The aim of polytechnic studies is to educate people in the skills of a specific professional area and develop an ability to conceptually analyse issues in the branch. The degree thesis shall show that the student has attained a certain knowledge and proficiency and developed a capacity for independent analytical thought.
This requires that the writer is able to solve independently the problem or problems addressed in the thesis on the basis of knowledge and skills acquired during the studies.
The aim of the degree thesis is to develop and show that the student´s ability to apply his/her knowledge and skills in practical expert functions in association with the polytechnic studies according to the EQF 6 (European Qualification Framework). The thesis shall exhibit balanced judgement, expertise, and the capacity to reach an understanding of the subject under review.
The aim of the degree thesis is thus on the one hand to gain a deeper knowledge which does not take a purely practical form but is at the same time more instrumental than purely academic knowledge, and on the other hand to foster self-confidence. This involves a reasoned justification of choices made in carrying out the work.
The scope of the thesis
The scope of the thesis corresponds to 15 ECTS credits of independent work. It can constitute a part of a larger research work or project so that cooperation both within and between institutions can be deepened and developed. In such a case the individual student's independent contribution should always be documented, irrespective of whether one or more students work on part of an integrated problem or issue.
The documentation/report should at least include the following elements:
- The relevance of the problem
- Relationship to existing knowledge
- Issue or hypothesis
Types of Degree Thesis achieved at Arcada
The Degree Thesis is a test of knowledge that can be designed and evaluated in many different ways. Arcada features many varieties of degree thesis and the different education programmes have formed the thesis so that it well fits the education process. Today there are also requirements that the thesis should be designed better so that it would support the student´s own competence and preference and so lead to new, more innovative approaches and social innovations.
Business – or marketing plan
for companies. The Degree Thesis consists of the actual plan made for the management and a report where the student presents the choice of structure for the plan and the considerations he/she made during the process. The plan and the report are evaluated as a whole. The thesis can also be written on the basis of the student´s own business idea.
such as a film or equivalent, where the thesis consists of a production and a report that describes the professional considerations and choices the student has made during the creative process. The production and the report are evaluated as a whole.
such as a sports event, staging an international trade fair department, carry out a PR-or marketing campaign, in which case the thesis can be documentation of the event such as a film or a report that describes the professional considerations and choices the student has made. The event and the report are evaluated as a whole.
such as a machine, software, instrument, quality system or a welfare report carried out for a company or organization. The thesis then consists of the product and a report where the student shows his/her capability to practise his/her knowledge and skills. The product and report are evaluated as a whole.
involves development of a new process or a concept where the interaction between the service provider (a company or organization) and the consumer/client/patient improves. The process and/or concept are developed through the student´s capacity and skill to describe and structure the activities so that the interaction between the service provider and the client improves and creates value. The developed process or concept is evaluated in the form of a report.
with an explorative approach which can involve a certain imbalance between the different parts of the work. The methodology part is often relatively short and defines only the measuring instruments used for the empirical survey. The empirical part should give a comprehensive and rich description of the phenomenon that is being surveyed. The grade is essentially determined on how meaningful and comprehensive the survey is.
dwhere there necessarily isn´t an explicit requirement of scientific contribution from the thesis. The thesis can be a report of a literature study, a qualitative study based on for example interviews or an evaluation of an intervention. Scientific works can be connected to the university’s research-, development- and innovation work and the profile fields and contributes to develop the professional field.
Choice of supervisor
Every degree thesis shall have a supervisor who is employed at Arcada. The supervisor is designated in the first instance from among teachers in the student's own degree programme. At the same time an assessor of the thesis is designated.
For a degree thesis done on commission for an external party there can be an expert instructor representing the commissioning party. Read more on commissioned degree thesis.
The degree thesis is an official and public document. Parts of the degree thesis can be classified as confidential only in exceptional cases and for special reasons.
The confidentiality classification is possible in the following cases:
- If the degree thesis contains information on inventions, new facilities, procedures or developments that can have commercial significance;
- If the degree thesis contains information on documents of authorities classified as confidential as defined in the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999); or
- If the degree thesis contains business secrets.
