Doctoral Programme in Information and Systems
Reach the top in data sciences
Information processing has become a core activity for the running of organisations, society at large, and global development. Operations and events generate tremendous amounts of raw data, which is needed to provide information for different purposes through data analysis. Information processing, software and information systems are a crucial part of the running of contemporary society. Their development, however, is still highly challenging. Data analysis and information processing are founded in mathematics and statistics and their research. The aim of Doctoral Programme in Information and Systems is to provide training that prepares students for working as researchers and experts in these areas.
The major subject available are Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics. To be awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree, a student must complete research-related doctoral studies 40 ECTS and a doctoral dissertation 200 ECTS. Highly educated experts are in demand in the areas of this doctoral programme. The employment outlook is good for people holding doctorates in this field. Come explore exciting new opportunities with our research teams!
NB: The Doctoral Programme in Information and Systems will merge with its research fields into the Doctoral Programme of Computing and Electrical Engineering from August 2021 onwards. The rearrangement diversifies teaching content in doctoral education and enhances utilization of synergies in research fields. Further information about the merger can be requested from cee.doc.tau(@)tuni.fi in case you are applying for the Doctoral Programme in Information and Systems.
Extent of studies
The general objectives of scientific postgraduate education are that the student
- Becomes thoroughly acquainted with her/his own field of research and its social significance
- Gains the knowledge and skills needed to apply scientific research methods independently and critically and to produce new scientific knowledge within her/his field of research
- Becomes acquainted with the development, basic problems and research methods of her/his field of research
- Gains such knowledge of the general theory of science and of other disciplines relating to her/his own field of research as enables her/him to follow developments in them
- Achieves sufficient communication and language skills and other abilities to work as an expert or a developer in demanding jobs and in international cooperation.
The doctoral programme in Information and Systems provides training that prepares students for working as researchers and experts in
- data analysis, data mining and statistical modelling, such as information theory, stochastic methods, machine learning, learning algorithms and computer-intensive methods
- mathematics and mathematical methods of data processing, including number theory, algebra, algebraic geometry, logics and finite model theory, algorithms and formal languages
- software, databases and data systems, including conceptual modelling, database design, data search, data systems design and utilisation in organisations, delivery chain and product information management, mass tailoring, software development, formal methods of software and information system development, and information systems in healthcare and industry
You can read the doctoral programme's entire curriculum on the Curricula Guide.
The major subjects of the Doctoral Programme in Information and Systems are mathematics, statistics and computer science.
To be awarded a doctorate, a doctoral student must:
- complete the required doctoral studies,
- demonstrate independent and critical thinking in the field of research, and
- write a doctoral dissertation and defend it in public.
Each doctoral student must draw up a personal study and supervisory plan together with his/her supervisors. The plan must specify intended doctoral coursework, course schedule and other modes of study, and the schedule and publication plan for the dissertation.
Studies and supervision in doctoral programmes are intended to last for four years, and a doctoral degree should be completed in five years.
There are no tuition fees for doctoral programmes at TUNI. Thus TUNI 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 TUNI 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.
Degree structure of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (240 ECTS)
As an optional intermediate step towards the doctoral degree, it is possible to complete a Licentiate of Philosophy degree.
Research-related Doctoral Studies 40 ECTS consist of the following:
- Research Ethics
- Courses expanding on the Master's degree
- Studies in the field of the dissertation
- Research seminar in major subject
Doctoral Dissertation 200 ECTS
A doctoral dissertation is an independent scientific thesis which must be defended in public.
A dissertation can be a unified study (a monograph) or an integrated entity of scientific publications or manuscripts approved for publication paired with a summary article (an article-based dissertation). The objectives, methods and results of the study must be presented in the summary article. Publications may include co-authored publications. If the publications include co-authored articles, the doctoral student must generally be responsible for significant contributions in them. The doctoral student must also submit to the Faculty a written account of his/her contribution to the publications. This account must be submitted when the manuscript is submitted for preliminary examination. The dissertation itself must also include an account of the author's contribution to co-authored publications.
An article-based dissertation must consist of an adequate number of high-quality publications which have been peer-reviewed.
All the requirements concerning the doctoral dissertation apply not only to a monograph but also to an article-based dissertation.
To be awarded a licentiate degree (130 ECTS credits), a student must complete the following:
- Research-related Doctoral Studies 40 ECTS
- A licentiate thesis 90 ECTS
You can read more about the degree structure and content of the studies on the Curricula Guide.
