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Applying for Doctoral Studies at the Faculty of Humanities

Important information for international applicants

The applicants that have a Master’s degree from outside the University of Turku must also supply the following documents: copy of the previous degree certificate, along with a copy of the transcript of records or other qualifications.

The copies of the degree certificate and the transcript of records must be officially certified (legalised). They must bear the stamp and signature of an official who has the right to certify documents. Such authorities include, for example, the office of the school or university which has awarded the certificate, a notary public or other applicable authority. Translations of the certificates must be either done or verified by an official/authorized translator. However, if the certificate and the transcript of records are originally written in Finnish, Swedish or English, no translation is needed.  

 

The aims and structure of postgraduate studies

According to the Decree on University Degrees, the aim of postgraduate studies is that the student

“becomes well-versed in his/her own field of research and its social significance and gains knowledge and skills needed to apply scientific research methods independently and critically and to produce new scientific knowledge within his/her field of research; becomes conversant with the development, basic problems and research methods of his/her own field of research; and gains such knowledge of the general theory of science and of other disciplines relating to his/her own field of research as enables him/her to follow developments in them.” (The Government Decree on University Degrees [Valtioneuvoston Asetus yliopistojen tutkinnoista], 794/2004: section 21)

General structure of postgraduate studies

In the Decree on University Degrees from the year 2004, the status of the doctoral degree as the primary postgraduate degree is emphasized. The postgraduate student is admitted to take the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree. The doctoral degree comprises of 240 ECTS credits, which include the doctoral dissertation worth 180 ECTS credits and other studies worth 60 ECTS credits.

It is possible for the student to take the licentiate degree of 150 ECTS credits, which comprises of the licentiate thesis worth 90 ECTS credits and other studies worth 60 ECTS credits. If the student continues his or her studies towards a PhD degree, the studies worth 60 ECTS will be approved as a part of the Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Application to postgraduate studies

Eligibility for postgraduate studies

The general prerequisite for the right to complete postgraduate studies is a Master's degree or an equivalent higher university degree. Applicants must hold an applicable higher university degree or must have completed an applicable education abroad which, in the country in question, qualifies the student for postgraduate studies equivalent to those offered at the University of Turku, or must be able to otherwise demonstrate the knowledge and readiness needed for scientific postgraduate studies. A degree or other form of education will be considered relevant if the work is of a high standard, includes advanced studies (or equivalent), and is in a field that adequately prepares the candidate for conducting the research proposed in the dissertation plan/preliminary research plan.

Applicants must also have sufficient knowledge of the languages needed to conduct their postgraduate studies.

A single Master's degree cannot form the basis for more than one postgraduate degree. Thus, applicants with, for instance, a Master's and a doctoral degree in another field cannot complete a Doctor of Philosophy degree at the Faculty of Humanities without first completing a Master's degree in a relevant humanist discipline.

Application periods and preparation

There are two application deadlines for postgraduate studies per academic year.  Information on the application periods as well as application process can be found from the web page of the Faculty.

Well before submitting the application for postgraduate studies, the applicant should contact the department that most closely corresponds to his or her research interests and agree on a preliminary research and study plan as well as on the arrangements concerning the supervision of the future doctoral dissertation.

The department in question will evaluate the application, estimate the resources at its disposal for supervision of the student and make a decision on recommending the application.

The applicant should ask for a statement concerning her/his application from the professor in charge of postgraduate studies at the department. The department is asked to send the statement directly to the faculty (postgraduate(at)utu.fi ). The student submits the application and other needed documents according to the instructions. It is the responsibility of the student to deliver the documents by the deadline.

Statement form (for the use the department)

The board of the doctoral programmes JUNO and Utuling will evaluate the applications and make a proposal to the Dean for accepting or rejecting them. The applicants will be informed in writing about the decision.

 

Application

Application form

Applicants must fill in an electronic form especially meant for postgraduate students. The application form includes areas where the applicant is asked to write down

  •  the postgraduate study plan (60 ECTS). The plan should include the contents of the postgraduate studies (60 ECTS) and a preliminary schedule for carrying out these studies. If the plan is extensive it can be attached as a separate document.
  • plan for funding

Note! Teaching at the University of Turku is provided principally in Finnish, but the supervision of doctoral dissertations and teaching at the doctoral level can also be provided in English or, at the language departments, in the language in question. In addition to Finnish and English, postgraduate studies can also be carried out in a foreign language agreed upon with the relevant department. If the applicant does not have a working knowledge of Finnish or English, when making the postgraduate study plan, he or she must ensure that the studies can be conducted in the language(s) he/she prefers.

The application form can be found on this page on the right side. The link to the University of Turku electronic application system is open during the application period.

 

 A: Documents that all applicants need to submit (1-3) either in Finnish or in English

1 Research plan

The research plan should be formulated according to the following structure:

  1. Background
    - the topic of the doctoral dissertation and its significance
    - its connections to former research as well as current scholarly discussions
  2. The aim of the research and the research question
  3. The materials and methods used in the research
    - a reflection on research ethics
  4. A plan for collaboration and mobility
  5. Execution
    - the applicant’s abilities, previous research experience and familiarity with the field
    - a schedule for the research
    - a publishing plan: whether the dissertation will be a collection of articles or a monograph
    a) in case of an article-based dissertation, the applicant should include an estimate of the number of articles, a brief summary of their contents as well as a tentative plan concerning the possible publishing forums
    b) a preliminary plan for the content of the monograph and a view on its possible publishing
  6. A list of references

The directive length of the preliminary research plan is five pages, not including the list of references (using 12-point font, 1.5 line spacing and 2-2.5 cm margin).

