Research in Commercial Law

Info on PhD Studies

PhD Programme in Commercial Law

The PhD programme in Commercial Law at Hanken prepares students for challenging careers in research by providing an individually tailored program for each doctoral student. Hanken attracts doctoral students in many fields of Commercial Law, including Intellectual Property Law, Tax Law, Law of Corporate Governance and Labour Law. Hanken also currently hosts two important research centers related to the Department: the IPR University Center and the  Hanken Center of Corporate Governance (HCCG).

Intellectual property law is one of the fields strongly supported by Hanken and the field has particularly attracted doctoral candidates.  Hanken hosts the IPR University Center, which is a joint collaborative platform for intellectual property research and education among universities in Finland. The IPR University Center arranges guest lecture series and coordinates courses and workshops for national and international doctoral students, including annual the IPR Summer School. The IPR University Center at Hanken creates an ideal environment for IP studies and research for doctoral students.  Additionally, intellectual property law also boasts several on-going research projects that are financed by the Finnish Academy of Science and Tekes. These projects provide a dynamic research environment for doctoral students. 

Doctoral candidates  are encouraged to work in close cooperation with other Finnish doctoral candidates in law. In addition, the Nordic Doctoral Network for Intellectual Property Law also provides cooperation with doctoral candidates in other Nordic countries; Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The Network arranges an annual seminar in one of the Nordic countries. In the past, doctoral students in intellectual property law have been encouraged to spend some time in research visits to the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in Munich, Germany. Joint doctoral workshops have been arranged through a bilateral cooperation program with the University of Bayreuth, funded by the Academy of Finland and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.

Hanken also hosts the Hanken Center of Corporate Governance (HCCG). The problems of corporate governance are quite obviously at the core of research and education at the school. A deep understanding of the issues involved in establishing good corporate governance practices involves knowledge in most of the subjects taught at the school. The Center offers research and teaching that aims at improved corporate governance practices. The Center is responsible for the multidisciplinary Master's Degree Programme in Corporate Governance at Hanken.

In addition to the doctoral dissertation, doctoral students are required to complete coursework of 60 ECTS, including 44 ECTs in major and related subjects, and 16 credits in general methodology, philosophy of science or similar courses of a methodological character. Upon approval of the degree supervisor, students are allowed to take doctoral courses offered at other universities in Finland or abroad. Normally the students graduate with a PhD after four years of full-time studies.

The Department of Commercial Law supports doctoral studies in many ways and may provide financial support, subject to satisfactory performance. (Financial support may include support for the attendance of conferences attendance.). Furthermore, there is no tuition fee charged for doctoral studies. Please note that as a pre-requisite for admission to doctoral studies, an applicable GRE/GMAT test must be taken by all prospective students.

We accept new students twice a year, with application deadlines in spring and in autumn. We invite interested students to, in good time, contact their potential degree supervisor with a research proposal and to prepare by taking the pre-requisite GRE/GMAT test..

Details about how to apply, financial support, prerequisites and more can be found at the general pages of doctoral studies.

Matti Kukkonen

Head of Department of Accounting and Commercial Law

Professor of Commercial Law