Master thesis work

The MSc thesis is the single most important piece of work undertaken as part of the MSc and as such the research group should be chosen carefully by the student and the work should be planned carefully before starting.

Students are allowed to do their MSc thesis work at any university or research institute. The MSc thesis work can also be undertaken in a company, but the work must be research based. Students are encouraged to undertake the thesis work in one of the leading research groups in the sub-discipline wherever it is located in the world.

Before starting the experimental part of the Pro gradu the students must present a short research proposal to the Project Co-ordinator (Prof. Lloyd Ruddock). The proposal is free format but must include the students name, start date of the project, supervisor(s) names and titles and the place where the work will be undertaken. The proposal will be checked to ensure that the research has been well planned in advance. A typical research plan might include half to one side of background information and then around one side of experimental details. If the work is build on previously published results it is useful to include references.

The Pro gradu project lasts maximally one year, such that the experimental part takes maximally six months and the Thesis must be submitted no later than exactly one year after the beginning of the experimental part. This is based on the fact that the Faculty is obliged to give every student the chance to graduate from the MSc program in the set time of two years, and also to make every Pro gradu project comparable in terms of volume. These critical dates will be made known to the reviewers of the Thesis and exceeding the set times without good reason will result in the work being penalized. However, if there is a well justified reason for extension, this should be applied from the Project Co-ordinator. Good reasons may be for example sickness or breaking of critical equipment in the lab, being unable to obtain essential reagents or any other factors which both cause delay through no fault of the student.

Submitting the Thesis for review

Since it is advised that the supervisor also supervises the writing of the Thesis, it is suggested that the student and the supervisor together make sure that the Thesis is ready for submission by the set deadline, allowing sufficient time for possible corrections, additions and deletions to be made as suggested by the supervisor. Students and supervisors are advised to examine the Pro Gradu mark scheme and the instructions for writing the Pro Gradu thesis before the writing process starts.

The thesis should be submitted via the Laturi system and, unless the student refuses permission, it will automatically be checked by Urkund plagiarism system.

Examining the thesis

The two examiners appointed by the faculty are given maximally three weeks to suggest a grade. They must also give a written statement to justify their opinion on the grade. In addition, they are obliged to offer the student a chance to receive feedback face to face. The examiners have access to a statement from the supervisor of the student and the laboratory notebook to aid them in their deliberations. If both examiners suggest the same grade, a sub-committee of the faculty education committee (three members) can immediately make the official decision to speed up the process. If the examiners do not agree on the grade, the official decision on the grade, or decision to invite a third examiner, is made in the next scheduled faculty education committee meeting. The grade and the examiners statements are made known to the student as soon as the decision is made.

If the student is not satisfied with the given grade, they can make an appeal. This is free format and must make specific points justifying why the student believes the grade awarded is incorrect. The appeal is addressed to the Dean of Education who will then appoint one or two additional examiners and the final mark will be decided in the next scheduled faculty education committee meeting.

Faculty code of practice for Pro Gradu research projects

Pro Gradu mark scheme

Instructions for writing the Pro Gradu thesis

Examples of previous Pro gradu work

Detailed instructions for finalizing the degree are found in the links under MSc thesis work.

Printable version of the instructions


Last updated: 28/10/2016