Doctoral studies

The doctoral degree consists of dissertation research and postgraduate studies. Depending on the research field, the scope of studies is either 40 ECTS or 60 ECTS and they include general scientific studies, methodological studies and studies in the research field. A more detailed structure of the studies can be found in the study guide.

The studies of each doctoral student are planned at the very beginning of the studies together with the supervisor so that they support the research work to be done and the student's competence needs. The study plan needs to be updated regularly.

    Courses offered at the Graduate School

    The graduate school organizes general and introductory courses common to all doctoral students. Students can choose the courses best fitting for them together with their supervisors. The language of the courses is either Finnish or English. You will find all the course information and timetables for courses in the Study Guide.

    Registration for Graduate School courses is done via Peppi. To use WebOodi you need university user account and password. New doctoral students registered as attending for the current academic year can activate user accout as instructed by IT-Service. In case of any problems contact  HelpDesk at  helpdesk(at) or 029 449 8051.

    University of Vaasa is a member in many national as well as and international graduate schools and networks. These national graduate schools and networks also provide courses for doctoral students. Ask your supervisor for more information.

    Registration for courses in the autumn opens up in usually at the end of August, and courses in spring term usually in the beginning of January.



    Graduate School's Curriculumn 2020-22

    TOFO4056 Introduction to Doctoral Studies and Personal Study Plan (PSP)
    TOFO4011   Research Ethics 3 ECTS
    TOFO4057   Philosophy of Science and Critical Thinking 3 ECTS
    TOFO4049   Open science (online course) 1 ECTS
    TOFO4026   Managing doctoral research 3 ECTS
    TOFO4040   Researcher’s skills  1 ECTS
    TOFO4050   Writing Scientific Articles 2 ECTS
    TOFO4020   Writing Better Academic English 3 ECTS
    TOFO4054   Academic writing in social sciences 5 ECTS
    TITE4030     Information systems theories 5 ECTS

    TOFO4059    How to conduct and write a systematic literature review 3 ECTS
    TOFO4035    Mixed methods and longitudinal research 3 ECTS
    TOFO4061    Basics of structural equation modelling 3 ECTS
    TOFO4058    Data analytics in Applied Research 5 ECTS
    TOFO4032   Qualitative research methods 5 ECTS
    STAT3140     Applied multivariate statistics 5 ECTS
    TOFO4031   Graduate School Method seminar 1 ECTS

    TOFO4055   Project Management for Doctoral Reserch 2 ECTS
    TOFO4041   Social media for researchers 1 ECTS
    TOFO4048   Business skills for doctoral students 5 ECTS
    TOFO4053   Writing research grant proposal (online course) 1 ECTS
    TOFO4060   Interactive leadership skills 1 ECTS
    TOFO4038  Seminar of the Graduate School 1 ECTS

    See the Study Guide for more details.

    Studies in the research field

    The aim of the studies in the research field is to deepen the doctoral student's understanding of the field of the dissertation. In the studies, the doctoral students becomes acquainted with the scientific theory and theoretical tradition of his or her research field. They will  also become acquainted with the previous international and domestic research on the research field.

    Studies in the research field can be doctoral courses or other study attainments agreed with the supervisor. As a general rule, courses need to be at postgraduate level, unless otherwise stated in the curriculum. In addition to the University of Vaasa, courses can be completed also at other Finnish or foreign universities, doctoral education networks and summer/winter schools.

    Each doctoral student participates in a  research seminar, which is organized either by research groups or by research fields (majors). In addition to the student's  own research seminar, each doctoral student need to give presentation at least once at a national or international conference. Doctoral students need also become acquainted with dissertations in their own field of research and participate in dissertation events. See details in the Study Guide.

    Studies in the research field may also include literature packages containing scientific books and articles from the student's research field. Students complete these, for example, in the form of traditional written exams, essays or research paper, or an oral examination. The studies may also include other study attainments agreed with the supervisor as indicated in the curriculum of the doctoral program. These can be, for example, conference attendance, journal article/conference paper not included in the dissertation, various scientific assignments, co-supervision of MSc theses. See more information in the Study Guide.

    Graduate School

    Doctoral education networks

    Doctoral education networks offer universities a framework for educational collaboration. The networks organize joint seminars, courses, summer schools and events as well as promote networking and increase peer support among students. You will find information on studies, application periods and study contents from each networks homepage. Doctoral students shuld discuss the possibility of network studies with their supervisors.

    The doctoral programmes of the University of Vaasa are networked with both domestically and internationally:


    Additional doctoral courses

    The doctoral studies can also be completed at other universities with the agreement of the supervisor. Studies need to be on the doctoral level and support the research work. Studies are also offered by domestic and international doctoral education networks and summer schools. Academic units also provide some support for travel and course costs for studies elsewhere.