Doctoral Programme in Built Environment
Constructive criticism and new knowledge
The Doctoral Programme in Built Environment provides students with excellent research skills and in-depth expertise in their field.
Our students choose between research fields
- architecture and urban planning and design (research areas: management of built heritage, architectural design, and urban planning and design)
- civil and infrastructure engineering (research areas: structural engineering, construction management and economics, infrastructure engineering, and transport systems)
Doctoral education allows students to acquire more in-depth scientific knowledge and more extensive skills in research and their practical application than master's programmes. Research training, which focuses on research and its practical application, is a key element of doctoral education. High-quality research is an integral part of doctoral education and research training. Upon completion of the programme, our graduates typically go on to pursue research and teaching careers in universities and research institutions or expert and management careers in the private and public sectors.
The objective of the Doctoral Programme in the Built Environment is to train professional researchers and versatile problem-solvers in the fields of civil and infrastructure engineering and architecture and urban planning and design. The doctoral studies offered under the programme aim to provide students with deeper scientific knowledge and skills for research and applied practical work than master's degree studies. A key part of the doctoral studies is research training, meaning studies that aim to provide students with the ability to conduct research and apply research findings in practice. High-quality research is an essential precondition for doctorate and research studies.
A student who completes the programme:
- has a deep understanding of their own field of research and its social significance.
- has acquired the readiness to independently and critically apply scientific research methods and the ability to produce new scientific knowledge.
- has familiarised themselves with the development, fundamental questions and research methods of their own field of research.
- has achieved a level of understanding in regard to general scientific theory and other fields related to their own field of research that enables them to follow the development of these fields.
- has achieved adequate communications and language skills and other preparedness to work in broad and demanding expert and development positions and engage in international cooperation.
Furthermore, the student
- has a deep understanding of scientific research in the subject matter area of their doctoral dissertation
- is able to make justifiable choices in regard to the content of their doctoral dissertation
- is able to critically analyse prior scientific research
- is able to write in accordance with good scientific practices
The Doctoral Programme in the Built Environment offers the possibility to complete the doctoral degrees of Licentiate of Science in Technology (Lic.Sc. (Tech.)), Doctor of Science in Technology (D.Sc. (Tech.)), Doctor of Science in Architecture (D.Sc. (Arch.)), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Students wishing to pursue a Licentiate or Doctor of Science (Tech.) degree must hold a Master of Science degree. Students wishing to pursue a Doctor of Science (Arch.) degree must hold a Master's degree in Architecture. Students who hold some other academic degree graduate from the programme as Doctors of Philosophy. Every doctoral student's personal research and study plans are developed in co-operation with the supervisor. The target completion time of the programme for full-time students is four years.
The Doctoral Programme in the Built Environment offers doctoral studies in the following research fields:
- Architecture and Urban Planning and Design
- Research areas: management of built heritage, architectural design, and urban planning and design
- Civil and Infrastructure Engineering
- Research areas: structural engineering, construction management and economics, infrastructure engineering, and transport systems
You can find the programme curriculum at the Student's Guide.
There are no tuition fees for doctoral programmes. Thus, the university does not have a scholarship system for international doctoral students.
The faculty may have some salaried positions for doctoral students available alongside with the application round for the doctoral study right. These positions must be applied for separately and are announced on the Vacancies page.
Doctoral students are not eligible to the same student benefits as Bachelor and Master students. Thus living expenses, including lunches and travelling, are higher.
After the right to study has been granted, the Finnish Immigration Service expects all new students from non-EU/EEA countries to apply for a residence permit. At that stage, the students must be able to show to the Finnish Immigration Service that they have a minimum of 1 000€/month for the first year of studies or a scholarship to support themselves during the studies. Also a health insurance is needed.
In order to complete a doctoral degree, a student admitted for doctoral studies must:
1) complete the required doctoral studies;
2) demonstrate independent and critical thinking in their field of research; and
3) write a doctoral dissertation and defend it in public
Carefully read through the admissions requirements below before applying. For additional questions on applying, application documents and application process, please contact our Admissions office. For questions regarding the content of the programme, please contact ben.doc.tau(a)tuni.fi.
To find a responsible supervisor, start by contacting one of our professors. Once you've found a responsible supervisor, consider together other possible supervisors or members of a follow-up group.
Doctoral Programme in the Built Environment
General eligibility for scientific doctoral studies is stipulated in the University Act (2009/558, Paragraph 37). The university can admit to a doctoral programme an applicant who has completed
- an applicable master’s degree;
- an applicable master’s degree at a university of applied sciences; or
- an applicable foreign degree, which in the awarding country makes you eligible to pursue an equivalent university degree
The scope of a foreign degree must be equivalent to a Finnish degree (generally 180 + 120 ECTS, or approx. 3 + 2 years) that confers eligibility for admission to a doctoral programme. Foreign degrees must include a thesis-type final project.
Tampere University may require a person admitted to a doctoral programme to complete a set of courses to further expand his or her knowledge and skills. The maximum scope of these supplementary studies is 60 credits.
All applicants must submit evidence on a good command of English for academic purposes. There are two ways of indicating English language proficiency: language tests and previous studies.
The minimum English language test result requirements
*The previous CAE and CPE have been renamed as C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency
As Tampere University will confirm the official language scores through an online system of the language testing agency, test results must remain valid at least until the day when the application is submitted.
