Initial guidance, planning and tutoring

You will need planning to further your studies and study guidance to support your planning. The university provides excellent tools for planning your studies, and it is your responsibility to take advantage of the support available. This section describes the essential tools for planning and guidance in the early phase of your studies.

Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and Lic.Med. students

Studying at the university may differ from your previous study experiences. The university provides you with the freedom to plan your own studies, make decisions on your course selections and steer the direction of your studies from the get-go. This freedom brings with it a responsibility for ensuring that your efforts have a clear purpose and for furthering your study goals.

The university studies begin with orientation studies organised by the university, your own faculty and the degree programme. The collection of orientation courses serves as a map and support framework for familiarising you with the study environment, supporting you in planning your studies and learning about the practices of studying at the university so that you can handle normal study situations.

More information on the orientation courses and getting started with your studies can be found on the Orientation to university studies page and thecurriculum (orientation courses of faculties and degree programmes).


The student tutoring organised by student associations is an important part of informing new students and helping them establish themselves in the student community. You will be assigned a personal tutor during the first days of your studies. The student tutor will guide you in matters related to studies, housing and other practical concerns. 

The student tutor will support you for the first autumn semester of your studies:

  • you will receive more information on the studying practices of your own degree programme
  • you will learn about the parties that provide study guidance
  • you will get to know your fellow students and the activities of your student association
  • this will help you get a smooth start in your studies

“There is no such thing as a stupid question”

Study planning and HOPS

HOPS, i.e. the personal study plan, is a tool for planning your studies and a process that lasts for the entire duration of your studies.

The written study plan prepared at the beginning of your studies is an integral part of the HOPS process. In the written study plan, you must describe the studies needed to complete your degree, the order in which your studies will progress and the schedule. That being said, you will not need to make all choices at the beginning – you can initially prepare a preliminary plan, which you then work on and specify as you get further in your studies. 

The starting points for preparing the written study plan are the curriculum and study structure, which are specified in the curriculum guide, as well as your personal goals. The plan must be prepared in such a way that it supports the smooth progress of your studies and your own well-being.

In order to prepare an effective study plan, you need to know the structure and composition of your degree, the choices you can and should make, and how to gain expertise along your study path. In preparing your study plan, you should take into account the following, for example:

  • selecting the appropriate field for your master’s degree or master’s programme and planning your bachelor’s studies in such a way that enables you to smoothly progress towards your chosen field
  • timing the elective studies, common studies and possible exchange and internship periods abroad in your study plan
  • recognition of possible earlier competence or expertise gained outside the university during your studies

You must update your study plan regularly during your studies.

The HOPS practices and materials related to the early part of your studies (e.g. course completion order) vary between faculties. Faculty-specific instructions and additional information can be found in the During studies section.

Where to get help?

Doctoral students

General information about supervision

A general overview of doctoral thesis supervision can be found in the section on general information. (LINK)

Recommended during the early part of your doctoral studies

  • Consider how to get started but also seek to gain an overall picture of your dissertation project. Consider what skills you will need to carry out the research project and in your working life.
  • If you have not met with your supervisor in person, it is recommended to set up a meeting as soon as possible. If you have multiple supervisors, you should arrange a meeting with all supervisors present once or twice a year. As the dissertation progresses, it is a good idea to keep all supervisors informed of what has been agreed upon and how the work has progressed.
  • In the early stages, it is advisable to clarify the roles of each supervisor to all those involved (for example, if the second supervisor only serves as a methodological supervisor).
  • Prepare a study and supervision plan with your supervisors.
  • It is a good idea to discuss your post-dissertation goals and employment plans with your supervisors early on.
  • Doctoral students should also be proactive. Vocalise your needs and keep your supervisors informed.
  • Network especially with other doctoral students, but also plan participation in conferences and other events. Ask your supervisors about their networks: for example, do they know a professor in a foreign university who could be available for supervising your dissertation during an exchange period?
  • The University of Tampere Doctoral School arranges common doctoral study courses. The courses on research ethics, managing the research project and managing materials are particularly recommended for first year doctoral students.
  • In case of problems, you can contact the faculty staff handling doctoral studies and the doctoral student tutors, in addition to your supervisors.

Rights and responsibilities of doctoral students and supervisors

The rights and responsibilities of doctoral students and supervisors are detailed on the Student’s rights and responsibilities page.

Personal study and supervision plan (HOPS)

Doctoral students and supervisors plan and agree upon the progress and supervision of the studies in the study and supervision plan. (LINK) The plan is based on the curriculum of your doctoral programme. The curricula of doctoral programmes can be found in the study guide, while the teaching information is provided in the curriculum. By proposal of the postgraduate study committees, the faculties decide on the content of the doctoral degree. The aim of the study plans for doctoral programmes is to ensure that students who complete the degree have the necessary capabilities for serving as a researcher, and that the doctoral studies are of a sufficient level of quality.

Study and supervision plan:

  • improves the doctoral student’s legal protection
  • helps the doctoral student to schedule his/her studies
  • ensures the uniformity and quality of the doctoral education
  • keeps the supervisor aware of the doctoral student’s study plans

Within the scope of the transition period, students may complete their studies in accordance with an approved study plan even if changes are made to the doctoral study curricula and regulations concerning doctoral degrees.

Students have the right to complete their studies in accordance with an approved study plan in the event that their supervisor is replaced or retires. In this case, however, the form should be updated with the new supervisor.

Doctoral student tutors

Some faculties provide doctoral student tutors. You can turn to them if, for example, you are considering which courses you should complete or you are unsure about certain practical matters. Doctoral student tutors do not provide academic supervision.

Faculty of Social Sciences

Name Subject Availability Room
Marika Haataja Social sciences, especially gender studies Mondays 9 am–10 am Linna 5055
Risto Turunen Humanities, especially history By appointment Pinni B3049
Julia Katila Social sciences, especially social psychology Thursdays 10 am–11 am Linna 5106
Onerva Alanen Humanities, especially history By appointment Pinni B3098
Kirsi Günther Social sciences, especially social work By appointment Linna 6082
Lauri Lahikainen Humanities, especially philosophy Thursdays 11 am–12 am Pinni B4145
Jallu Lindblom Psychology and logopedics Thursdays 1 pm–2 pm Linna 4040
Johanna Hokka Social sciences, especially sociology Wednesdays 10 am–11 am Pinni B3023


Open university students

Your studies are independent and require you to take responsibility. With your personal study plan (HOPS), you can structure the time you spend on your study efforts and clarify the starting points and goals of your studies.
When you know what and why you are studying, you will be more committed and motivated to further your studies. A good preliminary plan will enable you to focus on the actual work required.

Read more about preparing an HOPS plan.

Incoming exchange students

Follow the instructions you have been provided with and get started with your studies. If necessary, contact the appropriate persons for advice.

Study instructions and the practices observed at the University of Tampere can be found on the instruction pages.

Visiting students (JOO, Tampere3)

Follow the instructions you have been provided and get started with your studies. If necessary, contact the appropriate persons for advice.

More information on JOO studies and Tampere3 cross-institutional studies is available in the During studies section. Study instructions and the practices observed at the University of Tampere can be found on the instruction pages.

Other students

Follow the instructions you have been provided with and get started with your studies. If necessary, contact the appropriate persons for advice.

Study instructions and the practices observed at the University of Tampere can be found on the instruction pages.