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

The Doctoral programmes of the School of Language, Translation and Literary Studies will be transferring to new Faculty of Communication Sciences:

The study-related instructions and curricula of the School of Language, Translation and Literary Studies will continue to be used in connection with these Doctoral programmes.

Doctoral Programme in Language Studies

Doctoral Programme in Language Studies
Degree Structure
Pursuing Doctoral Studies

1. Overview

The School of Language, Translation and Literary Studies (LTL) offers two doctoral programmes. The Doctoral Programme in Language Studies is an interdisciplinary postgraduate degree programme in languages, translation studies and culture. The Doctoral Programme in Literary Studies is a postgraduate degree programme offered for students of Finnish Literature, Comparative Literature, and Narrative Theory and Textuality. Both programmes are unique in Finland and boast excellent connections both nationally and internationally.




 2. Doctoral Programme in Language Studies

The Doctoral Programme in Language Studies is offered for doctoral students majoring in the study of languages and translation. A doctoral student may earn his/her degree in one of the following disciplines:

  • English Philology
  • Scandinavian Languages
  • Translation Studies (English, French, Swedish, German or Russian)
  • French Language
  • German Language and Culture
  • Finnish Language
  • Russian Language and Culture

In 2017, there is no admission to French Language or Translation Studies (French).

LTL welcomes applications from students who hold a Master's degree in a field relevant to the programme. Suitable disciplines include English, Scandinavian Languages, French, German, Finnish, Russian, and Multilingual Communication and Translation Studies. Applicants must have completed advanced studies in their prospective major subject or a related subject. LTL may also accept other majors if they are compatible with the field the programme covers. In some cases, LTL may require the student to take supplementary courses; the need for supplementary courses is considered on a case-by-case basis.

The programme is an interdisciplinary postgraduate degree programme which combines the study of translation and interpreting with languages, literature and culture of certain language areas.  The programme's objective is to train doctors who master their field, have a strong methodological competence and can conduct multi-perspective interdisciplinary research.

The focus of the programme is on LTL's strengths and on establishing new links between existing research interests. In addition to conducting basic linguistic research, i.e. studying situational variation and the structure of language, researchers examine the interaction of language and society, such as special languages and the linguistic challenges posed by globalised, multilingual and multicultural societies. There is a special emphasis on studying the intersections between language and culture, which includes the critical study of local and global cultural forms and sociocultural phenomena in a given language area. Key areas in translation studies include translation and interpreting as a profession and the sociology of translation.

The programme's expected graduation rate is three to five doctors a year. Graduates are generally hired to fill research and teaching positions and socially significant expert positions. Their employment prospects are excellent, and, according to a report by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the need for doctors in the field of linguistics is growing in Finland.  (The report is available in Finnish only.)

The programme's head professor is Minna Nevala. LTL's Postgraduate Committee acts as the programme's governing body.


3. Students

At the beginning of 2012, LTL hosted over one hundred doctoral students. Fifteen of them had funding for full-time research (from the Finnish Doctoral Programme in Language Studies [Langnet], the Academy of Finland, a foundation, or the University). On 1 August 2012, all doctoral students majoring in languages or translation studies were transferred to LTL's Doctoral Programme in Language Studies if they had a valid right to study. All doctoral students also belong to the University's Doctoral School, which coordinates research training and plans and offers courses available to all doctoral students regardless of their discipline.

As of 1 August 2012, students apply for doctoral studies through the University's Doctoral School. The call for applications is twice a year – in April and October – and the number of doctoral students admitted to the programme is announced each year. LTL's teaching and supervision resources are taken into consideration when the number of student admissions is determined: ideally, the doctoral programme will have 25–30 students at all times.

At LTL, the Postgraduate Committee processes applications and the Dean makes the final decision. Once admitted, doctoral students are granted the right to study towards the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. The right to study is granted for five years: if it expires, students may apply for an extension of one year at a time.

