The default duration of the entire Master's thesis process is 9-12 months. Completing in this time requires several months of focused work. The nominal workload is 30+6 credits, which corresponds to about six months of full-time work. Figure below shows a suggested timeline for completing your thesis work. However, there is nothing preventing you from completing your studies faster – the timeline is first and foremost up to you!
A master's thesis demonstrates readiness for scientific thinking, command of research methods, conversance with the topic of the thesis, and ability for scientific communication. There is no single correct form for the thesis project. For example, you can choose between:
- a theoretical piece, where you begin by identifying a gap in the literature and look for a good research context to study this missing knowledge area, or
- an applied piece, in which you apply an established or self-developed theoretical framework to give recommendations, ”test the model” or solve a practical issue.
The goodness of a master’s thesis is always evaluated within the traditions of the field of study as well as the institution granting the degree. Aalto University School of Business has constructed a master’s thesis evaluation rubric to articulate its evaluation criteria as well as the expectations we place upon thesis work.
Before starting your thesis project, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the master's thesis evaluation form and rubric below. You can also find links to some examples of theses done in the department of marketing in the page below. In addition, you can discover other open-access BIZ Master's theses through the Aaltodoc repository (locked theses can be downloaded using Learning Centre's client computers).
When doing your Master's Thesis you can make use of the Tutorial videos for thesis writing (BIZ).
Videos found in the section titled “Finding your research topic & background literature” can help you to tackle issues related to finding a suitable thesis topic and writing a literature review. The section contains the following video tutorials:
- Finding a thesis topic
- Research profiling using reference data bases
- Searching literature in scientific data bases
- How to read scientific articles efficiently
- How to use Mendeley reference manager (for efficient write-and-cite)
- How to reference secondary data
Research ethics and promoting the responsible conduct in research consists of both preventing any harm caused to the research subject, and behaviour in the researcher community. These are prerequisites for research to be ethically acceptable and reliable, and for its results to be credible.
You are encouraged to familiarize with the slides and the material in the links in order to ensure you do not accidentally violate research ethics. In case of doubt, discuss with your supervisor and/or contact the Aalto services on research ethics
When you wish to submit the final version of your thesis, the thesis has to be completely ready (it cannot be submitted unfinished or in several parts), and the supervisor has to have given their permission to submit the thesis. The grade given for the thesis cannot be upgraded. Before submitting the final version, you are encouraged to check the originality of your thesis with the independent Turnitin originality checker (link to the workspace below).When the supervisor has given you their permission to submit the thesis:
- Submit your thesis on PDF/A form in MyCourses. The file should include thesis, cover page and abstract.
- Submit your thesis (the same PDF/A file) to eAge for Learning Center’s archives.
The supervisor evaluates the thesis and the content of the abstract serving as a maturity essay. For Master’s theses, there is always a second evaluator, who cooperates with the primary supervisor in evaluating the thesis. The Master’s theses are finally approved by the Heads of Departments.