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.
Extent of studies
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.
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.
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: Associate Professor Johannes Riquet (johannes.riquet [at] tuni.fi).
Doctoral Programme in Language Studies
Doctoral Admission April 2021
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.
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 max.10 new doctoral students based on the application rounds for the academic year 2020-2021.
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 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.
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.
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 2021 will be during 1-30 April 2021. 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.
Before applying for admission, applicants must contact a professor from the field of their proposed major subject or a potential supervisor so that they are able to draw up a research plan and a preliminary study and supervision plan.
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 studyinfo.fi. 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)
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. 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.
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 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, on 9 July 2021 at the latest. 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 9 July 2021 at the latest, and register as a university student in the manner specified in the acceptance letter.
New doctoral students must enrol acconding to the instructions given in 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.