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university of tampere: faculty of social sciences: doctoral studies:
Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of TampereFaculty of Social Sciences

Admission Requirements

PLEASE NOTE: The information about the admission to the doctoral programmes at the Faculty of Social Sciences can be found from (the link below) the new University of Tampere pages:

The next joint application round for doctoral studies beginning in autumn 2018 will be held 3 April - 2 May 2018. The application period ends at 15.00 (Finnish time).

The pages below will not be updated any more.


Doctoral Programmes | RequirementsApplication Procedure  |  Application Deadlines | Decision on Admission and supervisors | Supervisor | Student enrolment  | Visiting Postgraduate Students | Postgraduate Studies as a Part of International Co-operation


Licentiate’s and Doctor’s degrees are pursued in some of the four doctoral programmes offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences (former School of Social Sciences and Humanities).

Doctoral Programmes

The doctoral programmes in the Faculty of Social Sciences: 

The doctoral programme in Social Sciences includes the disciplines of Gender Studies, Social Anthropology, Social Policy, Social Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, Youth Research and the research field of Peace and Conflict Research. 

Please see also:


The prerequisite for admission to postgraduate studies is a Master’s degree completed in Finland, or a corresponding degree (M.A., M.Sc.) completed at a foreign institution of higher education. The major subject included in the applicant’s Master’s degree or equivalent should be the same as the prospective major subject of the Doctor’s degree including a thesis or, alternatively, the applicant should have completed corresponding advanced studies in that particular subject. The professor of the prospective major subject decides on the correspondence of the applicant’s former studies.


The primary criterion for admission is a feasible research plan and previously demonstrated success in studies. In addition, the studies included in the applicant’s degree and other university-level studies or other possible research merits contributing to the dissertation are taken into consideration.

The research plan should include the following information:

  • The goals of the research.
  • A short review of previous research and its connection to the topic of the research plan.
  • Theoretical and methodological premises / key concepts.
  • Research questions and possible hypotheses.
  • Research methods, data and ethical questions.
  • Realisation: timetable, funding plan, possible research group and research co-operation.
  • The intended type of the dissertation (a monograph, a dissertation based on articles in scientific journals) and its language.
  • A list of references.

The recommended length of the research plan is five to eight pages (Times New Roman 12p).

When assessing the research plan, the suitability of the topic for the research profile of the Faculty is taken into consideration, as well as the resources within the discipline.

Also a preliminary study plan for the doctoral studies is required, including reasons for applying and the objectives of the studies.*)


The applicant’s capacity and suitability for doctoral studies are assessed by using the following criteria:

  • Scientific quality and relevance of the research plan and the preliminary study plan. Feasibility of the research plan.
  • Suitability of the previous studies and the research topic from the point of view of the doctoral programme.
  • Availability of supervisors and their expertise on the topic.
  • The applicant’s knowledge and skills; the grade of the Master’s thesis and the language skills needed to complete the doctoral degree.
  • The potential and motivation of the applicant.

The resources that the Faculty of Social Sciences has for organising the doctoral education and supervision are also taken into account. The Faculty may limit the number of students due to a lack of resources and staff; thus, all applicants cannot be accepted. Approximately 30 students are accepted every year.


Application Periods

There are two application periods: April and October.  The decisions will be made before a new term begins.

The next application period is in April 2018 by which time the application form and the enclosures must be saved into the system.


Application Procedure

Applicants for doctoral degree are required to complete an electronic application form.

Before preparing and submitting the application, the applicant should contact the professor in charge of the prospective major subject in order to find out whether the applicant’s research topic fits into the research profile of the Faculty of Social Sciences. Please find the contact information below.


Doctoral Programme in Philosophy: Professor Arto Laitinen

Doctoral Programme in History: Professor Marjaana Niemi

Doctoral Programme in Psychology and Logopaedics:

Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences:

The applicant must provide detailed information on the following points:

  1. Certified copies of university diplomas and other information on academic background. Certificates related to academic and educational background, an official transcript of the university records as well as an official English translation of the Master’s degree certificate. The curriculum of the prior studies is to be attached to the application.