The decision is made by the Head of Department of the degree programme in question and the Administrative Director of Arcada based on the submission of the student and the supervising teacher. This application for confidentiality classification is to be addressed to the Administrative Director together with the supervising teacher’s recommendation. The student is informed of the decision with a written decision. The classified part of the degree shall be an annex to the degree thesis and is saved with the archive copy in the library archives. The classified part is never uploaded electronically. The student shall mention the parts which the confidentiality classification applies to in the agreement about commissioned degree thesis.
The student should observe good practice and the ethical rules pertaining to academic work at a college of higher education. The rules are found in the document Good Scientific Practice in Studies at Arcada. Suspicion of academic cheating should be reviewed by an independent committee and the rector determines the sentence type and scope.
Urkund offers an automated system designed to deal with the problem of plagiarism. With a small effort from the user, plagiarism can be prevented from three man source areas: The Internet, Published Material and Student Material. The thesis supervisor is responsible for the check of the thesis in Urkund.
Theseus is an electronic library that offers the possibility to access theses and publications of the Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences. Theseus is a service offered by Arene ry, the Rectors' Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences
Writing guide and language guide for degree thesis
A thesis writing guide (Guide for writers) on Arcada's home page provides practical advice on the use of language and the presentation of written work. The guide is pertinent to all written work at Arcada.
As a rule, a Bachelor's or Master's thesis at Arcada is written in the language of the study programme. The head of the department may grant permission for the thesis to be written in another language, but in such a case an extended abstract (10 %) must be written in the language of the study programme. During the writing process the student can seek writing guidance. The use of language in the thesis is not assessed separately, but the supervisor shall encourage the student to take advantage of the guidance available and to take responsibility for the language form of the work. Remember that the thesis is published electronically and becomes a visible business card for you!
Thesis Forum is the official occasion where students present their degree thesis. A poster template can be found here.
Hand in your complete work to your supervisor and assessor.
Supervisor: Every degree thesis shall have a supervisor who is employed at Arcada. The supervisor is designated in the first instance from among teachers in the student's own degree programme. At the same time an assessor (second reviwer) of the thesis is designated.
Your thesis work gets an 'all clear sign' from your supervisor.
'All clear sign': Your supervisor decides when your thesis work is ready enough to be presented at Thesis Forum. After your presentation you can make small changes based on the feedback you got.
Decide upon a suitable date and time for your TF presentation with your supervisor (check the TF-timetable).
The TF-timetable has all available dates listed. Your supervisor signs you up to thesisforum[a]arcada.fi no later than a week before TF.
22 - 24.8.2016
19 - 21.9.2016
24 - 26.10.2016
7 - 9.11.2016
5.12 & 7 - 9.12.2015 (1 week)
23 - 25.1.2017
13 - 15.2.2017
20 - 22.3.2017
18 - 20.4.2017
8 - 12.5.2017 (1 week)
Make a poster and send it to thesisforum[a]arcada.fi.
Poster: The idea with a poster is to give the reader a quick summary of your thesis work. Strive to make your poster easy to understand, with clear main points. Your poster may consist of the following elements: goal, methods, results, conclusions, some of your references and pictures (graphs, diagrams etc.) Use the Arcada poster-template.
Be on time to the presentation.
Presentation: Be on time! Also others are presenting, so there is a strict timetable to be kept. The time scheduled for each presentation is max. 45 minutes for presentation of Degree Thesis, opponens and discussion. Of respect for the other students presenting at Thesis Forum no one will leave the presentation classroom before the end of the last presentation.
Prepare for thesis forum by making a visual presentation (e.g. a powerpoint or Prezi). Bring paper copies of your poster or handouts of your presentation with you to Thesis Forum.
Degree thesis practices
In order to initiate a thesis, the student should have completed courses to an extent of at least half of the total number of credits in the program itself (ie 105, 120, and 135 sp).
The student will write a short job description and plan that he/she submits for approval to his/her degree programme/head of programme.
The program team (in consultation with the Head of Department) approves the "working title" and nominates the supervisor and assessor for the thesis.
The nominated supervisor is responsible for the registration of relevant thesis data to ASTA. These data are:
- the date of title approval
- employer (external, project, Arcada institution)
If the thesis is commissioned should a copy of the agreement be submitted to the study advisor in C3.
Upon registration, the register generates an identification number for the thesis in question.
