Managing Doctoral Research

Learning outcomes

The course covers practical aspects of doctoral studies. The objective of this course is to introduce the doctoral students to the realities of doing scientific research and to give practical advice on doctoral studies and the process of writing a doctoral dissertation. The course will also provide an overview of the basic structure of research and the identification and selection of research topics. The course is particularly suited for doctoral students at the initial phases of their doctoral studies.


Dissertation process, structure of research, reading and analyzing scientific papers, identification and selection of research topics, formulation of research questions, formulation of research hypotheses, contribution requirements for a doctoral dissertation, monograph vs. collection of essays, requirements for essay collections, finding information, writing a paper, publishing process in refereed journals, advice on conference participation, funding of doctoral studies, doctoral job market.

Study and assessment methods

Participation in the lectures and a written assignment.

Learning materials
  1. Davis, Gordon B. & Parker, Clyde A (2012). Writing the Doctoral Dissertation. A Systematic Approach.
  2. Gothoni, Rene (1996). How to Survive in Academia. (Also available in Finnish as: Oletko neuvoton. Lohdutuksen sanoja opinnäytteen laatijalle.)
  3. Fisher, Colin (2010). Researching and Writing a Dissertation: An Essential Guide for Business Students.
  4. Halkoaho, Jenniina (2012). Identity-Related Media Consumption – A Focus on Consumers’ Relationships with Their Favorite TV Programs. Doctoral Dissertation, Acta Wasaensia No. 261. (
  5. Orlov, Vitaly (2016). Essays on Currency Anomalies. Doctoral Dissertation, Acta Wasaensia No. 366. (
  6. A selection of scientific articles will be utilized as examples during the lectures
Grading scale





Postgraduate studies


Graduate School

Person in charge

Sami Vähämaa