Agree on the topic with a professor
Master's thesis topic is agreed with a professor from the subject field of your major. There are three primary sources of finding a topic:
- topics offered by research groups as a part of ongoing research projects (announced on department websites, during courses etc.)
- individual topics offered by professors (announced on professor's websites or agreed individually)
- topics offered by companies, public sector etc.
At the moment there is no general list of available topics, in all cases you should contact the corresponding professor directly yourself. You can also suggest a topic based on your own interest. Descriptions of possible thesis topic areas by professors in each programme:
Aalto Thesis programme is a multidisciplinary, project-based and work-life oriented possibility to enhance your professional competences during the thesis process! In the programme, 2–4 students from different fields form a team for a 6-month Project to solve a work-life Partner’s real and complex Challenge through their Master’s theses. Application is open for each Project individually, and the selected students receive a grant to support the thesis work.
Sign up for Aalto Thesis mailing list to be the first one to hear about new starting Projects!
More information about the programme: www.aalto.fi/en/teaching-lab/aalto-thesis-for-the-student
The supervisor of the thesis must be a professor or a university lecturer working in Aalto University full-time (ie. more than 50%). You must also have one or two advisors for your thesis. A Master's thesis advisor must have completed at least a Master's degree. Supervisor’s responsibility is to provide guidance on the scientific validity and format of the thesis and on the thesis as a whole. Advisor's role is to take care of daily guidance and support the student in the planning and execution of the experimental part of the thesis as well as in the writing process. The supervisor of the thesis can also work as the advisor.
At the beginning of the thesis process, the supervisor and the student (and possibly advisor(s)) should organize an initial master's thesis meeting (template here).
Apply for Master’s thesis topic approval
You should apply for approval of the thesis topic as soon as you start the thesis process. For the topic application it is sufficient that you have agreed on the topic in a broad sense, i.e. the field of the thesis. The final title of the thesis emerges during the thesis work, and it has to be within the field of the original topic application. The thesis topic is officially approved by the Degree Programme Committee. Committee also approves the language of the thesis as well as the thesis supervisor and advisor(s).
|Application deadline||Committee meeting|
|31.12.2019||20. - 23.1.2020|
|24.2.2020||16. - 19.3.2020|
|27.4.2020||18. - 21.5.2020|
|25.5.2020||15. - 18.6.2020|
|31.7.2020||17. - 20.8.2020|
|28.9.2020||19. - 22.10.2020|
|23.11.2020||14. - 17.12.2020|
|Application deadline||Committee meeting|
Topic is applied for electronically in eAge system (enter application form). With the application you must attach a confirmation about the topic from your supervisor (for example a screenshot of an e-mail discussion or a separate document).
You can apply for thesis topic approval when:
- you have completed your Bachelor's degree (graduation date passed)
- you have completed at least 45 credits of studies required for your Master's degree
- you have an approved personal study plan for the Master's degree
The thesis topic and the completed thesis cannot be approved in the same committee meeting. The Master’s thesis topic is valid for one year from the date of approval. However, the target time for completing the thesis is six months. Time used for completing the thesis affects the thesis evaluation. Note, that this time period is not calculated from the approval date of the topic but from the actual start date of the thesis as agreed and judged by the supervisor.
If you have problems completing your thesis within the target time, please contact your supervisor as soon as possible. The thesis supervisor can extend the target time if there is a good reason for it.
If you do not find a funded thesis position, you may always do your thesis in one of the university's research groups without funding. All supervisors are obliged to offer you a topic.
Re-approval of the topic is needed if:
- the topic expires before the thesis is ready (same topic can be re-approved)
- the topic changes significantly (minor changes to the title don't require re-approval)
- the supervisor and/or the advisor(s) change
Write the Master’s thesis
Thesis work in brief consists of topic definition, research plan, literature review, experiments, analysis and conclusion. It is essential to start writing the actual thesis from the very beginning and continue the writing process throughout each phase of your research.
Support courses for thesis writing:
- ELEC-E0210 Master's Thesis Process (compulsory for students studying according to the degree requirements 2018-2019 or later)
- Eri-0.6100 Tools for Master's Thesis
- LC-1320 Thesis Writing for engineers (MSc) (w)
Other support services:
Please note that the Master’s thesis is a public document once it has been approved. The thesis can't have any confidential sections. If there are confidential sections, only the "visible" part of the thesis will be evaluated and the thesis must form a coherent whole also without the concealed parts. Read more about theses as public documents.