All students whose planned degree thesis includes an empirical study, where persons are informants or objects of research, or classified data about persons, have to submit a short plan for the thesis to the Ethical Committee before the empirical study is implemented.
During the work process, the student should be in contact with the supervisor according to plan. When the work is done, the student will submit the work to the supervisor for evaluation within the agreed time. The work is submitted in duplicates which are identical to the PDF-version of the work.
Please, note! An abstract of the degree thesis shall be written in the same language as the work and the programme language, however, so that there is always an abstract in English.
The supervisor will distribute the work to the assessor for evaluation.
The supervisor organizes a maturity exam after the thesis has been submitted for evaluation. The content in the maturity exam will be evaluated by the supervisor, and the language by a language teacher.
After a passed maturity exam, the student shall present his/her degree thesis during an official occasion. The official occasion at Arcada is called Thesis Forum, where students have the opportunity to go and listen to presentations from other institutions. See “Timetable for the degree thesis process and Thesis Forum” for more information about Thesis Forum.
Instructions on opposition can be found here. Both the maturity exam and the presentation can affect the grade.
When the assessor together with the supervisor has evaluated the work, the supervisor will register the grade in ASTA, as well as the date of the maturity exam and presentation. The supervisor can also notify the study advisor, who will then make the registration.
The assessor’s and the supervisor’s statements should include a notification of the approved maturity exam.
After submitting the thesis, the student should participate in a written maturity examination. The content is evaluated by the supervisor and the use of language by a competent language teacher. The aim of the maturity test is to show mastery of your research topic as well as your linguistic maturity.
The language in which the maturity test should be written in is based on your school language if you have received your education in Finnish or Swedish. However, students who received their education in another language than Finnish or Swedish, or received their education overseas, take the maturity examination in the degree language. If the maturity test is taken in a language other than Finnish or Swedish, the maturity test is reviewed solely on the basis of the content.
Guidelines for writing your maturity test
The maturity test is a supervised examination where you write an abstract of your thesis.
The content is evaluated by the supervisor, the heading is also examined. Thus, you can prepare for the maturity test, it is, however, written under supervision.
After the examination, you will receive feedback, if needed, on your text.
The abstract comprises approximately 400 words and provides an account of the core content of the thesis, both generally and specifically.
- The maturity test is written by hand.
- You can have your thesis with you provided that it does not include an abstract.
The abstract covers primarily the followings aspects of your thesis:
- the subject area
- the topic
- the aim of the study ( even if it is commissioned by a customer)
- the research questions
- the limitations
- the material
- the methods
- the most important sources used
- the results and conclusions
Below the text write some key words; 4-8 relevant words that provide a hint on what the thesis is about. If the thesis is commissioned by a company, include the company’s name in the key words.
The language of the maturity test – the abstract
- is able to stand on it own
- is concise, approx. 400 words
- does not contain any unnecessary explanations or details
- is written in the present or the past tense
- is written in one paragraph
- ends in 4-8 relevant key words
- is written in a formal language, which is both factual and objective.
- is written in an legible handwriting. The word boundaries are clear. Capital and small letters are easily discerned
- contains very few or no language errors. The writer shows a good command of general writing rules. .Established abbreviations may be used when appropriate
- does not contain major reference errors
- is written in the correct word order
A maturity test can be rejected if it not written according to the guidelines above. It can equally be rejected if it contains many language errors regarding sentence structure, punctuation and the conjugation of verbs or the use of compound words, loanwords and numeric expressions.
If a maturity test is rejected due to lingustic reasons the student must contact the writing workshop of the Language Department to receive feedback. Based on this feedback the student will then retake the test in order for the errors to be corrected.
Commissioned degree thesis
A degree thesis is considered to be commissioned if there is a written agreement about at least one of the following:
- The commissioning party pays either Arcada or the student for the work.
- The degree thesis has got a supervisor on the part of the commissioning party (external supervisor).
- The commissioning party intends to utilise the results in its activity.
Signed agreements are archived by Student Affairs/C3.
The Ethical Committee
The document Good Scientific Practice in Studies at Arcada presents good scientific practice that all students must conform to and the consequences of violation.
The Ethical Committee at Arcada (ETIX)
The purpose of the Ethical committee is to verify that empirical degree theses and projects fulfil the ethical requirements of research in their initial phase.
