Thesis and maturity test in Master's and Licentiate's Programmes

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An academic degree always includes a written thesis. As a student at the University, you are a full member of the academic community and an expert in your field. In your thesis, you will examine a research question or questions of interest to you and generate new scientific knowledge in your field for the benefit of the academic community. Typically, the thesis is written independently, but, depending on the situation, the related research may be conducted as part of a project or research group or in collaboration with a company or an organisation.

You can see the possible additional instructions for your degree programme by selecting your degree programme in the menu above. You can clear the selection of the degree programme by clicking on Clear the selection in the menu.

Thesis in Master's and Licentiate's Programmes

As part of their advanced studies, Master’s level students write a thesis of 30 credits in scope. The thesis written by students of medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine, however, is 20 credits in scope.

In the thesis, you must demonstrate your familiarity with the thesis topic, mastery of the necessary research methods, the ability to think scientifically and proficiency in academic writing. The thesis workload, including the collection and processing of the research material as well as the writing process, corresponds approximately to one term of full-time study.

The thesis is assessed on a scale of 0–5.

Before embarking on the thesis project, or at its initial stages at the latest, you must draft a thesis plan, which will be discussed and approved in the manner specified in the degree programme curriculum. The plan must also indicate the supervisor(s) of the thesis.

You can complete the thesis independently or in a group or a wider research project, provided that your independent input can be clearly demonstrated and easily assessed. You can also complete the thesis as a commission. However, write your thesis independently. You can write the thesis as pair work with a fellow student only if your degree programme has separately decided to allow this. In such cases, the independent contribution of both students must be clearly demonstrable.

The thesis must contain an abstract. You can use the University's abstract document (a word document). Fill in the needed information on each line and write your abstract at the end. The length of the abstract is usually 1 page. The degree programmes and/or faculties can give more detailed instructions in the matter, please see also the degree programme-specific instructions. Attached is also a model document as a pdf. If needed, you can write the abstract also in other word processing programmes with the help of the model document.

If you give permission to publish your thesis in the University's open publication repository, please make sure the document is in an accessible format. See instructions on how to create accessible documents.

If you are dissatisfied with your grading, you can lodge an appeal with the University’s Academic Appeals Board. Read more on the page Legal protection of students.

Maturity test in Master's and Licentiate's Programmes

The maturity test has the status of an independent study attainment, but does not, however, yield credits. The maturity test must demonstrate your command of the topic of your thesis. The maturity test can be, for example, a section of the thesis or its abstract or another written assignment.

The thesis supervisor approves the maturity test, unless otherwise specified below. The maturity test is assessed on a scale of pass/fail and will be registered in the Student Register only after the thesis has been approved.

Thesis Instructions in Your Degree Programme

Master's Programme in Computer Science

Master’s Thesis in Master’s Programme in Computer Science

These are instructions for students; the Teacher’s Guide includes instructions for supervisors.

Overview of the process

Here is an overview of the Master’s thesis process from the student’s perspective. More details can be found below.

  • Find a topic and a supervisor, e.g., from Master’s thesis topics.
  • Prepare a 1–2 pages thesis plan, discuss it with the supervisor and submit it after filling in the MSc thesis e-form.
  • Discuss with the supervisor the ways of working and the supervision agreement.
  • Carry out the research work, start writing early, meet with your supervisor as agreed.
  • Present your thesis in Computer Science Colloquium.
  • Send your thesis to the plagiarism detection system Ourginal to your supervisor’s analysis address (firstname.surname.hy@analyysi.urkund.fi).
  • Return the final thesis to the supervisor (by the date agreed with the supervisor). The supervisor will upload the thesis and review statement to the thesis tool Grappa.
  • Submit the thesis to the E-thesis database following the instructions Grappa has sent you. You need to do this, as otherwise, your thesis will not be graded.
  • Once accepted, your accomplishment will be visible in Sisu in a few days. Celebrate!

Before starting

Before starting your thesis, you observe examples of Master’s theses in the Computer Science Colloquium during the first year of your studies. In addition, please note the following prerequisites:

  • Most required advanced studies and all essential courses on the thesis topic are conducted before starting the thesis project full-time.
  • Computer Science Colloquium is completed or nearly completed (note that the presentation at the Colloquium is a compulsory part of a thesis project, and the Colloquium as a course can be completed before)
  • For theses on software engineering, the course CSM14102 Methods for Software Engineering Research is highly recommended.

Getting started

To start your thesis project, you need to find a supervisor and decide the topic for your thesis. In addition to listed topics or topic areas, the topic may also originate from your interests or an organisation you may have contacts with, e.g., the company you work for. One way to find a supervisor is to enrol in the course Project: Master’s Thesis in Computer Science: you will answer a couple of questions, based on which you will be assigned a supervisor who will contact you. If you have trouble finding a supervisor and topic, you may contact the professor in charge of the study track.

Professors in charge of the study tracks:

  • Algorithms - Jyrki Kivinen
  • Networking and Services - Valtteri Niemi
  • Software Systems - Tomi Männistö

After finding a supervisor and a topic, you write the short (1–2 pages) thesis plan, which is mutually accepted by the thesis supervisor and the thesis candidate. Based on the information in the e-form, the professor in charge of the study track in question approves the thesis project. The thesis plan should include a tentative date for when a thesis presentation is given at the Computer Science Colloquium.