Write your thesis on a master's thesis template. Two templates are available:
- Thesis template for LaTeX (recommended). For LaTeX use Aalto provides free accounts for students on Overlief (a web-based Latex tool) or you can upload a free Latex software on your own computer.
- Thesis template for Microsoft Word.
Give a seminar presentation
A seminar presentation about the topic of your thesis is a compulsory requirement in the approval process. The schedule and the arrangements of the presentation are agreed with the supervisor. When submitting the application for the thesis approval you must indicate if you have already held the seminar presentation or inform the agreed date of the presentation. Please note that as of 31 December 2019 the seminar presentation must be completed the latest in the deadline for submitting theses and applications.
According to the Universities Act 794/2004 students are required to complete a maturity essay. As of 1 August 2019 the abstract of your thesis will serve as the maturity essay. Hence, you don't need to agree on writing a maturity essay separately with your supervisor. When you submit your thesis with an abstract completed according to the instruction in the master's thesis template, your maturity essay is considered done.
Apply for the approval of your Master’s thesis
The Master’s thesis will be evaluated in the Degree Programme Committee meeting. The topic of the thesis must still be valid at the time of thesis approval. The topic is valid for one year from topic approval.
In order to have your Master's thesis approved:
- check the application deadlines (see topic approval section above)
- convert your thesis into pdf/A format (instructions)
- fill in the online application form in eAge system for the approval of your thesis
- attach a pdf/A version of your thesis in the online application form
- if you also want to apply for graduation, see instructions under Graduation. Please note that there are changes in the graduation process.
Please make sure that the electronic version submitted in the application is the final and corrected version of your thesis. Your supervisor will write the evaluation statement on the basis of this electronic version. Also this version is the one that will be evaluated by the degree programme committee. In addition, this electronic version will be the archive version of the thesis and will be used as the official copy of the thesis in cases of an appeal, for example.
The degree programme committee evaluates and grades the thesis based on the written statement and grade proposal provided by the thesis supervisor. The evalution statement will be provided to the student after the Committee meeting at the same time when the student receives information on the Committee decision. The evaluation decision is subject to appeal, i.e., students dissatisfied with the evaluation may submit an appeal.
Please note that you have to submit the final version of your thesis to the eAge system.
If the contents of your thesis, such as the text or a table, is found erroneous after the thesis has been approved, the errors can be corrected on a separate errata page (http://tieteentermipankki.fi/wiki/Tekstuaalitieteet:errata). Once your thesis has been approved, it cannot be altered or resubmitted to the eAge system. Instead, any errors found in it are collected on an errata page, which lists the page numbers of the errors and gives a corrected version of the text or item. The errata is attached to the thesis metatext in the Aaltodoc publication archive (aaltodoc.aalto.fi).
Please follow the instructions below.
- Write the errata and save it in PDF/A format (not PDF/A-3).
- You can download a Word-format errata template from Aaltodoc.
- The errata must include the following details: the thesis author and thesis title, page number of the error and a corrected version of the text or item.
- Please send the errata page to your thesis supervisor to obtain their approval for it.
- If you cannot reach your supervisor, send the errata to the learning services of your school (addresses provided below).
- send the supervisor’s approval to email@example.com
- Append your approved errata page to the metadata of your thesis on Aaltodoc in accordance with the instructions given on Aaltodoc.
- If prompted, log into Aaltodoc using your Aalto username and password; you will find the link in the top right corner of the page.
- If you no longer have a valid Aalto username and password, request a one-time login link from firstname.lastname@example.org
- Append the errata page to your thesis in Aaltodoc using the form on Aaltodoc.
- Log out.
- The errata page is now be visible on Aaltodoc together with your thesis.
Contact details for the schools’ learning services
- ARTS: email addresses to the programmes
- BIZ: email@example.com
- CHEM: firstname.lastname@example.org
- ELEC: email@example.com
- ENG: firstname.lastname@example.org
- SCI: email addresses to the programmes
Instruction for graduation.