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

This programme covers the widest areas of social science research in Finland: demography, media and communication studies, social and cultural anthropology, social psychology, social and public policy, social work, sociology, social data science, consumer society research and criminology.

Doctoral research in these fields can cover empirical, experimental, theoretical, textual, historical, comparative, conceptual, applied, strategic and practice-based approaches towards the study of all parts of social life. This can include research on any aspect of people and their relations, interactions, activities, structures, constructions and concepts, beliefs, communications, aesthetics, and material and environmental conditions.

Methodologies can range from the most empirical to the most conceptual or textual, whichever is most appropriate for the question or problem being addressed.

The programme has a strong commitment to providing the best conditions for doctoral students to carry out their research in the pursuit of this aim, whether their work is entirely conceptual, academic or scientific, or has more of an applied, professional or even commercial, purpose.

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.

Events & activities

Social Research Seminar Series

Social Research Seminar Series is a seminar series of the Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences. Social Research Seminar Series is a set of talks given by speakers representing the disciplines of the Doctoral Programme. The talks are open to everyone interested.

Doctoral Programme Annual Conference

Once a year, the doctoral programme organises an interdisciplinary doctoral students’ conference with the Doctoral Programme in Political, Societal and Regional Change. The conference presents a great opportunity to present doctoral students' work in progress, attend keynotes and network with fellow researchers.