Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, 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 help participants create and develop their dissertation proposals and present them in a concise manner. The course focuses on areas relevant to developing participants' understanding about the requirements of the doctoral dissertation. Also, the course supports doctoral students in developing their research themes. The course develops the participants' capabilities to present and discuss their research projects and provides an opportunity to get feedback from the faculty and from peer students. The takeaways from the course include fostering doctoral students' critical thinking skills needed in evaluating scientific work.

Credits: 5

Schedule: 13.09.2021 - 08.04.2022

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Risto Rajala

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

For personal guidance and counseling, please contact the responsible teacher:

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    The course is centered on a dissertation proposal which will be completed during the course. The course includes getting acquainted with the scientific body of knowledge in the participants' research domain. The activities include reviews of published PhD theses to develop capabilities for assessing scientific work. Each participant will give presentations of their dissertation proposals and review the research proposals of fellow students. The group discussions are centered on research designs, available methodological alternatives and the rationale for the participants' methodological choices. The participants act as discussants to their fellow student's research proposals to gain experience of discussing and assessing scientific work in the research community.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Assignments, presentations, class participation and readings. The assessment criteria for the dissertation proposals include: Rooting of the research proposal on the existing body of scientific knowledge, statement of the research problem, robustness and feasibility of the research design, justification of the choice of research methods, transparency of the research process, originality of the expected contribution, critical thought conveyed by the researcher, and clarity of presentation.

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Seminar 30h, preparing the presentations for the seminar 100h


Substitutes for Courses


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Period:

    2020-2021 Autumn I

    ,Autumn II,Spring III,Spring IV

    2021-2022 Autumn I

    ,Autumn II,Spring III,Spring IV

    Course Homepage:

    Registration for Courses: In the academic year 2021-2022, registration for courses will take place on Sisu ( instead of WebOodi.