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Thesis

The aim of the Bachelor's thesis is to enhance and demonstrate the ability of students to apply their knowledge and skills in practical expert duties related to their professional studies.

The aim of the Master's thesis is to enhance and demonstrate the ability of students to apply research knowledge and use selected methods for distinguishing and solving problems of working life as well as the ability to perform demanding expert tasks independently.

To demonstrate their acquaintance in their field of study as well as their competence in the Finnish or Swedish language, the student is required to take a written maturity test in the field of their thesis.

Theses written at universities of applied sciences can be found on Theseus.

More information in student intranet Oiva »

The revised thesis instructions to be introduced in the academic year 2020-2021: 

  • Research Ethics

    Research ethics refers to complying with ethically responsible and correct practices.

    Both the students and staff of Oamk are committed to following the Responsible conduct of research guidelines by the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (TENK).  Your thesis process will also be guided by the Ethical recommendations for thesis writing at universities of applied sciences (Arene). Please also read this guide Data Protection and Thesis.

    For a project thesis, make a cooperation agreement in Pulmu. The cooperation agreement clarifies matters concerning data protection, publication and confidentiality of the results, as well as user rights.

    If you need to examine secret documents for your thesis, draw up a separate non-disclosure agreement as required. In its entirety, the thesis is public. If your thesis contains business secrets or other information classified as secret in the Act on the Openness of Government Activities, you must write out the thesis report without breaching the data confidentiality. Where necessary, the secret information must be included in the background materials of the thesis.

    Find out if you need a research permission for your thesis.

    Copyright

    Theses are protected under the Finnish Copyright Act (404/1961) on the same grounds as literary and other works.

    Copyright applies to several different forms of works. In practice, a thesis is always a work, regardless of whether it is a written presentation, coded computer program, performed presentation, or a composition. This means that the thesis report is not a work on its own, but instead, the copyright may also cover the functional part of the thesis. The Copyright Act gives a more detailed list of the forms of works.

    There are also other copyright-related rights. These refer to rights that are dependent on the copyright of the original work. For example, a performance, arrangement, translation or recording falls under rights that are linked to the original work.

    It will be assessed case-by-case whether the work meets the characteristics of an independent and original work. Thoughts, topics, methods, principles, scientific discoveries, theories, or research results and data cannot be protected.

    As theses are usually protected under the Copyright Act, the different parties should agree upon their rights at the start of the thesis process, as well as how to protect them. An individual student or a group of students may own the copyright. Copyright enters into force once the work is done. The copyright is automatic on the basis of the Copyright Act, and it requires no registration or notification.

    Copying a thesis without the original author’s permission is forbidden, as well as altering the work in a manner that violates the author’s rights. The author(s) of a thesis may transfer the copyright to someone else, either entirely or in part. The transfer can be made informally, but we recommend that it is done in writing. A thesis is usually an assignment for a company or community. If the thesis is an assignment, the parties should agree upon its copyright.

    If you want, you can test your knowledge about copyright (https://korkeakoulu.kopiraittila.fi/en/etusivu) and earn the Copyright Expert badge issued by Kopiosto ry.

    Further information

    The Copyright Act (404/1961), the Copyright Decree (574/1995), the Patents Act (550/1967), the Patents Decree (669/1980), the Act on the Right in Inventions made at Higher Education Institutions (369/2006), Registered Designs Act (221/1971), the Act on Utility Model Rights (800/1991), Trademarks Act (544/2019), and the Act on the Exclusive Right in the Layout-Design (Topography) of an Integrated Circuit (32/1991) lay down provisions on immaterial rights. You can find the up-to-date legislative and other judicial information at www.finlex.fi.

    Here are some other useful sites:
    Copyright organisation Kopiosto www.kopiosto.fi/,
    Säveltäjäin Tekijänoikeustoimisto Teosto r.y. (non-profit performance rights organisation) www.teosto.fi/teosto,
    Copyright society for artists KUVASTO ry www.kuvasto.fi/ and
    The Copyright Information and Anti-Piracy Centre www.antipiracy.fi/.