Exemptions to the language requirements
It is possible to be exempted from submitting a language test score if you have completed a higher education degree in English in certain countries. If you apply without a valid language test result, carefully examine the exemptions that your studies fulfil the requirements.
Application assessment is based on the following criteria:
- The research plan’s scientific quality, relevance and realism
- Suitability of the MSc degree and studies and of the research topic for the programme
- Availability of qualified supervision and the supporting statement of the supervisor
- The applicant’s knowledge and skills, the sufficient grade of MSc thesis
- The required language skills for doctoral studies
- For applicants who have completed a master's degree in applied sciences in Finland or abroad, the Faculty will consider on a case-by-case basis the applicant's ability to successfully complete a doctorate. The recommended amount of complementary studies is 60 credits.
Application periods and how to apply
There are no specific application periods or starting times for the Doctoral Programme in Built Environment. The doctoral programme processes applications regularly every month apart from July. Applications and eclosures are submitted through an electronic application system at studyinfo.fi. A link to the application form is available during the application period.
In spring 2022, the application period is 3rd of January - 31st of May. The application period ends at 15.00 (Finnish time).
Applicants will be informed of the decisions via email. Please note that there is no funding connected with being accepted to the programme.
Responsible supervisor and co-supervisor(s)
In order to be able to hand in the application the candidate needs to have your his/her research plan approved by one of our professors, who would also have to agree to act as the candidate's responsible supervisor during the studies. (The doctoral programme’s list of supervisors)
The professor responsible for the discipline in question discusses the study-related plans with the candidate and determines whether the candidate has sufficient, relevant basic knowledge of the field of research. If necessary, the professor can set certain additional prerequisites for doctoral studies. Based on this overall estimation, the professor grants or declines support to the application. Please note that the professor's support does not guarantee admission!
When contacting one of our professors, please include some information about your planned research, information about your master's degree and a CV.
Application and required documents
All requested enclosures must be submitted with the application in the electronic application system “Studyinfo.fi”.
- a research plan for doctoral studies (pdf)
- a study plan for doctoral studies
The study plan indicates your study objectives and a preliminary plan (incl. timetable) to reach those objectives through studies. Both major studies and general scientific studies are included in the plan. Studies may e.g. consist of courses and/or literature reviews, but only doctoral level studies may be included in the plan. The study plan is drafted in co-operation with the supervisor and should be specified at the beginning of the studies. For more information on the degree structure what kind of studies may be included in the degree, please see the programme’s guidelines (pdf).
- a free form statement by the supervisor of your studies
- officially certified copies of your educational documents (MSc/Master's degree incl. transcripts, Bachelor's degree incl. transcripts, see below)
- a Diploma Supplement (DS) as approved by the EU Commission for degrees completed in European universities (when applicable)
- a certificate of proficiency in the English language for students whose first language is not English or Finnish
- a preliminary plan for financing your studies (if not included in the research plan)
- a portfolio (for architecure applicants, only if required by the potential supervisor)
- (any other material complementing the application)
Non-Finnish applicants please include
- a copy of your international passport
- a curriculum vitae
Please see more instructions on how to apply on the page How to apply for doctoral programmes at Tampere University.
Officially certified educational documents
In addition to uploading electronic copies of your educational documents to your application, you must submit officially authenticated copies of your educational documents, if you have not completed your previous degrees in a Finnish university. If the documents are not in English, Finnish or Swedish, both the authenticated copies of the documents in their original language and an officially confirmed, complete and precise translation into one of the languages mentioned above are required.
In addition to the standard document requirements, educational documents issued in certain countries have more specific requirements for submission. Please go through the requirements carefully and check the country- specific requirements for your degree awarding country before applying. Please send your educational documents to Tampere University Admissions Office.
The doctoral programme processes applications regularly once or twice a month apart from July. Applicants are notified of the decision by the end of the month. If the application or its enclosures are imcomplete, the processing of the application may be deferred to the following month.
An applicant who is dissatisfied with the student selection may submit a written request for reconsideration. Such requests must be submitted within 14 days of the declared announcement date. The request, together with the reasons, shall be addressed to: Tampere University, Faculty of Built Environment, tau [at] tuni.fi.
One study place per term provision
A person accepted at a Finnish university or a polytechnic may accept only one study place in a degree programme leading to a higher education degree during one academic term.
Confirmation of the right to enrol
To maintain your right to enrol in the doctoral programme, you must accept the study place electronically through the link in your email notification. If you cannot accept the study place electronically, please contact Tampere University Admissions Office.
The confirmation must reach Tampere University by the 15th of the following month at 15.00 pm local time, at the latest. If your confirmation has not arrived by the date indicated above, you will lose your right to enrol in the doctoral programme.
New doctoral students must enrol as doctoral students through Studyinfofi as instructed in the letter of acceptance. If you cannot enrol electronically, please contact Student Affairs Office.
Doctoral students are required to re-enrol at the beginning of each academic year according to instructions given by the University. Only students enrolled as 'present' may pursue studies at the University.
Doctoral students who fail to enrol either as 'present' or 'absent' within the given deadline will lose their right to study and their right to use the computer services provided by the University. Should students later wish to continue their studies, they must make a written request to the Faculty requesting re-admission.