The Doctoral Programme in Law covers all the disciplines of the Faculty of Law. These are: Administrative law, Commercial law, Communication and information law, Constitutional law, Criminal law, Environmental law, European law, Family and inheritance law, Financial law, Gender and law, Labour law, Law and economics, Law of obligations, Legal history, Legal theory, Medical and bio law, Private international law and comparative law, Procedural and insolvency law, Property law, Public International law, Sociology of law and Sports law.
The wide ranging approach of the Doctoral Programme in Law encourages in multidisciplinary research and interdisciplinary studies. The programme is in active co-operation with the other doctoral programmes belonging to the Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences.
The home unit of the Doctoral Programme in Law, the Faculty of Law, is a research-intensive faculty. The programme takes in consideration the focus areas of research at the Faculty of Law, which are: 1) Theoretical, social and cultural foundations of law, 2) Law in a European and global environment, 3) Welfare and rule of law, 4) Economy, property rights and justice and 5) Law, technology, human being and the environment. The programme also follows the strategic plan for the Faculty of Law according to which the primary aim of research and doctoral teaching is the quest for truth and knowledge about law and justice. Moreover, the critical and independent evaluation of law, legal practices and legal science itself is highlighted and a wide-ranging, versatile and interdisciplinary research is emphasized.
Studying in the programme
The Doctoral Programme in Law offers to all doctoral students a well-planned and systematical four years training programme. It is also possible to become a part-time doctoral student.
The training programme is divided in general theoretical and methodological part, field-specific part and courses organized by the Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences and the Doctoral Programme in Law.
During the first two years the main focus is in theoretical and methodological studies, field-specific courses, practical skills and research ethics. During this period, the doctoral students are encouraged to network. During the third and fourth years the main focus is in independent research work even though there are also courses during this time that the doctoral students should attend.
According to the University of Helsinki’s degree provisions the estimated time to pursue the Doctor of Laws degree when studying full-time is four years. According to the Faculty’s standing orders all the studies included in the postgraduate degree must be completed and entered into the Student Register before preliminary examiners for doctoral dissertations can be proposed.
The Faculty of Law’s assessment criteria for the quality of doctoral dissertations.
monitoring the postgraduate study process
The University of Helsinki monitors the progress of postgraduate students. In the monitoring procedure, enrolled postgraduate students who have not yet completed their degree after six years of having been granted the right to study will be screened from the Student Register. The screened students cannot register as attending students for the following academic year without presenting a study and research plan approved by the Faculty. For more specific instructions, see the Faculty website.
As of academic year 2016‒2017, every doctoral student registered as an attending student must report how actively they plan to pursue their degree during the coming academic year, as well as how active they were the year before, when they register for the academic year. This practice applies to both new doctoral students and doctoral students whose right to study was granted before 2015. The reporting of the full-time or part-time status of doctoral students is based on vice-rector’s decision 1/2015.
The activity of doctoral studies, i.e., either full-time or part-time status, is determined jointly by the doctoral student and the supervisor. As this determination should be based on the joint assessment of the supervisor and supervisee, the doctoral student must contact his or her supervisor well in advance of registering for the academic year. The doctoral student must sign a statement that he or she has discussed the assessment with his or her supervisor when completing the registration. More information, see UH's website.
As of spring 2017, the Doctoral programme in law will monitor the study progress of its doctoral students. The plan is to combine the monitoring with the annual reporting of the activity of doctoral study required by the University. Doctoral students are required to discuss their study progress and status with their supervisors in connection with the reporting. The monitoring and subsequent supervision aim to support and enhance the dissertation process, related research and postgraduate studies in accordance with the student's personal study plan and the yearly objectives of the doctoral programme. Thus, the monitoring also supports supervision.
Annual Review 2016-2017 -report (e-form) should be made by May 31st 2017 at the latest. Reporting is obligatory. Link to report form can be found on this page as well as in intranet Flamma approximately two months before report deadline.
The supervisor will monitor the supervisee's progress regularly throughout the research project, providing support and guidance. In addition to monitoring by the supervisor, the steering committee of the doctoral programme will function as a general monitoring group for doctoral students. In cases of supervision-related problems, the supervisor and supervisee should strive to reach a solution together. The Coordinator and/or Director of the Doctoral programme may be consulted when necessary.
The doctoral student’s monitoring group convenes when necessary and consists of the head of the Doctoral programme in law or another steering committee member with a doctoral degree, the supervisor and the discipline coordinator of the major subject or a neighbouring subject or another person invited to participate when necessary. The monitoring group will convene at the invitation of the steering committee of the Doctoral programme if deemed necessary on the basis of the monitoring of the doctoral student's progress. The monitoring group may also convene when necessary at the request of the supervisor or the doctoral student.