    The Ethical Principles of Research with Human Participants

    The Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (TENK) has published guidelines (2019) called The ethical principles of research with human participants and ethical review in the human sciences in Finland. The guidelines outline the ethical principles of research with human participants, such as research involving minors. The guidelines also contain information on the potential ethical review in the human sciences. For bachelor’s theses at universities of applied sciences, we do not recommend topics that require ethical review.

  • Different Reporting Formats

    Apart from the traditional format, the thesis project can be reported in the form of a diary, portfolio or article(s). All of these formats are accepted in all of our degree programmes.

    Structure of a Traditional Thesis Report

    1. Introduction
      • The introduction introduces the subject of the Bachelor’s thesis to the reader. The introduction briefly describes the background of the choice of subject and the viewpoint, purpose and function of the thesis and the methods used. It introduces the core concepts and briefly the frame of reference or theoretical foundation of the thesis.
      • The author of the thesis may establish the topicality and importance of the project, the benefits of the work to the client or to the professional field and its significance to his own professional development.
    2. Theoretical foundation, theory
      • In this section the student describes the theoretical foundation he has used in the Bachelor’s thesis and its application to practice. It is important that a connection is established between these aspects.
    3. Description of development/research task, empirical results and process
      • In the Bachelor’s thesis the research material and methods must be described so accurately that an expert in the field can assess their reliability.
      • The development/research task is the most important and most extensive part of the report, because the results and conclusions are built on it. Its title must reflect the content and nature of the thesis.
    4. Results and conclusions
      • The publication of the results and outcomes of Bachelor's theses varies depending on the development/research task undertaken. The results may also be organized in different ways. One recommended method is to present the main results so that they answer the questions asked in the definition of the development/research task.
      • The conclusions are drawn from the results obtained in the Bachelor’s thesis and they are considered in relation to the starting point of the development/research task. In the conclusions the used theoretical foundation is reflected against the empirical results. The conclusions show how the Bachelor’s thesis has changed or increased knowledge in the development area and how the results can be utilized in practice.
      • It is advisable to pay special attention to the way the results and conclusions are presented, since it is the part of the thesis that is of most interest to the client.
    5. Discussion
      • In the discussion the author analyses the subject of the Bachelor’s thesis and its execution, as well as ethical questions. The results of the thesis are compared with the questions presented in the determination of the research task and new questions that have arisen during the writing process are analyzed.
      • In the discussion the author presents his own comments and views on the development/research task.
    References

    Appendices

    Article-based reporting is a suitable option for theses dealing with particularly relevant or future-oriented topics that are of interest to the great public. Demonstrating your competence in an article can provide valuable visibility that may help with further studies, for example. The thesis can comprise one or several professional or scientific articles introducing the results of your research or development project. The publication channels are determined in a personal guidance discussion so that they are relevant in the professional field and suit the nature of the project. If an article is co-authored by several people, the thesis-writer's personal, independent contribution must be clearly indicated. Introduction, conclusions and reflection are written for the thesis, as well as the article(s).

    Structure of an Article-Based Thesis Report

    1. Introduction, conclusions and reflection
      • Defining the objectives, theoretical background and methods of the article(s) and assessing the significance and usability of the outcomes upon publishing. The actual results are left in the article because the results published in the article must be unpublished. If the thesis contains several articles, this section also includes a description of how they are connected to each other and what kind of entity they form.
      • If there are several writers, their contribution is clearly specified in the design, implementation and writing of the thesis.
    2. The article(s)
      • Articles are written according to the instructions of the publication channel as professional journal expert article (D), publication in ePooki - RDI Publications of Oulu University of Applied Sciences (D), scientific peer-reviewed article (A), scientific non peer-reviewed article (B) or other applicable publication (E). For A and B publications, one article is sufficient. More than one is required for publication categories D and E. An article can only be offered to one publishing channel at a time and results must be unpublished. The publishing channel must have an editorial board.
      • If there are several students, their names are listed in alphabetical order. The supervisor is marked as the last writer.
      • The manuscript of an article may be accepted as a thesis before it is published. In this case, the thesis to be published in Theseus mentions the publication channel to which the article has been offered. The results of an article or the article script will not be saved in Theseus, because the results published in the article must be unpublished.
      • If the article(s) has been published before saving the thesis in Theseus, the report will include the bibliographic information of the article.
    References
    Appendices

    Portfolio-based reporting is a good option for students strongly committed to the professional field. The student builds a portfolio of works produced during the studies. Work products created outside the degree programme can also be included, as long as they are relevant for the professional competence and meet other requirements. The work products can also be in formats other than writing, but they must nevertheless be documented. The set of works is bound together using a theoretical basis, and this will form the thesis entity. The portfolio is based on planned and pre-defined research theses/questions and chosen research methods.

