Organization of doctoral studies
THE ORGANIZATION OF DOCTORAL STUDIES AND THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF AND THE PROCEDURE FOR DEFENDING DOCTORAL DEGREES AT THE ESTONIAN ACADEMY OF MUSIC AND THEATRE
I. General provisions
1. This regulation sets out the particulars of commencing and conducting doctoral studies at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (hereinafter ‘the Academy’) as compared to other levels of study, the requirements for doctoral dissertations and the terms and conditions of and the procedure for defending a doctoral degree. The general principles of admission and organisation of studies have been established in the Admission Rules and the Regulation of Studies of the Academy.
2. The standard period of doctoral studies is four years and during this period the doctoral student has to earn 240 credits of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). Persons who have completed the doctoral studies in full shall be awarded a doctoral degree.
3. The Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre offers doctoral studies in two branches:
• Artistic (music performance, composition, dramatic art);
• Academic (musicology).
4. Doctoral studies shall be organised by the Academy’s Doctoral Council, established by the EAMT Council on the basis of proposals from academic units and comprising at least 18 members. Professors of the Academy or other universities, emeritus professors, associate professors, lead researchers and senior researchers are eligible for serving as members of the Doctoral Council. At least six members of the Doctoral Council shall be scholars with a doctoral degree or an equivalent qualification. The mandate of the Doctoral Council shall be granted for a term of three years. The work of the Doctoral Council shall be managed by the Rector. Based on the Rector’s proposal, the EAMT Council shall elect two co-chairs from among the members of the Doctoral Council – one representing the artistic specialties and the other the academic specialties – who will be responsible for the artistic and academic parts of the doctoral studies, respectively. Furthermore, the EAMT Council shall elect two vice-chairs of the Doctoral Council, one representing the artistic and the other the academic specialties. The documentation and formalities of the work of the Doctoral Council shall be overseen by the Council Secretary, who is not a voting member of the Council. The Doctoral Council has a quorum if at least half of the members are present, whereas both the artistic branch and the academic branch have to be represented by a chair or a vice-chair.
5. Admission to doctoral studies requires passing of a specialty examination. The examination requirements shall be approved by the EAMT Council.
6. The Doctoral Council shall appoint a supervisor for every doctoral dissertation, taking into account the doctoral student’s preferences, if possible. Doctoral students in the academic branch are generally appointed one supervisor, while doctoral students in the artistic branch have two supervisors. One supervisor may also be from outside the Academy. Supervisors of academic doctoral dissertations or research parts of doctoral artistic research projects have to hold a doctorate or an equivalent academic degree. The artistic parts of the doctoral projects are generally supervised by a professor, an emeritus professor or an associate professor – in whose case a doctorate is not required – in the respective specialty.
7. The progress of doctoral students shall be evaluated by the Doctoral Council once a year. The procedure of the evaluation shall be established by the Academic Council.
8. Subject to the terms, conditions and procedures established by the EAMT Council, a doctoral student or a candidate for doctoral studies may apply for recognition of his/her prior learning and professional experience in relation to the admission requirements and fulfilment of the study programme. The respective applications shall be reviewed by an RPL panel established from the members of the Doctoral Council.
9. External students may also apply for a doctoral degree by submitting a relevant application and a plan of prospective doctoral work to the Academy’s Doctoral Council, which shall review the application in a meeting and shall issue a reasoned response within a period of one month. In case of a positive decision, the candidate shall be approved as an external student with the Rector’s degree and may commence the performances in doctoral concerts and the preparations for defending the doctoral dissertation as coordinated with the Doctoral Council. External students may formalise completion of the part of their studies in one combined examination, which shall be based on an individual programme prepared by the respective study department, taking into account any prior academic and artistic work and studies. The examination shall be evaluated by a panel consisting of at least five members of the Doctoral Council.
II. The artistic branch of doctoral studies
10. The doctoral study programme of the artistic branch consists of three parts:
• Artistic part (doctoral concerts or other artistic assignments, 140 ECTS-credits);
• Research paper (40 ECTS-credits);
• Academic part (60 ECTS-credits), incl. subjects related to university pedagogy in the extent of at least 6 ECTS-credits.
In the course of the studies, doctoral students of the artistic branch are required to participate in international artistic projects or gain international recognition for their artistic work by other means.
11. Doctoral concerts and other artistic performances shall be open to the public (announced in the media, on the homepage of the Academy and on posters). They can be organised by the Academy’s Concert Agency or another organisation. The concerts and other artistic performances shall take place in Tallinn, or in other locations subject to the consent of the Doctoral Council. The Doctoral Council may also accept artistic performances submitted as recordings of public performances or recordings issued by a reputable producer (one program in music performance and drama specialties, up to two programs in the composition specialty, up to three performances for audiovisual composition, film music and other justifiable special cases).
