Doctoral Programme in Language Studies (4 years)

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Degree level
Doctoral degree
Start semester
2019 Autumn
Scope of studies and length
--- ECTS credits, 4 years
Language of instruction
English, Finnish, Swedish
Tuition fee per year (only non-EU/EEA citizens)
0 €
Application period
2.4.2019 - 15.4.2019

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Students who complete a doctoral degree have comprehensive competence and general skills for knowledge work in their discipline. During their doctoral studies, students enhance their identity as independent researchers and experts. The discipline-specific competence generated during the doctoral programme includes an in-depth understanding of the nature of the relevant disciplines, command of any key theories, concepts and research methods, knowledge of the relationship between theory and practice, the practical applicability of knowledge, as well as the ability to generate new scientific knowledge. Over the course of the doctoral programme, students improve their critical thinking, argumentation and problem-solving skills. They also polish their communication, leadership and negotiation skills, self-direction, creativity and understanding of scientific ethics. Graduates from the Doctoral Programme have extensive skills in scientific communication. The programme improves doctoral students’ communication skills to help them perform demanding, multidisciplinary research and serve as experts in Finland and internationally. During their doctoral studies, students build the competence required of responsible, independent researchers and experts. The programme graduates have excellent competence for independent work and multidisciplinary cooperation.

Finnish and English are the primary languages of instruction. Students may also complete studies in Swedish. The philologies also offer courses and seminars in the relevant language.

The Doctoral Programme for Language Studies encompasses all languages taught at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Helsinki. The programme covers a wide range of fields, including various synchronic and diachronic approaches to language, translation studies and language technology. Its focal areas are Language and interaction; Linguistic structures and context; Language contacts, change, variation and multilingualism; Meaning, texts and society; Turning points in translation and interpretation theory and practices; and Language technology and corpus linguistics.

The permise of The Doctoral Programme in Language studies is that langueage has an increasingly important role in society. Modern society is based on language and interaction, and democracy is based on the use of language: politicians and societal relevance often calls for multidisciplinary approaches and cooperation with other disciplines.

The Doctoral Programme offers courses on various aspects of linguistic theory and methodology. The main languages of instruction are Finnish, English and Swedish in accordance with the language policy of the University of Helsinki. Due to the nature of the Programme also other languages are possible. In supervision the language of the doctoral student’s subject is often used.

Disciplines in the doctoral programme include speech sciences, interpretation, translation studies, linguistics, language technology, and the philologies.

Students can complete a doctoral degree in four years of full-time study. Students can choose to complete their doctoral degree through full-time or part-time study. The degree includes

  • A personal study plan
  • Field-specific studies (30 cr)
  • General transferable skills (10 cr)
  • International mobility, e.g., research cooperation or participation in international conferences
  • A doctoral dissertation

A doctoral dissertation consists of peer-reviewed scholarly publications or manuscripts accepted for publication, as well as a summarising report (an article-based dissertation); or, a doctoral dissertation is a scholarly work in the name of the doctoral candidate alone and based on previously unpublished research results (a monograph). A dissertation may also be another body of work that fulfils the relevant scientific criteria, if the author’s independent contribution can be demonstrated.

A doctoral dissertation

  • Includes new scientific knowledge
  • Demonstrates the doctoral candidate’s skills for critical thinking
  • Demonstrates profound knowledge of the field of research
  • Demonstrates a good command of and the ability to apply research methods
  • Is scientifically convincing
  • Includes justified results
  • Demonstrates scientific integrity and adheres to the norms of ethical research

Graduates from The Doctoral Programme in Language Studies often work in various research, education and expert positions in public organizations etc. Graduates can also be employed by the culture sector, for example in publishing, communications, and in public administration.

The doctoral degree in The Doctoral Programme in Language Studies includes 1-5 ECTS credits of internalization, which can consist of research done at a foreign university, a presentation in an international conference, or research exchange. The programme awards travel grants for conference trips abroad and for other travelling related to the dissertation work. Lectures and courses by international guest lecturers also familiarize doctoral students with the international practises in the discipline and help them build international networks. In addition, disciplines in the doctoral programme have their own international cooperation networks.

The doctoral Programme in Language Studies is part of Langnet, the national network for doctoral programmes in language studies. The programme also cooperates with other Nordic Capital Universities and the European LingNet Europe network.

How to apply
Below you’ll find a link to the entry requirements for this programme. The application period to our international programmes is in December every year.

Doctoral programmes

The doctoral candidates at the University of Helsinki are supervised by top-class researchers, and carry out their research as part of an international academic community. The University of Helsinki is the only Finnish university in the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and a member of the EUA Council for Doctoral Education.

Doctoral education is offered in research- and researcher-oriented doctoral programmes. Each of the 32 doctoral programmes belong to one of the University’s four doctoral schools. The doctoral schools are in charge of coordinating the totality of doctoral programmes in their field as well as developing the overall quality of doctoral education. In addition, they are responsible for the offerings in transferable skills courses.

Most of the doctoral programmes are joined programmes offered by different Faculties. In these programmes the doctoral candidates can pursue a doctoral degree offered by any of the participating Faculties.

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