    Structure of a Portfolio-Based Thesis Report

    1. Introduction
      • The introduction describes the background of the chosen topic/topics and explains the need for such work. It can also include background information on the author's interest in the topic. The research theses/questions are also presented in this section.
    2. Theoretical basis for the topic
      • Introducing the theoretical basis that binds the chosen topic and works: previous research, reviews and recommendations.
    3. Presentation of the portfolio works
      • Describing and analysing the works included in the portfolio, the processes of selecting, planning and implementing each of them, as well as their applicability in the professional field.
      • Describing the applied research and development methods. In addition, the connection between the works and the theoretical basis, as well as their professional relevance, are explained.
    4. Conclusions and reflection
      • In this section, the author reflects on the portfolio thesis as an entity, critically assessing the thesis, its applicability, the development path entailed in it, and further study or research possibilities. The reflection section also includes the possible feedback from the client and a critical analysis of the author's personal learning process.
    References
    Appendices

    Diary-based reporting is a good option for students working in tasks required for the degree. In addition to the diary, the thesis report includes a theoretical background that features a development perspective applied to the chosen topic(s). The diary can be written on a topic- or week-specific basis, for example. The thesis report contains reflection, ideas and conclusions by the author.

    Structure of a Diary-Based Thesis Report

    1. Introduction
      • The introduction describes the background of the chosen topic(s) and explains the need for such work. It can also include background information on the author's interest in the topic. The research theses/questions are also presented in this section.
    2. Description of the current state
      • Introducing the employer company and work environment
      • Outlining the company's stakeholders and their interests
      • Describing the workplace's competence requirements
      • Describing the author's task and its competence requirements
      • Describing and explaining the author's stage of professional development and development needs
      • Describing the chosen topic and relevant theoretical background: core theoretical and professional concepts based on researches, reviews and recommendations.
    3. Purpose and objectives
      • Specifying the research theses/questions, the purpose of the thesis and learning objectives
      • Time-span covered in the diary
      • Diary reporting plan (topic-based, weekly and/or daily)
      • Diary reporting contents plan (development ideas)
    4. Description of work tasks and learning as diary entries
      • Describing issues encountered at work, reflecting them against the theoretical background
      • Introducing good practices for the resolution of the above-mentioned situations, reflecting this against the theoretical background
      • Assessing different practices, reflecting their suitability for the author's line of work or developing alternative practices
    5. Reflection
      • In the conclusion and reflection section, the author reflects on the diary thesis as an entity, critically assessing the thesis, its applicability, the development path entailed in it, and further study or research possibilities. The reflection section also includes the possible feedback from the thesis commissioner and a critical analysis of the author's personal learning process.
    References

    Appendices

  • Stages of the Thesis

    The thesis begins with the brainstorming, selection and approval of the topic.

    In the thesis plan, you outline the theoretical foundation, specify the purpose and objective of the thesis and describe the development/research task, the methods used and the schedule.

    Ethically responsible and correct practices are followed in the implementation of the thesis. A cooperation agreement is made for the projected thesis. See Research Ethics

    The thesis can be reported in different ways. You have the thesis template available. See instructions for references. The thesis ends with the assessment, the publication of the thesis and maturity test.

    The progress of the thesis process is communicated in Pulmu and documents related to the thesis are also recorded there.

    Choice of Subject

    A good subject for a Bachelor’s thesis is characterized by:

    • importance to own educational field and own professional growth
    • importance to working life, usefulness for practical activities and development of the field
    • possibility for a well-defined development/research task
    • possibility to utilize existing theoretical foundation and earlier research in the field
    • suitability of the demands and definition of the subject to the competence and resources of a student at an institution of higher education (time, money, physical and mental resources, knowledge)
    • enduring personal interest in the subject
    • topicality and newness
    • connection to own experience in practical training and working life.

