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university of tampere: faculty of communication sciences: doctoral studies: applying for doctoral studies:
Faculty of Communication SciencesUniversity of TampereFaculty of Communication Sciences

Admission to doctoral studies at the Faculty of Communication Sciences

Please note that this page gives instructions on how to apply for the doctoral study right. The Faculty of Communication Sciences might have also salaried positions open for those taking doctoral studies. For these a separate online application is needed. Salaried positions are announced on the University of Tampere Careers page. 

The Faculty also invites application for 10 salaried doctoral student positions in autumn 2017. Please note that you must apply for the study right with a separate application at the same time when applying for the salaried doctoral student position. The application period is 2-31 October.

Application deadlines for 2017

Applications for doctoral studies are processed twice per year. Application rounds are usually open in April and in October.

The application period for doctoral studies commencing in the spring of 2018 will be during 2 - 31 October 2017. Link to the application form is available during the application period.

Apply here for a doctoral study right at the Faculty of Communication Sciences.

The results will be announced at the latest on 15 of December 2017.

Admission quotas for 2017 application rounds

The Faculty of Communication Sciences admit approximately 36 new doctoral students to the five doctoral programmes based on the application rounds for 2017. Admission quotas for each doctoral programme:

Doctoral Programme in Communication, Media and Theatre 0-10 students
Doctoral Programme in Information Studies and Interactive Media 0-8 students
Doctoral Programme in Interactive Technology 0-6 students
Doctoral Programme in Language Studies 0-6 students
Doctoral Programme in Literary Studies 0-6 students

Please note that admittance and being granted the status of a doctoral student does not include funding.

Applying for admission

The call for applications for the doctoral programmes at the Faculty of Communication Sciences is organised twice per year. Specific application deadlines will be confirmed each year. Under exceptional conditions, applications for doctoral studies can be processed outside the two admission rounds.

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.

An electronic application form will become available on the first day of the application period.

Applicants must state the main subject for the degree in his or her application.

The application must include the following documents:

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

  • photocopies of the 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).  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.
  • a reliable account that the applicant’s previous degree grants eligibility for doctoral studies in the country where that previous degree was completed
  • copy of the Master's thesis in the original language (if applicable) and a synopsis in English
  • 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.

Applicants who have taken their degrees in a country other than Finland must include with their application a photocopy of their thesis corresponding to the Finnish Master's thesis and an account of their Master studies.

When an applicant does not have a Master's degree in the main subject he or she is applying for, the application must indicate the studies undertaken to achieve the skills and knowledge required for starting doctoral studies.

Applicants who have taken a licentiate's degree at the Faculty of Communication Sciences or its predecessors are directly entitled to continue studying towards the doctoral degree that corresponds with their previous studies. Applicants who have taken a licentiate's degree at another educational institution or in another training field and applicants who do not have a licentiate's degree can be granted admission for doctoral studies based on the aforementioned application form and its appendices.

Further information on the application process is available from Ms Elisa Laatikainen.

Further information on the content of the studies is available from the professors of the main subjects.

Admission criteria

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.

Admission procedure

After the application deadline has passed, the applications are taken on a commentary round in the doctoral programme. The doctoral programme process the applications and make a proposal to the Faculty's Doctoral Education Committee on the applicants to be admitted and the supervisors for the applicants' research work. The Doctoral Education Committee then puts a selection proposal to the Dean of the Faculty. The Dean of the Faculty admits the new students.

The selection results are announced before the beginning of the following term. The selections made in autumn 2017 are announced by 15 December, 2017. The date by which the selections made in spring 2018 are announced will be published later. Applicants are notified of the selection results by post.

An applicant who is dissatisfied with the student selection may submit a written request for reconsideration to the Faculty Council. Such requests must be submitted within 14 days of the declared announcement date. The request, together with the reasons, shall be addressed to: University of Tampere, Registry (Kirjaamo), 33014 University of Tampere, Finland.

Practical 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 to the Faculty of Communication Sciences (Ms. Kirsi Tuominen or Ms. Elisa Laatikainen, see contact information).

English language proficiency:

  • Faculty of Communication Sciences or its predecessors' graduates do not need a language test score.
  • Applicants who have taken their secondary school education, or studied for and obtained their Bachelor or Master degree in English in one of the following countries (and in the following countries only) are exempt from submitting a language test: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • Applicants who are not in either of the two groups above and who plan to study in English must submit an international language test score. IELTS Academic score of 6.5, PTE Academic score 62, or a TOEFL score of 575 (paper version) or 90 (iBT version), are the minimum scores. A plain photocopy of the test score is enough regarding IELTS scores. The PTE and TOEFL scores must arrive from the testing organisation. The TOEFL reporting number of the University of Tampere is 9871.

It is advisable to include in the application also other certificates of language tests taken, if any, especially tests taken in Finnish, Swedish, German or French.

Cost of studies

Please note that the study right for doctoral studies does not include any financial aid from the University. The University does not have a scholarship system for international students. The Faculty of Communication Sciences may have some salaried positions for doctoral studies available alongside with the application round for the doctoral study right. These positions must be applied for separately.

There are no tuition fees in the doctoral programme.

Students taking licentiate or doctoral degrees are not eligible to the same student benefits as Bachelor and Master students. Thus living expenses, including lunches and travelling, are higher.

After the right to study has been granted, the Finnish Immigration Service expects all new students from non-EU/EEA countries to apply for a residence permit. At that stage, the students must be able to show to the Finnish Immigration Service that they have a minimum of c. 6 800 euros for the first year of studies or a scholarship to support themselves during the studies. Also a health insurance is needed.


After their admission, doctoral students may apply for student accommodation with TOAS, the local provider of student accommodation.

Confirmation of the right to enrol

To maintain your right to enrol in the degree programme, you must fill in and deliver the confirmation form you receive from the University of Tampere. The confirmation must reach the University of Tampere by 9 January, 2018 at 3 pm local time, at the latest. If your confirmation has not arrived by the date indicated above, you will lose your right to enrol in the degree programme.


New doctoral students must enrol at the UTA Registrar's Office. More detailed instructions on enrolment are enclosed with the letter of acceptance. Before enrolling, a new doctoral student must present at the Faculty office the original certificates and transcript for the degrees and studies he/she has referred to in his/her application and their authorised translations in English, if the originals are in another language.

Doctoral students are required to re-enrol at the beginning of each academic year according to instructions given by the University. Only students enrolled as 'present' may pursue studies at the University.

Doctoral students who fail to enrol either as 'present' or 'absent' within the given deadline will loose their right to study and their right to use the computer services provided by the University. Should students later wish to continue their studies, they must make a written request to the Faculty requesting re-admission.

Contact information

For information on doctoral admissions process, please contact Ms Kirsi Tuominen (doctoral programmes in Information Studies and Interactive Media, and Interactive Technology) or Ms Elisa Laatikainen (doctoral programmes in Language Studies, Literary Studies, and Communication, Media and Theatre).

For information on prospective supervisors or your research plan, please contact the person-in-charge of the doctoral programme.

Doctoral Programme in Communication, Media and Theatre: Professor Mikko Lehtonen

Doctoral Programme in Information Studies and Interactive Media: University Lecturer Sanna Talja

Doctoral Programme in Interactive Technology: Professor Veikko Surakka

Doctoral Programme in Language Studies: Professor Minna Nevala

Doctoral Programme in Literary Studies: Professor Mari Hatavara

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Last update: 6.10.2017 10.09 Muokkaa

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