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WHAT IS A THESIS LIKE?

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The objective of your thesis is to develop your ability to apply knowledge and use selected methods to solve tasks in working life, as well as your readiness for independent expert work. The theses of our university of applied sciences are working life-oriented and develop working life, which helps you establish connections with working life. The thesis may also be multidisciplinary, in which case the authors may come from different programmes or fields.

The scope of a thesis leading to a UAS degree is 15 credits, or about 400 hours of work, except in the Bachelor of Engineering, Construction Site Management degree, the scope is 10 credits, or about 270 hours of work. The scope of a master’s thesis is 30 credits and corresponds to approximately 800 hours of work.

Working on a thesis develops a student’s professional knowledge and skills, a progressive and research-based working approach, and cooperation, interaction and networking skills.

Thesis work teaches you to:

  • identify, determine and solve working life tasks
  • acquire and manage information needed for the task
  • work independently and responsibly in cooperation with different parties
  • manage processes
  • assess your own actions and develop them
  • report your own work both orally and in writing.

In a bachelor’s thesis, you will increase your skills and demonstrate that you can apply your knowledge and skills in practice as an expert. In a master’s thesis, you will demonstrate your ability to perform demanding expert work independently. A master’s thesis (30 credits) includes both a research-based and developmental dimension. The aim is to create information that combines documented experience and a research-based approach created through practical development activities. A thesis can be characterised as a research development project. The thesis project also involves research and development methodology studies, and other studies included in the degree also support the thesis project.

All theses involve research or development, with a different emphasis on research or development perspectives. In a development-oriented thesis, a product, service, process or work is developed and/or implemented and evaluated based on research methodology. In a research-oriented thesis, quantitative or qualitative applied research is conducted, for example. A thorough familiarisation with previous research, literature and other data is always a typical part of thesis work.

Development-oriented thesis
  • A development-oriented thesis is based on a concrete existing task, for which you are looking for a solution during your thesis process. The purpose of the thesis is to develop, implement, and evaluate new products, services and practices.
  • A development-oriented thesis usually involves an activity-based element based on working life, resulting in an output. The output can be a concrete product, instructions, a service package, a sector-specific plan, an R&D or planning project, an event, a publication or multimedia product, a concept, or simulation.
  • A development-oriented thesis often has an external commissioner (partner), but it may also concern your own company or business idea.
  • The written report of a development-oriented thesis describes the knowledge base and presents the output. In the report, you must describe the activity-based element, i.e. the phases leading to the development of the output, consistently following the phases of the project or development process, for example.
  • A development-oriented thesis requires a research problem or question related to the theme and the use of appropriate research or development methodology. Several data collection methods can be used, including literature, manuals, workshops, interviews, or observations.
  • The report must present the evaluation of the output relative to the knowledge base. An activity-based thesis can also be started by processing the output(s), followed by a presentation of the knowledge base. In some situations, both can be processed at the same time.


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Research-oriented thesis
  • In a research-oriented thesis, you conduct applied research based on working life, in which you seek an answer to a specific outlined research problem or task related to your professional field.
  • Research can involve measurements, interviews or questionnaires with related analyses.
  • Research can be conducted using qualitative or quantitative methodology for seeking a solution to the research problem or question.
  • The report of a research-oriented thesis describes the objectives, research problems and the scope of the study. The knowledge base consists of theory and the reflection of the topic on theories, models, and previous research based on professional literature and other sources.
  • In addition, the report must describe how research was conducted (methodology), how the research data was collected and compiled, and what analysis methods were used. At the end of the report, discuss research results, draw conclusions, and propose potential development and further research on the basis of the results.

 

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A diary-based thesis
  • A diary-based thesis is suitable for students working in the tasks required for their degree, for example, in developing their workplace practices. In addition to the diary related to the tasks, the report must present the knowledge base, including a development perspective regarding the selected theme(s).
  • The diary must be written at a weekly level, with the monitoring period usually consisting of 10–13 working weeks. The monitoring period can be uninterrupted or divided into several smaller periods due to changes in tasks, for example. By dividing the monitoring period, depth can be added to the thesis, and it will not be repetitive with regard to tasks. In practice, the journal is written every day and, at the end of each week, the student reflects on the past week from the perspective of the development of skills.
  • The thesis includes the student’s reflection, ideas, and conclusions.
  • The theoretical background of a diary-based thesis can be obtained from literature and expert interviews, as in other types of theses.

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A portfolio-based thesis
  • In a portfolio-based thesis, the student brings together outputs prepared through studies, including projects and other learning tasks, and prepares new outputs, if required. The outputs can also be prepared in working life, or through recreational or association activities. The most significant factor in a portfolio-based thesis is that the outputs create a single knowledge base, together forming a thesis.
  • A portfolio-based thesis is a long-term process, consisting of outputs prepared at different stages of studies. It allows the student to discuss and consider the selected theme from different perspectives during several projects.
  • A portfolio-based thesis brings these processes and outputs together in a consistent and documented manner. It includes a written report, in which the student presents a professional knowledge base that connects the outputs together.

 

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Regardless of the thesis topic and implementation method, a written report must be prepared on the thesis. Examples of theses completed at our UAS can be found in Theseus, which offers theses and publications of universities of applied sciences online.

A thesis can be completed either as individual work, with a partner or as a small group of students. A thesis can also be completed in multidisciplinary groups formed by different fields of education. A multidisciplinary master’s thesis (MONT) has its own process, which is described in more detail in Moodle.

Each thesis has a supervisor appointed by the University of Applied Sciences. In accordance with the topic, more than one supervisor and a possible stakeholder/work community representative can also be appointed for the thesis.

Completing a thesis is always a process that proceeds through certain stages.

A thesis consists of three phases:

  • Planning phase
  • Implementation phase
  • Finishing phase

Common guidelines and practices have been compiled on these pages, ranging from topic selection to publication. In addition to these guidelines, different degree programmes may also have their own procedures, which are presented in programme-specific meetings and in Moodle.

 

 

Thesis Guide Master’s Degree