Degree programme

Doctoral Programme in Language Studies


Become a linguistic expert through the multidisciplinary Doctoral Programme in Language Studies

The Doctoral Programme in Language Studies is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary programme that crosses the traditional field of study-limits and combines the research of languages, literature and culture in various language areas, as well as translation and interpretation, with different theoretical frameworks.

The Programme offers postgraduate degrees in the following fields: English philology, Scandinavian languages, translation studies (English, Swedish, German, Russian), German language and culture, Finnish language, and Russian language and culture. The training in the Programme produces versatile doctoral competence which combines multidisciplinary and multiperspective research, strong methodological competence, command of the special field in question, and competence in social interaction. In addition to basic language research, the programme examines phenomena related to the interaction between language and society, such as the linguistic challenges of the globalised, increasingly multilingual and multicultural society, as well as communication within special fields.

One of the Programme’s special features is research on the cross-sections of language and culture, including critical examination of local and global cultural forms and the socio-cultural phenomena of language areas. The research in translation studies emphasises the sociology of translation as well as translation and interpretation as professional operations, among other things. The new, multidisciplinary Tampere University also offers several opportunities for the development of strong linguistic expertise in new kinds of interdisciplinary educations.

Degree earned

Filosofian tohtori


Postgraduate degree

Planned duration

4 years

Extent of studies

240 ECTS




Central Campus

Study objectives

Upon successful completion of studies, the student will be able to conduct independent academic study. The student will have a deep understanding of their own field of research and the ability to follow the current academic discussions in this field. They will have an extensive grasp on the theories, scientific approaches, research methods, and analytical conventions of their field and be able to adapt and develop this knowledge into new theories and methods in their area of specialty. The student will be able to express and justify their own view of the societal and scientific impact of the research conducted in their field. The student will understand the requirements of being a professional researcher and be capable of taking an active part in the international academic community. The student will know their own field of research intimately in order to understand and follow new developments in this field and act as an expert in their field in a variety of different and changing environments. The student will be able to communicate both orally and in writing in the languages that are central to their research and be familiar with the language areas in question along with their cultural dimensions.

The student will have a good command of scientific conventions, be familiar with the philosophy of science and its central questions, and be able to apply these in their research. They will be able to identify and source reliable information for the purposes of their research. The student will be able to partake in academic discussion independently, argue both critically and constructively, and convey researched information both orally and in writing. The student will have a general level of knowledge of the various fields of research in language, translation, and literary studies.

You can read the doctoral programme's entire curriculum on the Curricula Guide.

Study contents

The Doctoral Programme in Language Studies is offered for doctoral students majoring in the study of languages and translation. A doctoral student may earn his/her degree in one of the following disciplines:

  •    English Philology
  •    Scandinavian Languages
  •    Translation Studies (English, Swedish, German or Russian)
  •    German Language and Culture
  •    Finnish Language
  •    Russian Language and Culture

The doctoral programme welcomes applications from students who hold a Master's degree in a field relevant to the programme. Suitable disciplines include English, Scandinavian Languages, German, Finnish, Russian, and Multilingual Communication and Translation Studies. Applicants must have completed advanced studies in their prospective major subject or a related subject. The doctoral programme may also accept other majors if they are compatible with the field the programme covers. In some cases, the doctoral programme may require the student to take supplementary courses; the need for supplementary courses is considered on a case-by-case basis.

The programme is an interdisciplinary postgraduate degree programme which combines the study of translation and interpreting with languages, literature and culture of certain language areas.  The programme's objective is to train doctors who master their field, have a strong methodological competence and can conduct multi-perspective interdisciplinary research.

The focus of the education in the programme is on the strengths of the research done on languages and translation at the University of Tampere and on establishing new links between existing research interests. In addition to conducting basic linguistic research, i.e. studying situational variation and the structure of language, researchers examine the interaction of language and society, such as special languages and the linguistic challenges posed by globalised, multilingual and multicultural societies. There is a special emphasis on studying the intersections between language and culture, which includes the critical study of local and global cultural forms and sociocultural phenomena in a given language area. Key areas in translation studies include translation and interpreting as a profession and the sociology of translation.

The programme's expected graduation rate is three to five doctors a year. Graduates are generally hired to fill research and teaching positions and socially significant expert positions. Their employment prospects are excellent, and, according to a report by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the need for doctors in the field of linguistics is growing in Finland.

Tuition fees

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 c. 6 800 euros for the first year of studies or a scholarship to support themselves during the studies. Also a health insurance is needed.

Structure of studies

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.

Other research- and expertise-related doctoral studies 40 ECTS consist of the following:

  • Research Ethics 
  • Research seminar 5-10 ECTS
  • Other doctoral studies as agreed with the supervisor(s)

Doctoral Dissertation 200 ECTS

The dissertation must be a study based on independent research, which is examined publicly in a public defence. A previously published monograph cannot be accepted as a dissertation. It must contain new scientific knowledge and demonstrate critical thinking, a profound knowledge of the field and its methods, and the ability to apply these methods.

The following can be approved as a dissertation: a uniform study (monograph) or a research compilation  formed by scientific publications or article manuscripts approved for publication that cover a range ofinterlinked issues as well as a summary prepared based on them (article-based dissertation). The summary must present the goals, methods and findings of the study. The publications may include co-authored publications. The doctoral candidate must have a significant role in any co-authored publications. The author of the dissertation must provide the faculty with a written account of his/her role in the research and possible co-authored publications. The account must be presented in conjunction with submitting the dissertation for pre-examination.

