Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years (1.8.2018-31.7.2020), which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


The purpose of the course is to prepare an initial research plan and to proceed in the research and writing task for a Master's thesis. The course supports abilities of searching and critiquing relevant literature, designing a research methodology and time plan, and writing the thesis. After the course, the student

  • knows about different types of master's theses and has a general understanding of the workload and schedule
  • has formulated research questions for her/his individual topic and chosen appropriate materials and methods to answer them
  • has basic knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • has basic skills for information retrieval for her/his subject
  • knows how to cite publications in her/his text, to use referencing software, and to write a list of references
  • has written a personal research plan for her/his master's work, including the abstract and the content plan, and is able to present and discuss the topic


Credits: 5

Schedule: 13.10.2020 - 11.05.2021

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Marketta Kyttä-Pirjola, Marketta Kyttä-Pirjola, Milos Mladenovic

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Marketta Kyttä-Pirjola, Marketta Kyttä-Pirjola, Milos Mladenovic

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The course consists of introductory lectures, independent work, and individual seminar presentation(s). Every student will have an individual supervisor and an instructor.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The following teaching methods are used during the course:

    • lectures, including guest lectures on research methods and information retrieval
    • student homework
    • student presentations and mutual feedback discussions
    • individual feedback for draft versions
    • an individual seminar presentation
    • an individual opponent task

    Active participation of the students is essential.

    The course incorporates visiting lectures on the following topics:

    • qualitative research and theme interview
    • statistical and geographic information methods
    • information retrieval

    Detailed study material is provided for the use of bibliography, the structure of the research plan and the master's thesis, and other relevant topics.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The workload will be presented in the course syllabus.


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Detailed study material is provided for the use of bibliography, the structure of the research plan and the master s thesis, and other relevant topics.

Substitutes for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Maa-20.3408 Seminars in Real Estate and Planning

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    At the beginning the student has to contact his supervisor/ instructor for her master's thesis topic.

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    11 Sustainable Cities and Communities



Registration and further information