Health care sciences doctoral study is a third cycle study program that provides the knowledge, competencies and skills to address the most demanding research and development challenges in the field of health sciences. The complexity of the study and the general and specific competencies it provides meet the highest level of the European Qualifications Framework.

The health care sciences doctoral study covers three fields of study or scientific areas: Nursing Care, Health Promotion and Health Care Management. Students select their field of study as they enrol in the first year. The selected field of study will be entered in the doctoral candidate's diploma; however, in accordance with Article 13 of the Professional and Academic Titles Act, the field of study is not a part of the academic title. The academic title after the successful completion of studies is Doctor of Science or Doctor of Health Sciences; the abbreviated form is: Name and Surname, DSc or DHSc.

The health care sciences doctoral study provides advanced skills in the areas of basic, applied and developmental research and in addressing demanding scientific and professional challenges and trains the doctoral candidate for academic work in the field of medical treatment and cross-sector collaboration. As part of obligatory and elective subjects, the study program covers current development content in the areas of health care professionalization, public health and health care as a system. It covers evidence-based practice and interprofessional collaboration in health care, modern approaches to health care and policies as a response to future epidemiological trends, and scientific views of modern theoretical, ethical and sociological concepts in nursing care and other health care professions. The study program is directed towards the skills and competencies required for a critical judgement of research results, the development of research methods and the transfer of knowledge into practice. It will prepare students for scientific research and development work in the field of health care as a system, medical treatment, nursing care, health promotion and health care management.

Doctoral candidates will be trained to use and analyse different research designs; they will be able to synthesize different scientific evidence and evaluate the impact of the research methods that were used and the results of research work. They will understand the importance of knowledge to academic growth; they will use and generate new knowledge; they will be able to accurately understand and use the techniques for applying research work and advanced academic enquiries; they will be able to make an assessment in complex circumstances with scarce available data; they will be capable of understanding and making critical judgements about complex and demanding scientific research questions, critically evaluating research results, developing new approaches to research and acting as a link between the academic and the clinical environment or another environment where the profession has its own needs and issues.