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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 Literary Studies

Doctoral Programme in Literary 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 study programme in languages, translation studies and culture. The Doctoral Programme in Literary Studies is a postgraduate study 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 Literary Studies

 The Doctoral Programme in Literary Studies offers doctoral studies in Finnish Literature and Comparative Literature. Students may major in Comparative Literature regardless of the language area of their interest. LTL welcomes applications from students who have earned their Master's degree in Finnish Literature or Narrative Theory and Textuality at the University of Tampere, or in some other literary discipline at another university. Applicants who have specialised in narrative theory and textuality may apply regardless of their major. 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's focus is on studying the historical continuum of literature, current forms of Finnish and international literature, and literary phenomena as a part of the field of arts and culture. In literary history, there is a special emphasis on examining the defining characteristics of Finnish literature in relation to national and international culture and literary tradition. The programme also emphasises textuality, general and descriptive poetics, the development of concepts in relation to other disciplines, and the various intersections of literature, language and philosophy. The programme's faculty members participate actively in international discussion on narrative theory, which helps provide methodological tools for other disciplines studying texts both in the humanities and social sciences.

Research conducted in the programme in the above-mentioned fields is at the cutting edge in Finland, and it enjoys wide recognition internationally. It is therefore an attractive option for students coming from other universities.

The programme's expected graduation rate is two to three doctors a year. The programme has met this objective on a regular basis, with two doctoral degrees awarded every year. Graduates enjoy a good employment rate and are appointed to university-level research and teaching posts both in Finland and abroad.

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


3. Students

LTL's Doctoral Programme in Literary Studies regularly receives many applications from aspiring doctoral students. In the long run, current supervision resources enable 15–20 active (full-time) students to study in the programme. 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; 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. (See the University's and LTL's instructions on how to apply.)


4. Supervisors

The programme's supervision resources are the two professors and four or five lecturers with a PhD, as well as a number of docents acting as dissertation supervisors. It is also possible to invite experts from other universities and the national Finnish Doctoral Programme for Literary Studies to act as supervisors. The official supervision plan must be approved by the Dean. If a supervisor wishes, he/she may include the plan in his/her curriculum vitae. The programme encourages new doctors to take on supervision duties alongside more experienced researchers. This will also promote supervisor training in the field.


5. Networks

The Doctoral Programme in Literary Studies participates extensively in domestic and international networks. The literary studies department was one of the founding members in the Nordic Network of Narrative Studies and in the project Making Sense in Literary and Social Studies, a shared project by Literary Studies and Social Studies run by Professor Mari Hatavara. LTL Literary Studies is the initiator and leader of the UTA research centre Narrare. Centre for Interdisciplinary Narrative Studies. The research project "The Literary in Life: Exploring the Boundaries between Literature and the Everyday"  together with the universities of Helsinki and Jyväskylä and a broad network of international partners, funded by the Academy of Finland (2015-2019), brings together scholars at various career stages to investigate how literature reflects, explores and modifies social life. The project analyzes fiction, poetry and cases of new media texts in order to map the traffic between the poetic and the everyday, between the artistically designed and the incidentally occurring. Methods from transdisciplinary narrative studies, cognitive poetics of emotion, rhetorics of literary affectivity, and poetics of experimentality are utilized and developed.

The literary studies of the University of Tampere is known in Europe and the United States as a pioneer in cross-disciplinary narratological research. Literary studies faculty members also actively publish and participate in conferences, arrange joint research projects, and organise teaching and research visits with several important centres in the field. These include Project Narrative at Ohio State University, the Freiburg Institute for Narrative Studies at the University of Freiburg and the Narrative Research Lab and Center for Fictionality Studies at Aarhus University, which funds research visits and joint projects in doctoral studies. Students of literary studies at the University of Tampere may also participate in the annual Intensive Program in Narratology summer school in Aarhus, Denmark, which brings together researchers who study texts and narratives across different disciplines. LTL's programme also cooperates with several universities in addition to the above-mentioned, e.g. the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Missouri, Columbia University, the University of Washington, the University of Oslo, Stockholm University, Örebro University and the University of Tartu.

Moreover, doctoral students of Finnish Literature can teach and research abroad through various exchange programmes or CIMO (Centre for International Mobility).  In Scandinavian Studies, important partners include the International Association for the Study of Scandinavian Literature, the Society for the Study of Scandinavian and the Nordic Society for Intermedial Studies.

Doctoral students in literary studies often work in Finnish cultural media or on the editorial boards of scientific societies and publications: this offers students a wide interdisciplinary cooperation and publishing network. The two literary disciplines taught at the University of Tampere are part of the Finnish Doctoral Programme for Literary Studies, which is a national programme run by Professor Heta Pyrhönen from the University of Helsinki. As a part of this national programme, LTL's Doctoral Programme in Literary Studies also belongs to the European PhDNet, which is run by Professor Ansgar Nünning from the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany. The European PhDNet offers paid research posts. Moreover, some of its activities are open to all doctoral students at any of the universities belonging to the Finnish national programme.


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:

    DPLSOPS Study and Supervision Plan
    DPLSSEM Research Seminar, Doctoral Programme in Literary Studies, 5–10 ECTS credits
    DPLSETH 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.

The doctoral degree earned will be either in Finnish Literature or Comparative Literature.


7. Pursuing Doctoral Studies

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

Doctoral students in the programme may take courses offered by the University's Doctoral School when the student and supervisor deem it advisable. None of these courses are compulsory.

The programme runs its own research seminar. Attendance at the seminar is compulsory throughout doctoral studies. At the seminar, students 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 Literary 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.

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. the Finnish Doctoral Programme for Literary Studies). Also, international experts from the above-mentioned partner universities will be invited to act as instructors. LTL has a long-standing tradition of organising international workshops with outstanding results, so this practice will be continued in the new programme. 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: 19.12.2016 12.39 Muokkaa

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