Master's Thesis process

At Oulu Business School, the primary master's thesis supervision model is group supervision, which includes seminar work. Supervised master's thesis work in groups starts in autumn and enrolment for the study module will take place according to the instructions provided at the time.  At the initial stage of the group activities, a supervisor will be appointed for each student.

The supervision process has four stages: Topic selection, research plan, intermediate report and manuscript. Supervision is linked with these stages. During topic selection, students can discuss potential research topics with supervisors, for example, during their consultation hours or using some other agreed method.   Three other stages are primarily based on group supervision as well as individual supervision given within a group.  At these stages, students prepare their work to appropriate stage (research plan, intermediate report, manuscript), draw up the presentation materials and hold a presentation, on which the supervisor and the rest of the group as well as a possible opponent will comment.

An essential element of group supervision is that students learn by acquainting themselves with the work of other group members and by commenting on them. Other elements of the supervision process include presentation of your own work, performing as an opponent to someone else's work and commenting as a part of group supervision. Drawing up and holding a presentation are a part of the supervision process and supervision of the content of the thesis. In addition to verbal skills, summarizing of the content, pointing out the crucial arguments and the evaluation of your own work and the research process are crucial in the drawing up and holding the presentation with regard to content and supervision. In exceptional cases, the supervisor may organise return points related to these stages in other ways besides seminar presentations. Also in these cases, students provide the supervisor/the group in its entirety with the presentation and the abstract of that particular stage of the thesis for commenting. However, oral presentation of the thesis is required at the latest in the intermediate or manuscript stage in order to evaluate oral presentation skills (a measuring point of the learning objective of the master's degree programme).

Consequently, students commit to prepare three reports with presentations advancing the thesis work, perform as opponents to another student's thesis at least once and prepare a opponent report (A4 sheet) for the student whose work is discussed and to participate in seminar work in manner agreed with the supervisor.  Supervisors commit to comment on students' reports and presentations and, when needed, to provide additional supervision during their consultation hours and in accordance with their resources.

Individual work

Students, who do not participate in the above supervision process, may also work on their thesis independently.   In this case, the student forgoes the right for supervision in accordance with the supervision process. In independent work, students must have their research topic approved by the thesis supervisor appointed to them when they enrol for master's thesis work. After this, the student will work on the thesis independently. The supervisor will be normally available during consultation hours and during these meetings students will have the opportunity to present questions which the supervisor will answer based on information provided by the student. As a rule, these meetings do not include actual reading and commenting of the thesis. Once the student has finished the manuscript, he or she has to present it in a thesis seminar selected by the supervisor in order to evaluate his or her oral presentation skills.  The supervisor will give his or her comments on the manuscript after which the the student continues to work on the thesis in the way chosen by him or her and will deliver the thesis to the supervisor, wo will give a permission to upload the thesis in Laturi or demand additional corrections in the thesis.

In this alternative, students commit to working on their thesis independently and preparing a presentation based on their manuscript. Supervisors commit to answering questions presented by the student during their consultation hours and reading and commenting on the manuscript and presentation by the student.

As a rule, both the supervised master's thesis work and independent work follow the same schedule according to which a master's thesis will be completed in one academic year.

Last updated: 15.7.2016