Finding a thesis topic, supervisor and advisor
Master's thesis is
written on a topic usually related to the student's major and agreed
upon between the student and a professor
who specializes in the topic. On reasonable grounds, the school may
also grant permission for the thesis to be written on a topic related to
It is student's 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.
Where to find a thesis topic
The thesis topics vary and they can originate either from the needs of businesses and industries or from the needs of the academic community. Master’s thesis positions and topics are available for example in Aalto JobTeaser and the webpages of the departments but students can find the topic elsewhere as well. No matter where the topic is discovered, 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.
It is also possible to write the thesis on your own topic
without funding, i.e. your thesis is not done in a company or university
research group. However, you should still find both a supervisor and advisor
for your thesis.
Note that 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.
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.
When a student finds a topic that interests them, the
appropriate professor for that field of study 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 Into syllabi.
Please contact the responsible professor of your major if you want to do
the thesis for your minor or you find a supervisor from another school. Remember to inform your programme's study secretary about the approval as well.
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.
The supervisor ensures that the thesis meets all aims and
requirements set by the School of Science. After the student has returned their thesis for approval, their supervisor evaluates the thesis, writes an official statement and suggests
a grade for the Degree 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 they 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.