Students of the Doctoral Programme in Languages and Communication complete a Doctor of Philosophy, PhD, degree. The aim of the program is to train scientific experts in languages and communication with national and international connections.
The research fields of the programme are applied linguistics, communication studies, and culture and literature studies. Applied linguistics is especially focused on professional languages and communication, language acquisition and immersion, and translation studies. The programme is connected to the following research teams: Bilingualism and Communication in Organizations (BiLingCo), Knowledge and Action in Specialized Communication (KASC), Language Acquisition, Language Teaching and Language Contact in Multilingual Contexts (ReACT), and Intercultural Phenomena in Time (IPIT).
The studies of the programme consist of courses on research work and skills, and courses that prepare for working life. These include courses on research theory, methods, ethics and in-depth examination of current scientific research and discussion. The courses on working life consist of training for work in the academic, public and private sectors.
The programme is in cooperation with the national doctoral programme in language studies (Langnet) and the Graduate School of Communication Studies. The programme members organize national seminars and courses in collaboration with the said schools. Additionally, the programme utilizes the extensive international network of its research groups.
The leader of the Doctoral Programme is Professor Esa Lehtinen.
The Graduate School of the University of Vaasa is looking for motivated, talented and research-oriented students to its doctoral programmes.
There are two application periods for doctoral studies at the university annually. The application deadlines are 30 April and 15 November each year. The students apply for admission to the doctoral programmes, and the primary study right is given for a doctorate degree. A doctorate degree consists of doctoral studies and research work. The main emphasis in the degree is put on the research work. The estimated duration of a doctorate degree is 4 years with full-time studies.
A supervisor or supervisors are appointed to each and every doctoral student, and students agree on the main principles of the supervision with their supervisors. The Graduate School of the University of Vaasa follows students’ progress in their studies and research work regularly.
There are no tuition fees or other mandatory fees for doctoral students. Doctoral students may become members of the Student Union by paying the Student Union fee which entitles them to use the services of the student union. Please note, however, that doctoral students are not entitled to other student benefits of the Student Union, e.g. student health care, subsidised meals or discounts on travelling fares.
This school offers programs in:
Eligibility for doctoral studies
Eligible for studies leading to an academic doctorate degree shall be a person who has completed
- an applicable higher university degree;
- an applicable higher polytechnic degree; or
- an applicable education completed abroad which in the awarding country gives eligibility for corresponding higher education.
The university may require a student admitted to study for an academic postgraduate degree complete the necessary supplementary studies in order to acquire the knowledge and skills needed for the studies. (Universities Act 558/2009 Section 37.)
The Graduate School of the University of Vaasa requires that the doctoral student candidates have adequate knowledge in the study field of their doctoral theses. The applicants should have completed their previous degree with at least the grade ’Good’ and have been awarded the grade ’Good’ or higher for their Master’s thesis (grade ‘Good’, 3/5 or other equivalent grade). In special cases, additional studies supplementing the awarded grade or other qualifying study attainments may be taken into account in the admission process. The applicants should also present a proof of their language proficiency.
Eligibility for doctoral studies is assessed on the basis of the previous degrees which must be completed before the study right for doctoral studies begins. In the case of the application period ending on 30 April, the previous degree must be completed and the degree certificate awarded by 1 August. In the second application round of the year, the application period ends on 15 November, and the previous degree must be completed and the degree certificate awarded by 31 December.
Applicants who have not finished their Master's degree by the application deadline may apply for admission to the doctoral programme during the final year of their studies. However, the grade of their final thesis must be recorded to their transcript of record or the thesis supervisor must give a statement about the thesis and its grade before the application deadline. Eligibility to the programme is evaluated based on the thesis grade among other criteria. Therefore the thesis grade must be presented in the application for admission.
The admission criteria confirmed by the Faculties are applied to the selection of doctoral students. Admission criteria are available on the web pages of each Doctoral Programme.
Before submitting their application for doctoral studies, applicants may contact the professor responsible for the applicants’ field of study or the professor leading the research group which focuses on the field of the possible doctoral studies. Please note, however, that the professors may not be able to give individual guidance to all applicants. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the topic of doctoral thesis is acceptable and the preliminary research and study plan may be accepted. If needed, contact information of the professors is available at the Faculties’ webpages.
Applications to doctoral studies are submitted by filling in an electronic application form. (Application form will be available 2 months before the application deadline). The form created by the electronic system should be printed out, signed, and submitted to the university along with the required application enclosures. The application must be delivered to the university by 30 April or 15 November at 14:00 (Finnish time, GMT +2), depending on which application round of the year is in question.
Please fill in the application form carefully. Fields marked with a yellow asterisk (*) are obligatory. After filling in the required fields, submit the form by clicking on the 'Save' button at the bottom of the page. The system will generate a printable application form containing the information filled in to the system. Please remember to print out the generated form because you cannot log in to the system anymore once you have submitted the data, and the system does not send the prefilled form to your email address for safety reasons. If you fail to print the application form or save it on your computer, please fill in a new application in the system. Description of personal data file
Submitting the documents to the University
The form created by the electronic system should be printed out, signed, and submitted to the university along with the required application enclosures by the deadline (30 April or 15 November at 14:00, GMT +2).
