Doctoral Programme in Language Studies

The Doctoral Programme in Language Studies is offered for doctoral students majoring in the study of languages and translation. A doctoral student may earn his/her degree in one of the following disciplines:

  • English Philology
  • Scandinavian Languages
  • Translation Studies (English, French, Swedish, German or Russian)
  • French Language
  • German Language and Culture
  • Finnish Language
  • Russian Language and Culture


LTL welcomes applications from students who hold a Master's degree in a field relevant to the programme. Suitable disciplines include English, Scandinavian Languages, French, German, Finnish, Russian, and Multilingual Communication and Translation Studies. Applicants must have completed advanced studies in their prospective major subject or a related subject. LTL may also accept other majors if they are compatible with the field the programme covers. In some cases, LTL may require the student to take supplementary courses; the need for supplementary courses is considered on a case-by-case basis.

The programme is an interdisciplinary postgraduate degree programme which combines the study of translation and interpreting with languages, literature and culture of certain language areas.  The programme's objective is to train doctors who master their field, have a strong methodological competence and can conduct multi-perspective interdisciplinary research.

The focus of the programme is on LTL's strengths and on establishing new links between existing research interests. In addition to conducting basic linguistic research, i.e. studying situational variation and the structure of language, researchers examine the interaction of language and society, such as special languages and the linguistic challenges posed by globalised, multilingual and multicultural societies. There is a special emphasis on studying the intersections between language and culture, which includes the critical study of local and global cultural forms and sociocultural phenomena in a given language area. Key areas in translation studies include translation and interpreting as a profession and the sociology of translation.

The programme's expected graduation rate is three to five doctors a year. Graduates are generally hired to fill research and teaching positions and socially significant expert positions. Their employment prospects are excellent, and, according to a report by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the need for doctors in the field of linguistics is growing in Finland.  (The report is available in Finnish only.)

The programme's head professor is Minna Nevala. LTL's Postgraduate Committee acts as the programme's governing body.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course unit, the student will be able to conduct independent academic study. The student will have a deep understanding of their own field of research and the ability to follow the current academic discussions in this field. They will have an extensive grasp on the theories, scientific approaches, research methods, and analytical conventions of their field and be able to adapt and develop this knowledge into new theories and methods in their area of specialty. The student will be able to express and justify their own view of the societal and scientific impact of the research conducted in their field. The student will understand the requirements of being a professional researcher and be capable of taking an active part in the international academic community. The student will know their own field of research intimately in order to understand and follow new developments in this field and act as an expert in their field in a variety of different and changing environments. The student will be able to communicate both orally and in writing in the languages that are central to their research and be familiar with the language areas in question along with their cultural dimensions. The student will have a good command of scientific conventions, be familiar with the philosophy of science and its central questions, and be able to apply these in their research. They will be able to identify and source reliable information for the purposes of their research. The student will be able to partake in academic discussion independently, argue both critically and constructively, and convey researched information both orally and in writing. The student will have a general level of knowledge of the various fields of research in language, translation, and literary studies.

Study Planning and Guidance

Together with their instructor, the student will devise a written study and instruction plan, in which they agree upon the main instructor and the responsibilities both the student and the instructors shall have. In addition to a schedule, the student and the instructors will decide on a shared set of methods and conventions the instruction will adhere to. The instruction will support the student’s growth into an independent academic researcher and help build their academic expertise and career path. The student and the instructors will check and update the study and instruction plan together either annually or whenever the need arises.

Progressing in your Studies

The target time for completing a doctoral degree in the doctoral degree programme is 4 years / 240 ECTS (1 year / 1600 hours / 60 ECTS). These studies include 1) a dissertation (200 ECTS) and 2) other research- and expertise-related studies. The student can also complete a licentiate degree as an intermediary degree, which includes a licentiate’s thesis (100 ECTS) and other studies (40 ECTS).

Faculty of Communication Sciences