Doctoral Programme in Media, Communication and Performing Arts
The Doctoral Programme in Media, Communication and Performing Arts produces highly qualified experts and researchers to work in the fields of journalism, media research, game studies, communications, visual culture, audio research and the performing arts. What brings these disciplines together is an interest in the interplay between the semiotic and material nature of our world, the construction of performances that illustrate our social reality, the public nature of these professions and the dimensions of skills and social aspects, and how we understand communication that occurs through images, words, voices, interaction, bodily expression, play, games and stories.
The doctoral programme is unique in Finland as it is designed to not only develop an in-depth understanding of various scientific disciplines but also build bridges between them.
The doctoral programme places particular emphasis on combining theoretical ambitions and practical research in new and creative ways. The programme provides students with extensive theoretical and methodological expertise and prepares them for demanding research and teaching positions in academia, other specialist roles in the public and private sectors and in the sphere of academic, cultural, arts and science administration as well as challenging careers in the performing arts sector.
Extent of studies
Upon completion of the Doctoral Programme in Media, Communication and Performing Arts, students will be awarded either a scientific doctoral degree (Doctor of Social Sciences, Doctor of Philosophy) or an artistic doctoral degree (Doctor of Arts in Theatre and Drama).
The doctoral programme provides students who complete the degree of Doctor of Social Sciences or Doctor of Philosophy with an in-depth understanding of journalism, media, gaming, communications, visual culture, audio or the performing arts as well as related research perspectives, their impact on the broader society and technological advancements, and their relationships to the evolving practices of communication and performance.
Students who complete the degree of Doctor of Arts (Theatre and Drama) will develop an in-depth understanding of artistic work, or a part thereof, which is carried out through the art of acting in the performing arts scene. The required level of knowledge can be achieved by exploring methods based on artistic practices, engaging in artistic activity and employing different artistic approaches with a strong societal, theoretical or philosophical dimension. The goal is to produce new professionals and operational methods in the field of performing arts in interaction with the broader society and its changing structures and thereby promote the impact and importance of the performing arts in Finland and beyond.
While working towards your doctoral degree, you will gain broad knowledge of your field of research and its societal significance and learn to apply the methods of scientific research independently and critically and utilise your expertise as a member of research groups and networks. You will develop research expertise in journalism, media, gaming, communications, visual culture, audio or the performing arts and be well-prepared to pursue an academic or specialist career in these fields. You will have the knowledge and skills to engage in independent and creative thinking in your own field of research and the ability to disseminate scientific knowledge and interact with the international scientific community. In addition, you will be familiar with the methods of collecting research data, the principles of research ethics, the latest research and national and international trends in your field, as well as with teaching and instructional practices.
The doctoral programme is aligned with Tampere University’s strategy, which places an emphasis on research that explores topical social phenomena and on fostering multidisciplinary research. The themes highlighted in the strategy include the future of well-being, sustainable cities, gamification and extended reality, and the revolution of light and image.
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.
Doctoral Programme in Media, Communication and Performing Arts
Doctoral Admission April 2021
General eligibility for scientific and artistic doctoral programmes
Provisions concerning eligibility for scientific doctoral studies are set out in the Finnish Universities Act (2009/558, section 37). You will be eligible for admission to a scientific or artistic licentiate or doctoral programme if you have completed:
- an applicable master’s degree awarded by a university;
- an applicable master’s degree awarded by a university of applied sciences; or
- an applicable foreign degree, which in the awarding country confers eligibility to pursue an equivalent university degree.
In addition, persons who the University deems to have otherwise acquired the required knowledge and skills may be admitted as students.
The recognition of applicants’ previous studies and general eligibility will be assessed by a professor in the field of their major subject or a teacher authorised by such a 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.
Up to 12 new students may be admitted to the Doctoral Programme in Media, Communication and Performing Arts in the academic year 2020/21.
The goal of our admissions policy is to attract talented, motivated and committed doctoral students.
Your academic aptitude will be assessed against the following criteria:
- the scientific level, clarity, relevance and feasibility of your research plan and the fit of your proposed research topic within the scope of the doctoral programme;
- the fit of your study plan, existing degree and previously completed studies within the scope of the doctoral programme;
- your existing knowledge and skills and language skills required for completing the degree;
- your level of motivation and previous experience;
- the availability of competent supervision;
- the availability of the required research infrastructure and your funding plan.
Application deadlines and instructions
Applications for admission to the Doctoral Programme in Media, Communication and Performing Arts will be invited twice a year, in April and October.
