Programme learning environment
The Doctoral Programme in Political, Societal and Regional Change is a multidisciplinary programme in social sciences coordinated by the Faculty of Social Sciences. Disciplines from the Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry of the University of Helsinki participate in the doctoral programme. The participating disciplines from the Faculty of Social Sciences are development studies, political history, economic and social history and political science. The participating discipline from the Faculty of Arts is area and cultural studies. The participating discipline from the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry is consumer economics. The programme also includes the following inter-faculty research units: the Centre for Nordic Studies, the Network for European Studies and the Aleksanteri Institute.
The disciplines included in the doctoral programme offer field-specific teaching and supervision to PSRC students. The doctoral programme provides an extensive, interdisciplinary operating environment to support doctoral students and their supervisors as well as tools for productive cooperation between disciplines and research communities. The programme annually organises courses, seminars and other events open to everyone registered in the programme. International researchers and the doctoral programme’s own experts teach at various programme events. Also, an annual conference brings all PSRC doctoral students together and offers them a venue for presenting their research. The key speakers at this conference are international experts in the field.
The research areas of the doctoral programme make comprehensive use of the approaches, theories and research methods of the social sciences and humanities. The scientific strengths of the programme include the study of national and international political systems, civil society mobilisation, organisations, governance systems, decision-making, global politics, political economics, development issues, societal and environmental issues, sustainability science, long-term economic development, economic institutions, economic policy, Nordic society, social microstructures and consumption as well as European studies, Russian and Eurasian studies, multidisciplinary area study modules and the examination of the philosophical and theoretical starting points of multidisciplinary research methods. The programme also combines other social sciences and interdisciplinary sustainability science with the historical research of social change over time.
The programme has established cooperation networks with similar national and international researcher education systems. The participating research areas cooperate through their own networks and partnerships. The programme includes units in charge of coordinating nationally significant research and education cooperation, such as the Centre for Nordic Studies (CENS) at the Department of World Cultures, the Network for European Studies (NES) at the Department of Political and Economic Studies and the Finnish-Russian Network for Russian and Eurasian Studies in Social Sciences (FRRESH) of the Aleksanteri Institute.
The doctoral programme is very significant in implementing national education responsibilities in its fields. The programme includes nationally unique fields of education and research units based at the University of Helsinki, such as development studies, economic and social history, consumer economics and area and cultural studies. Even though political science and political history studies are also available elsewhere in Finland, the degree programmes and research units of the University of Helsinki are nationally significant due to their diversity, scope and international visibility.
The fields included in the programme form an internationally prominent training scheme. The programme profile is attractive to postgraduate students who seek a research environment that breaks down the formal boundaries between disciplines. By combining strong field-specific competence with a new interdisciplinary approach, the programme offers opportunities for developing a comprehensive understanding of society and culture and extensively improving one’s expertise and competence as a researcher.
The working environment
The students admitted to the doctoral programme work independently and in research groups. They conduct both theoretical and empirical research.