Doctoral education

Doctoral education at the Faculty of Educational Sciences provides interesting dissertation project opportunities for students pursuing a doctoral degree. The target period for completing a dissertation is four years of full-time study.
Completing a doctoral degree

Completing a doctoral degree requires systematic and persistent effort. The work entails writing a doctoral thesis and completing other studies. The objective of a doctoral degree is to generate a scientifically significant doctoral thesis and, more broadly, research-based expertise which can be applied to education. Only some doctors are able to continue their careers as postdoctoral researchers. For this reason, students planning their studies should note that they may eventually need to continue on to challenging duties outside the University.

Doctoral graduates from the Faculty of Educational Sciences are academic experts who have completed a diverse degree programme and have the qualifications to perform demanding research and teaching duties at universities and serve in expert positions which require academic competence.

Doctoral education is carried out in doctoral programmes. The Faculty of Educational Sciences coordinates two doctoral programmes, Doctoral Programme of School, Education, Society and Culture (SEDUCE) and Doctoral Programme in Cognition, Learning, Instruction and Communication (CLIC). You will find more information on the doctoral programmes from their websites. 

The objectives of doctoral education are as follows

  • The students become profoundly familiar with their research field and its social significance.
  • The students acquire, within their field, the ability to apply scientific research methods critically and independently and to contribute to scientific knowledge.
  • The students become familiar with the historical development, fundamental issues and research methods of their field.
  • The students acquire sufficient understanding of general scientific theory and the disciplines related to their research field so as to be able to follow future developments.

A student admitted into a doctoral programme must complete doctoral studies, demonstrate independent and critical thinking in his or her field, complete a doctoral dissertation and  defend it in a public examination.

Information on how to apply to doctoral studies can be found in the doctoral programmes web pages.

Supervisors and coordinating academic

A doctoral student must have at least two supervisors who have completed a doctoral degree. At least one of the supervisors must be in a permanent or long-term employment at the Faculty awarding the doctoral degree and at least one of the supervisors must hold the title of docent or similar scientific qualifications.

In addition to supervisors, each student needs to have a coordinating academic, who may also serve as one of the dissertation supervisors. The coordinating academic may, for justified reason, also be a person who is a docent, is familiar with the doctoral training and dissertation practices in the University of Helsinki and is in a permanent employment in the Faculty.

Further information on practices on supervision and the role of the coordinating academic is available on Instructions on Teaching.

Dissertation and instructions