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SCI MSc theses only in electrical format
More information here
The master’s thesis supervisor is one of the professors of the school. For special reasons, the supervisor may be the school’s university lecturer or senior university lecturer in the lecturer career system. The supervisor can also act as the advisor.
The supervisor ensures that the thesis meets all aims and requirements set by the School of Science. In his/her statement the supervisor evaluates the thesis and suggests a grade.
The thesis work must have one supervisor and may have one or two advisors. The advisor is usually from an organization for which the thesis is written. The thesis advisor shall hold at least a master’s degree. The advisor is an expert in the field of the thesis, who can give advice on 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 master’s thesis is written independently, with the supervisor and advisor offering support. Responsibility for the successful completion of a master’s thesis lies with the student.
Topic of the master’s thesis
It is a student’s responsibility to find him-/herself a master's thesis position and topic. Finding a suitable master's thesis position and topic may take time, and therefore it is highly recommended to start looking for the master's thesis position in the beginning of the second autumn.
Once a student has found a topic, he/she has to apply for approval of the topic from the Degree programme committee.
You can apply for approval of the topic if:
- You are enrolled as an attending student.
- Your B.Sc. degree has been approved.
- You have completed at least 45 ECTS credits towards your master’s degree.
- Your personal study plan (HOPS) for master’s degree studies has been approved.
- You have completed any complementary studies you were assigned when admitted.
A master’s thesis is usually written on a topic relating to the student’s major or minor subject. The Degree Programme Committee approves the topic of the thesis. The topic and the thesis cannot be approved in the same meeting.
Programmes, majors and codes (pdf)
The topic of the master’s thesis is valid for one year from the date of approval. If the thesis is not submitted for evaluation during that period, the topic expires and must be applied for again.
The application is submitted to the student services of the degree programme. For the deadlines, see the meetings of the Degree Programme Committees.
Master's thesis evaluation
Guidelines for master's thesis evaluation (pdf) and typical characterization of theses grades (pdf)
SCI Statement template (doc) for thesis supervisors (recommended).
Help with writing a master’s thesis
The Language Centre offers a Writing Clinic: individual writing tutoring to help you learn how to plan, organise, write and revise academic papers. See their Recommended Links page for useful sites and resources.
How to do a excellent thesis (with a company)? Master's thesis event 30.10.2017 for Industrial Engineering and Management masters students.
Abstract of the master’s thesis
If the thesis is written in English and the language of school education is in Finnish or Swedish, the abstract is written in English and in Finnish or in Swedish.
If the language of school education is other than Finnish or Swedish, the abstract is written in English only.
Models and templates
Model of the title page
Model of the abstract page
Thesis as a public document
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 of the financing company.
So-called metadata (i.e. name of author, title of thesis, name of thesis supervisor and advisor, keywords) of each thesis is published in the Aaltodoc database at https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi. In addition to this, all approved theses are archived in the Aaltodoc publication archives. Full versions of the electronically archived theses can be accessed on certain computers at the Learning Center.
Publishing a master's thesis online
With the student's permission, the thesis abstract and/or full text are published on the internet. Permission for electronic publishing is given or denied on the electronic application form 207. The date of publishing can be postponed by a maximum of one year from the date of thesis approval, i.e. the date of the committee meeting. The publishing of the thesis may be postponed for reasons related to other publications, patent applications or trade secrets, for example. However, you should keep in mind that the thesis is always a public document, and displayed in the Learning Center as mentioned above.
When your thesis is almost finished
Arrange a timetable with your supervisor for the evaluation and approval of your thesis. The supervisor needs about a month to read the finished thesis and write a statement.
Even though the theses are submitted for approval only in electronic format, your supervisor might still require theses bound in black covers. You must agree upon this with your supervisor.
Maturity essay and seminar presentation
Writing a maturity essay is part of a master’s thesis. It is written even if one was written for a bachelor’s degree.
The maturity essay follows the procedure of the supervisor’s department.
The master's thesis includes a seminar presentation or an equivalent presentation. Arrange the time and place of your presentation with your supervisor. Submit the thesis presentation form to the student services of your programme.
