Admissions

In addition to fulfilling the general rules of eligibility, your previous degree must be relevant to the planned research topic and discipline. A degree is regarded as relevant if it includes sufficient studies in a discipline which, given the topic of the proposed doctoral dissertation, can be regarded as a suitable basis for doctoral studies. To be able to apply, you need to have all the studies required for the degree you apply with completed, graded and registered by the end of the relevant application period.

The following criteria have been confirmed for admission to doctoral education in the Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences:

  1. Appropriate performance in previous studies and their suitability to serve as the foundation of the prospective doctoral degree.
  2. The quality of the research plan and the links between the planned dissertation research and the research conducted in the doctoral programme.
  3. Availability of supervision and related resources: as a rule, the person who agrees to serve as the supervisor can simultaneously supervise no more than six students who are completing their postgraduate degree in a way that is equivalent to full-time studying.

Process of evaluation of applications and decision-making at the Faculty of Social Sciences

Applications that meet the formal eligibility requirements will be submitted for a scholarly assessment by supervisors in the doctoral programme. The Faculty's Doctoral Education Committee makes the final decision on granting the right to complete a degree based on a proposal by the steering group of the doctoral programme.

In conjunction with admission, the doctoral programme and the title of the doctoral degree to be pursued will be confirmed, and the student will be assigned at least two supervisors who have completed a doctoral degree and of whom at least one has a permanent or long-term employment contract with the Faculty in which the student will pursue the doctoral degree. In addition, each student will be assigned a supervising professor, who may also serve as one of the dissertation supervisors.

The Doctoral Programme has two application periods for doctoral study rights each year – one in the spring and one in the fall.

Next application period will be from September 14, 2018 until September 27, 2018.

Before submitting an application, applicants must contact teachers in the suitable field of science to receive instructions concerning the suitability of their research proposal for supervisory and research profile in the field of science (no supervisory assistance can otherwise be offered for the research proposal). Teachers’ email addresses can be found under each doctoral programme supervision information. Email messages sent to teachers must be accompanied by a preliminary research proposal (max. 5 pages). Information about a potential supervisor is asked in the application form.

Supervisor’s statement about the applicant is not compulsory in this doctoral programme. However, this is mistakenly asked for in the application form. Please, submit an empty page.

Applications

Applications are submitted using an electronic application form, which will be open during the application period. All applicants must submit the following documents as part of their application (point 1 is integrated in the electronic application form; points 2-4 are submitted as scanned attachments):

Electronic application form (open between 14-27 September 2018)

The required documents to be attached to the form:

1. A preliminary research proposal. Instructions on how to draw up your research plan are found by looking at the University of Helsinki research plan template . The following fields related to the research plan are included in the electronic application form (the number in parentheses indicates the maximum number of characters per field, spaces included):

  • Brief summary of the research plan (1500)
  • Significance of the project in relation to current knowledge (1500)
  • Objectives of the research (2000)
  • Effects and impact beyond academia (500)
  • Research methods (2000)
  • Research material to be used and its significance for the research project (1000)
  • Data management plan (1500)
  • Critical points for success, alternative implementation strategies (500)
  • Ethical issues (1000)
  • Publication plan (including a preliminary outline of a monograph) (1000)
  • Methods for ensuring open access (more information available on the University Library's website, 500)
  • Schedule for the research (500)
  • Funding plan for research and doctoral studies (500)
  • Applied funding and salaried positions (500)
  • Motivation for choosing the University of Helsinki as the site of doctoral research and motivation for selecting the doctoral programme (500)
  • Mobility plan (500)
  • The most important research literature and/or sources (1000)

2. An abstract of the Master’s thesis

3. A copy of your previous degree certificate (Master's degree or equivalent) and a copy of a detailed transcript of studies included in the degree.

4. Verification of language skills. The University of Helsinki demands an indication of academic level language skills of all applicants. Please acquaint yourself with the options for verifying your language skills in either Finnish, Swedish or English in good time before applying. Additionally, you will need to have sufficient skills in any other languages needed for your research topic. Your skills in these languages will be assessed based on the application documents (e.g. transcript of studies) as well as preliminary discussions with your potential supervisors.

N.B. Applicants who have not completed their previous degree in the University of Helsinki must also send officially certified copies of the documents mentioned in points 3. and 4.  by post. For more information on the means of having the documents officially certified, please see here.

The applications, along with the required additional documents, must be submitted by the end of the application period. Applications are submitted using an electronic application form, which closes at UTC +3, (at 15.00 PM Helsinki time), on the last day of the round of applications. Those applicants who are required to send certified copies of the additional documents by post must make sure that these documents arrive by the end of the application period.

Applications and additional documents sent by email are not accepted. Incomplete applications are not considered.

The certified copies of additional documents must be delivered to the Admissions Services of the University of Helsinki. For instructions on how to submit your documents, please see here.

Decisions on admissions for doctoral studies in the Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences are made based on the University’s general criteria for admissions as well as programme-specific complementary guidelines for admissions.

Applications that meet the formal eligibility requirements will be submitted for a scholarly assessment. This scholarly assessment is performed by supervisors of the doctoral programme.
The Faculty's Doctoral Education Committee makes the final decision on granting the right to complete a degree based on a proposal by the steering group of the doctoral programme.

Feasibility, scientific significance and suitability to the research profile of the doctoral programme are emphasised in the assessment of the quality of the research plans. In the assessment of study plans, weight is placed on the feasiblity and appropriateness for the dissertation project in question. When assessing the provisional timetables presented in the study plans, special attention is paid to the fact that a full-time doctoral student should aim to complete the dissertation and related studies in approx. 4 years. Supervisors are expected to support this goal.

The suitability of the previous degree as a basis for the planned dissertation project, previous study performance and the availability of high-quality supervision are also a central part of the criteria. Lack of suitable supervision resources can be used as grounds for rejecting an application.

In conjunction with admission, the doctoral programme and the title of the doctoral degree to be pursued will be confirmed, and the student will be assigned at least two supervisors who have completed a doctoral degree and of whom at least one has a permanent or long-term employment contract with the Faculty in which the student will pursue the doctoral degree. In addition, each student will be assigned a supervising professor, who may also serve as one of the dissertation supervisors.