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university of tampere: faculty of communication sciences: doctoral studies: doctoral study guide:
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 Degree


Section 21 of Government Decree 1039/2013 describes the general objectives of postgraduate education as follows:

The aim of postgraduate education is that the student

  1. becomes well-versed in his/her own field of research and its social significance
  2. gains the knowledge and skills needed to independently and critically apply scientific research methods and to produce new scientific knowledge
  3. becomes conversant with the development, basic problems and research methods of his/her own field of research
  4. gains such knowledge of the general theory of science and of other disciplines relating to his/her own field of research that enables him/her to follow developments in them
  5. gains adequate language and communication proficiency and other skills required in demanding expert and development roles and in international collaboration.

The main component of a doctoral degree is the independent doctoral dissertation, which is aimed at allowing students to accumulate research skills and acquire an in-depth understanding of their field. Although each student writes his/her dissertation independently, LTL offers personal supervision and programme-specific research seminars to promote students' learning and progress. Over the course of their studies, doctoral students also become part of the scientific community, which gives them an opportunity to advance their research and widen their view of science. In addition, it teaches them to interact within the scientific community and tie their field to a wider social network. International research contacts and networks are also built systematically during doctoral studies.

Research not only develops skills required in scientific work, but also skills important in work life and social activities in general, including critical thinking, mastery of research methods, problem-solving skills, argumentation skills and communication skills. To guarantee that a graduate's expertise is not too limited, a doctoral degree should comprise both studies in the student's field and studies that improve his/her general scientific expertise.

The primary purpose of doctoral studies is to develop students' professional skills. For this reason, doctoral studies are always individually tailored. Doctoral degree holders can work in demanding teaching and research positions, for example, or in cultural management and scientific governance, as pedagogical skills, social skills, leadership skills, project management abilities and knowledge of business and financial administration are required for these positions. An excellent command of scientific communication methods makes graduates better equipped to hold socially influential positions as well. This is important both for science, the individual, and society in general.

Earning a Doctoral Degree

To be awarded a doctoral degree, a student must:

  • complete the required doctoral studies,
  • demonstrate independent and critical thinking in the field of research, and
  • write a doctoral dissertation and defend it in public.

Earning a Licentiate Degree

A doctoral student may apply for the licentiate degree after he/she has completed the studies required for a licentiate degree as determined by the University.

An integral part of the licentiate degree is the licentiate thesis, through which the student must demonstrate that he/she is well-versed in his/her own research field and can apply research methods independently and critically.

Duration of Doctoral Studies

At the University of Tampere, doctoral students are admitted to a doctoral programme for five years, i.e. are granted the right to study for that period of time. If their right to study expires, students may apply for an extension for one year at a time.

The Government Decree on University Degrees (794/2004) specifies ECTS credits as the measure for completion of university studies. A course's workload determines the number of credits offered for that course. On average, a student should complete 60 ECTS credits per academic year; this corresponds to roughly 1600 hours of work performed by the student.

Studies in doctoral programmes are generally planned to take four years, which means students should complete full-time doctoral studies in four years. However, doctoral studies may also be pursued part-time.

Degree Structure

The normal duration of doctoral studies is four years, and 240 ECTS credits are required to gain a doctoral degree. To complete all doctoral studies in four years, then, a full-time student should complete 60 ECTS credits per year. A doctoral degree programme consists of the following:

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

The expected duration of the licentiate degree is two and a half years, and 140 ECTS credits are required. Credits earned for other studies are accepted toward the doctoral degree, should a student wish to continue studying. The licentiate degree consists of the following:

  • Licentiate thesis: 100 ECTS credits
  • Other studies: 40 ECTS credits


LTL is mainly responsible for offering courses, seminars, etc. that are relevant in the dissertation work and research fields of its doctoral students. In collaboration with the doctoral programmes, LTL also provides subject-specific research seminars and other courses for doctoral students. The University's Doctoral School organises courses for all doctoral students at the University.

LTL may also offer doctoral courses in collaboration with the University's other schools and other universities. To assist doctoral students in making international contacts, LTL cooperates with partner universities outside Finland. Doctoral students studying in national doctoral programmes may also make use of the courses offered by these programmes.

Doctoral students primarily pursue studies in their research field at the University of Tampere. They may, however, also take courses at other universities in Finland or abroad, provided they are able to obtain the right to study there (e.g. through the JOO programme or an exchange programme).

For more information on doctoral courses, visit LTL's website and the Doctoral School's website.

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Last update: 19.12.2016 12.41 Muokkaa

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