    Actors in a Bachelor’s Thesis Process and their Tasks

    Student

    • familiarizes himself with the Bachelor’s thesis instructions
    • acquires a subject for the thesis and has it approved
    • makes an agreement on a cooperative Bachelor’s thesis project together with the Oulu University of Applied Sciences and the client
    • draws up a plan for the Bachelor’s thesis
    • draws up a schedule for the preparation of the Bachelor’s thesis, monitors it and modifies it if necessary
    • keeps in contact with the supervisors as agreed and discusses possible changes in the work with them
    • has the material intended for external distribution (for example questionnaire forms) approved by his supervising teacher
    • participates in possible seminar work
    • is responsible for the outcome of the work
    • documents the work according to the reporting instructions
    • assesses his Bachelor’s thesis and his Bachelor’s thesis process
    • requests feedback on the Bachelor’s thesis from the client
    • submits the finalized Bachelor’s thesis with all attachments to the teachers and reports the approved thesis into Theseus
    • writes a maturity test

    University of applied sciences

    • is responsible for the practices related to Bachelor’s theses
    • approves the subject of the Bachelor’s thesis and the implementation plan
    • nominates the supervising teachers
    • signs the Bachelor’s thesis cooperation agreement
    • arranges possible Bachelor’s thesis seminars
    • guides the learning process and ethical choices and gives help in problem situations at guidance discussions, supervisors’ consultation hours and seminars
    • informs the student and the client how to act if the background material for the Bachelor’s thesis contains confidential material
    • assesses the Bachelor’s thesis and the maturity test

    The library reviews the metadata of the thesis before it is saved into Theseus.

    Client

    • participates in the definition of the objectives of the work together with the student and the supervising teacher
    • signs the Bachelor’s thesis cooperation agreement
    • promotes the advancement of the Bachelor’s thesis process by providing the student with required information and material and supervises the process from the client organization’s perspective
    • provides written feedback on the Bachelor’s thesis
  • Thesis Template

    You can write your bachelor’s thesis on the prepared thesis template.

    In the degree programmes conducted in Finnish Bachelor’s theses are written in Finnish and in the degree programmes conducted in English Bachelor’s theses are written in English. You are able to apply change the language of your Bachelor’s thesis

    If you have reasons to deviate from this rule, you are able to apply the change of language in Pulmu. The decision will be made by the director of study affairs on the recommendation of the head of the degree programme.

    Visual Illustration

    The comprehensibility and readability of text can be improved by using, tables, figures and diagrams. They should be used to illustrate only the essential content or conclusions of the thesis. If there are a large number of tables and figures, it is advisable to include some of them as appendices.

    Tables, figures and diagrams must be numbered and entitled. It is possible to assign diagrams only a number without a title. The words TABLE, FIGURE and DIAGRAM are capitalized and italicized. Also the names of the tables, figures and diagrams as well as possible citations are italicized. Tables, figures and diagrams begin at the same point on the left margin as the body text. It is recommended that the same typeface and font size are used for them as for body text.

    There is an introductory piece of text between the heading and the table, figure or formula. You should always refer to a figure, table or diagram in the actual text.

    Tables
    Tables must be as explicit and self-explanatory as possible, so that it is possible to understand them after reading a description of the material and methods. The title of a table must indicate its content.

    Place the title above the table. The name should be no longer than the width of the table and it can be continued on the next line if necessary. It is recommended that you leave two blank lines before the title and one blank line after the title. If necessary, you may place footnotes under the horizontal line at the foot of the table. Each row and column must have a name or a heading.

    If a table includes percentages the table must indicate what figure has been used to calculate the percentages. If any variable has a great deal of missing data (for example a large number of re- spondents have not answered a question), you may provide information on the extent of missing data either in the text, in a footnote to the table or in the table itself. If a statistical test has been carried out, it must be mentioned in a footnote.

    Tables that have been previously published elsewhere can also be used in the report. In this event you must mention the source either at the end of the heading or in a footnote at the end of the table.