All students whose planned degree thesis includes an empirical study, where persons are informants or objects of research, or classified data about persons, have to submit an application for research ethical verification to the Ethical Committee before the empirical study is implemented. This means that students fill in the Ethical Committee's form "Plan for Thesis" and send the form and attachments electronically to their supervisor for approval.
Please submit the following enclosures with the form "Short Plan for Thesis"
- A completed application for research permission on the form used by the research ethical committee of the organisation in question. If such an application form is not available, a free-form application is written to the person who is responsible in the organisation.
- Application for research permission or assistance i.e. for getting informants, collecting questionnaires or the like to the level in the organisation, where data will be collected, if the level differs from the one mentioned in point 1.
- Research instruments (survey, interview guide, observation schedule or the like) with attached covering letter and possible instruction. The covering letter should include the contact information to the student and the supervisor.
After the plan, including the enclosures, has been approved for submission to the Ethical Committee, the supervisor sends the "Plan for Thesis" and its enclosures electronically to the Committee. This is to be done no later than Friday the week before the next meeting. After the Ethical Committee has examined and approved the plan the student may apply for research permission with the organisations concerned.
If research ethical problems arise during the implementation of the study, the student is asked to report this to the supervisor and to the Ethical Committee.
Collected raw material must not be destroyed before the thesis is approved. Preservation of raw material for a long time should be agreed upon with the supervisor/project leader in advance.
After the Ethical Committee has considered the plan, the comments are sent electronically to the supervisor and the student.
The plan shall be sent to etix[a]arcada.fi.
Members of the Ethical Committee 1.1.2017–31.12.2018:
Senior Researcher Jyrki Kettunen (Chairperson)
Senior Lecturer Pamela Gray
Principal Lecturer Peter Mildén
Principal Lecturer Åsa Rosengren
Principal Lecturer Matteo Stocchetti
Evaluation criteria for the final thesis project
The evaluation of the thesis is done by the assessor along with the supervisor. The assessor writes a statement that is a complete examination of the thesis. The statement is also signed by the supervisor. The supervisor has the right to request a thesis language revision.
With regard to practice in the subject and nature of the work, the degree thesis and master thesis are evaluated as satisfactory (1-2), good (3-4) or excellent (5). The grade is justified in the statement and determined by an overall assessment on the basis of the work, the maturity exam and presentation.
The evaluation level of the degree thesis is determined by the EQF level 6, which establishes requirements on
- advanced knowledge involving a critical understanding of theories and principles
- advanced skills, demonstrating expertise and innovation
- ability to solve complex problems in a specialised professional field
The evaluation level of the degree thesis is determined by the EQF level 7, which establishes requirements on
- highly specialised knowledge as the basis for original thinking and research
- awareness of knowledge issues in a field and at the point of contact between the different disciplines
- specialised problem-solving skills in research and innovation to develop new knowledge, new procedures or integrate knowledge from different fields
The following factors are evaluated:
- Focus and relevance for the profession or occupation
- Benefit for the target group and profession or occupation
- Delimitation, object
- Positioning and connection to earlier research
- Understanding of the chosen theme (concept, theories)
- Method and work process
- Choice of method and application of method
- Presentation and purposefulness of the work process
- Information retrieval and processing
- Results and reflective discussion
- Presentation of results
- Evaluation and critical review of results
- Originality or innovativeness
- Impression of the degree thesis as a whole and structure of degree thesis
- Design, logical structure and necessary parts
- Readability and flow
- Source reference apparatus
- Level of transparency and objectivity
- Quality of language
- Ethical relevance
- Research ethical formalities
- Ethical examination
- Sustainable development
Before a student applies for a degree certificate he/she must submit his/hers degree thesis to the university.
A student can choose to submit his/her Degree Thesis or Master's Thesis in one of the following ways:
- The student saves an electronic copy of the approved thesis in http://theseus.fi/ and submits an unbound archive copy of the thesis and two copies of the evaluation (written by the supervisor and examiner) when applying for the degree certificate.
- The student sends a pdf-file of the approved thesis to the address: biblioteket[a]arcada.fi. The thesis will be saved in Arcada's intranet. It is possible to read it electronically without logging in only on the library's computers. The student also submits one bound copy of the thesis and one unbound archive copy to Student Affairs when applying for the degree certificate. The bounded and the unbounded copy of the thesis need to include the evaluation (written by the supervisor and examiner).
