Doctoral programme

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a programme leading to the degree of PhD (Doctor of Philosophy). The degree is awarded by the University of Turku and students are supervised by at least one senior staff member. A PhD thesis will typically consist of 4 to 6 publications in internationally refereed journals. All students have the opportunity to participate in conferences and present their work orally several times during their thesis work.

Coursework is undertaken during the PhD, amounting to 60 credit points. This is mainly acheived in our English language lecture programme, with topics ranging from stellar and solar physics, radiation mechanisms in astrophysics, cosmology, radio astronomy, galactic dynamics, celestial mechanics and observational astronomy. Students may also earn credit points in the seminar programme by presenting their own work, by attending conferences and presenting posters or talks, or by attendance in the wide range of Summer or Winter schools offered in Astronomy in the Nordic region and in Europe. Seminar presentation skills are emphasised during post-graduate study as well, with a student expected to give 3-5 English language presentations during the Ph.D. studies.

Over the last 5 years, 13 PhD theses have been awarded by the Department of Physics and Astronomy, with topics ranging from chemical evolution of galaxies, dark matter haloes, supernovae, compact stars, active galaxies, relativistic jets snd particle acceleration mechanisms. Tuorla Observatory and the Space Research Laboratory are the primary sites for PhD studies.

Applications to the PhD programme can be accepted at any time. The entrance requirement is a Master's degree in Astronomy or Physics or its equivalent. There are no tuition fees for students accepted to the programme. Students do need to cover their own living expenses. These can be applied for from a range of foundations (e.g. Wihuri, Aaltonen, CIMO), and by the Finnish Graduate School in Astronomy and Space Physics. Internal resources may also be granted to PhD students on a case by case basis.

Applicants interested in pursuing a PhD in the Department of Physics and Astronomy are asked to contact a member of staff at Tuorla Observatory or the Space Research Laboratory who is working in their area of interest.


20014 Turun yliopisto, Finland
Tel. +358 29 450 5000

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