An article-based dissertation must consist of a sufficient number of high-level publications that have been peer-reviewed by means of the referee procedure. A sufficient number is 3–5 articles, depending on the scope and level of the publication. In unclear situations, the Dean will decide upon the sufficient number after consulting the person responsible for the doctoral programme.

Licentiate Degree

To be awarded a licentiate degree (140 ECTS credits), a student must complete the following:

  • licentiate’s thesis (100 ECTS)
  • other research- and expertise-related doctoral studies (40 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: itc.doc.tau(a) Questions on research plans and prospective supervisors: Assistant Professor Johannes Riquet (

Doctoral Programme in Language Studies
Doctoral Admission April 2019
1 - 30 April 2019

Eligibility criteria

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.

Language skill requirements

Applicants of the doctoral programme in Language Studies must hold a Master’s degree or have completed advanced studies in the field corresponding to the intended major.



The doctoral programme can take approximately 6 new doctoral students based on the application rounds for 2019.

Admission procedure

    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 Master degree studies and the research topic for the doctoral programme and the main subject applied for.
    • 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 level of promise and motivation demonstrated by the applicant.

    Please note! Applicants of the doctoral programme in Language Studies must hold a Master’s degree or have completed advanced studies in the field corresponding to the intended major.


    How to apply

    Application periods and how to apply

    The call for applications for the Doctoral Programme in Language Studies is organised twice per year, in April and in October.

    The application period for doctoral studies commencing in the autumn of 2019 will be during 1-30 April 2019. 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 must be mentioned in the form.

    A doctoral student may earn his/her degree in one of the following disciplines:

    • English Philology
    • Finnish Language
    • German Language and Culture
    • Russian Language and Culture
    • Scandinavian Languages
    • Translation Studies (English, Swedish, German, or Russian)

    Electronic application form

    Applications are submitted through an electronic application system at Please see more information at What is studyinfo?. A link to the application form is available during the application period.

    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)

    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

    • a reliable account that the applicant’s previous degree grants eligibility for doctoral studies in the country where that previous degree was completed
    • 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. There is no need to enclose the English summary, when the applicant is applying for the Doctoral Programme in Language Studies and the thesis has been written in some of the languages of the disciplines of the programme.

    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.

    Unless your former institution issues diplomas and academic records in English, Finnish, or Swedish, the documents must include the authorised, complete and exact translations into one of these languages.

    If selected, you will have to present your original educational documents upon arrival at Tampere University in order to be able to register at the university.


    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

    A good research plan (roughly six pages) should include the following information: topic, background, objectives, methods, data and execution. It should also demonstrate that the author is familiar with his/her topic and related research.

    The research plan should be at most 6 pages long (minimum font size 12 points, 2.5 cm margins all around). In addition, enclose references and a cover sheet stating your name and the title of your study with your research plan. Please use page numbers.

    The research plan should include the following:

    1. A clear description of the aims, research questions and importance of the planned study

    In the introduction, introduce readers to the topic, state your reasons for selecting that topic and specify the objectives of the study. Present your topic and state clearly why it is important to study it. Good reasons include a lack of previous research, social significance, practical need, etc. Please bear in mind that an idea is not the same as a topic; to formulate your topic, you must define your subject area, select an approach, familiarise yourself with previous research and place your study in that context. What is already known about the topic?

    Formulate your research problem and related research questions in as much detail as possible. What are you actually studying? Formulate your research questions in such a way that you can answer them.

    2. Background and central state of the art references

    Introduce the key theoretical premises and main concepts of your study.

    3. Description of research methods and materials (i.e. data) to be collected

    Tell readers how you will answer your research questions. If your study is empirical, your research plan should specify your research data and methods. You can describe them in more detail later, but try to be as specific as possible. How will you access or produce your data? How will you acquire your research subjects? How will you analyse your data?

    Consider possible ethical matters. If you are not sure whether your study has any ethical considerations, refer to the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity, available online at .

    4. Expected results and their contribution in respect to earlier research

    Outline what new information your study will produce. How and where can this information be used?

    5. Time schedule, resources and financing plan

    Draw up a schedule describing when and how you will conduct your study and when you plan to publish your findings (e.g. planned conference and journal publications, software releases etc.). If you want, you can enclose a preliminary disposition with your research plan. What are the necessary 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. If your dissertation research is a part of a bigger whole, for example a part of a consortium or an academy project, find out the way in which you are dependent of the output of the other subprojects, include a risk analysis in the plan in case the consortium is not able to produce, for example, an application essential for your thesis.

    Draw up a short description on how you are going to finance your studies. Are you going to study full time or part time? Name the prospective sources of funding.


    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.

    Admission results and appeals

    The selection results are announced before the beginning of the following term. The selections made in spring 2019 are announced by 14 June, 2019

    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,

    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 11 July 2019 at 3 pm Finnish 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 Registrar's Office. More detailed instructions on enrolment are enclosed with the letter of acceptance. Before enrolling, a new doctoral student must present at the Faculty office the original certificates and transcript for the degrees and studies he/she has referred to in his/her application and their authorised translations in English, if the originals are in another language.

    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.