Doctoral Training at the Faculty of Education

Doctoral training at the Faculty of Education aims at preparing the students for a career in research, teaching or other demanding tasks of expertise.

Doctoral degrees in the Faculty of Education are Doctor of Philosophy (Education) and Doctor of Philosophy. The optional major subjects are education, adult education, special education or crafts education. 


Potential doctoral candidates at the Faculty of Education need to apply for a right to study for a degree from the Faculty of Education. The candidates apply for either of the two doctoral programmes, KEVEKO or OPPI Doctoral Programme. The Faculty of Education has common application requirements for both programmes.

Application instructions

Curriculum for doctoral studies at the Faculty of Education

The doctoral studies of the Faculty of Education emphasise multidisciplinarity, extensive range and internationality. Graduating doctors are guaranteed skills not only for academic researcher careers but also for other demanding expert and development positions. The studies included in the degree support dissertation research and the development of scientific expertise in educational sciences.

The curriculum for 2024-2027 includes doctoral dissertation and 40 ECTS of Studies in the field of education and relevant for the development of expertise.  

Studies in the field of education and relevant for the development of expertise module includes the following studies:

  • Studies in the research field, min. 13 credits
  • Methodological and method studies, min. 8 credits
  • Studies of research ethics and scientific writing, min. 7 credits
  • Presentation in a national or an international scientific conference, 2-12 credits
  • Optional studies supporting the development of scientific expertise, 0-20 credits

Curriculum for a doctoral degree in the UTU Peppi-system

The doctoral dissertation is not measured in credits from 1 August 2024 onwards. If you study on a full-time basis, you can complete your degree in three to four years.

Instructions and regulations for postgraduate studies

The study guides linked below include the  instructions and regulations, admission criteria and curriculum for postgraduate studies:

Study Guide 2024-2027 (pdf)

Study Guide 2022-2024 (pdf)

Study Guide 2020-2022 (pdf)

Study Guide 2018-2020 (pdf)

Study Guide 2016-2018 (pdf)

General Instructions for doctoral researchers



Information about funding is availabel on the page of the University of Turku Graduate School (UTUGS) and from the Intranet pages of the Research Funding Unit. In the Research Funding Unit, there are also Annual Cycles of Research Funding, as well as information about the Research Professional, an extensive international research funding opportunities database.

The Faculty of Education offers financial support for doctoral candidates with various ways. Doctoral candidates can apply support for language checking for dissertation articles, summary or monograph, and dissertation printing expenses. In addition, annually the doctoral candidates can apply for a grant for completing a doctoral degree. Further information about the financial support of the Faculty of Education and doctoral programmes is at the Intranet.


Feedback about every course organised by the Faculty of Education is gathered after the course. You can give feedback about courses as well as anything connected to the doctoral studies with a Webropol form. The answers go to the Chief Academic Officer as well as to the Doctoral Programme Coordinator.


If you experience problematic situations or conflicts in your doctoral studies, please contact the Chief Academic Officer or the Doctoral Programme Coordinator. If needed, problems and conflicts are discussed by the Steering Group of Doctoral Programme (OPPI/KEVEKO) or the Research Development Committee (TUKE) of the Faculty of Education. Please also read the website of the Graduate School for the Graduate School's guidelines and instructions for superivision, as well as Procedural instructions regarding conflicts over doctoral researchers’ supervision.

Studies and Study Schedule


At the beginning of the doctoral studies all doctoral researchers make a personal study plan (PSP). The personal study plan will be drawn up in the electronic study system Peppi. Please also see for instructions on how to use Peppi

You can find the curriculum for studies in 2024-2027 at the study guide of Peppi.


For the doctoral courses organised by the Faculty of Education in autumn term, sign up between June 15 - August 15, 2024. For the courses organised in spring term, sign up between Nov 15 - Dec 15, 2024.

The courses are enrolled in in the PSP (personal study plan) section of the ‘student Desktop’ of electronic Peppi Study System.

