Doctoral Programme in Law - Admission Criteria and Instructions for Applicants

New doctoral candidates are admitted to the Doctoral Programme in Law two  times a year. A maximum of 15 new doctoral candidates are admitted each year. The electronic application form is open during the application period. The application form is open during application period. More information how to apply for Doctoral Training at the University of Turku is available in the page of University of Turku Graduate School (UTUGS).

The call for applications and further instructions will be published on the bottom of this web page.

The next application period is 1.-18.9.2020!

Call for applications

Right to pursue the Doctor of Laws degree

The Dean of the Faculty of Law grants the right to pursue the Doctor of Laws degree to an applicant based on the proposal of the the Board of the Doctoral Programme in Law.

The Dean may grant the right to anyone who has earned the Bachelor of Laws, Master of Laws, Master of International and Comparative Law or Licentiate of Laws degree in Finland or a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree at the University of Turku if the applicant is otherwise considered adequate to pursue the doctoral degree.

    An applicant with a foreign law degree comparable to the Bachelor of Laws or Master of Laws degree or some other Master’s degree completed either in Finland or abroad is required, in addition to the requirements mentioned above, to prove that their degree gives them the capabilities to participate in postgraduate studies in Law and that their language skills are sufficient for participating in the postgraduate studies. Applicants with a degree in something else than a law degree comparable to the Bachelor of Laws or the Master of Laws degree are granted the right to participate in the postgraduate studies only for a cogent reason.

    Application procedure and application periods

    Please read How to Apply for Doctoral Training at the University of Turku and see the Call for applications at the end of this page.

    Before submitting an application, a person applying for doctoral studies must discuss privately with the person or people proposed as their personal supervisor. The applicant must present to the proposed supervisor their preliminary research plan and the postgraduate study plan, which the applicant will correct according to the discussions if needed. A signed form of agreement from the person or persons proposed to act as a supervisor to the applicant must be attached to the application form.

    You can apply for a study right for a doctoral degree at the Faculty of Law by filling in the online application form in the electronic application system of the University of Turku and attaching all required documents to the online application form during the application period. A link to the electronic application form will be published on this page when the application period begins.

    The application periods during the academic year 2020-2021 are:

    • 1.9.-18.9.2020 (the study right begins on 1.1.2021 and/or the funded doctoral candidate position)
    • 1.3.-19.3.2021 (the study right bergins on 1.8.2021)

    All applicants will be informed of the results of the admission. An admitted applicant has to notify in writing the University of Turku of their acceptance of the study right. If the admitted applicant does not give the notification in the time indicated, they shall forfeit the study right.

    Verifying language proficiency

    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 English language skills.

    Language requirements for a right to study for a doctoral degree
     

    Language skills are considered sufficient and no language tests are required, if the applicant holds one of the following

    • Bachelor's degree (or higher) or an equivalent degree completed in English in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States or in an EU/EAA country.
    • Bachelor's degree (or higher) or an equivalent degree completed in a university or university of applied sciences in Finland.
    • Secondary education completed in English in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United States. 
    • Secondary education completed in Finland.

    No other language tests or statements of the applicant's language skills will be accepted.

    NB! All language test results must be sent directly by the test organizer to University of Turku by the application deadline. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make testing arrangements for her/himself in time.

    The language test is valid until the expiry date given by the test organizer.

    The TOEFL reporting code (institution code)  for the University of Turku 9701.

    Description of the application documents

    Applicants must prepare and attach the following documents to the application form according to the instructions on filling in the application form:

    1.    A research plan for a doctoral dissertation in accordance with the guidelines of the Faculty of Law.

    The maximum length of a research plan shouldn’t be exceeded. By attaching the research plan to the application form, the applicant gives permission to check the research plan with Turnitin OriginalityCheck software (a system for electronic plagiarism detection).  

    2.    A résumé (CV) in accordance with the guidelines of the Faculty of Law.

    List of publications can be included in the CV, or it can be attached separately.

    3.    A signed form of agreement from the person or persons proposed to act as a supervisor to the applicant.

    The supervisor must sign a form stating, that she is willing to act as the supervisor. The form can be attached to the electronic application, or the supervisor can send it directly to the coordinator at lawpostgraduate@utu.fi.

    4.    Postgraduate study plan

    The applicant must make a preliminary plan about the studies included in the doctoral degree and the schedule. The study plan is updated continuously during the doctoral studies.  

    5.    The degree certificates and transcript of study records

    If the applicant has completed the former degree(s) which make him/her eligible for doctoral studies at a university in Finland, the degree certificate, transcript of study records and other educational documents that may affect the student selection must be attached to the electronic application form.

    If the applicant has completed the former degree(s) which make him/her eligible for doctoral studies at a university abroad (i.e. outside Finland), scanned degree certificates, the transcripts of study records, and other educational documents which are of relevance in the student selection must be attached to the electronic application form. If the original degree certificates and other educational documents are not written in English, Finnish or Swedish, official translations to one of these languages are required. An official translation here means a translation of the educational documents issued by the awarding institution or a translation made by an authorized translator. A study transcript in English can be replaced by a Diploma Supplement awarded by a European educational institution if it contains the information about completed courses and other study attainments.

    Those applicants who have been granted a right to study and who have completed their prior degree abroad have to submit either the original degree certificates or certified copies of the degree certificates and other educational documents and the official translations of the documents to the University of Turku as instructed in the admission notification. If the admitted applicant does not deliver the required certificates by the deadline set in the admission notification, he/she forfeits the study right. Please see the instructions on delivering certificates and country-specific requirements. 

    6.    Certification of the language skills.

    See the language skills requirements of the Doctoral Programme in Law as well as the instructions of verifying language proficiency on this page (Verifying language profiency).

     

    When applying for a funded Doctoral Candidate position, the following documents must be attached to the application:

     
    1.    A research plan for a doctoral dissertation in accordance with the guidelines of the Faculty of Law

    2.    A résumé (CV) in accordance with the guidelines of the Faculty of Law

    3.    A list of publications (if not included in the CV).

     

    Admission criteria

    When considering the capability of the applicant to complete the degree for postgraduate studies, the following facts are taken into consideration:

    • scientific interestingness, meaningfulness and feasibility of the research plan and suffiently wide-ranging familiarity with the research related to the theme, which should be shown in the research plan
    • connection between the research project and the faculty’s focus in research,
    • previous jurisprudential studies, their content and level of challenge if the applicant has a degree other than the Master of Laws degree,
    • possible publications,
    • merits and grade of the Master’s thesis and the possible postgraduate Laws degree thesis, and
    • certificate of language proficiencies if necessary.

    The essential criteria for the funded positions of a Doctoral Candidate are:

    • Applicant’s eligibility for postgraduate studies (academic performance, possible scientific merits, the progress of studies and research to the current date)
    • The quality and feasibility of the research plan.

    The final selection is based on comprehensive evaluation of applications (not on a single criterion) as the applicants can be at very different stages of their doctoral dissertation process. Any other funding received by the applicant for doctoral studies is taken into consideration when determining the duration of the Doctoral Candidate position.