Doctoral Programme in Literary Studies

The Doctoral Programme in Literary Studies offers doctoral studies in Finnish Literature and Comparative Literature. Students may major in Comparative Literature regardless of the language area of their interest. LTL welcomes applications from students who have earned their Master's degree in Finnish Literature or Narrative Theory and Textuality at the University of Tampere, or in some other literary discipline at another university. Applicants who have specialised in narrative theory and textuality may apply regardless of their major. 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's focus is on studying the historical continuum of literature, current forms of Finnish and international literature, and literary phenomena as a part of the field of arts and culture. In literary history, there is a special emphasis on examining the defining characteristics of Finnish literature in relation to national and international culture and literary tradition. The programme also emphasises textuality, general and descriptive poetics, the development of concepts in relation to other disciplines, and the various intersections of literature, language and philosophy. The programme's faculty members participate actively in international discussion on narrative theory, which helps provide methodological tools for other disciplines studying texts both in the humanities and social sciences.

Research conducted in the programme in the above-mentioned fields is at the cutting edge in Finland, and it enjoys wide recognition internationally. It is therefore an attractive option for students coming from other universities.

The programme's expected graduation rate is two to three doctors a year. The programme has met this objective on a regular basis, with two doctoral degrees awarded every year. Graduates enjoy a good employment rate and are appointed to university-level research and teaching posts both in Finland and abroad.

The programme's head professor is Sari Kivistö. 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 literary studies as a field of research and the ability to follow the current academic discussions in their own field of study. They will have an extensive grasp on the theories, scientific approaches, research methods, and analytical conventions of literary studies 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 partake in discussions on the societal and scientific impact of the research conducted in their field. The student will know the field of literary studies intimately in order to understand, follow and further new developments and act as an expert in their field in a variety of different and changing environments. 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 familiar with the central literary phenomena relevant to their research and 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 understand the requirements of being a professional researcher and be capable of taking an active part in the international academic community.

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