Doctoral Training at the Faculty of Education - Application Instructions

Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible for studies leading to an academic postgraduate degree is a person who has completed (Universities Act 558/2009, Section 37):

  • an applicable higher university degree
  • an applicable higher polytechnic degree; or
  • an applicable education completed abroad which in the awarding country gives eligibility for corresponding higher education

The university may require a student admitted to study for an academic postgraduate degree complete the necessary supplementary studies in order to acquire the knowledge and skills needed for the studies (Universities Act 558/2009, Section 37).

The Faculty of Education provides the degrees of Kasvatustieteen tohtori (Doctor of Philosophy, in Education) and Filosofian tohtori (Doctor of Philosophy). The degrees can be completed with Education, Adult education, Special education or Craft education as the main subject. The degree and main subject are selected according to the previous studies and/or research theme when applying for doctoral studies.

Admission to postgraduate studies requires that the Faculty finds the applicant’s previous degree and education to provide sufficient skills for the postgraduate degree carried out in the Faculty’s subjects. Applicant’s former degrees must include a sufficient amount of studies in educational sciences or other fields relevant for the Doctoral Programme. The Steering Committee of the Doctoral Programme evaluates the validity of the previous degree for doctoral training. The Doctoral Programmes may require supplementary studies for attaining sufficient educational preparedness. Supplementary studies cannot be included in the postgraduate degree.

The grade of the master’s thesis should be at least 3 (on a scale from 1 to 5) or cum laude approbatur. This requirement does not apply to those with a foreign higher university degree. It is also possible to apply for postgraduate studies with a lower grade, if the applicant presents sufficient scientific evidence. A peer-reviewed article with a publishing channel (journal, series or publisher) of at least level 1 in the publication channel rating and where the applicant is listed as the first author can be considered sufficient scientific evidence.

In addition, it’s required that the applicant provides in the application a supervisor who meets the requirements of the faculty and who has approved the research plan and agreed to be the first supervisor of the research.

Application periods and how to apply

The application period for doctoral studies occurs twice a year. The right to study begins in the beginning of the next semester. The fixed-term Doctoral Candidate positions can be applied in Autumn only.

The application periods during the academic year 2019-2020 are

  • 2.-20.9.2019 (the right to study and/or funded doctoral training position)
  • 2.-20.3.2020 (the right to study)

The right to study for a doctoral degree is applied for by filling in an application form in the electronic application system and submitting the required application documents by the end of the application period.

Those applying for a right to study for a doctoral degree, select the doctoral programme which most corresponds to their research subject in the application phase. A maximum total of 6–8 doctoral candidates can be selected for both doctoral programmes of the faculty per autumn application round and 4–6 doctoral candidates per spring application round.

The application requirements (Call for Applications) are published here by the beginning of the application period.

Language requirements

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 Academic) 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
    • in a university or polytechnic in Finland
    • 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.
    • 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.

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. If you are planning to apply for a Doctoral Programme that has language skills requirements, you should sign up for the language test well in advance! It may take several weeks before the test results are published.

The language test is valid until the expiry date given by the test organizer. If there is no expiry date, the test is valid for maximum four (4) years.

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

Description of the application documents

The following documents must be attached to the electronic application form:

1. Research plan

Research plan instructions KEVEKO

Research plan instructions OPPI

By attaching the research plan to the application form the applicant gives permission for checking the research plan with Turnitin Originality Check (system for electrical plagiarism detection).

2. Curriculum vitae (in Finnish or in English)

Please see the instructions for writing a CV of The Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (TENK). The CV includes a list of publications which should follow the publication type classification by Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.

3. Motivation letter

Motivation letter is one page long freeform document, which includes the reasons for applying for the doctoral studies and/or Doctoral Candidate position in the Faculty of Education, University of Turku.

4. A copy of the degree certificates and the transcript of study records

A. If the applicant has completed the former degree(s) which make him/her eligible for doctoral studies at a University in Finland, the degree certificates, the transcripts of study records and other educational documents which may influence in the student selection must be attached in the electronic application form.
 
B. 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), the degree certificates, the transcripts of study records and other educational documents, which may influence in the student selection must be attached in 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. Translations of the educational documents must be issued by the awarding institution, officially certified copy of a translation issued by the awarding institution, translated by an official translator or an officially certified copy of a translation made by an official translator.
 
Those applicants who have been granted the right to study and who have completed their studies at a University abroad have to submit officially certified copies of the degree certificates, other educational documents and the official translations of the documents to the University of Turku according to the instructions given in the admission notification. The right to study for a doctoral degree is conditional until this is done.

5. Certification of the language skills

Please see the language requirements

6. An evaluation on the research plan and the applicant’s ability to carry out the doctoral degree filled in by the first supervisor

The student should personally discuss about supervision with their main supervisor before applying for the studies. The supervisor delivers the evaluation directly to the Faculty of Education.

7. Those carrying out postgraduate studies elsewhere must present a reason for transferring to the Faculty of Education, University of Turku. In addition, a written consent from a previous supervisor is required.

 
The application form and the enclosures must be delivered by the application deadline.

Admission criteria

The applicant’s abilities and commitment for completing the doctoral degree successfully are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • the quality of the research plan: including the innovativeness of the research theme, the clarity of the research plan and the viability of the research,
  • the success in the earlier studies, research experience and motivation to complete the doctoral degree,
  • the international orientation and the language skills required for the studies,
  • the realism of the financial plan and the time-management plan.

When granting the study right, in addition to the skills and abilities of the applicant, also the following issues are evaluated:

  • the sufficiency of the supervision resources and the expertise of the supervisor for the research theme proposed in the application
  • the suitability of the research for the doctoral programme.

The study right will not be granted if the applicant does not meet the conditions of the selection criteria or if the applicant does not fit in the set quotas in comparison.

Those carrying out postgraduate studies elsewhere must present a reason for transferring to the Faculty of Education of the University of Turku in their application. In addition, a written consent from a previous supervisor is required. Otherwise, applying for the postgraduate studies is carried out in compliance with the normal selection criteria and practices decided by the faculty. A student can have only one study right for a doctoral degree in the University of Turku at a time.

The Steering Committee of the Doctoral Programme handles the applications and organises the student selection. The Faculty’s Vice Dean in charge of research approves the new students on the basis of the Steering Committee’s proposition. The applicant receives a notice on the decision personally. The unfavourable decision includes the grounds for the rejection and appeal instructions.

Call for Applications

The next application period is 1-20 March, 2019. In this application period, you may apply for a right to study a doctoral degree at the Faculty of Education, University of Turku. The right to study is applied by filling in an electronic form and attaching the required additional documents into the electronic application form.

Below there is a link to the Call for Applications which includes more detailed instructions for the application, the list of required attachments and a link to the electronic application form. The application form will be available during the application period.

Call for Applications

Instructions for filling in the application form