The minimum number of participants in the courses is usually eight. Places in courses are usually available on a first-come-first-served basis, so early enrollment is recommended. Please cancel your place in the course as soon as possible if you’re not able to participate, so we can offer the place for the next student on a waiting list.

According to the policy of the Faculty, all doctoral researchers need their supervisor's approval for participating in courses. All courses should promote the progress of the doctoral dissertation study.

Doctoral courses organised in autumn 2024 (pdf, updated June 15th, 2024)

Doctoral courses of the Faculty of Education in Peppi System

You may also participate in the courses organised by the UTUGS. In addition, the other faculties and doctoral programmes organise training and courses that are available for the doctoral candidates of other faculties and doctoral programmes. More information about these courses can be found on the website of other faculties.


For the study module "Studies in the research field" you can collect studies by presentations at conferences but also by going to listen for example scientific guest lectures or public examinations of dissertations and by participating conferences without your own presentation. Participating in these events are collected in the lecture and seminar pass (printable Lecture and seminar pass). A total of 30 hours of participation amounts to three credits. One hour refers to 60 minutes. Doctoral researchers' credits will be recorded in the study module 'Studies in Research Field'. Apply for registering the credits by using the electronic form as explained below.


A doctoral candidate completes doctoral studies according to the curriculum of the doctoral programme and/or a personal study plan. Doctoral candidate applies for registering credits by using the electronic form in the UGIS system. Most courses completed at the University of Turku will be registered automatically, so you do not need to apply for registration with the form. The form is used, for example, to apply for credits from conference presentations, research visits, and other corresponding studies which are described in the curriculum of the doctoral programme.

In the Electronic Study System Peppi, the credits can be looked at either on PSP (Personal Study Plan) or on Credits page at the top panel. On the right side of the PSP Overview, there is a Download Transcript button, where transcript can be downloaded in PDF format. The records of each study right appear separately on the transcript. The transcript matches the structure of your PSP if it exists. If the PSP doesn't exist (in the case of old study rights), the records are structured as they are in old Nettiopsu. Remember that a self-printed transcript of records is an unofficial document.

The official transcript of study records as well as registration certificate can be ordered from the Chief Academic Officer or Student Secretary Riitta Pajula.

Supervision of doctoral studies

At the time of granting the right to study, the Dean, on the recommendation of the Doctoral Programme Steering Committee, will appoint at least two supervisors for the doctoral research. If necessary, for example because of the specific nature of the research theme, a third supervisor may be appointed. Supervisors must have doctoral degrees. The first supervisor must be a professor, assistant/associate professor or docent. The expertise of the supervisors, as well as their supervision skills and ability to commit themselves to acting as supervisors, are taken into account in the appointment decision.

The first supervisor must be employed by a faculty’s department or an emeritus/emerita professor who has an emeritus contract with the faculty. In exceptional cases for well-justified reasons, the first supervisor may also be a docent who is not employed by the faculty. In this case, the second supervisor appointed for the dissertation research must be a professor, assistant/associate professor, or docent employed by the faculty’s department. The first supervisor must have sufficient expertise in the theme of the dissertation and be able to commit themselves to the task of supervisor.

The first supervisor has the main responsibility for the supervision of the content of the doctoral thesis. In addition, the first supervisor will generally act as the administrative supervisor (i.e. UGIS supervisor) for the postgraduate studies. If the first supervisor is not employed by the faculty, the second supervisor is appointed as UGIS supervisor. The UGIS supervisor should be well acquainted with the rules and practices of the University of Turku and the Faculty of Education for doctoral studies. They will also have access to the University's electronic systems. The UGIS supervisor approves, among other things, the doctoral researcher's personal study plan (HOPS) and study attainments. They also express their opinion on the doctoral researcher's activity each year after discussing the matter with the other supervisors.

The roles and division of labour of the supervisors are agreed in advance and recorded in a supervision agreement at the beginning of the doctoral studies. Supervisors not employed by the faculty will not be paid unless specific funding is known to be available for that purpose. Doctoral researchers should maintain active and regular contact with all their supervisors throughout their studies to ensure that supervisors remain informed of the progress of the dissertation and the achievement of the milestones agreed on in the supervisory meetings. The supervisor should be informed of any significant delays or changes in the timetable.

