If you are dissatisfied with the grade proposal for a thesis included in your second-cycle degree (master’s thesis), you can request, in writing, that the grading of your thesis be suspended before the faculty council/steering group has made a decision on the matter. This will cancel the grading procedure.
If you are dissatisfied with the decision by the faculty council/steering group on the grading of your master’s thesis, you can appeal the decision to the Academic Appeals Board.
The Academic Appeals Board does not process appeals pertaining to students’ dissatisfaction with deficiencies in thesis supervision, if any, or the grounds given in grading decisions. Consequently, the Academic Appeals Board does not process appeals seeking to rectify the written grading statement and proposal of the thesis examiners only.
Theses included in second-cycle degrees are written independently by students. Ultimately, students decide on the form and content of their theses, and students alone are responsible for their theses. Theses are assessed as is on the basis of the relevant assessment criteria. Deficiencies in supervision, if any, or the workload students have undertaken in connection with their theses does not, as such, constitute grounds for a better grade than that based on the content of the thesis. Correspondingly, amendments made on the basis of supervisors’ comments do not automatically justify a better grade. Instead, students are independently responsible for the content of their theses and related choices.
The Academic Appeals Board processes appeals pertaining to theses by providing the person responsible for the grading with the opportunity to submit a response to the appeal. Before making a decision, the board can also obtain a statement from an expert not affiliated with the University of Helsinki. Appellants are provided the opportunity to be heard on any material obtained relevant to the matter before the Academic Appeals Board makes its decision.
Students can graduate from the University before the processing of an appeal pertaining to the grading of their thesis is completed. Students must notify the Academic Appeals Board of their up-to-date contact details, such as an active email address. If the grade of a thesis is changed as a result of the appeal process, a new certificate will be provided to the student.
Content of appeals pertaining to theses, required attachments
The appeal is made in writing and must indicate the following:
- Decision to be appealed
- The rectification requested
- Grounds for the appeal
- Account of the date of receipt of the decision, if the period of submission indicated in the instructions for appeal is contested
- Name and contact details of the appellant
Documents to be attached to the appeal:
- Master’s thesis
- Thesis assessment form
- Extract of the minutes of the meeting as well as appendices, if any, to the minutes of the meeting of the faculty council/steering group indicating the meeting date, faculty, name of the thesis writer and the grade given for the thesis. You can request the documents from the head of academic affairs of your faculty.
Alternatively, you can submit the original email message notifying you of the approval and registration of your thesis, provided that the message indicates the grade given for the thesis and the date of the faculty council’s/steering group’s decision. If information on the decision was sent by email, the original message must be submitted to the Academic Appeals Board in a form that indicates the relevant parties and the date and time of its receipt.