History and cultural heritage are central themes of the programme. The thematic and interdisciplinary analysis of these themes ranges from historical change, memory and politics of history to the material, intangible, textual, oral, auditive and visual culture as well as to the built environment. History and culture are approached locally, regionally and globally, and the exploration covers a wide time-span from pre-historical times to the recent past and even the future. Interdisciplinary humanistic perspectives (including archaeology, art history, European ethnology, folklore studies, history, study of religions) are combined with the approaches of education, law, and theology.
The aim of the programme is to provide theoretical and methodological skills which are needed in the analyses of complex historical and cultural phenomena from past and present perspectives, and skills in interdisciplinary research and interaction. The starting point for each student’s doctoral studies is the expertise in the student’s own discipline. Training in the programme is thus based both on the student’s own discipline and the theoretically and methodologically oriented interdisciplinary teaching provided by the programme. One of the central aims of the programme is to enable the student to see her/his own research is in a wider interdisciplinary dialogue. The programme also cooperates with other relevant doctoral programmes.