Doctor of Philosophy (in Education)

Learning outcomes

The objective of the doctoral studies in education is to provide skills to act as a researcher. It also provides skills for teaching positions and other extensive and demanding expert and development duties.


The objectives of postgraduate studies are defined in the decree (794/2004) passed by the Finnish Government on the change in the decree on university degrees (2013/1039). According to this, a person who has completed the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (in Education) has
1) familiarised themselves with the study field of education and training and its social significance in depth;
2) acquired skills to independently and critically apply methods of scientific research and produce new scientific information;
3) familiarised themselves well with the development, basic problems and research methods of the study of education and training;
4) acquired a level of knowledge concerning the general philosophy of science and other study fields related to their study field, which enables the following of their development;
5) acquired sufficient communication and language skills and other abilities to act in extensive and demanding expert and development positions and international cooperation in working life.

Content

A Postgraduate degree completed in the Faculty of Education, University of Turku, is usually the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (in Education). The doctoral degree (240 credits) is measured and supervised so that it can be completed, studying full-time, in four years. The work input of 1,600 hours, required for completing the studies of one academic year, corresponds to 60 credits. This makes one credit approximately 27 hours of studying.


According to the University of Turku Regulation on Studies the degrees of Kasvatustieteen tohtori (Doctor of Philosophy, in Education) and Filosofian tohtori (Doctor of Philosophy) may be completed in the Faculty of Education. The degree is selected according to the previous studies and/or research theme when applying for doctoral studies. The degree can be changed by submitting a freeform application (including the grounds for the change) to the Steering Committee of the Doctoral Programme. The application must be submitted before the draft of the dissertation is submitted for preliminary examination. The Steering Committee of the Doctoral Programme deals with the applications.


The degrees of Doctor of Philosophy (in Education) or Licentiate of Philosophy (in Education) can be completed with Education, Adult education, Special education or Craft education as the main subject. The main subject is selected according to the previous studies and/or research theme when applying for doctoral studies. The main subject can be changed by submitting a freeform application (including the grounds for the change) to the Board of the Doctoral Programme.


The doctoral studies of the Faculty of Education emphasise multidisciplinarity, extensive range and internationality. Graduating doctors are guaranteed skills not only for academic researcher careers but also for other demanding expert and development positions. The studies included in the degree support dissertation research and the development of scientific expertise in educational sciences.


The doctoral candidate's unfinished studies will not expire, but postgraduate studies are always carried out in compliance with the effective curriculum. The new curricula become effective in the beginning of August. Doctoral candidates accepted before 1 August, 2016 may complete their studies according to the curriculum 2014-2016 until 31 July, 2018.


A Licentiate of Education (scientifically oriented curriculum) who wishes to continue to a doctoral degree writes a dissertation (180 ECTS credits).


Study modules included in the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (in Education):
A Doctoral dissertation and its public defence, 180 ECTS credits.
B Studies in the field of education and relevant for the development of expertise, 60 ECTS credits.

Prerequisites

Eligible for studies leading to an academic postgraduate degree is a person who has completed (Universities Act 558/2009, Section 37):
1) an applicable higher university degree
2) an applicable higher polytechnic degree; or
3) 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 Faculty of Education provides the degrees of Kasvatustieteen tohtori (Doctor of Philosophy, in Education) and Filosofian tohtori (Doctor of Philosophy). The degrees can be completed with Education, Adult education, Special education or Craft education as the main subject. The degree and main subject are selected according to the previous studies and/or research theme when applying for doctoral studies.


Admission to postgraduate studies requires that the Faculty finds the applicant's previous degree and education to provide sufficient skills for the postgraduate degree carried out in the Faculty's subjects. Applicant's former degrees must include a sufficient amount of studies in educational sciences or other fields relevant for the Doctoral Programme. The Steering Committee of the Doctoral Programme evaluates the validity of the previous degree for doctoral training. The Doctoral Programmes may require supplementary studies for attaining sufficient educational preparedness. Supplementary studies cannot be included in the postgraduate degree.


The grade of the master's thesis should be at least 3 (on a scale from 1 to 5) or cum laude approbatur. This requirement does not apply to those with a foreign higher university degree. It is also possible to apply for postgraduate studies with a lower grade, if the applicant presents sufficient scientific evidence. A peer-reviewed article with a publishing channel (journal, series or publisher) of at least level 1 in the publication channel rating and where the applicant is listed as the first author can be considered sufficient scientific evidence. For more information on the publication channel rating, visit the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies website: http://www.julkaisufoorumi.fi/en.


In addition, it's required that the applicant provides in the application a supervisor who meets the requirements of the faculty and who has approved the research plan and agreed to be the first supervisor of the research.


