Doctoral Programme of the Faculty of Social Sciences

Doctoral studies prepare students for employment as teaching or research staff in universities and other research institutions, or as lead professional specialists in non-academic establishments. Doctoral studies are research-based studies at the topmost level of higher education, during which the doctoral student acquires the necessary skills for independent research, development, and creative work. 

The programme consists of two modules:   

1. Research, Development and Creative Work module (5460 hours, equivalent to 210 ECTS credits);   

2. Study module (780 hours, equivalent to 30 ECTS credits).

Upon successful completion of the program, the student:
1.    Has thorough research-based knowledge of their speciality and its sub-disciplines together with its primary scientific paradigms and approaches; is up to date with their speciality’s modern developments and has comprehensive knowledge in their research field.
2.    Is fluent in their speciality’s research methods and methodology, is able to apply and modify, develop and expand these methods.
3.    Understands the interdisciplinary links their research field and speciality have with other disciplines.
4.    Is independent, creative, and innovative in their academic endeavours; assesses, analyses, and synthesizes new and research-heavy ideas.
5.    Disseminates their research and its results in a way that is substantiated, both in national and international research communication channels, such as seminars and conferences. 
6.    Publishes their new and original research in international peer-reviewed journals or collections.
7.    Applies principles of research communication in their outreach activities aimed at the public.
8.    Passes on their knowledge through various activities, such as teaching or supervising, both inside of academia and outside of it.
9.    Applies self-reflection to the systematic analysis of acquired competencies and the need for self-improvement; develops their transferable skills.
10.    Is ethical in their conduct; follows good research practice and other good practice guidelines put forth by the university; follows good data management practice, and intellectual property and data protection policies.
 

Research, development and creative activities (RCD) module

The aim of the module is to complement and strengthen field-specific and speciality-specific research-based knowledge and skills. The doctoral student shall acquire the competence of conducting research, and transferable skills through independent research, development and creative work under the supervision of their supervisor(s), via practical experiences, participation in events and other activities.
The volume of this module is 5460 hours (corresponding to 210 ECTS).
 

Upon successful completion of the module, the doctoral student:
1.    Has thorough research-based knowledge of their specialty and has great command of their research field.
2.    Independently identifies and formulates speciality-specific research questions and/or hypotheses; applies speciality-specific methodology to answer research questions and for testing hypotheses.
3.    Initiates, plans and critically reviews research and development activities, and provides them with constructive feedback, including reviewing student theses.
4.    Follows good practices and regulations, such as good research practice and other good practices put forth by the university, as well as intellectual property and data protection policies.
5.    Presents and discusses their research and its results both orally and in writing to field-specific as well as non-academic audiences, including in at least one foreign language.
6.    Analyses and develops their self-management and teamwork skills.
7.    Analyses and develops their transferable skills.
8.    Passes on their knowledge through teaching, supervising or other activities.
 

The doctoral student shall:
1. Write a doctoral dissertation that complies with the requirements set in the Regulations for Doctoral Studies, following the progress review regulations set at their faculty.
2. Give at least one presentation at an international event of a high scientific standard, participate in international discussions regarding their research.
3. Actively participate in their speciality’s doctoral seminars.
4. Participate in research and development activities at their institute or faculty, including contributing to conducting research and development activities and participate in events organised by the Doctoral Centre.
5. Be involved in outreach activities, and pass on their knowledge through teaching or supervising.
6. Analyse their progress and professional development in collaboration with their supervisor(s), and report on the progress of their research and other academic activities during progress reviews.
 

Study module 

The aim of the module is to complement and strengthen field-specific and speciality-specific research-based knowledge and skills. The doctoral student shall acquire the competence of conducting research, and transferable skills through independent work, study courses, trainings and other activities.

The volume of this module is 780 hours (corresponding to 30 ECTS). 

Upon successful completion of the module, the doctoral student:
1.    Demonstrates thorough knowledge of their speciality and of the general research field.
2.    Has knowledge of and critically assess various research analysis methods.
3.    Analyses and develops their academic writing and international academic publishing skills.
4.    Analyses and develops their public speaking skills, applies standards related to both oral and written academic communication to their own work, follows good practice in giving feedback to others.
5.    Has knowledge necessary for teaching, supervising and research dissemination, and applies this knowledge.
6.    Analyses and develops their transferable skills.
 

The study module is divided into two: development of transferable skills (Transferable Skills sub-module; 312 h, corresponds to 12 ECTS) and specialised study module (Specialised Knowledge sub-module; 468 h, corresponds to 18 ECTS), 780 hours altogether (corresponding to 30 ECTS). 

Transferable Skills sub-module 
  • Doctoral students of all specialities have to complete the course “Introduction to Doctoral Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences” during the 1st year.
  • With the remaining 9 ECTS of the submodule doctoral students acquire the competences and transferable skills outlined in the learning outcomes of the program and Study module, proceeding from self-analysis and the independent study plan composed in collaboration with the supervisor(s).

 

Specialised Knowledge sub-module

In the Specialist Knowledge sub-module of the Study module, all doctoral students of Sociology are required to complete the following courses:

  • Publishing strategies in sociology (3 ECTS),
  • Publishing a research paper in social sciences (6 ECTS) 

The remaining 9 ECTS shall be elected from the following courses:  

  • Introduction to research practice (3 ECTS) 
  • Discourse analysis (6 ECTS) 
  • Information visualisation in social sciences (6 ECTS) 
  • Applied anthropology and co-design (6 ECTS)

In the Specialist Knowledge sub-module of the Study module, all doctoral students of Media and communication are required to complete the following courses:

  • Publishing strategies in media and communication (3 ECTS),
  • Publishing a research paper in social sciences (6 ECTS) 

The remaining 9 ECTS shall be elected from the following courses:  

  • Introduction to research practice (3 ECTS) 
  • Discourse analysis (6 ECTS) 
  • Information visualisation in social sciences (6 ECTS) 
  • Applied anthropology and co-design (6 ECTS)

In the Specialist Knowledge sub-module of the Study module, all doctoral students of Law are required to complete 18 ECTS from the following courses:

  • Methodology of law (6 ECTS) 
  • Advanced legal research seminar (6 ECTS) 
  • Comparative legal research (6 ECTS) 
  • Current problems in Estonian law (6 ECTS) 

In the Specialist Knowledge sub-module of the Study module, all doctoral students of Political science are required to complete the following courses:

  • Introduction to doctoral studies in political science (6 ECTS)

The remaining 12 ECTS shall be elected from the following courses:  

  • International relations (6 ECTS)
  • Comparative politics (6 ECTS)
  • Political theory (6 ECTS)
  • Baltic politics (6 ECTS)
  • Governance (6 ECTS) 

In the Specialist Knowledge sub-module of the Study module, all doctoral students of Business administration are required to complete the following courses:

  • Seminar on research methodology (3 ECTS)
  • Research methods (3 ECTS)
  • Speciality course (12 ECTS) 

 

In the Specialist Knowledge sub-module of the Study module, all doctoral students of Economics are required to complete the following courses:

  • Seminar on research methodology (3 ECTS)
  • Speciality course (15 ECTS) 

In the Specialist Knowledge sub-module of the Study module, all doctoral students of Economics are required to complete the following courses:

  • Introduction to doctoral studies (3 ECTS)
  • Workshop I (3 ECTS)
  • Workshop II (3 ECTS)
  • Workshop III (3 ECTS)
  • Workshop IV (3 ECTS)
  • Elective courses (3 ECTS) 
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