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Structure of postgraduate studies

Structural diagram
Contents of postgraduate studies
LL.Lic. taken at the University of Helsinki or the University of Turku

 



Structural diagram

1) Postgraduate examination 

 (LL.Lic./LL.D., 15 cr.)

LL.Lic./LL.D.

2) Legal theory and legal history 

 (LL.Lic./LL.D., 15 cr.)

LL.Lic./LL.D.

3) Scientific activity / Professional courses for the licentiate’s degree
(LL.Lic., 10 cr.
LL.D., total 15 cr. of which 10 cr. can be completed already in connection with the LL.Lic. degree)

LL.Lic. + LL.D.

4) Expert skills 

(LL.D. 15 cr.)

LL.D.

5) Licentiate research  

(LL.Lic. 80 cr.)

5) Dissertation

  (LL.D. 180 cr.)

LL.Lic. + LL.D.

 


 
Contents of postgraduate studies

1) Postgraduate examination (15 cr.)

LL.Lic. / LL.D.:
The postgraduate examination in the major subject of the licentiate/doctoral degree is completed as part of the degree. If the examination is taken as part of the studies for the licentiate’s degree, the student need not take it again for the doctorate, provided that the major subject remains the same.


Objectives:

The aim of the postgraduate examination is to ensure that students have the required knowledge of the principal theories in their major subject and of the special issues related to their thesis topic that they need to pursue postgraduate studies.


Requirements for the licentiate/doctoral degree:

The requirements for the literature examination are defined for each student individually. When the requirements have been decided on, they are recorded in the student’s PSP. The point of departure is that the examination will cover from 1,500 to 1,800 pages of literature. Some of the literature studied for the examination is to be in a foreign language.
 
Instead of taking a literature examination, students may complete part or, under special circumstances, all of these requirements in another manner approved by their supervisor. These alternatives may include seminars, essays or, in the case of a licentiate, professionally oriented courses. In such case the supervisor determines the number of credits to be given. The principles stated below in section 3) can be used as one starting point for the assessment. The supervisor must deliver a notice of the approved achievements and substitution decisions to the faculty office.

It is recommended that students complete the postgraduate examination early on in their studies, as this will give them a sound basis for their upcoming research.


Responsible teacher:

The supervisor appointed for the postgraduate studies.

2) LEGAL THEORY AND LEGAL HISTORY (15 cr.)

LL.Lic. / LL.D.:
Studies in legal theory and legal history are completed as part of the LL.Lic. or LL.D. degree. Students must complete a total of 15 cr. of approved studies in legal theory and legal history. If these studies have been completed as part of the licentiate’s degree, they need not be completed again for the doctorate.

The legal theory studies consist of general methodology studies (5 cr.) and a theoretical part related to one’s own research (5 cr.). The scope of legal history is also 5 cr.


Learning objectives:

Having completed the Legal Theory and Legal History studies, the postgradu-ate students are able to
- recognize issues related to the methods of research on law and jurisprudence
- see the status and meaning of the sources of law in jurisprudence
- apply general methodology questions to the theme of their own research
- recognize dimensions of legal history related to their own topic of research


Requirements:

A) General Methodology Course. Lectures (10 hours) and an essay (3,000 words). The methodology course is arranged annually in connection with the general postgraduate education day taking place in November. Hannu Tolonen’s Oikeuslähdeoppi (2003) (Sources of Law Theory) is read as background material for the methodology course.
 
B) The student and the supervisor agree on a topic area, after which the student contacts Professor Juha Karhu to agree on a specific topic. The required performance is an essay of 5,000 words, which may be used as part of the postgraduate student’s licentiate or doctoral thesis.
 
C) Legal history. Completion agreed on with Professor Kirsi Kuusikko.

Part C advances the postgraduate student’s knowledge of legal history from the viewpoint of his or her own research topic. The studies should be built around three concepts:  

  • history of law/society in general,
  • the legal history of an individual branch of law, and
  • international legal history.
     

In selecting books for literature examinations and topics for essays, part C should be based on those three entities.

