2016 Doctoral Main pic

photo: Kreetta Järvenpää

Doctoral (PhD) degrees

In Finland, Doctoral level education is provided by the universities. Our universities of applied sciences (UAS) do not offer Doctoral level degrees.

A Doctoral postgraduate degree usually will take you approximately 4 years to complete and consists of 240 ECTS credits.

Research and the preparation of a substantial Doctoral thesis are essential parts of the Doctoral degree. The doctoral thesis is published and must be defended in a public disputation.

In addition to research, Doctoral programmes include further studies in the chosen discipline and also in your specific field of research.

In Finnish universities, Doctoral level studies can be available either as ready-made Doctoral programmes (use the search function at Studyinfo.fi) or as tailor-made Doctoral level study and research opportunities. So, if you wish to work for a doctoral thesis in Finland, you should contact the university or relevant university department directly and make sure that your own field of specialisation is represented there. The university can then answer questions regarding when and how to apply.

How to apply to Doctoral studies?

You can apply for doctoral studies as soon as you have obtained your Master's degree. Please see the section Doctoral admissions - you can find the Finnish universities' Doctoral Admissions sites listed on that page. The Doctoral application times depend on the university.

Fees and scholarship options

On Doctoral level, there are no tuition fees charged regardless of your nationality. You should however have enough financing to cover your everyday living costs independently.

There are Doctoral level scholarship options offered both on a national level (EDUFI scholarships) and also sometimes by the universities themselves. Please refer to the section Tuition fees and scholarships for info and advice!