Before applying for admission to doctoral studies, applicants must contact the supervisor of their prospective major to discuss the research plan to be enclosed in their application (see the programme's website). The structure of a research plan should follow the instructions issued by the Academy of Finland as closely as possible, and the plan must specify the following: the topic, background, objectives, methods and data of the research; a preliminary schedule; and a funding plan (instructions can be found online).


4. Supervisors

The supervisors in the Doctoral Programme in Language Studies provide high-quality guidance in their fields. The programme's most important supervision resources are the professors (twelve in total), docents and lecturers of the relevant disciplines.  Recently graduated doctors are encouraged to sign up for supervisor training and then to supervise doctoral students: the idea is to ensure a continual supply of new supervisors. 


5. Networks

The researchers at LTL are highly experienced and enjoy both international and national acclaim. Their connections and networks benefit the entire programme. LTL also runs several research projects based on external funding. The programme is closely connected to LTL's other research programmes (see Research Strategy).

The programme also cooperates with Langnet, the national Finnish Doctoral Programme in Language Studies. Many of the programme's supervisors are members of Langnet's supervisor databank. One supervisor is also a board member and leads one of Langnet's own programmes. Additionally, the programme collaborates with several other parties on a national level, including the Russian Language and Literature programme at the University of Helsinki; the Russian and East European Studies programme at the University of Helsinki; the Centre of Excellence for the Study of Variation, Contacts and Change in English at the Universities of Helsinki and Jyväskylä; and the language programmes at the University of Eastern Finland. Scandinavian Languages programme members enjoy close contacts with the Society of Swedish Literature as well. Langnet also provides the programme with an established network for international doctoral education. Moreover, the programme collaborates with several European universities, for example Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia in Saint Petersburg, the Ural Federal University in Yekaterinburg, the University of Freiburg, Mainz University, the University of Leipzig, the University of Zurich, University of Paris III (the New Sorbonne University), École Normale Supérieure in Lyon and the University of Santiago de Compostela.


6. Degree Structure

The normal duration of doctoral studies is four years. The scope of the degree is 240 ECTS credits, which means that full-time doctoral students must earn 60 ECTS credits (1600 hours of work) a year to complete their studies in four years. The studies consist of two components:

  • A doctoral dissertation: 200 ECTS credits
  • Other studies: 40 ECTS credits

The following make up the 40 ECTS credits of other research- and expertise-related studies:

    DPLAOPS Study and Supervision Plan
    DPLASEM Research Seminar, Doctoral Programme in Language Studies, 5–10 ECTS credits
    DPLAETH Research Ethics, 1–5 ECTS credits

In addition to these mandatory studies, the student will take free choice studies advancing his/her research and scientific expertise as specified in his/her personal study plan. These other studies may include joint doctoral studies offered by the university’s Doctoral School, studies completed in other universities, activities in academic organisations, publishing, teaching, taking part in conferences, and other academic activities as specified in the student’s personal study plan.


7. Pursuing Doctoral Studies

Research training in the programme consists of the independent supervised work and courses that improve students' skills in their field. The objective of doctoral training is to write a dissertation and earn the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

The programme runs its own research seminar. A student must attend the seminar for at least five terms. At the seminar, students for example present their research plans, report on the progress of their research and acquire practice in scientific peer-reviewing. Doctoral students are also offered an opportunity to work in independent theme-based research teams, with Language Studies supervisors acting as team leaders. Participation in a research team is rewarded with credits; the number of credits to be granted is negotiated with the student's supervisors.

The programme's students may take courses offered by the University's Doctoral School as specified in their personal study plan. None of these courses are compulsory.

If there are sufficient resources, open research workshops will be arranged in collaboration with the University's other doctoral programmes and other parties offering doctoral education (e.g. Langnet). Also, international experts from the above-mentioned partner universities will be invited to act as instructors. Doctoral students are also encouraged to take part in other international research activities during their studies. LTL is asked to cover doctoral students' travelling expenses to encourage them to participate in conferences.


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Last update: 19.9.2017 15.40 Muokkaa

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