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Degree programme

International Doctoral Programme in Epidemiology and Public Health (IPPE)

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Excellence in research training and capacity building

The IPPE programme is a doctoral training programme for highly qualified epidemiologists, researchers and public health personnel worldwide who are aiming at a PhD degree in epidemiology or related public health discipline.

The main objectives are to increase knowledge and understanding of major public health problems, particularly in low-income countries, and to build sustainable public health capacity in these countries by working with global partners in the field. IPPE trains epidemiologists and public health personnel for leadership positions in research, administration, programme planning and policy development.

The IPPE programme consists of intensive theoretical and practical training in epidemiology, biostatistics and other public health sciences, weekly research seminars and individual supervision. Although the core epidemiology and biostatistics curriculum content is required for everyone, the students are given considerable latitude in selecting additional courses and the programme may be tailored to meet individual learning and professional goals.

The selected PhD candidates will spend the 2019-2020 academic year (August-May) in Tampere to complete the required coursework curriculum and to prepare a comprehensive research plan for their PhD thesis. The bulk of field research, data analysis and reporting, however, is generally conducted after completion of coursework either in Finland or abroad during 3-4 additional years.

Degree earned

Doctor of Health Sciences
Doctor of Medical Science
Filosofian tohtori


Postgraduate degree

Planned duration

4 years

Extent of studies

240 ECTS




Kauppi Campus

Study objectives

The Goverment degree on University Degrees (794/2004) regulates lower and higher academic degrees as well as scientific and artistic postgraduate degrees.

According to Section 21 of the degree, the aim of postgraduate education is that the student

  1. becomes well-versed in his/her own field of research and its social significance end gains knowledge and skills needed to apply scientific research methods independently and critically and to produce new scientific knowledge within his/her field of research

  2. becomes conversant with the development, basic problems and research methods of his/her own field of research

  3. gains such knowledge of the general theory of science and of other disciplines relating to his/her own field of research as enables him/her to follow developments in them.

The aim of postgraduate studies at Faculty of Social Sciences is to provide doctoral researches with the capabilities to successfully serve society in the role of a researcher, teacher or other type of expert.

A doctoral researcher must become well-versed his/her special field but also obtain a broad view of the health sciences in general.

The purpose of doctoral education is to adopt scientific thinking, internalize good scientific practices and master the diverse skills of a researcher.

More about the language of instruction

Teaching language is English.

Study contents

In the International Doctoral Programme in Epidemiology and Public Health (IPPE) the doctoral degree can be completed in one of the following fields of study:

  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Gerontology
  • Global Health and Development
  • Health Economics
  • Health Care Management
  • Health Services Research
  • Health Sociology
  • Occupational Health
  • Public Health
  • Social Psychiatry
  • Social and Health Policy

To be awarded a doctorate, a doctoral student must:

  1. complete the required doctoral studies
  2. demonstrate independent and critical thinking in the field of research
  3. write a doctoral dissertation and defend it in public

Each doctoral student must draw up a personal study plan and supervisory agreement together with his/ her supervisors. The plan must specify intended doctoral course work, 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.

Tuition fees

There are no tuition fees for doctoral programmes at TUNI. Thus TUNI does not have a scholarship system for international doctoral students.

Doctoral students are not eligible to the same students 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 the 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

International Doctoral Programme in Epidemiology and Public Health (IPPE) 240 ECTS

  • Orientation studies 5 ECTS
    • The school’s orientation studies 2 ECTS
    • The university’s postgraduate studies 3 ECTS
  • Methodology studies 8 ECTS
  • Field-specific postgraduate courses 8 ECTS
  • General research skills 6 ECTS
    • Research ethics and good research practices 1-4 ECTS
  • Regarding the IPPE course programme 30 ECTS
  • Dissertation and public defence 180 ECTS

A doctoral dissertation is an independent scientific thesis which must be defended in public.

You can read more about the degree structure and content of the studies on the Curricula Guide.

Final project

Studies and supervision in doctoral programmes are intended to last for four years and a doctoral degree should be completed in five years.

Carefully read through the admissions requirements before applying. For additional questions on applying, application documents and application process, please contact Secretary of doctoral studies Ms. Tiina Kangasluoma (ippe.doc.tau(a) Programme Director is Professor Pekka Nuorti MD, PhD, Professor of epidemiology ( Visit the programme website:    

International Doctoral Programme in Epidemiology and Public Health
Doctoral Admission, University of Tampere (IPPE), 2019
Doctoral Admission (IPPE) 2019

Eligibility criteria

Section 37 of the Finnish University Act (2009/558) defines eligibility for studies leading to a scientific or artistic postgraduate degree as follows:

An eligible person must have one of the following:

  1. an applicable higher university degree
  2. an applicable higher university of applied sciences degree or
  3. an applicable education completed abroad which in the awarding country gives eligibility for corresponding higher education.