2 An abstract of the applicant’s Master's thesis (or equivalent) or a summary of other scientific publication activities

The recommended length of the summary is approximately one page (using 12-point font, 1.5 line spacing, and 2-2.5 cm margin).

3 Motivation letter

A motivation letter is a one page long, free-form document (12-point font, 1.5 line spacing) that states

  •  why the applicant wishes to undertake postgraduate studies,
  • how the proposed research relates to other research done at the University of Turku and
  • the funding plan for the postgraduate studies.

B: The applicants that have a Master’s degree from outside the University of Turku must also supply the following documents: 

4 A copy of the previous degree certificate, along with a copy of the transcript of records or other qualifications which form the basis for the applicant’s right to postgraduate studies

The copies of the degree certificate and the transcript of records must be officially certified (legalised). They must bear the stamp and signature of an official who has the right to certify documents. Such authorities include, for example, the office of the school or university which has awarded the certificate, a notary public or other applicable authority. Translations of the certificates must be either done or verified by an official/authorized translator. However, if the certificate and the transcript of records are originally written in Finnish, Swedish or English, no translation is needed.

5 Language certificates

The doctoral dissertation can be written in Finnish or in English, and furthermore, according to previous agreement, in any other language that is taught at the University of Turku at postgraduate level.

The applicants are required to have knowledge in Finnish or English language to be able to participate in the teaching and communicate with the university’s members of the staff. In practice, knowledge in the English language is required always when working in an international science community. Those applying for a right to study must prove their knowledge of English or Finnish as described below.

Acceptable language tests and the minimum scores are:

  •  International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) with an overall band score of 6.5 and no individual score below 6.0,
  • Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 575 on the paper-based test or minimum score of 92 and no individual score below 20 on the internet-based test,
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with pass grade C or higher,
  • Pearson Test of English, Academic (PTE A) with a minimum overall score of 62 and no individual score below 54.
  • Test for the National Certificate of Language Proficiency in English set by the Finnish National Board on Education with a minimum score of 5 for each subtest.

Language skills are considered sufficient and no language tests are required, if the applicant

  • has completed a higher education degree and studies required for the degree
    1. in a university or polytechnic in Finland
    2. in a university or polytechnic in EU/ETA countries in English. The language of the degree must appear from the degree certificate, diploma supplement, transcript of study records or other official document awarded by the university in question.
    3. in a university located in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand in English.
  • has completed a comprehensive or secondary education in Finnish.
  • has completed an upper secondary education in the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland or New Zealand in English. In this case, a degree certificate of the upper secondary education must be enclosed to the application.

Certificate of Finnish language proficiency

If the applicant wishes to complete the postgraduate studies and/or write the doctoral dissertation in Finnish, an official certificate of Finnish language proficiency must be appended to the application. The certificate is not needed if the applicant's native tongue is Finnish or if the applicant has completed his or her Master's degree in Finnish. Sufficient Finnish language proficiency can be demonstrated in one of the following ways:

  • a certificate confirming that the applicant has passed the State Board of Language Examinations' minor language test
  • a certificate confirming that the applicant has passed the intermediate level test of the National Certificate of Language Proficiency
  • a statement written by a Finnish language lecturer, who teaches at a foreign university, confirming that the applicant’s language skills are equivalent to the minor language test offered by the State Board of Language Examinations.

C: Additional documents required of applicants who have completed their Master’s degree outside the European Union (6)

6 Information about the curriculum and contents of the Master's degree or equivalent academic qualification, authenticated by the applicant's former educational institution.

Admission

According to the University of Turku Regulation on Studies (section 5) “when students are selected to pursue Doctoral degrees, admission criteria may include studies completed earlier, study success, a study and research plan or other indication of eligibility for doctoral studies. When students are selected to pursue doctoral studies, it shall be ensured that high quality guidance is available in the field of research”.

The decision as to whether the applicant has been granted the right to study is made by the Dean upon the recommendation of the board of the doctoral programme. The decision is drafted evaluating each applicant’s application documents according to the admission criteria and taking account of the statement made by the person responsible for postgraduate degrees at the relevant department. The evaluation criteria are the following:

  • quality of the research plan: its feasibility and scholarly significance
  • research skills indicated
  • motivation
 

 

 
 
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 Contacts

 

Postgraduate coordinator
Kirsi Tuohela

tel. +358 (0)2 333 7949
e-mail: kirsi.tuohela@utu.fi
Office: Signum 211  

Faculty of Humanities
20014 UNIVERSITY OF TURKU
 

 Applying

 

 

(in use during the applying period) 

Guidelines for filling the application form

 

 Check list when applying

 
  • ​You need a supervisor
  • You need a statement of the department (professor). Contact the department of your major in time (for at least one month before submitting an application)
  • Design your 60 ECTS, it will be asked in the application form (an extensive plan can be attached as a separate document)
  • Prepare the documents: research plan, letter of motivation, abstract of your MA-thesis
  • Having MA degree from another institution than the University of Turku, attach the copies (and translations if needed)
  •  check language requirements