Thesis requirements

The Graduate School has defined a common framework for doctoral theses completed in the University of Oulu.

What is a doctoral thesis?

The doctoral thesis should show evidence that the doctoral researcher can independently and critically apply scientific research methods and generate new scientific knowledge. A doctoral thesis can be a compilation of published research articles and manuscripts, and a summary based on these, or it can be a monograph. The doctoral training should be defined in a way that the doctoral degree can be completed within a time equivalent to four years of full-time studies.

The objectives of scientific and artistic postgraduate education and the completion of the doctoral degree are provided by the Government Decree on University Degrees (794/2004, Amendment 1039/2013; 21§ and 22§).

The doctoral thesis experts evaluate the contribution and its sufficiency for a doctoral dissertation based on the scientific contents of the work. The Doctoral Programme Committee will make the final decision on the permission to defend the thesis and thesis acceptance based on the evaluations.

Compilation thesis

A compilation thesis is per se based on international peer reviewed scientific publications, which have appeared or been accepted for publication. In some cases manuscripts sent for peer review can also be included.

At least half of the articles have to be already published or accepted for publication

The typical number of articles in a compilation varies across the disciplines and depends primarily on their scientific contents, novelty and significance together with the doctoral researcher’s contribution to those.

Monograph thesis

The format and the structure of a monograph thesis is a unified treatment.

The content hasn't been fully published in this format but it may be based on partially or completely published scientific articles authored by the doctoral researcher.

If those publications have multiple authors, the monograph will include the contribution by the doctoral researcher only, or it must be clearly indicated.


Claims of copyright owners of potential past publications must be considered in both monograph and compilation dissertations. The copyright principles and requirements of the publisher must be respected and good scientific practice must be followed in all respects. In good time, prior to starting the publication process, the doctoral researcher will ask the publishers for permissions to republish research articles included in the compilation thesis and possible images and tables (see detailed information in Instructions for publishing in the series Acta Universitatis Ouluensis).