Doing it

Once started, the work is conducted under the personal guidance of the supervisor, and the thesis content is negotiated with the supervisor. There is a limited time for supervision per thesis, but the details are agreed upon between the student and the supervisor (e.g., in the supervision agreement). A typical length for a thesis is 40–50 pages, but this varies based on the topic. The thesis may be based entirely on previous research literature or include student’s original theoretical, empirical or constructive work. A Master’s thesis need not contain new scientific results.

For writing the thesis, there is a Latex template (.zip file) and a pdf, which contains instructions on how to get started, and an MS Word template.

Presentation

Presentation of your work at the Computer Science Colloquium is mandatory and gives you feedback for finalising the thesis. Suitable time to present the work is negotiated with the supervisor. After the presentation is given, the writing of the thesis can be completed, and the thesis can proceed to the final approval and grading.

Ourginal (was called Urkund) plagiarism check for Master’s theses

The Ourginal check must be carried out when the Master’s thesis is ready for the final review by the supervisors, i.e., before the review statement is written. Please send your thesis as a pdf file to your supervisor’s analysis address for Ourginal, which takes the form firstname.surname.hy@analyysi.urkund.fi.

Below you can find a figure showing the final stages of the process as a sequence diagram.

Grading

When you consider your thesis finished, hand it over to the supervisor for grading and final approval. The thesis will be inspected and graded by two examiners (the supervisor will call the other one), and they will write a review statement following the grading scale and criteria. Once the review statement is ready, you will get an email directing you to the Grappa tool to see the statement. To ensure your thesis grading proceeds to the board meeting, you need to click the link in the message provided by Grappa to submit your approval to the process and submit your thesis to E-thesis by the Wednesday that precedes the board meeting. The Master’s Programme’s Board will check the review statement, officially approve the thesis, and confirm the grade. The study administration will update the result in Sisu after the meeting, where they will be visible in a few days.

Deadlines for review statements

The supervisor needs to submit the thesis and their review statement to Grappa by the dates below for the thesis to be graded in the following Master’s Programme Board meeting.

Spring 2021

The thesis and review statement have to be returned to Grappa by this date Deadline for clicking the Grappa-link and submitting the thesis to E-thesis Board meeting
11.1. 13.1. 19.1.
15.2. 17.2. 23.2.
15.3. 17.3. 23.3.
5.4. 7.4. 13.4.
3.5. 5.5. 11.5.
31.5. 2.6. 8.6.
14.6. 16.6. 22.6.

Autumn 2021

The thesis and review statement have to be returned to Grappa by this date Deadline for clicking the Grappa-link and submitting the thesis to E-thesis Board meeting
23.8. 25.8. 31.8.
13.9. 15.9. 21.9.
11.10. 13.10. 19.10.
8.11. 10.11. 16.11.
29.11. 1.12. 7.12.

 

The final stages of the thesis process in one figure:

Final stages of the Master's thesis process as a sequence diagram

 

The language of the maturity test

The language of the maturity test is determined by the language studies of your previously completed first-cycle degree, your degree programme and the language of your secondary education.

  • If the language of your secondary education was Finnish or Swedish and you have completed your first-cycle degree in Finland and have accordingly demonstrated your language proficiency by passing a maturity test, as specified in the Government Decree on University Degrees, you need not demonstrate your language proficiency again. You may write the maturity test in Finnish, Swedish, English or in the language in which you wrote the thesis.
     
  • If the language of your secondary education was Finnish or Swedish but you have not demonstrated your language proficiency by passing a maturity test for your first-cycle degree, as specified in the Government Decree on University Degrees (because, for example, you completed your degree at a university abroad), you must demonstrate your language proficiency by writing the maturity test in the language of your secondary education.
     
    This also applies to students pursuing their degrees in English in English-language and multilingual Master’s programmes. See the other language requirements for your degree.
     
  • If the language of your secondary education was other than Finnish or Swedish and you are studying in a Master’s programme offered in Finnish and Swedish or completing studies in Finnish and Swedish in a multilingual Master’s programme, you may write the maturity test in Finnish, Swedish, English or in the language in which you wrote the thesis.
     
  • If the language of your secondary education was other than Finnish or Swedish and you are completing studies in English in an English-language or multilingual Master’s programme, you must write your maturity test in English.

Tiivistelmälomake / Abstract form

Bachelor's Programme in Mathematical Sciences
Bachelor's Programme in Physical Sciences
Bachelor's Programme in Chemistry
Bachelor's Programme for Teachers of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry
Bachelor's Programme in Computer Science
Bachelor's Programme in Geosciences
Bachelor's Programme in Geography
Master's Programme in Mathematics and Statistics
Master's Programme in Life Science Informatics
Master's Programme in Theoretical and Computational Methods
Master's Programme in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences
Master's Programme in Materials Research
Master's Programme in Atmospheric Sciences
Master's Programme in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences
Master's Programme for Teachers of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry
Master's Programme in Computer Science
Master's Programme in Data Science
Master's Programme in Geology and Geophysics
Master's Programme in Geography
Master's Programme in Urban Studies and Planning
Bachelor's Programme in Science
Nordic Master Programme in Environmental Changes at Higher Latitudes

Tiivistelmälomake / Abstract form (pdf, docx)

Abstract form for theses in the Master’s Programme in Urban Studies and Planning (pdf, docx)