Submitting your thesis
The thesis can be approved when:
- You are enrolled as an attending student.
- The topic of your master’s thesis has been approved and is valid.
- You have written a maturity essay/press release and given a seminar presentation (according to the instructions of the degree programme).
- When your supervisor approves the thesis to be submitted, submit the eAge for "207 Approval and grading of the thesis" and upload the thesis in PDF/A format in the system. Make sure it is the final version.
- If needed, submit a bound copy of your thesis to the supervisor (binding model pdf).
Here is how you submit an electronic version of your thesis and the thesis approval form electronically through the eAge system.
- Fill in the application form according to the instructions given in eAge and upload the final version of your thesis into the system. The file must be saved in PDF/A format. Name the file without any Scandinavian letters (e.g. ä and ö) or special characters. The name should be in the following format: school's abbreviation_publishingyear_lastname_firstname.pdf (example: sci_2013_lastname_firstname.pdf)
- Make sure the version is final and identical to the copy given to the supervisor, with any corrections included. This version is used in any appeals against the grading of the thesis.
- Learning Centre’s instructions on converting the file into a PDF/A-format: https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/doc_public/ohjeet/aaltodoc_pdf_a.pdf
*The Degree Programme Committee approves and grades the thesis based on the statement(s) given by the supervisor and the advisor. The supervisor and advisor may write either a joint statement or separate statements.
If you want to graduate, please fill in also the online application form 110 Request for degree certificate that is available on the page "Graduation".
Appealing against a grade
Students dissatisfied with the grade of their thesis may appeal against the decision in writing to the Aalto University Academic Appeals Board (Aalto-yliopiston tutkintolautakunta) within 14 days of receiving notification of the decision.
Aalto University Academic Appeals Board
P.O. BOX 11000
(These are just examples, any other binderies are fine.)
Writing in English
Usually, Master's Theses are written in English. In addition to English language, you need to use the style of English writing. This means, that you give more hints what the reader will read next than writing in Finnish. This is done with transition in every layer. Use transition words such as however, on the other hand etc. to link sentences, link paragraphs together, and finally, the whole paper is linked together. Do not use same transition words too often but choose synonyms.
- Use simple sentences and words.
- Do not write too long sentences, they will easily make the text unreadable.
- Think what is the correlate of a pronoun. Repetition is not a bad thing.
- Learn how to use comma and other punctuation. (OWL's Instructions for grammar and punctuation)
- Pictures and tables need to be explained in the text. Do not assume that the reader will see your point from the picture without help.
- When an acronym is used for the first time, write it out and put the acronym in parentheses. For example, Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is a reliable connection oridented transport layer protocol and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is corresponding unreliable connectionless protocol. Many applications use TCP instead of UDP. It is nice to repeat the whole name of a protocol once in a while.
- Remember to mark the references in the text!
- Books about writing
- William Strunk, Jr.: The Elements of Style. 1999.
- V. Booth, Communicating in Science: Writing and Speaking. Cambridge University Pres, 1984.
- M. Davis, Scientific Papers and Presentations. Academic Press, New York, NY, 1997.
- R. A. Day, How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, 5th Ed. Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Do not worry about the end of the work in the begining!
- Writing is a personal thing
- Using a template help avoiding "white paper syndrome"
- If you got stuck, write some other part of the work or draw a picture and explain it.
- You do not need to write final text from the start, you can rewrite. Write with any language or even mix languages, just get something written.
- You can start from the middle, not from the beginning, it is usually easier.
- Try to to divide your work to smaller pieces.
- Plan the timetable well
- Make a writing plan: your outline with how many pages each chapter will contain and when your write that chapter.
- Take into account other things that affect your writing, e.g. courses and their deadlines, your instructor's and supervisor's holidays etc.
- Example about timetable: If you want to graduate before end of the year (assuming that all courses have been done), your master thesis typically is accepted in the last departement council meeting somewhere in the beginning of December. The deadline for the subjects of the meeting is about ten days earlier than the meeting. Before that, your supervising professor need to read the work through. Before the professor, your instructor needs to read the work throug. Thus, your work need to be finished about in the middle of November, latest.
Sanna Suoranta, 2.9.2009