Doctoral Programme in Information Studies and Interactive Media
Experts in games and information
The Doctoral Programme in Information Studies and Interactive Media provides strengths in four areas. The student becomes an expert in either information practices, information management, information retrieval, or gaming research. Those who complete the programme are employed, depending on their selected area, in gaming companies, libraries, archives, or information-intensive organisations, which require top-level information expertise, such as register management or strategic background studies. Due to the cross-disciplinary nature of the programme, it also offers excellent co-operation opportunities with several other fields of study, from leadership and organisations to game design or from learning technology to user interface development.
Extent of studies
According to the Government Decree on University Degrees (794/2004, amended 1039/2013, §21) the 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 aim of this doctoral programme is to prepare students for operations in the specialised fields of information and interactive media research. Research in Information studies focuses on the ways in which information is acquired, managed and used under different circumstances, and the organisation, mediation and storage of information. Studies develop concepts, methods and systems that enable information to be easily accessible and understandable to those who need it. The key research areas are information retrieval, information and media practices, and information and records management. The key areas of research in interactive media are the analysis of media change and its possibilities, the questions of new media design and implementation, the cultures of use, and interactive media as part of society. Internet research, game studies, research into an open information society and questions on the research and design of social media services are also priorities in the field of interactive media. Postgraduate studies are becoming more in demand as the information and media professions and research and development continue to evolve.
The doctoral education is supported by domestically and internationally recognised high standards research carried out in the TRIM research centre. The doctoral programme enjoys a close connection with the the research projects carried out in the research groups of the TRIM research centre. Research evaluations have repeatedly assessed the level of research in information studies at the University of Tampere as very high and internationally visible.
The doctoral programme in information studies and interactive media provides an ability to study, analyse and design various aspects of new information and communication technologies; the programme is closely linked with the research on the human-technology interaction as outlined in the University's strategy. It also clearly connects with the University's strategic outlines on researching important and topical social phenomena, and supporting pioneering and multidisciplinary approaches in research.
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.
The structure of studies can be found in the curriculum.
Carefully read through the admissions requirements before applying. For additional questions on applying, application documents and application process, please email: itc.doc.tau(a)tuni.fi. Questions on research plans and prospective supervisors should be addressed to Professor Tuomas Harviainen (tuomas.harviainen [at] tuni.fi).
Doctoral Programme in Information Studies and Interactive Media
Doctoral Admission October 2020
General eligibility for scientific doctoral studies is stipulated in the University Act (2009/558, Paragraph 37). The faculty can admit to licentiate and doctoral programmes 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.
Recognition of the studies and eligibility for doctoral studies is approved by the professor of the main subject or a teacher authorised by the professor.
A person admitted to a scientific or artistic doctoral programme may be required to complete supplementary studies to acquire necessary further knowledge and skills.
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
|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 ProficiencyExemptions 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 doctoral programme can take max. 8 new doctoral students based on the application rounds for the academic year 2020-2021.
The aim of doctoral selection is to reach talented, motivated and committed doctoral students. The ability and aptitude of applicants is assessed on the following principles:
- the scientific level, clarity, relevance and feasibility of the research plan and the fit of the proposed research topic within the scope of the doctoral programme;
- the fit of the study plan, existing degree and previously completed studies within the scope of the doctoral programme;
- an applicant’s existing knowledge and skills and language skills required for completing the degree;
- level of motivation and previous experience;
- the availability of competent supervision;
- the availability of the required research infrastructure and a funding plan.
Application periods and how to apply
The call for applications for the Doctoral Programme in Information Studies and Interactive Media is organised twice per year, in April and in October.
The application period for doctoral studies commencing in the spring of 2021 will be during 1-30 October 2020. The application period ends at 15.00 (Finnish time).
Specific application deadlines will be confirmed each year.
The right to study doctoral studies is applied for using electronic application form. The discipline information studies and interactive media must be mentioned in the form.
Electronic application form
Applications are submitted through an electronic application system at studyinfo.fi. A link to the application form is available during the application period.
Application and required enclosures
The application must include the following documents
- a research plan that outlines the research topic and its foundations. Please see below the instructions on how to draft a research plan.
- a study and supervisory plan, we recommend using the study and supervisory plan form
- CV with full employment history
- photocopies of the Master’s degree certificate (or corresponding degree certificate) and their authorised translations in English, and transcripts of records (i.e. courses taken, grades and credits received) and their authorised translations in English.