  2. A full copy of the Master’s thesis in English, or upon agreement in some other language, in which case an English abstact is required.

  3. A research proposal for the licentiate thesis or the doctoral dissertation (please see the instructions on writing the research plan above).

  4. Certificates of language skills (please see below).

  5.  Preliminary study plan (please see the curricula of the doctoral programmes here and fill in the preliminary study plan accordingly).

  6. The applicant announces in the "Additional information" field of the electronic application form the name (names) of the professor(s) with whom he/she has discussed  his/her research topic (please see above).   


Certificates of language skills - For students planning to study in English, the following scores are required:

    • TOEFL, Test of English as a Foreign Language - Minimum score: 90/Internet-based, 575/paper-based; When filling out the TOEFL Registration Form, please give the University of Tampere Institution Code: 9871

    • IELTS (Academic), International English Language Testing System - Minimum score: 6.5 with no individual score below 5.5;  electronic test results only from the organiser, paper copies of the test score from the test organiser or the applicant.
      Electronic test scores are accepted only when they are made available to the University of Tampere (UTA) online by the test organiser. Please indicate on the IELTS registration form that the University of Tampere (UTA) is able to verify the score electronically. The testing centre will then make your IELTS score available to UTA. It usually takes at least 13 days for the results to be published after you have taken the IELTS test.

    • PTE,  Academic English Language Proficiency test by Pearson - Minimum score: 62; online test result sent from the PTE score report website.

Certificates of language skills – For students planning to study in Finnish

Please see the Finnish version of the guide for doctoral studies.

Applicants who have taken their Master's studies and obtained their Master's degree in English in one of the following countries (and in the following countries only!) are exempt from the language test: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Also the students who have taken their Master's studies at the University of Tampere are exempt from the language test.

Furthermore, it is advisable to also attach other certificates of any further language tests to the application, especially of language tests in Finnish, Swedish, German or French.



  • The applications are taken only during the application periods mentioned above and the applications can be submitted only by using the online application form. An email sent to somebody at the University is not regarded as the application. 

  • The applicant is expected to fill in the application form and the preliminary study plan form  independently.

  • *) The preliminary study plan form should include applicant's own plan on how he/she is going to complete the studies according to the requirements mentioned in the curricula of the doctoral programmes.

  • The right to study is granted either to a certain doctoral programme (the doctoral programmes in Philosophy or History) or to a doctoral programme and a major subject (the doctoral programmes in Psychology and Logopaedics and in Social Sciences: Gender Studies, Social Anthropology, Social Policy, Social Psychology, Social Work, Sociology and the research field of Peace and Conflict Research). Therefore the intended major subject must be stated in the application form.

  • One study place per term provision is in effect in this application round.

    According to this provision, a student may accept only one study place leading to a higher education degree in Finland during one academic term. This rule applies to all higher education starting in autumn term 2016 (1 August 2016) and after that.

    Higher education degrees included in the provision are:

    • Bachelor degrees and Master degrees awarded by Finnish universities of applied sciences.

    • Bachelor degrees and Master degrees awarded by Finnish universities

    • Licentiate and Doctoral degrees awarded by Finnish universities

    Only exceptions to the provision are:

    • Transfer student selections

    • the Åland Polytechnic

    • the Police College of Finland

    • higher education institutions outside of Finland

    The academic term (from 1 August to 31 December or 1 January to 31 July) is the set framework for implementation. The provision does not prevent acceptance of a place in another degree programme during another academic term. Even if the student postpones the commencement of studies, or interrupts his/her studies, that student cannot accept another study place for a degree programme starting in the same academic term.

 The application forms of the accepted students are filed and stored at the School Office.

Please fill in the online application form here.

Instructions for applying for the doctoral study right in the electronic system.

 We strongly recommend to avoid last minute submission of the application.

