted.)
    • IELTS (Academic), International English Language Testing System; 6.5 with no individual score below 5.5
    • PTE (Academic), Pearson’s Test of Academic English; 62
    • Please note that the language test score must be valid throughout the application period.

7. Copy of your passport

Note! Applications must adhere the above guidelines. 

Additional documents are not considered.

Contact Information

Programme director
Professor Pekka Nuorti

Head of Study Affairs
Leena Nikkari

Secretary of Doctoral Studies
Tiina Kangasluoma