Moreover, the Faculty of Social Sciences requires that applicants who have completed a higher university of applied sciences degree or a Master’s degree of less than 120 ECTS abroad demonstrate the following:  Familiarity with the key theoretical concepts of the field, foundations for scientific theory and research ethics, and mastery of the research methods at a level that is necessary for successfully completing a dissertation. This proficiency must be demonstrated by providing an account of completed studies related to the
above-mentioned areas. The account must indicate the content and scope of the studies. Furthermore, the application must contain a summary and the final grade of the applicant’s thesis for the higher university of applied sciences degree.

The Universities Act stipulates that a University may require a postgraduate student to complete supplementary courses to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to complete a postgraduate degree in the arts or sciences.

Language skill requirements

In general, the doctoral programme follows the language requirements for academic English that have been set for international degree programmes at Tampere University. Thus, the applicant must submit evidence of good command of English for academic purposes. There are two ways of indicating English language proficiency: language tests and previous studies.

Language tests

We accept the following tests (minimum scores listed) as proof of good command of English:

  • TOEFL, Test of English as a Foreign Language: 90/Internet-based, 575/paper-based
  • (NB: scores from "TOEFL ITP / institutional testing programme" are not accepted.)
  • IELTS (Academic), International English Language Testing System: 6.5 with no individual score below 5.5
  • PTE (Academic), Pearson’s Test of Academic English: 62

Please note that the language test score must be valid during the application period. Language test results are valid for two years.

Previous studies

If you have one of the following, you do not need to submit a language test score:

A Master’s degree in completed in English language from a University in a EU/ EEA country, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States.


On the application rounds of 2018, the overall intake into doctoral programmes in the field of medicine and health sciences at the Faculty of Social Sciences is approximately 30 new students per academic year. The programmes are: the International Doctoral Programme in Epidemiology and Public Health, Doctoral Programme in Health Sciences, and Doctoral Programme in Medicine.

Admission procedure

The Scientific Postgraduate Committee assesses the ability and commitment of the applicants according to the following principles:

  • The scientific quality of the research plan, the suitability of the methods and materials to the research question, the realism and clarity of the research plan
  • The suitability of the research topic for the Doctoral Programme
  • The practical or theoretical relevance of the research in its own field
  • The realistic feasibility of the study plan
  • The applicant’s academic success at undergraduate and graduate level
  • The applicant’s methodological and theoretical abilities
  • The applicant’s language proficiency
  • The availability of competent supervision resources within the Faculty

The Scientific Postgraduate Committee may also assess the applicant’s level of suitability and motivation by interviewing him/her. 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.

    1. Curriculum vitae (max. 5 pages)
    2. Motivation letter (max. 1 page)
      The motivation letter describes your personal goals for PhD studies It should address the following:
      •            Why do you want to pursue doctoral studies in the IPPE Programme?
        • How will PhD studies complement your previous education and professional experience?
        • What new skills and opportunities are you looking for in the IPPE Programme?
        • How do you plan to use the experience gained in IPPE training after completing the PhD degree? What are your future career goals?
    3. Research plan (Please see detailed guidelines, max. 6 pages including summary and references)
    4. Photocopies of degree certificate(s) and official transcript(s) of records certified by a notary public (as a single pdf-file)
    5. Certificate of proficiency in English for academic purposes. For this requirement,
      no exceptions will be granted. Please see: Language proficiency criteria
    6. Copy of your passport



You must be able to prove your educational background by means of officially authenticated copies of your documents. (Please note! IPPE programme has its own deadlines, which are on this page.) 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.

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

How to apply

The call for applications for the doctoral programme in international programme in epidemiology and public health is organised every other year.

The next application period is November- December, 2020. The application period ends at 15.00 (Finnish time).

Applicants who qualify for the second stage of the selection process will be invited to video interviews which are held in February 2021.

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.

Admission results and appeals

The selection results for spring are announced at the latest 1 April, 2019. Applicants are notified of the selection results by e-mail.

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, Registry (Kirjaamo), 33014 University of Tampere, Finland.

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 the University of Tampere by 15 April, 2019 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 TUNI 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.