Only the applications which are submitted to the university in paper by the deadline are taken into account in the selection process.
The doctoral programme, degree, and major subject must be clearly stated in the application. A preliminary study plan for doctoral studies is also included in the application form. The study plan should describe the contents and schedule of doctoral studies. More detailed information about the degree structure and requirements of doctorate degrees are available at the handbooks for doctoral studies.
The following documents must be enclosed in the application for doctoral studies:
- Degree certificates
- Transcript of Records of the previous degrees and explanation of the grading scale
- Photocopy of passport's information page
- Proof of language proficiency
- Curriculum Vitae. Please use the Europass CV form
- Preliminary research plan. The research topic of the doctoral thesis is presented in the research plan. The applicant should describe how the suggested topic is related to previous research in the field and how it is relevant to the interests of the University’s research groups. In addition to the description of the topic, the research plan must contain a preliminary schedule for the research, and a description of the material and methods applied to the work. Also, the applicant’s familiarity with the topic should be described in the research plan. Graduate School's guidelines for writing research plan
- A plan of financing the doctoral studies at the University of Vaasa
Applicants may also submit other, optional documents supporting their application to the University. These may include, for example, recommendations from professors of the applicant’s home university (Letter of Recommendation Form or free-form recommendation).
Language proficiency is to be verified in the application with one of the following options:
- TOEFL test results with minimum score of 580 in paper-based test or 92 in iBT (University Admissions Finland’s TOEFL institution code is 3138)
- IELTS test results (academic band) with minimum overall band score of 6.5 (each section minimum 5.5)
- PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic band) results with minimum overall score of 62
- National Certificate of Language Proficiency (arranged by Finnish National Board of Education before 2012) with minimum overall language proficiency level 5
- CPE test (Certificate of Proficiency in English) with pass grade A, B or C – ID number and secret code need to be provided on the copy of the certificate
- CAE test (Certificate in Advanced English) with pass grade A, B or C – ID number and secret code need to be provided on the copy of the certificate
- Certificate of secondary education completed in English language in an EU / EEA country, United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand
- Certificate of English as the A1 language as part of an International Baccalaureate examination (minimum grade 2)
- Certificate of English as the A2 language as part of an International Baccalaureate examination (minimum grade 5)
- Certificate of English as the A language (literature/language and literature/language and performance) as part of an International Baccalaureate examination (minimum grade 2)
- Certificate of English as the A language with a minimum grade of Magna Cum Laude Approbatur as part of a Finnish Matriculation examination
- Certificate of English as the LI language as a part of European Baccalaureate examination (minimum grade 4)
- Certificate of English as the LII language as a part of a European Baccalaureate examination (minimum grade 7)
- Bachelor's or Master's degree conducted in English language in an EU / EEA country, United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand
- Doctoral degree conducted in English language in an EU/EEA country, United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand
- Bachelor's or Master's degree with English (language/literature/philology) as the major subject
- English language studies included in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree conducted in Finland
- Studies as exchange student at the University of Vaasa
Please note that applicants applying for doctoral studies in the Doctoral Programme in Languages and Communication may not necessarily need a certificate of English language proficiency. If the applicants apply for admission to studies in a specific language, they are expected to have finished their Master's degree on an appropriate field and thus be fluent in the respective language.
Before submitting your documents directly to the University of Vaasa, please consult the following country-specific requirements that may concern you.
Note that the country-specific requirements apply to the country where the degree has been obtained.
Scholarships in the Doctoral Programme in Business Studies
The candicates of the Doctoral Programme in Business Studies have the possibility to apply for sholarships to finance their studies in the programme. For more information about the requirements and application instructions, please vistit section Sholarships in the Doctoral Programme in Business Studies.
Results of the Application Rounds
The dean grants study rights for doctoral students based on a statement by a representative of the relevant study field. In addition to the evaluation of applicant’s eligibility for doctoral studies, applicant’s study and research plan and the available resources of the unit providing the supervision and courses for doctorate degrees are taken into account in the admission process. A primary supervisor and possible other supervisors are appointed to each student if their applications are successful.
Results of the application round are announced in writing to all the applicants after the decisions have been made. The study right of the students who submit their application by the deadline of 30 April and are accepted to the programme will begin on 1 August. The study right of the students who submit their application by the deadline of 15 November and are accepted to the programme will begin on 1 January. Students accepted to doctoral programmes may register as students of the university from 1 August / 1 January. Students must register as attending or non-attending every year throughout their studies. For information about the annual registration, please visit the section Studies.
Doctoral students should start their studies as soon as possible after the decision of acceptance is served. International students (persons not residing permanently in Finland) must return a binding confirmation for accepting the offered study place to the university by the deadline mentioned in the acceptance documents. The accepted students must confirm their study plan and prepare a written agreement about the main principles and responsibilities of supervision in the doctoral studies together with their supervisors. The study plan is updated annually. The plan helps students to understand the structure of their studies, and it is also used to follow the progress in studies regularly.
Please note: Admission to postgraduate studies does not automatically include any grant or right to research facilities.
If you have questions about the application process or admission criteria, please contact the University by sending email to information(at)uva.fi