ADMISSION CRITERIA

The applicant's abilities and commitment for completing the doctoral degree successfully are evaluated according to the following criteria:
- the quality of the research plan: including the innovativeness of the research theme, the clarity of the research plan and the viability of the research,
- the success in the earlier studies, research experience and motivation to complete the doctoral degree,
- the international orientation and the language skills required for the studies,
- the realism of the financial plan and the time-management plan.


When granting the study right, in addition to the skills and abilities of the applicant, also the following issues are evaluated:
- the sufficiency of the supervision resources and the expertise of the supervisor for the research theme proposed in the application
- the suitability of the research for the doctoral programme.


The study right will not be granted if the applicant does not meet the conditions of the selection criteria or if the applicant does not fit in the set quotas in comparison.


Those carrying out postgraduate studies elsewhere must present a reason for transferring to the Faculty of Education of the University of Turku in their application. In addition, a written consent from a previous supervisor is required. Otherwise, applying for the postgraduate studies is carried out in compliance with the normal selection criteria and practices decided by the faculty. A student can have only one study right for a doctoral degree in the University of Turku at a time.


APPLICATION PROCESS FOR POSTGRADUATE STUDIES

The right to pursue a doctoral degree is applied for by filling in an application form in the electronic application system and submitting the required additional documents by the end of the application period. The application period for postgraduate studies occurs twice a year. The right to study begins in the beginning of the next semester. The application period is in line with the recommendation of the University of Turku Graduate School (UTUGS). In the academic year 2016-2017, the application periods are 1-19 September, 2016 and 1-20 March, 2017. The application periods for the academic year 2017-2018 are announced later. The application periods and instructions for applying are announced on the Faculty's doctoral studies website http://www.utu.fi/en/units/edu/research/phd-studies/admission/Pages/home.aspx


Those applying for a right to study for a doctoral degree, select the Doctoral Programme which most corresponds to their research subject in the application phase. A maximum of 24 doctoral candidates per academic year are admitted into the faculty. The quota is divided so that a maximum total of 12 doctoral candidates can be selected for both doctoral programmes of the faculty (OPPI and KEVEKO) a year (i.e. 6 doctoral candidates per application round per Doctoral Programme).


The Steering Committee of the Doctoral Programme handles the applications and organises the student selection. The Faculty's Vice Dean in charge of research approves the new students on the basis of the Steering Committee's proposition. The applicant receives a notice on the decision personally. The unfavourable decision includes the grounds for the rejection and appeal instructions.


SUPERVISION OF POSTGRADUATE STUDIES

Those planning postgraduate studies must before applying for the study right contact a professor or docent supervising the faculty's postgraduate studies, present a preliminary research plan and discuss the research and carrying out postgraduate studies. It is recommended that the applicant start their application process as early as approximately six months before applying for postgraduate studies by participating in the so-called orientation phase, during which they, for instance, take part in their future supervisor's postgraduate seminars and fulfil their study and research plan with the guidance of the supervisor. When a professor or a docent employed by the Department of the Faculty (Department of Education/Department of Teacher Education), has approved the research plan and agreed to be the first supervisor of the research, the applicant can submit an application in the next application period. After the application period ends, the professor or docent who has agreed to be the first supervisor fills in an evaluation form on the applicant and their research plan and delivers the evaluation directly to the Research and Postgraduate Education Officer.


A list of the Faculty's postgraduate study supervisors and their research areas can be found in the doctoral studies website http://www.utu.fi/en/units/edu/research/phd-studies/supervisors/Pages/home.aspx. If the applicant has not provided a supervisor in their application, the application is dismissed and won't be evaluated by the Steering Committee of the Doctoral Programme.


When receiving admission for postgraduate studies, the student will be appointed at least two supervisors, of whom at least the main supervisor should be from the Faculty of Education. The main supervisor should be a professor or a docent employed in the Faculty (Department of Education or Department of Teacher Education). The other supervisor should be at least a doctor. If needed, for instance due to a special nature of the research subject, a third supervisor can be appointed, and they should be at least a doctor. No fees are paid for supervisors outside the university, unless special funding is available and the fees can be paid from it.


THE APPLICATION FORM AND ENCLOSURES

The right to pursue a doctoral degree is applied for by filling in a form in the electronic application system and delivering the following enclosures:
1. Research plan (see the instructions on the website of the Faculty).
2. Curriculum vitae (including a list of publications, see the instructions on the website of the Faculty).
3. A motivation letter (reasons for applying for doctoral studies in the University of Turku, Faculty of Education)
4. A copy of degree certificates and transcript of study records (see the instructions on the website of the Faculty)
5. Certification of language skills (see below Demonstration of language skills)
6. Those carrying out postgraduate studies elsewhere must present a reason for transferring to the University of Turku, Faculty of Education in their application. In addition, a written consent from a previous supervisor is required.
IN ADDITION
7. An evaluation on the research plan and the applicant's ability to carry out the doctoral degree filled in by the supervisor (the supervisor delivers the evaluation directly to the Faculty of Education).