- copy of the passport ID page, if the student hasn’t previously studied at the University of Tampere.
- photocopies of other possible certificates of higher education studies
- information on no more than two (2) referees can be included (not necessary)
Please see more detailed instructions on how to apply on the page How to apply for doctoral programmes at Tampere University.
If the Master's degree (or corresponding degree) has not been completed in Finland, the following enclosures must be enclosed in addition to the documents mentioned above
- copy of the Master's thesis in the original language (if applicable) and a synopsis in English. A summary written in English must be enclosed if the thesis is written in some other language than English.
- international applicants must provide a reliable account of his or her language proficiency.
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.
Prior to applying for admission, the applicant must contact the person-in-charge of the doctoral programme who will help in finding a suitable supervisor for the topic.
Instructions for writing a research plan
Your research plan may not exceed 6 pages. The margins must be 2.5 throughout, and the minimum font size is 12. Your research plan must include an appropriate list of references and a title page displaying your name and the title of your study. The title page and list of references are not included in the 6-page limit. The pages must be numbered.
Your research plan must demonstrate that you are sufficiently familiar with your research topic and the relevant existing body of knowledge. Your research plan must not only be logical and coherent but also concrete enough to enable a reviewer who may not be a subject specialist to assess its feasibility.
Your research plan must include the following information:
1. A summary of your research goals and research questions and a rationale explaining why your study is important
The summary introduces your reader to your topic, rationale and goals of your research. You must present your proposed topic and clearly explain why it is important. The rationale can be, for example, that your study will fill a gap in the existing body of knowledge or that the topic is important from a broader societal perspective or a practical perspective. What kind of knowledge are you looking to generate? What is the premise for your research?
2. Theoretical background and key concepts
What are the main theoretical starting points and the key concepts relating to your study?
3. Research problems and related research questions
A research topic is not the same as a research problem. When you are formulating your research problem, you must narrow down your topic, choose a perspective, become familiar with relevant literature and consider how your study will contribute to the existing body of knowledge.
Your research problem and related research questions must be as specific as possible. What is the knowledge that you are looking to generate? When formulating your research questions, remember that they must be answerable.
4. Description of the methodology, research methods and data to be collected
Your research plan must describe the knowledge your study is expected to generate and how you plan to address your research questions. If you propose to carry out an empirical study, your research plan should describe your research data and research methods in as much detail as possible, even though you may have to specify your plans later on. How will you access or collect data? How will you contact potential research subjects? How will data be analysed?
If you will be working on an artistic dissertation, your research plan must describe how the artistic/practical sections are connected to your overall study.
Any ethical issues relating to your study must be considered in advance.
- Guidelines issued by the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (TENK)
- The ethical principles of research with human participants and ethical review in the human sciences in Finland
5. Expected results and their novelty in relation to the existing body of knowledge
What is the new knowledge that your study is expected to generate? How and where could your findings be utilised?
6. Research schedule, resources and funding plan
You must draw up a schedule that indicates how and when you plan to carry out your study and how you will publish your findings (conference proceedings, journals, software release). Please be aware that you must adhere to the open science guidelines (https://www.avointiede.fi/en).
You can include a preliminary disposition of your study in your research plan. You must describe the resources you will need to conduct your research (such as a description of the current state of the research, the required research infrastructure, funding plan, supervisors, a description of the research environment and group, and a description of other necessary or planned collaborative activities).
If your dissertation is part of a larger whole (such as a consortium project) you must specify how your study depends on the results of different subprojects and who is responsible for completing the different sections. Your independent contribution to the research must be clearly described. Your description must also include a risk assessment in case, for example, the consortium is not able to complete an application that is critical for your study.
In addition, your research plan must briefly describe how you will fund your studies towards a doctoral degree and indicate whether you will study on a full-time or a part-time basis as well as include a list of your sources of funding, if applicable.
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.
The selection results are announced before the beginning of the following term. The selections made in autumn 2020 are announced by 17 December, 2020.
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 Information Technology and Communication, 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
Once an applicant has been granted the right to postgraduate studies, he/she must confirm the acceptance of the study place on 8 January 2021 at the latest, and register as a university student in the manner specified in the acceptance letter.
New doctoral students must enrol at the Registrar's 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.