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.


After successful completion, the student is able to:

  1. Write a thesis plan proposal relevant to their field of studies.
  2. Demonstrate competence with information retrieval, academic writing, research ethics and other matters relevant for carrying out their MA thesis.
  3. Comprehend and apply in their thesis process the contents of the Master’s Thesis Guide of the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, including aims, planning, and process for completing MA thesis, and the thesis evaluation criteria.

Credits: 3

Schedule: 05.09.2022 - 31.07.2023

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Heidi Paavilainen

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

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

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

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: Finnish, Swedish, English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    The course informs and reminds students about and supports applying in the thesis their learnings in research methods, information retrieval, academic writing, research ethics, written and oral communication, project management and department thesis completion process. To complete the course, the students need to get their thesis topic and thesis plan proposal approved in their programmes/majors during the Period I. Please check details for the official approval procedure from your own programme/major.

    Thesis Plan Orientation is one of the four compulsory courses for all Master's students at the Department of Design.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Pre-assignments, assignments, exam based on assignments, thesis plan proposal presented in the programme/major.

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    A student can independently study and work with a set of assignments and then take an electric exam in a specified manner. The course is completed by delivering a satisfying Thesis Plan Proposal in the student’s MA major/programme. This mode of completion is recommended only to students who are experienced in planning research and writing academic text.

    Workload 81 h

    • Independent work (incl 2 h exam) 63 h
    • Satisfactory presentation of thesis plan proposal 1 h
    • Personal reflection 16 h
    • Course evaluation 1 h


Substitutes for Courses


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Language : English

    Teaching Period : 2022-2023 Autumn I - Spring V
    2023-2024 Autumn I - Spring V

    Enrollment :

    Registration for courses: Sisu. Min. 5., max 160 students. Priority order to courses is according to the order of priority decided by the Academic committee for School of Arts, Design and Architecture,