The call for applications for students who will start their studies in the autumn of 2021 will be open from 1 April to 30 April 2021. The call will close at 15.00 (EET / UTC+2).
The application deadlines will be separately confirmed on an annual basis.
Prospective students apply for admission by filling out an online application form. The field of research must be specified in the application form.
PLEASE NOTE: These places concern study rights only, they are not funded places.
Fields of research included in the Doctoral Programme in Media, Communication and Performing Arts and related priority areas:
Journalism: research on journalistic work; journalism as a profession; the role of journalism in society; visual journalism; public participation; digitalisation.
Media studies: the role of media in society; critical technology research, media and the economy of emotions; audio research; research in visual cultures; media theory; media education.
Game studies: research on gamers, gaming experiences, game cultures and game production from critical and societal perspectives; game analysis.
Communication studies: workplace communication; communicating about health and well-being; digital interaction; political communication.
Performing arts: artistic and scientific research in the performing arts (Doctor of Arts in Theatre and Drama, Doctor of Philosophy).
Electronic application form
Please apply for admission through the online application system of Finnish higher education institutions at the studyinfo.fi website. For more information, please go to: About Studydinfo. The link to the online application form is available on the Studyinfo website when the call for applications is open.
Application and the required attachments
- a separate abstract (max. 300 words) where you sum up your key research problems and the implementation of your research and place your study within the context of the existing body of knowledge;
- a research plan (max. 6 pages) where you go into more detail and describe your research topic, your reasons for choosing this topic, the starting points for your research, the research problem, the position of your research within the existing body of knowledge, and the implementation of your research (See below: Instructions for drawing up a research plan);
- a preliminary study and supervision plan; we recommend you fill out the study and supervisory plan;
- copies of both your bachelor’s degree certificate and master's degree certificate (or equivalent) and transcripts that list that courses and units counted towards your degrees;
- copies of other certificates that demonstrate your completion of previous studies in a higher education institution;
- a certificate of language proficiency, if necessary (see the language requirements further down this page);
- you can also provide the contact details is no more than two referees.
Applicants who completed the master’s degree outside of Finland must also provide the following attachments:
- A copy of a written work that is equivalent to a master’s thesis. An abstract written in English must also be included if the thesis is written in a language other than English.
In addition, there are further country-specific guidelines concerning the delivery of degree certificates and transcripts. See above the instructions on language proficiency tests.
If you have not yet secured a research supervisor, you must contact the head of doctoral programme who will help you connect with potential supervisors before you submit your application.
Instructions for drawing up a research plan
Your research plan may not exceed 6 pages. The margins must be 2.5 throughout. The font size must be Times New Roman 12, Arial 11 or similar. Your research plan must include a list of references, a separate abstract (max. 300 words) and a title page displaying your name and the title of your study. The title page, summary 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 related existing body of knowledge. Your research plan must not only be logical and coherent but also concrete enough to enable a reviewer who is not a subject specialist to assess its feasibility.
Your research plan must include the following information:
1. Research topic, basic problems and goals (what makes this research important)
Your research plan should begin with an introduction to your research topic, your reasons for choosing this topic, and your research goals. You must present your proposed research topic and clearly explain why it is important. The rationale of your research can be, for example, that it fills a gap in the existing body of knowledge, the topic is important from a broader societal perspective or a practical perspective, etc. What kind of knowledge are you looking to generate? What is the starting point 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 are the questions that you are looking to answer? 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 kind of knowledge you are looking to generate and how you plan to address your research questions. If you are proposing 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. How will you access or collect data? How will you invite potential participants to take part in your study? 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. Read more:
- 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 the 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 also include a preliminary disposition of your study in your research plan. You must describe the resources you need for your study (such a description of the current state of the research, the required research infrastructure, funding plan, supervisors, a description of the research environment/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 sub-projects and who is responsible for completing them. Your independent contribution to the project must be clearly described. Your description must also include a risk assessment in case the consortium is not able to complete, for example, 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, indicate whether you will study on a full-time or part-time basis as well as include a list of the sources of funding, if applicable.
When considering applications, we may invite applicants for an interview to assess their aptitude and abilities. The results of an assessment relating to an individual applicant are not public. We reserve the right to refuse admission if we are unable to find a suitable supervisor for an applicant.
The selection results are announced before the beginning of the following term. The selections made in autumn 2020 are announced by 18 June, 2021.
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, 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 study place
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 according 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.