Carefully read through the admissions requirements before applying. For additional questions on applying, application documents and application process, please email: cee.doc.tau(a)tuni.fi. Questions on research plans and prospective supervisors should be addressed to University Researcher Poika Isokoski (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Doctoral Programme in Information and Systems with its research fields will merge into the Doctoral Programme of Computing and Electrical Engineering from August 2021 onwards. The rearrangement diversifies teaching content in doctoral education and enhances utilization of synergies in research fields. Further information about the merger can be requested from cee.doc.tau(@)tuni.fi in case you are applying for the Doctoral Programme in Information and Systems.
Doctoral Programme in Information and Systems
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
- a relevant Master's degree awarded by a university,
- a relevant Master's degree awarded by a university of applied sciences, or
- a relevant applicable study programme abroad which in the awarding country gives eligibility for the corresponding level of higher education
- whom the university otherwise deems to possess sufficient knowledge and skills for doctoral education in the field of studies in question.
The minimum English language test result requirements
|Test name||Minimum test result|
|TOEFL iBT / TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition||92 overall, with no section below 20|
|IELTS (academic) / IELTS Indicator||6.5 overall, with no section below 5.5|
|PTE (academic)||62 overall, with no section below 54|
|Finnish National Certificate of Language Proficiency (English)||Proficiency level 5|
*The previous CAE and CPE have been renamed as C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency
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.
The aim of doctoral selection is to find talented, motivated and committed doctoral students. The ability and aptitude of applicants is assessed on the following principles:
- The scientific quality and relevance of the research and study and supervisory plan, and the feasibility of their implementation.
- The appropriateness of the Bachelor and Master degree studies and the research topic for the doctoral programme and the main subject applied for.
- The availability of sufficient expert supervision.
- The applicant's skills and knowledge, the language proficiency necessary to complete the doctoral programme and the grade of the previous degree can be considered.
- The research potential and motivation demonstrated by the applicant.
Interviews may also be used to aid the selection procedure; the interview assesses the applicant's abilities and suitability. Assessments of individual doctoral students are not made public.
The Faculty may restrict the number of its doctoral student intake based on insufficient supervision resources.
Application periods and how to apply
The application period for doctoral studies commencing in the Autumn 2021 will be during 1 - 30 April 2021. The application period ends at 15.00 (Finnish time).
Applications are submitted through an electronic application system at studyinfo.fi. A link to the application form is available during the application period.
Responsible supervisor and co-supervisor(s)
Prior to applying for admission, the applicant must contact the professor of the main subject s/he is applying for, or a possible supervisor of studies, in order to draft the research plan as well as the study and supervisory plan. Every PhD student must have the supervisor and at least one co-supervisor. To find a prospective supervisor, please contact the head of the doctoral programme Associate Professor Poika Isokoski (poika.isokoski(a)tuni.fi).
Application and required enclosures
The application must include the following documents:
- a study and supervisory plan signed by the applicant and the supervisor(s)
- a research plan that outlines the research topic and its foundations. Instructions on how to draft a research plan are below.
- CV with full employment history. Please give the contact information of two referees in the CV, if the Master degree was not taken at Tampere University
- submitting a financing plan is recommended, either as part of your research plan or as a separate document
- copy of the passport ID page, if the student hasn’t previously studied at Tampere University
- photocopies of Bachelor’s and Master’s degree certificates and their authorised translations in English, and transcripts of records (i.e. courses taken, grades and credits received) with their authorised translations in English.
- international applicants must provide a reputable account of his or her language proficiency (see Language requirements)
Please see more instructions on how to apply on the page How to apply for doctoral programmes at Tampere University.
The research plan should be at most 6 pages long (minimum font size 12 points, 2.5 cm margins all around). It should include the following:
- A clear description of the aims, research questions and importance of the planned study
- Background and central state of the art references
- Description of research methods and materials (i.e. data) to be collected
- Expected results and their contribution in respect to earlier research
- Time schedule and resources including access to required technology, laboratories, funding plan, description of research environment and group, name of the supervisor, description of the needed or planned collaboration during the research.
- Publication and dissemination plan (e.g. planned conference and journal publications, software releases etc.)
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 selection results are announced before the beginning of the following term. The selections made in spring 2021 are announced by 18 June 2021.
An applicant who is dissatisfied with the student selection may submit a written request for reconsideration to the Faculty Council. 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 Information Technology and Communication Sciences, 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 degree programme, you must fill in and deliver the confirmation form you receive from the University of Tampere. The confirmation must reach Tampere University by 9 June 2021 at 3 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 degree programme.
New doctoral students must enrol at the Student Affairs Office. More detailed instructions on enrollment are enclosed with the letter of acceptance.
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.