The Faculty of Law offers two programmes leading to postgraduate degrees: a scientific doctoral degree programme and a professionally oriented Licentiate degree programme.

The doctoral education offered by the Faculty of Law is organised in the Doctoral Programme in Law, which belongs to the Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences.

The programme provides high-quality education and an excellent environment for doctoral education in various fields of legal science and law. The objectives of the Doctoral Programme in Law are to help students become profoundly familiar with their research field and its social significance, to learn to apply scientific research methods critically and independently, as well as to contribute to scientific knowledge within their field. The Programme also aims to familiarise students with the historical development, fundamental issues and research methods of their field, to help them acquire sufficient understanding of general scientific theory and the disciplines related to their research field so that they can follow future developments, as well as to enable them to influence development in their field through their own research.

Postgraduate students must complete the postgraduate studies, demonstrate independent and critical thinking in their field of research, and compose a doctoral dissertation and defend it publicly. A postgraduate student can complete a Licentiate degree once he or she has completed the postgraduate studies determined by the University as well as any specialisation studies included in the degree. The target duration for the doctoral degree is four years of full-time studies. For part-time students, the target duration for completing the doctoral degree is calculated so as to correspond to that of four years of full-time study.

The degree of Doctor of Laws is the primary third-cycle degree for students striving towards a research career and for others in need of a research education. Postgraduate students working towards a doctoral degree may complete the Licentiate degree either as an intermediate degree on a path to the doctoral degree or as an independent degree.

The degree programme comprises a compulsory theoretical and methodological part common to all students, field-specific studies, as well as studies offered by the doctoral school and the doctoral programme.

During the first two years, students develop their theoretical and methodological skills, acquaint themselves with the research theme and with information relevant to their major subject, as well as gain further competence in practical subjects and research ethics. Networking, collaboration and connections with relevant research environments in both Finland and abroad are emphasised at this stage. During the third and fourth years of studies, students focus on their dissertation and related research. They also attend courses and participate in other education, if required.

General study guidance is provided by Kruununhaka Student Services and the Faculty’s Postgraduate Studies Coordinators, who can be reached by email at

The Faculty’s Committee for Research and Research Education along with the steering committee of the Doctoral Programme in Law are in charge of planning and organising postgraduate training and issuing necessary instructions at the Faculty level. University lecturer, Docent Ari Hirvonen serves as the director of the Doctoral Programme in Law. Professor Taina Pihlajarinne, Vice-Dean for research at the Faculty of Law, chairs the Committee for Research.