12. Doctoral students shall register their doctoral concerts and other artistic performances with the Secretary of the Doctoral Council at least two months in advance, submitting a formal application endorsed by the supervisor. The supervisor shall be responsible for ensuring that the program of the doctoral concert meets the applicable requirements. A programme with introductory notes (minimum 3000 characters with spaces) must be sent to the coordinator of doctoral studies one month before the concert/performance.
12.1. Doctoral students are required to make arrangements for audio or video recording the doctoral concerts or other artistic performances and to submit two copies of the recording on a CD or DVD to the Secretary of the Doctoral Council within two months after the performance. Doctoral students may order the recording from the Academy’s Electronic Music Studio or the specialist on video services. In those cases the cost of recording shall be covered by the Academy. The recordings shall be kept in the library of the Academy. If a doctoral concert or other artistic performance is not recorded, the Doctoral Council may request another concert to be organised.
13. The doctoral concerts and other artistic performances shall be evaluated by a panel consisting of at least five members of the Doctoral Council, chaired by the chair or vice-chair of the artistic branch of doctoral studies. The panel shall include at least one member from the doctoral student’s main study department. For each performance, the panel shall include at least one internationally recognised artist from outside the Academy, approved by the Rector’s decree on the basis of a proposal by the chair of the artistic branch of doctoral studies. A closed meeting shall be held after the performance. The artistic supervisor of the doctoral student shall also participate in the meeting and shall be given an opportunity to comment on the student’s performance. The panel may also decide to invite the doctoral student to the meeting. The discussions of the Doctoral Council shall be recorded in minutes. At the end of the meeting, all voting Council members shall grade the performance according to the harmonised grading scale of the Academy. The performance assignment is passed in case of any positive grade. The final grade shall be the rounded average of the grades given by the members of the panel. If the average grade is exactly at the mid-point between two grades (e.g., 4.5), the grade shall be rounded up or down based on the grade given by the chair of the panel.
14. The doctoral thesis of the artistic branch is an independent research paper with a length of 80,000 to 100,000 characters, excluding annexes. The subject of the thesis has to be a relevant issue in the specialty area and the thesis has to support the artistic part of the doctoral project as a whole or in specific parts. In the doctoral thesis, the student has to demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the relevant literature, use a scientifically justified method, and present original solutions or additions to existing knowledge. The format of the thesis has to comply with the approved format requirements for the degree theses of the Academy. In order to defend the thesis, the doctoral student shall submit the manuscript to the Doctoral Council. The co-chair of the Council, responsible for the academic part of doctoral studies, shall appoint a reviewer. After review, the reviewer shall make a recommendation to accept the thesis for defence, to accept it after revision, or to reject the thesis.
15. The doctoral theses of the artistic branch shall be submitted for defence in four bound copies (incl. two hardcover copies) at least one month before the date of defence and shall be displayed in the library of the Academy. Together with bound copies, the doctoral student shall submit to the Secretary of the Doctoral Council an electronic copy of the doctoral thesis (as a PDF), which shall be made available through the electronic library catalogue, unless electronic publication is restricted by copyright. The language requirements and defence procedures shall be the same as for the doctoral dissertations of the academic branch (see clauses 20, 22 and 23). Information concerning the defence shall be posted on the homepage of the Academy.
III. The academic part of doctoral studies
16. The doctoral study programme of the academic branch consists of two parts:
• Doctoral dissertation (180 ECTS-credits);
• Academic part (60 ECTS-credits), incl. subjects related to university pedagogy in the extent of at least 6 ECTS-credits.
17. A doctoral dissertation in the academic branch is a comprehensive study of an important problem in a specific research area. It has to demonstrate the student’s broad knowledge of the literature addressing the problem, describe and analyse the source material on the basis of scientifically justified methods, and present an original solution to the problem. A doctoral dissertation may be submitted as (1) an independent work published as a dissertation, (2) a series of publications accompanied by a summarising overview article (an article dissertation), or (3) a monograph published in print. The length of the doctoral dissertation shall be between 160,000 and 450,000 characters. The format of the dissertation has to comply with the approved format requirements for the degree theses of the Academy.
18. In order to defend the paper and have it printed in the EAMT series of dissertations, the doctoral student shall submit the manuscript to the Doctoral Council. The co-chair of the Council, responsible for the academic part of doctoral studies, shall appoint two reviewers. After review, the reviewers shall make a recommendation to accept the dissertation for defence, to accept it after revision, or to reject the dissertation. The final decision on accepting the dissertation for defence shall be made by the academic members of the Doctoral Council under the chairmanship of the respective co-chair. Previously printed publications may also be submitted to the Doctoral Council of the EAMT as dissertations and they shall be similarly accepted or rejected on the basis of an evaluation by two reviewers. In case of an article dissertation, the printed articles have to be bound together, supplied with an introduction, and submitted to the Doctoral Council, which may decide to appoint one reviewer if deemed appropriate.