    Figures
    All illustrations that are not tables are designated as figures. Such are for example bar and sector graphs, as well as screenshots, photographs, maps and drawings. The title of the figure is placed below the figure. In some degree programmes the word “image” may be used instead of the word “figure”.

    FIGURE 1. Breakdown of mathematics grades (n = 49)

    Formulas
    If a formula is numbered and entitled, the title is placed above the formula (example 1). If a formula is only numbered, the number is in the right margin of the text (example 2). All formulas are italicized.

    Report Appearance

    Page size, margins, line spacing and page numbering

    • page size: A4
    • left and right margins: 3 cm
    • top and bottom margins: 2,5 cm
    • distance between page number and bottom of page: 1,5 cm

    Line spacing must be 1,5 lines, and it must remain consistent throughout the report. In the abstract, at the bottom right corner of the title page and in a long direct quotation the line spacing must be 1. Both edges must be justified.

    Page numbers are centred at the bottom of the page. Page numbering starts from the cover, but the numbers only appear on the page starting from the abstract page, which is on page three. Page numbering continues to the list of references and appendices, which are included in the table of contents. If an appendix has multiple pages, the appendix marking should only appear on the first page.

    Division into paragraphs
    A paragraph is always longer than just one sentence. Each paragraph consists of one information unit, and it is a good idea to vary the length of paragraphs. All lines start at the same point on the left margin without indentation, and one blank line is left between paragraphs.

    Typefaces and text effects
    Font sizes and character profiles must be clear and easy to read. The same typeface should be used throughout the Bachelor’s thesis. The recommended point size for body text is 12.

    You can also emphasize individual words by making them bold or italic. Underlining is not recommended. It is advisable to exercise moderation in the use of text effects. The text of the report should be as straightforward as possible, using full sentences; for example, you should not use lists unless absolutely necessary.

    Headings
    All headings start from the left margin at the same point where the text starts. Hierarchical numbering is used for headings. The number and the text of the heading are separated by a single character space. The last figure in the number is not followed by a full stop. If a heading is more than one line long, the second line is aligned with the first letter of the first line rather than the heading number on the first line.

    In text, the size of main headings is 14 points and the point size of subheadings is 12. All headings are in bold. If necessary, you may also use unnumbered subheadings, but they are not in-cluded in the list of contents, and their point size is the same as that used for body text.

    There must be at leasttwo subheadings on each heading level: if there is a subheading 2.1, there mustalso be a subheading 2.2. Three heading levels are usually enough.

    Each chapter starts on its own new page. The heading and the following text or subheading are separated by three line breaks (that is two blank lines). Subheadings within a chapter are separated from the sections above and below by two line breaks (that is one blank line).

    Binding the Thesis

    Oamk does not require the thesis to be binded. If you wish to have your theses printed for your own use, you may do so at a bookbindery of your choice and at your own expense.

    Oamk’s logo -> For professional printing (PDF)
    Thesis binding guidelines

  • Assessment (Bachelor)

    Self-assessment throughout the Bachelor’s thesis process improves your learning. You will receive feedback on your thesis from the supervising teacher, the client and from the peer reviewers at the possible seminars. Your bachelor’s thesis is graded by the staff of the Oulu University of Applied Sciences.

    A successfully completed Bachelor’s thesis follows the objectives of your degree programme, the instructions for Bachelor’s thesis and ethical principles. Bachelor’s thesis is graded on a numerical scale of 0–5. The aspects taken into consideration in the assessment are choice and planning of subject, implementation, written reporting and the whole Bachelor’s thesis process, taking into account the nature of the Bachelor’s thesis. The grade is awarded for the entire thesis and describes the quality of the whole process.

    In addition to the grade, you will receive feedback on your Bachelor’s thesis if you wish.

    Assessment Criterions
    Choice and Planning of Subject
    Implementation
    Written Reporting
    Process

  • Assessment (Master)

    A successfully completed Bachelor’s thesis follows the objectives of your degree programme, the instructions for Bachelor’s thesis and ethical principles. Bachelor’s thesis is graded on a numerical scale of 0–5. The aspects taken into consideration in the assessment are choice and planning of subject, implementation, written reporting and the whole Bachelor’s thesis process, taking into account the nature of the Bachelor’s thesis. The grade is awarded for the entire thesis and describes the quality of the whole process.

