Finding a thesis topic, supervisor and advisor
The 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 the minor.
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.
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. 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.
The thesis topic and the completed thesis cannot be approved in the same committee meeting. The Master’s thesis topic is valid for one year from the date of approval. However, the target time for completing the thesis is six months. Time used for completing the thesis affects the thesis evaluation. Note, that this time period is not calculated from the approval date of the topic but from the actual start date of the thesis as agreed and judged by the supervisor.
If you have problems completing your theses withing the target time, please contact your supervisor as soon as possible. The thesis supervisor can extend the target time if there is a good reason for it.
It’s also possible to do 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.