19. A doctoral dissertation of the academic branch may be accepted for defence only if its findings have been previously published. In case of an article dissertation, the prerequisite is publication of three articles in internationally distributed peer-reviewed journals or collections. In case of a printed monograph submitted as a dissertation or a doctoral thesis, the prerequisite is publication of three research articles, incl. at least one article presenting the findings of the doctoral dissertation in an internationally distributed peer-reviewed journal or collection. A doctoral dissertation may also be accepted for defence if the underlying articles have not yet been published in print but have been officially accepted for publication.
20. If the dissertation is not in Estonian, the co-chair of the Doctoral Council responsible for the academic branch may request a linguistic expert evaluation before accepting the dissertation. A linguistic evaluation is not required in case of article dissertations if the respective articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals or collections. Dissertations shall only be accepted for defence if they are in a language, which the members of the Doctoral Council are able to read and evaluate. The language of the defence procedure may differ from the language of the dissertation. A doctoral dissertation shall be accompanied by a summary describing the goals, methods and findings of the research. The summary shall be written in Estonian if the dissertation is in a foreign language, or in English or German if the dissertation is in Estonian.
21. A dissertation shall be printed as a book in at least 70 copies and it has to be published at least one month before the defence. At least twenty copies of the dissertation shall be distributed on the basis of a list held by the Council Secretary, accompanied by a notification of the place and time of the defence and the name of the opponent. An article dissertation shall be submitted in four bound copies at least one month before the date of defence and it will be displayed in the library of the Academy. Together with printed copies, the doctoral student shall submit to the Secretary of the Doctoral Council an electronic copy of the doctoral dissertation (as a PDF), which will be made available through the electronic library catalogue, unless electronic publication is restricted by copyright. Information concerning the defence and a link to the summary or full text of the dissertation shall be posted on the homepage of the Academy.
22. After accepting a dissertation for defence, the Doctoral Council shall appoint an opponent, or two opponents if necessary, who have to be scholars with a doctorate or an equivalent qualification (in the defence of a doctoral thesis of the artistic branch, one opponent may be a recognised artist without a doctoral degree). One of the opponents has to be from outside the Academy. The defence procedure consists of the following parts: the candidate’s presentation, the opponent’s opinion and questions, a debate between the opponent and the candidate (plus another opinion and debate in case of two opponents), a general debate between the participants and the candidate, and the closing statement of the candidate. The defence can only take place if the candidate and at least one of the opponents (the opponent from outside the Academy) are present.
23. The doctoral dissertation shall be evaluated by a panel consisting of at least five academic members of the Doctoral Council, chaired by the chair or vice-chair of the academic branch of doctoral studies. The defence panel shall include at least one member from outside the Academy; it can be the opponent from outside the Academy. Any members from outside the Academy shall be approved by the Rector’s decree on the basis of a proposal of the chair of the academic section of the Doctoral Council. The discussions of the Doctoral Council shall be recorded in minutes. At the end of the meeting, all voting Council members shall grade the dissertation on a six-point scale. The final grade shall be the rounded average of these grades.
IV. Award of a doctoral degree
24. Doctoral studies end with the defence of a dissertation. The decision on the award of a doctoral degree shall be made by the defence panel. Before the defence, the Registry and Student Affairs Department shall make a proposal to the Doctoral Council, appending all documents required to verify fulfilment of the entire study programme.
25. The documents confirming the award of a doctoral degree shall be finalised by the Registry and Student Affairs Department within two weeks after the decision of the defence panel is announced. The formal presentation of doctoral diplomas shall take place at the annual graduation ceremony of the Academy.
V. Contestation of a doctoral degree
26. A decision to award a doctoral degree may be contested if the defence of the doctoral dissertation entails a breach of legislation, if fake data have been presented in the doctoral dissertation, or if plagiarism is found in the doctoral dissertation. Contestation may be initiated by a written application to the Rector of the Academy. The Rector shall forward the application to the Doctoral Council, which shall issue a reasoned opinion within one month from the date of receipt of the application.
27. Based on the opinion of the Council, the Rector shall make one of the following decisions:
a. Reject the application as unjustified and uphold the decision to award the degree;
b. Accept the application as justified and cancel the decision to award the degree.
28. Upon cancelling the decision to award the degree, the Rector shall choose one of the following options:
a. Permit a repeat defence of the doctoral dissertation;
b. Permit submission of a new doctoral dissertation;
c. Permanently revoke the candidate’s right to apply for a degree at the Academy.
Approved at EAMT Council meeting of 14.01.2004 (minutes No. 5 p. 1), amendments approved 29.09.2004, 10.01.2007, 19.03.2014, 09.12.2015