Aalto Doctoral Programme in Chemical Engineering

Curriculum 2022-2024

The curriculum 2022-2024 applies to students who have started their studies after 1.8.2022.

Curriculum 2022-2024 (PDF)

Aalto doctoral curriculum (more doctoral level courses)

Structure of the degree

The doctoral degree at the Doctoral Programme in Chemical Engineering consists of an approved doctoral thesis and 40 ECTS of studies. These studies comprise two study modules: general research studies of 5-20 ECTS and research field studies of 20-35 ECTS. If the student doesn’t want to finish the doctoral degree, the licentiate degree can be completed as an intermediate degree. The licentiate degree consists of an approved licentiate thesis and the same 40 ECTS of studies as for the doctoral degree.

The general research studies prepare the student for research work, the application of research results, the dissemination of research findings and for adopting the principles of responsible conduct of research. The general research studies can include transferrable skill studies.

The research field studies and the doctoral thesis help students gain a comprehensive and in-depth knowledge of their research field. Doctoral studies can include studies from several Aalto doctoral programmes when agreed on in the doctoral personal study plan of the student (DPSP).

Content of studies

General research studies, 5-20 ECTS

Learning objectives

The aim of the module is to provide doctoral candidates with knowledge of the basic concepts of science, the key characteristics of scientific research and scientific knowledge, familiarisation with the most important research methods of their research field, and to develop their transferable skills.

After completing the module, doctoral candidates:

  • have improved communication and interpersonal skills and project management skills.
  • work responsibly in the light of ethical and sustainability considerations and their conduct in the scientific community will follow good scientific practice.
  • have the ability to work in a multidisciplinary and international environment together with various actors.

The content of the module is confirmed individually for each doctoral candidate following the requirements of the Doctoral Programme in Chemical Engineering : .

The module may include the following:

  • Toolkit for Doctoral Studies (highly recommended to all, mandatory for doctoral students who have started their studies in year 2020 or after)
  • Research ethics (mandatory to those who have not completed Toolkit for Doctoral Studies -course)
    NB! Research ethics is included in the Toolkit course, do not register separately if you are completing Toolkit course
  • Research methodology courses
  • History or philosophy of science
  • Transferable skills and competences
  • Nationally jointly developed courses (offered via
  • Pedagogical studies
  • Individual study attainments, to be agreed with the supervising professor

Research field studies, 20 - 35 ECTS

Learning objectives

Research field studies should support the research work and prepare the doctoral candidates for research and other demanding work that requires expertise.

Research field studies need to be mainly post-graduate courses (advanced level) or other studies eligible for doctoral degree.  No credits are given for doing research.

The research field studies may contain a wide variety of forms of study. In addition to conventional university courses, the study plan can include individual tailored studies such as examinations based on pre-set scientific literature or text books, or, reports based on reviews of the scientific literature. In the evaluation of such studies the rule that 1 ECTS corresponds to 27 hours of work is applied.

Examples include:

  • Individual textbook exams.
  • Reports and practical assignments.
  • Scientific literature reviews, literature exams, literature reports of scientific publications.
  • Summer and winter schools.
  • Literature exams
  • Peer reviewed articles that are not included or related to student’s doctoral research topic. As first author, the doctoral student can obtain 2 ECTS each of, maximum of three articles (i.e. 6 ECTS in total), since these are considered to be literature work.


The following study attainments cannot be included in the degree

  • Language courses (i.e. Finnish for international students) 
  • Acting as the non-official instructor for degree student or official instructor to thesis which is not completed as part of Aalto's degree
  • Guidance of any research work or preparatory work for research projects
  • Patent applications
  • Bachelor level courses

Recommendations for granting the study credits for individual study attainments (see table)

Recommendations for granting the study credits
for individual study attainments*
Credits recommended Restrictions
Scientific books, publications and dissertations as self-study for exam or report to demonstrate learning 27 hours of active work corresponds to
Scientific conference poster of your thesis research (25th Oct. 2023 or later) 1 ECTS only once
Scientific conference talk of your thesis research (25th Oct. 2023 or later) 1 ECTS only once
Scientific summer/winter schools, EU cluster courses
2-3 ECTS per week n/a
Peer-reviewed journal article with doc. student as main- or co-author, and the doctoral student has demonstrated significant contribution by co-authoring the manuscript, and is NOT included in the thesis á 2 ECTS per published article max. 3 articles
Acting as reviewer of scientific manuscript for an international journal editor 1 ECTS max. 2 reviews
Instructor for accepted Bachelor's thesis* 1 ECTS total max. 5 ECTS (M.Sc. theses included)
Instructor for accepted Master's thesis* 2-5 ECTS per Master's thesis total max. 5 ECTS (B.Sc. theses included)
Teaching assistant as a learning instructor  2 ECTS  

* supervised B.Sc / M.Sc thesis must have been completed as part of Aalto University's degree. All instructor activities must be performed during the doctoral study right time. Max. 5 ECTS in total for all instructor activities.

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