CERTIFICATION OF LANGUAGE SKILLS

The applicants are required to have knowledge in Finnish or English language to be able to participate in the teaching and communicate with the university's members of the staff. In practice, knowledge of the English language is required always when working in an international science community. Those applying for a right to study must prove their knowledge of English or Finnish as described below.


Acceptable language tests and the minimum scores are:
- International English Language Testing Service (IELTS, Academic) with an overall band score of 6.5 and no individual score below 6.0,
- Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL, Academic) with a minimum score of 575 on the paper-based test or minimum score of 92 and no individual score below 20 on the internet-based test,
- Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with pass grade C or higher,
- Pearson Test of English, Academic (PTE A) with a minimum overall score of 62 and no individual score below 54.
- Test for the National Certificate of Language Proficiency in English set by the Finnish National Board on Education with a minimum score of 5 for each subtest.


Language skills are considered sufficient and no language tests are required, if the applicant
has completed a higher education degree and studies required for the degree
-in a university or polytechnic in Finland
-in a university or polytechnic in EU/ETA countries in English. The language of the degree must appear from the degree certificate, diploma supplement, transcript of study records or other official document awarded by the university in question.
-in a university located in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand in English.
has completed a comprehensive or secondary education in Finnish.
has completed an upper secondary education in the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland or New Zealand in English. In this case, a degree certificate of the upper secondary education must be enclosed to the application.

Further information

The function of the University of Turku Graduate School, UTUGS, (http://www.utu.fi/en/research/utugs/Pages/home.aspx) is the organisation of systematic, high-quality and directed doctoral education with a controlled duration. UTUGS coordinates the doctoral training at the University of Turku. UTUGS has 16 Doctoral Programmes of which the Faculty of Education manages two. All students taking a doctoral degree in the Faculty of Education are included in one of the Faculty's Doctoral Programmes. Those applying for study rights for a doctoral degree select the Doctoral Programme which most corresponds to their research subject in the application phase.


The Doctoral Programmes of the Faculty of Education and their contents are:


Doctoral Programme on Educational Policy, Lifelong Learning and Comparative Education Research (KEVEKO)

The Doctoral Programme KEVEKO studies learning and education as a part of human life cycle and as a social and cultural activity. Education is mainly studied as a social phenomenon.

The programme is especially linked to research conducted at the Department of Education and Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education (CELE). Professor Risto
Rinne acts as the head of the programme.

The research and doctoral training themes of the KEVEKO Doctoral Programme are:
- studies of the premises, changes and effects of the educational policy of Finland, EU and supranational organisations in all levels of education (study of educational policy, study of educational history, study of areas, nation states and global transitions)
- education, degrees and student flows as part of the new global information economy and constructions of the human capital (study of politics, economics of education)
- studies of the evaluation and administration of education and lifelong learning, covering the different types of mechanisms and tools in the evaluation of elementary schools, special education, upper secondary education, higher education and adult education (interdisciplinary evaluation study, management study)
- international comparative research both in the level of school systems and in different levels of education from the perspectives of citizens and politics (study of the sociology of education, comparative research, university research, study of the connections between adult education and working life, child and youth research)

The programme is meant for fulltime doctoral candidates as well as practitioners in the field, who do their doctoral studies along with work. The dissertation can either be composed of peer-reviewed articles or be a monograph.


Doctoral Programme on Learning, Teaching and Learning Environments Research (OPPI)

The Doctoral Programme OPPI educates internationally oriented professional researchers and experts in learning, teaching and learning environments who promote development activity based on scientific evidence in different fields of education.

The Doctoral Programme is especially linked to research conducted at the Department of Teacher Education and the Centre for Learning Research (OTUK).Professor Erno Lehtinen acts as the head of the programme.

The research and doctoral training themes of the OPPI Doctoral Programme are:
- studies of the long-term learning processes of basic skills (reading, mathematics, natural sciences) and the related motivation, metacognition and social processes
- studies of the possibilities of new technology in learning situations at schools, universities and working life and the reflection of social and technological changes in the development of expertise in different fields
- studies of teaching and teacher education, e.g. studies of teachers' pedagogical thinking and ethical and moral challenges of teaching, of teaching and learning different school subjects, and of multicultural education, immigrants' educational paths and learning and teaching from the perspective of cultural variety.

The Doctoral Programme OPPI is primarily for producing dissertations based on articles published in international scientific journals. An article-based dissertation is required from those in paid doctoral candidate positions.


Both Doctoral Programmes KEVEKO and OPPI take part in the Finnish Multidisciplinary Doctoral Training Network on Educational Sciences (FinEd), see http://www.utu.fi/en/units/edu/units/fined/Pages/home.aspx.


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