Starting / Approval of the topic

How to start

Finding a thesis topic and a professor for supervising it

It is on the student's own responsibility to find a master's thesis position and topic. This may take time, and therefore it is highly recommended to start searching for the master's thesis position at the beginning of the second autumn at the latest.

The topics of theses vary and they can originate either from the needs of businesses and industries or from the needs of the academic community. The student must agree on starting the thesis with the professor in charge of the major or the professor whose field of research best matches with the topic. Master’s thesis positions and topics are also available in CareerWeb and the webpages of the departments but students can find the topic elsewhere, too.

Thesis supervisor and advisor

The master’s thesis must have a supervisor and it may have one or two advisors. The supervisor can also act as an advisor. The supervisor is usually one of the professors of the School of Science. For special reasons, the thesis supervisor may also be another professor, university lecturer, or senior university lecturer of the school. While the supervisor and the advisor(s) offer support, the thesis is written independently and the student is responsible for the successful completion of the master’s thesis.

When the student finds a topic that interests him/her, the appropriate professor can be found from the list of professors and their research areas on the department’s webpage. Often the professor is one of the responsible professors of the major the student has chosen. Professors who are responsible for the majors are listed in the study guides.

The supervisor ensures that the thesis meets all aims and requirements set by the School of Science. In his/her statement at the end of the thesis work, the supervisor evaluates the thesis and suggests a grade for the Programme Committee.

The advisor is usually from an organization for which the thesis is written and holds at least a master’s degree. The advisor is an expert in the field of the thesis, and he/she can give advice on the content and writing of a thesis. The duties of the advisor are agreed on by the student, supervisor and advisor.
Neither the supervisor nor the advisor may be a relative of the student, or biased in any other way.

Master’s thesis as a public document

According to Finnish legislation, a master's thesis is a public document and its contents cannot be confidential. Therefore, the material of the thesis must be chosen so that it does not include any information that could be classified as a business secret.

Languages of the degree and the abstacts

The language in which the student writes his/her master’s thesis determines the language of the degree. If the master’s thesis is written in Finnish or Swedish, the language of the degree is Finnish or Swedish accordingly, and the student receives the degree certificate in either Finnish or Swedish and an English translation of the certificate. If the master’s thesis is written in English, the student receives two original degree certificates: one in English, and one in Finnish or Swedish.

The language of student’s school education determines the required abstracts: if the student's language of school education is Finnish, the thesis has abstracts in English and in Finnish. Similarly, if the language of school education is Swedish, the abstracts are in English and in Swedish. If the language of student's school education is other than Finnish or Swedish, the abstract is written in English only.

Approval of the master's thesis topic

Once a student has agreed on the topic with the supervisor, he/she has to apply for approval of the topic from the Programme Committee (form 206). It is advisable to keep the topic compact and informative. The final title of the thesis can be changed as long as the topic remains the same. The Programme Committee approves the topic, language, supervisor and advisor(s) of the thesis. Note that the topic and the thesis cannot be approved in the same meeting.

Student can apply for approval of the topic when he/she:

  • is enrolled as an attending student
  • B.Sc. degree has been approved
  • has completed at least 45 ECTS credits towards the master’s degree
  • personal study plan (HOPS) has been approved

The topic is valid for one year from the date of approval. If the thesis is not submitted for evaluation during that period, the topic expires and must be applied for again.

206 Request for approval of topic of master’s thesis (pdf) Submit the signed form either to the student services or as an attachment in eAge system.

Student services, Computer Science building, 1st floor, Konemiehentie 2, 02150 Espoo
Rooms: B152–B163

Last modified: Friday, 1 November 2019, 2:20 PM