Profile & activities

Want to know what we're all about? On this page, we've gathered information on our research profile and the disciplines involved in the programme. Here, you will also find information on the studies and the type of activities and networks that await if you join the doctoral programme.
Key research areas

The Doctoral Programme in Law offers the best doctoral training in its field in Finland and competes with leading international universities in terms of quality. The doctoral programme and the Faculty of Law offer a uniform selection of disciplines in order to create a flexible framework for the interplay of education and research. The degree programme cooperates with LERU (League of European Research Universities).

The degree programme offers an extensive and in-depth understanding of justice and law. The programme combines practical jurisprudence with theoretical, historical, moral and philosophical as well as social, economic and natural science-based views of justice. The programme provides a framework for interdisciplinary research. Students evolve into independent, creative and critical legal researchers and experts, and are able to perform multidisciplinary duties which require a sense of ethical responsibility.

The research in the Doctoral Programme in Law is connected especially to following focus areas of research at the University of Helsinki: The Changing environment – clean water, Language and culture, Social justice, and Globalisation and social change.

Working in the programme

The doctoral programme is a competence-based, constructively aligned degree programme complete with active, systematic supervision. The course modules have been designed to develop learning and expertise in three ways: through information seeking, participation and the generation of knowledge.

Graduates from the Doctoral Programme in Law conduct research or perform other significant expert duties requiring an in-depth understanding of justice and excellent skills in legal interpretation, application, argumentation and problem-solving.

Students work on their dissertations independently. Some students complete their dissertations in conjunction with a research project. The students’ primary research communities are doctoral programmes and the Faculty of Law.

Courses & studying

A doctoral degree in the programme comprises of a doctoral thesis and 40 credits of additional studies. The studies are divided into discipline-specific studies, aimed to support your research project, and transferable skills training.

Most of the studies are completed flexibly through means other than traditional coursework: conference presentations, essays, scientific and popular articles, editing work etc. Want to know more? Visit our study planning instructions for current doctoral students at the university's Instructions for Students.

Regular courses at the programme include discipline-specific research seminars, where you get to present your own work, receive feedback and spur on your fellow doctoral researchers.

Courses in research ethics and transferable skills are offered throughout the academic year by the University of Helsinki Doctoral School.