Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


This is an introductory course on doctoral studies, research skills, and academic life in computer science. The course is obligatory for all new doctoral students (admitted as of 1 August 2022 or later) at the Department of Computer Science. 

As of January 1st 2021 CS department doctoral support programme has been in operation at the Department of Computer Science for all new doctoral students. Students enrolled in the support programme in 2021 can select whether they want to complete their ongoing support programme as a course or not.


The specific aims of the course are as follows:

  • All new doctoral students in computer science will get to know the CS department and build opportunities for peer-support during doctoral studies.
  • The department aims to strengthen doctoral education in computer science. The course will lead doctoral students towards independence in key aspects of research and academic life, for example in scientific writing, oral presentation, science communication, research ethics, career planning etc.
  • The aim of the department is to support the wellbeing of every doctoral student, and to ensure that the supervision relationship works and working conditions are favourable. If any problems occur in the doctoral thesis project, they will be identified early enough, and the department will provide help if needed.

Credits: 3

Schedule: 13.09.2022 - 31.12.2023

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Jussi Rintanen

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

Academic coordinator Aija Kukkala

Teaching coordinator Kirsi Viitaharju

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Passing the course requires participation in the following activities:

    • An onboarding event at the department
    • Doctoral seminars: two seminars during the first half of doctoral studies
    • Lectures on CS Research
    • Supervisory committee meetings: Supervisory committee is assigned to each individual doctoral student. It consists of supervisor(s), advisor(s), and one external member. The committee meets twice during the first half of doctoral studies. Doctoral students are responsible of practical arrangements and report to the department.
    • Participation in department activities and trainings: Students select a set of department’s trainings or events. These can include e.g. Comms & Coffee trainings, Mentoring & Diversity Talks, HICT trainings and events, presentation in the annual CS Research Day event.

    Course page with detailed information can be found on the department wiki space:

    The course does not include a formal evaluation. Passing the course is worth 3 ECTS (pass/fail).


    Course coordinators: Academic coordinators Aija Kukkala and Niina Idänheimo, and Programme Director Prof. Jussi Rintanen.

    Questions on the course can be sent to

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    No grading. Pass or fail.


Substitutes for Courses
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    3 Good Health and Well-being

    4 Quality Education

    5 Gender Equality


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Language : English

    Teaching Period : 2022-2023 Autumn I - Spring V
    2023-2024 Autumn I - Spring V

    Enrollment :

    The course is obligatory for all new doctoral students (admitted as of 1 August 2022 or later) at the Department of Computer Science.