Studies in Cultural Anthropology guide the students to understand culture as a force that is connected to its environment, has evolved historically, and is constantly changing. Simultaneously, Cultural Anthropology strives to improve the student's ability to analyse the relationship between individuals and their cultures. 

Students of Cultural Anthropology at Oulu will first complete a Bachelor of Arts degree, followed by a Master of Arts degree. This education prepares the students for postgraduate studies.

Cultural Anthropology and Archaeology share common basic studies at Oulu. After the completion of this initial level, the students will move on to the intermediate and advanced studies in Cultural Anthropology. 

As a minor subject, Cultural Anthropology complements well many other fields in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences.

Doctoral education in Cultural Anthropology is part of the University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS) (see below for details).

The For students website collects all practical information you need to know about your studies.


For those interested in a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology:

The Ph.D. programme in Cultural Anthropology allows students to develop a flexible study programme reflecting special research interests, under the supervision of faculty supervisors and a follow-up group. Students engaging in full-time study are encouraged to plan for completion of all work for the Ph.D. in four years, though some students do take longer.

Ph.D. Programme Application Requirements

Applications for admission for doctoral studies at the University of Oulu are considered in two separate rounds each year. These are coordinated by UniOGS, The University of Oulu Graduate School, which governs all doctoral studies. However, before potential candidates can officially apply to the university, they must be accepted by the field in which they desire to study. Thus, an initial application must first be submitted (via email) to the Cultural Anthropology programme for an internal decision, following which an application (along with a conditional letter of support from the intended main supervisor) is submitted to UniOGS for a university-level decision on admission. For information on the second stage please see UniOGS Deadlines and application process [].

Annually, for the first stage, the graduate application submission deadlines are: 1) August 15th for the first pool and 2) January 31st for the second pool.

The following documents are required, all in English and in PDF form:

1. Motivation letter (max 1 page)

2. CV (max 2 pages)

3. Study plan (max 4 pages). The study plan should list: background context of research topic, primary objective and research questions; proposed theoretical and methodological approaches; preference for thesis structure (either monograph or compilation of several articles). It should also include, in brief: study schedule, financial plan and list of main references.

Please submit all documents, as attachments in a single email, to Prof Hannu Heikkinen (hannu.i.heikkinen[at] with the subject “PhD application in Cultural Anthropology”. If electronic submission is not possible, please send an email message to Prof Heikkinen and make a request for an alternate method of submission.

Ph.D. Application Process

After the deadline for submission, the programme will proceed with an evaluation of the applicant materials based on these documents, typically within one month. The selection of PhD students admitted to the Programme in Cultural Anthropology is based on an individualised, holistic review of each application, including (but, not limited to) the applicant's academic record, the statement of purpose (motivation letter), the level of academic excellence and promise in the application, personal qualities and characteristics, past accomplishments, and the availability of an appropriate main doctoral supervisor.

Ph.D. Funding

Candidates applying for admission on the Ph.D must typically arrange their own funding. While some students are self-funded, the Programme strongly encourages students to apply for subsistence and research funding from Finnish foundations and funding organisations. Each year, the University of Oulu offers a small number of competitive scholarships, with an application typically in the late summer. For initial information on funding opportunities, please visit


Last updated: 29.5.2020