Except for requirement A), the literature exam requirements are defined personally according to the needs of each postgraduate student and they are entered into the student’s personal study plan.
 
Instead of taking the literature exams, the requirements can be fulfilled in a corresponding manner approved by the responsible teacher. For example seminars, lectures, or essays can be used as substituting performance. The lectures and seminars arranged by the Faculty of Law at the University of Lapland are announced at the beginning of each term. Courses and seminars completed outside the University of Lapland can also be approved as achievements. These are approved by the teacher responsible for the legal theory and legal history studies. An account of achievements completed elsewhere than at the University of Lapland can be made by using a form received from the chief student affairs officer or the chief of administration, or by some other means approved by the responsible teacher. The responsible teacher assesses the number of credits to be given for the performance. The principles stated below in section 3) can be used as one starting point for the assessment. The responsible teacher must deliver a notice of the approved achievements and substitution decisions to the Faculty Office.

To support the upcoming research, it is recommended to complete the legal theory and legal history studies at the beginning of the postgraduate studies.


Responsible teacher:

Part A and B (legal theory): the responsible teacher is Professor Juha Karhu.
Part C (legal history): the responsible teacher is Professor Kirsi Kuusikko.


3) SCIENTIFIC ACTIVITY / PROFESSIONAL COURSES FOR THE LICENTIATE’S DEGREE (LL.Lic. 10 cr. / LL.D. 15 cr.)

LL.Lic. / LL.D.:

Students pursuing the LL.Lic. degree must complete a total of 10 credits comprising work that demonstrates scientific activity and/or courses that are arranged as part of the professionally oriented licentiate’s degree.

Students pursuing the LL.D. degree must complete a total of 15 credits of work demonstrating scientific activity.
When calculating this total sum, studies completed in conjunction with possible earlier LL.Lic. studies are taken into consideration. Thus, if the student has completed 10 cr. of the requirements in conjunction with the LL.Lic., he or she need only complete an additional 5 credits to fulfil the doctoral requirement.


Objectives:

The aim of the studies is to activate students to take part in various scientific events and activities.

An additional objective is to increase their preparedness to give presentations at scientific events, to write scientific articles, and to pursue opportunities to do research abroad.


Requirements:

A) Participation in postgraduate seminars arranged by the faculty
and/or
 
B) Participation in teaching arranged by the doctoral program on legal cultures LeCTra operating in the Faculty of Law at the University of Lapland, by the nation-wide doctoral program on law OMM, and by the Graduate School of the University of Lapland or in postgraduate education seminars and scientific conferences in Finland and abroad and completion of courses and studies dealing with research ethics and/or

C) Writing scientific articles and/or

D) Research work abroad and a report thereof.

Postgraduate students must complete the requirements they have chosen at the University of Lapland, elsewhere in Finland, or abroad. An account of achievements performed elsewhere than at the University of Lapland can be made by using a form acquired from the chief student affairs officer or the chief of administration, or by some other means approved by the responsible teacher.
It is recommended that the work for this requirement include at least two seminars or conferences at which the student gives a presentation of his or her research.

The student’s supervisor determines the work that will be accepted as part of the degree. If a course/seminar has already been assigned a certain value in credits, the course/seminar will be approved accordingly. If no value has been assigned, the student’s supervisor will assess the credit to be awarded.
 
The criteria used in this assessment are the following:
 
- Participation in lectures (less than 10 hours), a seminar, a reading/study circle, etc. = 1 cr.
- Participation in a seminar (less than 10 hours) with an own presentation = 2 cr.
- Participation in a seminar (10 hours or more) = 2 cr.
- Participation in a seminar (10 hours or more) with an own presentation = 3 cr.
- An article published in a scientific journal or a manuscript assessed as publishable by the student’s supervisor (at least 8 pages) = 3 cr.
- An article published in a refereed Finnish journal (at least 8 pages) = 4 cr.
- An article published in a refereed foreign journal (at least 8 pages) = 5 cr.
- Research work done abroad = 2 cr. per month
 
The supervisor must deliver a notice of the achievements to the faculty office.

A maximum of 15 credits can be entered in the credit record.