If the research topic changes significantly, the new research plan needs to be approved by the first supervisor. A request for a change of supervisor may be made to the Dean, for well-justified reasons, using the electronic form. Before submitting the request, the doctoral researcher should contact and agree on the change with all parties involved, i.e. both the new and the old supervisors. The supervision relationship may come to an end when the supervisor retires or leaves the University of Turku or when the doctoral researcher's right to study is transferred to the passive register.


The content, schedules and practices of the supervision are agreed upon in the supervision plan, which the doctoral researcher and the first supervisor fill in together e.g. in their first supervision session. The supervision plan includes the responsibilities, obligations and rights of the parties. The doctoral researcher is responsible for drawing up the supervision plan. The supervision plan is filled in electronically and the plan is electronically approved by all supervisors. The supervision plan should be updated regularly according to changes in the circumstances.


In addition to the supervisors, a follow-up group can be appointed to support the doctoral researcher and the progress of their studies and the development of expertise. The task of the follow-up group is, for example, to follow up and give constructive feedback on the progress of the dissertation, support the completion of the degree in the target time, and provide support for the doctoral researcher's career planning and networking.  Follow-up groups appointed after 1.8.2022 should include one or more supervisors of the doctoral dissertation and 1-2 persons who hold a doctoral degree and who are not the supervisors. The follow-up group can also include members from outside the University. The follow-up group is appointed on the initiative of the doctoral researcher or their supervisor. Further information about the appointment and tasks of a follow-up group is in the study guide.


The doctoral researcher may apply for a change of supervisor or appointing a new supervisor if adequately justified. Before applying for the change, the doctoral researcher should be in contact with all parties involved. The change of supervisor is applied for via an electronic form. The Vice Dean responsible for postgraduate studies accepts changes in supervisors.

Postgraduate seminars

Postgraduate seminars an important part of doctoral training. In the seminars a doctoral researcher practices scientific conversation and argumentation concerning their research theme. At the Faculty of Education an obligatory part of doctoral studies is participation in the seminars of the Doctoral Programme (8 ECTS). Doctoral researcher also presents the progress of the dissertation regularly in the seminars.

It is also recommended that those planning postgraduate studies would take part in their future supervisor’s postgraduate seminars about six months before applying.

In the KEVEKO Doctoral Programme, joint postgraduate seminars for all the doctoral researchers of KEVEKO are organised once a semester. All first supervisors of the programme participate in the seminar and comment on the presentations of doctoral researchers. Also the visiting professors of the Department of Education usually attend the seminars. Please contact KEVEKO coordinator to inquire the meeting dates.

The postgraduate seminars of OPPI Doctoral Programme are listed on the website of Centre for Research on Learning and Instruction (CERLI).

Dissertation process and graduation

Most of the work is done! Now, there are a few things to do before graduating as a PhD.

When the manuscript of your dissertation is getting ready, please read thoroughly the guidelines of the Faculty of Education on these pages as well as the guidelines of the University of Turku. You'll find the instructions also in the UGIS System. Leave enough time for all preparations.

When planning the date of the public examination, please take into account the following:

  • preliminary examination takes about 2 months
  • schedule of the Faculty Council meetings (getting the permission to defend)
  • reserve about one month for finalising the manuscript, making the layout, making the publishing agreement and printing
  • electronically published dissertation needs to be submitted to be published and made available at least 15 days before the dissertation defence, the printed dissertation is released publicly at least 10 days before the dissertation defence.
  • coordinating the schedules of the doctoral researcher, the opponent and the custos takes time, too.

> Guidelines for doctoral dissertation of the Faculty of Education

> University's guidelines for dissertation defence

Contact information

Chief Academic Officer Anne Niemimäki

Coordinator Sanna Niukko / KEVEKO and OPPI Doctoral Programmes