This committee, whose main duty is to provide mentoring and guidance to doctoral candidates, is composed of a faculty member of the Department concerned (with the rank of professor, associate professor or assistant professor), as supervisor, as well as two (2) members, who may be faculty members of the same or another Department of the same or another University within the country or abroad, or researchers of a research center recognized within the country or abroad, holding a doctorate degree.
However, under (still) existing Law 3685/2008, for each doctoral candidate, a three-member advisory committee is appointed by the Department's Special General Assembly.
If a student fails more than 3 times to pass a module, he may apply for a special examination by a three member committee consisting of professors of the Institution, who must be of the same or a similar scientific field.
Doctoral allowance can be applied for by the Doctoral candidates who are enrolled in full-time study or part-time study in case the reimbursement of study costs is not required from him or her, who have not exceeded the nominal period of the curriculum and who have passed evaluation or are the first-year Doctoral candidates.
The total number of students to be admitted to Doctoral study is determined by the university board.
Students can choose between full-time and part-time study, completing at least 75 per cent or 50 to 75 per cent, respectively, of the study load subject to completion according to the curriculum by the end of each academic year.
Status of Doctoral Students/Candidates
Doctoral students are subject to social benefits on the same grounds as other higher education students.
There are Doctoral schools in Estonia which are not independent structural entities but inter-university consortia where Doctoral students are offered interdisciplinary courses and international cooperation is promoted.
The operation of Doctoral schools is financed with special measures supported by ESF; the reason for launching Doctoral schools was a wish to increase the effectiveness of Doctoral studies, the number of defences and the quality of supervision of Doctoral students and to improve internal inter-university cooperation.
In the course of attestation, the attestation committee assesses the Doctoral student’s progress in study and research activities, which means in essence the evaluation of fulfilment of the Doctoral student’s individual plan.
The learning outcomes of Doctoral level study correspond to the learning outcomes defined on the eighth level of the Estonian and European qualification framework.
This mark results either solely from the mark received on the written and/or oral exams at the end of each semester, or from a combination of the mark received on examinations and the mark resulting from the students’ participation in various educational activities (laboratory exercises, tutorials, written assignments, etc).
A Doctoral degree is a scientific degree awarded after Doctoral study is passed and a Doctoral thesis as independent scientific research has been defended.
Working as a junior researcher should, nevertheless, have a positive effect on the preparation of Doctoral thesis and motivate young people to dedicate themselves to research also after completing Doctoral studies.
The studying part of Doctoral study consists of general and specific study and elective subjects; the volume of these subjects differs somewhat in the Doctoral curricula of different universities.
As regards Undergraduate Curricula, studies are carried out based on the “distance education" method, including per module:
• Five meetings of tutors with students.