Responsible teacher:

The supervisor appointed for the postgraduate studies. Supervisors are encouraged to organize postgraduate seminars in their subjects and to directly inform students of them.


4) EXPERT SKILLS (LL.D. 15 cr.)

LL.D.:

Students working towards the LL.D. degree must complete a total of 15 credits of expert skills studies.
The licentiate’s degree does not include expert skills studies.


Objectives:

The aim of the expert skills studies is to give doctoral students the knowledge and skills they will need to work in a variety of legal expert duties after completing their degree.


Requirements:

A) Seminars and courses dealing with expert skills (e.g. writing strategies, scientific communication, legal information management skills, presentation, negotiation, project management, or pedagogical skills) and/or
 
B) Work involving practical legal duties contributing to the student’s doctoral research and a report thereof and/or

C) For those who have completed a foreign equivalent of the Finnish LL.M., studies relating to the Finnish language, Finnish culture, or the Finnish legal system which improve the students’ ability to work as experts in Finland (e.g. the course “Introduction to Finnish Law”).

The courses to be completed are agreed upon with each student individually in accordance with his or her needs. Courses complying with the requirements of this module can be found among those offered by the university’s Graduate School.
 
Courses and seminars completed outside the University of Lapland can also be accepted as study achievements. These are approved by the teacher responsible for the expert skills studies. An account of achievements completed elsewhere than at the University of Lapland can be made by using a form received from the chief student affairs officer or the chief of administration, or by some other means approved by the responsible teacher. The responsible teacher assesses the number of credits to be given for the achievement. The principles stated above in section 3) can be used as a starting point for the assessment.

The faculty recommends that during their studies doctoral students acquire practical experience that supports their research, for example, by completing training on the bench (conferring the title of varatuomari).The credit given for practical training is determined on a case-by-case basis.

The responsible teacher determines which achievements may be accepted as part of the postgraduate degree and submits a report of the student’s achievements to the faculty office.

A maximum of 15 credits can be entered in the credit record.


Responsible teacher:

The responsible teacher is Professor Juha Karhu.


5) LICENTIATE THESIS (80 cr.) / DOCTORAL THESIS (180 cr.)

Licentiate thesis


The licentiate’s degree requires the writing of a thesis in which the student is to demonstrate a sound knowledge of his or her area of research as well as a preparedness to apply scientific research methods critically and independently. A professionally oriented thesis must demonstrate that the author is thoroughly familiar with his or her professional field and that he or she is able to use legal research methods. The length of the licentiate thesis is from 100 to 150 pages.

A licentiate thesis may also encompass a number of scientific publications or manuscripts vetted for publication. These must be deemed sufficient by the university, deal with the same set of problems, and be accompanied by a paper summarising the findings. Alternatively, the thesis may comprise some other work which meets corresponding scientific criteria. The publications may include co-authored publications if the author's independent contribution to them can be demonstrated.

Before the licentiate thesis is submitted for assessment, the author must defend it in a public postgraduate seminar. The opponent is the teacher appointed to examine the work or another expert.

Doctoral thesis

The doctoral thesis must demonstrate that the author has the ability to apply scientific research methods independently and that one has a sound knowledge of one’s field and a profound knowledge of one’s own area of research. The recommended length of the doctoral thesis is from 250 to 300 pages.

A doctoral thesis may also encompass a number of scientific publications or manuscripts vetted for publication. These must be deemed sufficient by the university, deal with the same set of problems, and be accompanied by a paper summarising the findings. Alternatively, the thesis may comprise some other work which meets corresponding scientific criteria. The publications may include co-authored publications if the author's independent contribution to them can be demonstrated.

Before the doctoral thesis is submitted for assessment, the author must defend it at a public defence.


LL.Lic. taken at the University of Helsinki or at the University of Turku

 

An LL.Lic. completed at the University of Helsinki or at the University of Turku is the equivalent of an LL.Lic. completed at the University of Lapland. Doctoral candidates at the University of Lapland who have completed an LL.Lic. at the University of Helsinki or Turku do not need to complete LL.Lic. studies at the University of Lapland.


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