If the degree thesis is commissioned, the student is responsible for handing over a copy of the degree thesis to the commissioning party in the format requested by the commissioning party (electronic, bound or unbound).
The student pays all costs for copying and binding the thesis.
N.B. If parts of the degree thesis is classified as confidential, the student can choose to submit his/her Degree Thesis or Master's Thesis in one of the following ways:
- The student saves an electronic copy of the approved thesis in http://theseus.fi/ (classified part not included) and submits an unbound archive copy of the thesis (classified part included) and two copies of the evaluation (written by the supervisor and examiner) when applying for the degree certificate. In addition, the student sends a pdf-file of the approved thesis to the address: biblioteket[a]arcada.fi. This pdf-file also has to include the classified part.
- The student sends a pdf-file of the approved thesis to the address: biblioteket[a]arcada.fi (classified part included). The student also submits one bound copy of the thesis (classified part included) and one unbound archive copy (classified part included) to Student Affairs when applying for the degree certificate. The bounded and the unbounded copy of the thesis need to include the evaluation (written by the supervisor and examiner).
Instructions for how to save your degree thesis in the electronic library Theseus
Every student will register his or her approved thesis in the electronic library Theseus following the instructions under the link “Submit your thesis” on http://theseus.fi/en/
Start the saving process once your thesis has been approved. The work to be saved in Theseus must be the same as the one approved. If a thesis has more than one author, the authors must agree on who will register the thesis, so that this will be done only once.
When your thesis has been transferred to the electronic library Theseus, you will receive a confirmation by e-mail. Your work will be visible online once the library staff and Study Service have checked that the information related to your thesis is correct.
Service agreement for Theseus
In this agreement, “work” refers to an academic thesis or other work created by the user. “Service” refers to an online publishing service where users can submit works to an online accessible database. The service will publish the submitted works in a public network and store them in a database. “Service provider” refers to Ammattikorkeakoulujen Rehtorineuvosto Arene Ry, and third parties and successors who are providing the Service. “User” is a natural person who submits his/her academic theses and attached files in electronic form to the service. “Sponsor” refers to a natural or legal person who has provided support for the Work (such as an employer or foundation).
Service may only be used to store content with the copyright holder’s permission. User is responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of account passwords and liable for all use of such identifiers. Service provider is not obliged to publish content submitted by users if this would violate this agreement, the law or good practice. Such content may be removed from the service.
By submitting a work through the service into the publishing system, sser represents and warrants that he/she holds copyright to the work or is authorised by the copyright holder (in case of a joint work, the copyright holders). User is responsible of clearing the necessary rights for the work.
The copyright holder will retain copyright to the submitted work. User grants the service provider a non-exclusive, gratuitous and worldwide license valid for the duration of copyright protection to
- make the submitted work, an abstract made of it and other related information available to the public,
- make copies of the work in electronic as well as printed format,
- convert the work into another media or format if this is appropriate from the service’s viewpoint; and
- store the work in the service’s electronic archives.
If a sponsor has provided support for the creation of the work, the user must verify that the work can be published through the service. The sponsor’s name may not be used in connection with the work without the sponsor’s consent.
In connection with the stored work, the service provider will disclose the author’s name and other information provided by the user with the submission. The user is not allowed to subsequently change the information stored with the submission.
The works contained in the service and the information related to them constitutes a personal data file. The associated description of file is available here (in Swedish).
If the student chooses to bind the Degree Thesis, the following book bindery is recommended:
Kirjansitomo V. & K. Jokinen
Tarkk’ampujankatu 9 A 3
Phone (09) 635 143
- The student takes the required number of hard copies of his/her Degree Thesis to the binders.
- A copy of the evaluation sheet shall be included in the library copy of the thesis. The report is inserted after the title page, i.e. page two.
- The name of the student (in CAPITAL letters) and the year are printed on the spine.
- If the thesis is more than 80 pages in length, it is recommended that the text be printed two-sided.
- The student pays for the binding him-/herself.
- The cover of the Bachelor Thesis should be blue and the cover of the Master thesis should be red. The book bindery already knows the specific colours that Arcada requires.