The postgraduate degrees in Law are Licentiate in Laws (LL.Lic.) and Doctor of Law (LL.D).
According to the Decree on Law Degrees, the aim of postgraduate studies is to enable students to:
1) achieve a deep understanding of their field of research and its social significance, to acquire the skills necessary to apply scientific research methods independently and critically, and to generate new scientific knowledge;
2) achieve a sound understanding of the development of their chosen field, its basic research problems, and its research methods; and
3) gain such knowledge of the general theory of science and of other disciplines relating to their field of research that will enable them to follow the related developments.
The licentiate and doctorate are separate degrees, although their requirements overlap to some extent.
The degree of Doctor of Laws is intended for those pursuing the career of a researcher or a legal expert. The projected time required to complete the degree as a full time student is four years (240 credits).
The aim of the Licentiate in Laws degree is to provide practicing lawyers with valuable, supplementary professional education. It is also possible to take the licentiate’s degree as an intermediate step when studying for a doctorate. In this case, it is advisable to choose a topic for the licentiate thesis that falls within the field of the doctoral thesis; otherwise completion of the doctorate might be delayed. The recommended time required to complete the licentiate’s degree is two years (120 cr.).
Postgraduate studies in the Faculty of Law involve supervised work. However, the studies also require initiative and a great deal of independent work on the part of the student. During their studies, students take part in lectures and/or seminars, other course work required by the faculty or accepted as part of the degree, and write their licentiate or doctoral thesis. Regarding both degrees, postgraduate studies promote the student’s scientific thinking and ability to do research independently. An additional aim of the doctoral programme is to provide graduates with the requisite preparation to assume duties as legal experts.
Each year in November the faculty arranges a general degree program seminar in Rovaniemi. Those working on a doctoral thesis may present their work in the seminar. The presentation should reveal the present phase of the research, its salient research problems, procedural choices, and more detailed plans to complete the research. It is recommended that after the seminar presentation and the ensuing discussion the supervisor gives a written statement to the faculty and to the student about the phase of the research. The seminar participation and the presentation yield credits for the courses Legal Theory and Legal History and Scientific Activity according to the principles presented later in the course descriptions. Each doctoral student is also a member of the Graduate School of the University of Lapland. The Graduate School arranges general postgraduate education events and informs about other events that are useful in the studies.