The dissertation shall contain new scientific knowledge in the field it represents. In the field of art and design the dissertation may also contain knowledge and skills for conceiving of methods of artistic creation or of creating products, objects or works that meet high artistic demands.

The dissertation shall clearly set forth the new findings. The candidate's own contribution to the research or to the artistic production must be of a sufficient degree and clearly stated. Research methods must meet the standards generally set for research.

The conduct of research must conform to good scientific practice and ethical principles of research.

An approved doctoral dissertation may be a single study (a monograph) that has not been appeared in a published form in full before. The monograph shall form a coherent entity and be the result of the researcher’s independent work. It may contain references to other publications produced by the author dealing with the same problems.

Alternatively, the dissertation may be an article-based doctoral dissertation, which consists of a set of publications on a related set of problems, and a summary of the findings. The summary shall describe the research problem and research goals and methods, and present a summary of the key findings. The summary shall assess the significance of the study for the discipline. The summary shall contain a list of the publications included in the thesis and describe the independent contribution of the candidate in each publication separately.

The article dissertation must include at least 3 full-length articles (e.g. JUFO 1–3). These articles must have been approved for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, in a similarly peer-reviewed conference publication, or as a chapter in a peer-reviewed book. In addition to the three articles, the dissertation may include other publications, shorter articles or artistic compoments. For one of these the publication process may still be ongoing. For well-grounded reasons the Doctoral Programme Committee may also approve other kinds of compilations of publications as a dissertation.

The articles may also include co-authored publications if the candidate's independent contribution to them can be demonstrated. If the contribution is not demonstrated in the publication, an account of the contribution of the candidate and of the other authors must be given  in the summary. The candidate must ask and receive the approval of the other authors for the account given. The candidate must be the first author of at least one of the articles.

In the field of art and design, a dissertation may also include an art production, a series of art productions meaningfully connected to each other, or a product development project. As a rule the artistic components to be included in the dissertation must have been created during the validity of the study right.

The written component of the dissertation (thesis) has to be in a dialogic and analytic relation to the art productions or product development project, and the candidate has to present in the thesis the targets, methods and findings of the production, series of productions or product development project. Such a dissertation can include artistic components, which can be joint productions or projects, provided that the independent contribution of the candidate is clearly indicated. The independent contribution of the candidate and that of the other authors must be explained in the written component. The doctoral candidate must ask and receive approval from the other authors in order to include this account.

The dissertation may be published in Finnish, Swedish or English, or with the permission of the Doctoral Programme Committee, in some other language. The language of the manuscript submitted for pre-examination must be the same as the language of the published dissertation. The Doctoral Programme Committee may ask for a separate statement on the quality of the language used in the manuscript and demand proofreading.