Decision on Admission and Supervisors

  1. The application is first submitted to the professors of the intended major subject for their statement.

  2. The Postgraduate Committee considers the applications based on the statements of the disciplines and gives a proposal on the applications which the Committee supports to the Dean of the School.

  3. The right to take a postgraduate degree is granted in the form of a Dean’s decision, which states the doctoral programme, the degree’s major subject and the supervisor/s.

The right to study is granted for a Doctor’s degree, but it is also possible to complete the corresponding Licentiate’s degree only.


The first supervisor should be a professor or a docent in the Faculty of Social Sciences. The second supervisor may be a person who holds a doctoral degree and has sufficient merits in the discipline, even from outside the School. In filling the application form, the applicant also has the possibility to wish for a certain supervisor from within the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Should a student need a new supervisor, the student or the supervisor can contact the study coordinator, who discusses the matter with the professor in charge of the doctoral programme or the Dean of the Faculty and, after that, prepares a Dean’s decision on the change of the supervisor. The change of the supervisor is also noted in the student’s academic record. When necessary, the Postgraduate Committee may also deal with matters related to supervision. Please find information on the cancellation of supervision here.

The application forms of the accepted students are filed and stored at the School Office.


Results for the application round

The results for the autumn 2017 application round for doctoral studies will be announced on 15 December 2017 at the latest. All applicants will be informed about the admission results.

  • Accepted applicants will receive a letter of acceptance and a confirmation form, which is to be delivered to the University of Tampere by 9 January 2018 at 3 p.m. at the latest. The confirmation form is to be returned to: University of Tampere Admissions Office, FI-33014 University of Tampere, FINLAND (Visiting address: Kalevantie 4, 33100 TAMPERE). If the confirmation form has not arrived by the date indicated above, the applicant will lose his/her right to enrol in the degree programme. In addition to delivering the confirmation form, the applicant must enrol with the university according to the instructions given in the letter of acceptance (please see below: Student Enrolment).

  • An applicant who is dissatisfied with the student selection may submit a written appeal for reconsideration to the Fauclty Council of the Faculty of Social Sciences . The appeal, together with the reasons, should be delivered to: University of Tampere, Registry (Kirjaamo), 33014 University of Tampere, Finland by 9 January 2018 at 3 p.m. at the latest.


Student Enrolment

All postgraduate students must enrol with the University at the beginning of each academic year, either as present or absent. Only students enrolled as present may participate in instruction and pursue studies at the University. The enrolment takes place in the Registrar's Office in the University’s main building.

If a postgraduate student fails to register, he or she loses the right to study for the degree. If the student later wishes to continue the studies, he or she must submit a written application to the Registrar’s Office, or to the Dean if more than one year has passed since the last enrolment.

Thus far, no tuition fees have been collected from degree students at Finnish universities. Postgraduate students may join the Student Union of the University of Tampere if they wish. The optional membership fee for postgraduate students is €49 per academic year, and it is paid with a bank transfer attached to the letter of acceptance. If the student does not wish to join the Student Union, the registration can be completed by visiting the Registrar’s Office, by mail, by email ( or via the electronic NettiOpsu service for students.

Visiting Postgraduate Students

The School of Social Sciences and Humanities may also admit visiting postgraduate students from the School’s partner universities, or students from other universities applying for admission on an individual basis.

A student applying for the status of a visiting postgraduate student must fill in the application form at The guidelines provided on the webpages are to be followed. The Dean decides on the admission based on a statement given by the professor of the intended major subject. The application deadlines are 15 May for the autumn semester and 15 October for the spring semester.

Postgraduate Studies as a Part of International Co-operation

If a postgraduate degree is meant to be organised in co-operation with a foreign university (called cotutelle degrees), the student’s first supervisor should contact the study coordinator already at the beginning of the process, in order to ensure that every aspect of the co-operation are considered and all the necessary agreements correctly made. In the co-operation arrangements, all the rules and regulations of the University of Tampere should be followed. A written agreement on co-operation will be accepted by the Dean, following these rules.

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Last update: 2.4.2018 18.14 Muokkaa

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