  • Maturity Test

    For your degree, you are required to write a maturity test on the subject of your thesis, which will show your familiarity with the subject as well as skills in Finnish or Swedish (Government Decree on Polytechnics 1229/2014, Section 8). 

    The maturity test can be in the form of an essay, article, press release, or a professional seminar or poster presentation.

    The structure, content and style of the maturity test must be harmonious. Apply the knowledge and skills you have learnt during the thesis process to your maturity test, and show your ability to communicate professionally and manage different text types in your profession.

    Forms of the Maturity Test

    Ask your thesis examiner for more information on the different forms of maturity tests.

    In essay form, you should write it at an evaluation event after the thesis has been accepted. The essay either has one topic or you may be able to choose from several given topics. Here are some example topics:

    ▪ The meaning of your thesis for this profession’s working life and its development
    ▪ How has the thesis process developed your professional skills?
    ▪ The opportunities and development targets of the thesis

    Language of the Maturity Test

    (Rector of Oamk 29 June 2015, Section 78)

    If you have received your education in Finnish or Swedish, please write your maturity test in the same language. The language of your degree programme does not influence the language of the maturity test.

    If you have received your education abroad or in some other language than Finnish or Swedish, please write your maturity test in English.

    For justified reasons, you may apply for an exception in the language of the maturity test in Pulmu. The director of study and international affairs makes the decision based on a proposal by the head of the degree programme.

    Assessment of the Maturity Test

    The maturity test will be assessed on a scale of pass or fail (Rector of Oamk 29 June 2015, Section 78).

    The following is assessed for the familiarity with the subject:
    ▪ the content’s connection with the thesis
    ▪ the content shows expertise in the degree subject
    ▪ the content matches the title

    The following is assessed for the language:
    ▪ disposition (such as the overall structure of the text, paragraphs, and headings)
    ▪ comprehensibility (such as the independence of the text, argumentation, and claims and their justification)
    ▪ clarity (such as sentence structure, use of professional terms, and word choices)

    ▪ style of the article, essay, poster, or press release (has the typical features of the text type) and language (such as grammar, spelling, and layout in accordance with the instructions)

  • Publication

    You will save your approved and linguistically revised thesis in Theseus. It is not possible to make alterations to the document once it has been saved.

    Theseus is a service of Arene ry, the Rectors’ Confrence of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences, which offers theses and publications online from Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences. If a Bachelor’s thesis has been written for a client, the client must approve the publication of the thesis in Theseus.

    You will receive a confirmation message once your thesis has been processed and published.

    Instructions of Theseus

    Theses can be found in the library catalogue Oula-Finna.

     

    Several Authors in the Thesis

    If a thesis has several authors from the same degree programme of Oulu UAS, they together agree on the publishing and one of the authors saves the thesis into Theseus.

    If the authors of the thesis are from different degree programmes of Oulu UAS, one student from each degree programme send the thesis to Theseus. If the authors of the thesis are all from different universities of applied sciences, the thesis must be reported both in the name of the author’s home university and degree programme.

    Publishing on Intranet

    If you wish, you are able to publish your thesis on the Oulu University of Applied Sciences Intranet instead of Theseus. Theses published on the intranet are only accessible from computers within the Oulu University of Applied Sciences network. A thesis published on the intranet may be sent on interlibrary loan to other libraries.

    Instructions of Intra

Instructions
rivityyppi Nimi
Opintoasiat/opinnäytetyö, ohjeet ja mallipohjatBachelor's Thesis Instructions 13.5.2016fileicon[.pdf] Bachelor's Thesis Instructions 13.5.2016  (used for Theses started before 1.8.2020)

 

Oulu UAS is committed to the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (TENK).

 

Templates
rivityyppi Nimi
Opintoasiat/opinnäytetyö, ohjeet ja mallipohjatBachelor's Thesis Templatefileicon[.doc] Bachelor's Thesis Template

fileicon[.ppt] PowerPoint Template