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Thesis planning phase bachelor’s 5 cr./master’s 10 cr.

The thesis process uses the Wihi system, where all communication related to the thesis and the return of thesis documents take place. The process starts with a topic proposal (= idea paper) in Wihi. Read the Wihi instructions for further information.


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What does the planning phase involve?

Well planned is half done, also applies to a thesis. Planning the work carefully will help you complete the thesis process. During the planning stage:

  • Make a topic proposal in Wihi. The thesis coordinator approves your topic and appoints a supervisor for you.
  • Prepare the thesis agreement
  • Prepare a thesis plan and the attachments required.
  • If necessary, prepare a research permit application and obtain the necessary permits.
  • Participate in the seminar of the thesis planning phase in accordance with the practices and schedule of your degree programme.

Once the supervisor has approved the completed part, 5 or 10 credits will be registered in Peppi for the planning phase.


Choosing a topic for a thesis based on working life

The thesis must be related to the main content of your degree programme and professional practices in the field. The planning of the thesis begins with the selection and delimitation of the topic. The key things are familiarisation with the subject matter, obtaining and processing information, and the justification of the selected topic. The topic should be closely linked to the development of the student’s own personal competences, work, career or work community. The topic should also create new knowledge on a larger scale in the field. The thesis may be commissioned by an external partner, Lapland  UAS or an externally funded project of Lapland UAS. Discuss potential topics with your organisation. Lapland UAS projects can also offer interesting topics.

Topic proposal

The thesis is started by creating a topic proposal in Wihi. The thesis coordinator will review your topic proposal and add at least one supervisor to the thesis on behalf of the UAS. Once the topic proposal for your thesis has been approved, you will be allowed to start working on your thesis. 

The thesis must be related to the main educational content of your degree programme and professional practices in the field. The topic proposal is prepared for the approval of the topic, for the possible seminar group as a basis for discussion and for the student for further work.

The topic proposal is a preliminary thesis plan which shows what will be done and why, how and when.

Information to be completed in the Wihi topic proposal 

The Lapland UAS has prepared  student instructions for using Wihi.

Background information about the author/s

  • Name of the thesis in English (two times, i.e. do not write the name in Finnish; the name can be changed in the graduation phase)
  • Specialisation, i.e. your own degree programme. Be specific and use the official name of the degree programme, so that the coordinator can identify and process the topic proposals for their own degree programme.
  • Planned start and end date of the thesis project
  • Type of thesis (development-oriented, research-oriented, diary-based, etc.)

Description of the work, goal and result
As detailed a description as possible of the thesis content, goal and desired outcome. Explanation of what the outcome of the thesis will be in practical terms. In the case of a diary-based thesis, description of the main tasks here

Description of the significance, utilisation of the thesis results
Explanation of who needs the result and for what purpose, as well as the benefits of the finished result
. In the case of a diary-based  thesis, a description of the key competences required.
Planned tools (hardware, software, etc.)

Planned working methods (methods, practices, etc.)

Commissioner information (may be preliminary)

  • Commissioning organisation
  • Contact person
  • Telephone
  • Email

The possibilities of the student to carry out the proposed work. List of advanced professional studies completed by the student before starting the thesis, at least the RDI studies supporting the proposed thesis. Any other studies or work experience that support the thesis.

Present your topic as instructed by your degree programme.

Thesis plan

During the planning phase, a plan will be drawn up for the thesis and the related development process, including background, purpose, objectives, approach, method choices, description of the implementation process, process and output evaluation plan, ethical and reliability assessment, schedule and possible costs. If the thesis has more than one author, the division of tasks related to the thesis must be defined. 

The plan will be prepared using a thesis template. The plan will be prepared through Wihi, i.e., the student will return the plan to the supervisor for comments in Wihi. Other communication related to the thesis process will also be carried out in Wihi.

Structure and content of the thesis plan:

1. Introduction

  • Present and justify the thesis topic (what will be studied/developed and why), and delimit the topic, and justify the delimitation, if necessary
  • Introduce the connection between the topic and your degree programme, and the development of working life and the region
  • Describe the practical problem or development need (of the partner)
  • Justify the choice of topic from different perspectives, based on literature references
  • Present and record the division of responsibilities if the thesis has more than one author

 2. Knowledge base (create headings that describe the content)

  • Present the knowledge base of the thesis, which is appropriate for the professional field and completion of the development task, and which provides an overview of previous studies and literature on the topic
  • Define the concepts relevant to the topic and the chosen perspective

3. Purpose, objectives and thesis question framing

  • Present the purpose of the thesis as precisely as possible (why this study/development is necessary; try to describe the purpose in one sentence)
  • Define the goals of the thesis (what the thesis is useful for and for whom), and what can be achieved with the thesis
  • Present the questions/issues/development targets based on the purpose and objectives which the thesis aims to answer

4. Methodological implementation

  • Describe and justify the research or development method with which the objectives set for the thesis can be achieved
  • Demonstrates the progress of the development process/research process in stages
  • Present the desired results, the development plan or other output and their reporting

5. Ethical foundations and reliability

  • Describe the ethical foundations of the thesis and how they will be taken into account
  • Describe the factors affecting reliability

6. Schedule and required resources

Data management plan

A data management plan will also be created and attached with the thesis plan if analysed data is collected from data providers. The purpose of the data management plan is to ensure that the thesis complies with good scientific practices. Its other purpose is to ensure that the research material will not be compromised at any stage.

The data management plan describes how the data will be acquired, how it will be used, where it will be saved, how it will be stored, and what will happen to it when the thesis is completed.

Content of the data management plan for a thesis:

Thesis name and author(s)

1. General description of material

  • A brief description of the material to be collected or the use of existing material (source and data collectors).
  • What type of research material (e.g. interviews, surveys, observations, registers, documents) will be collected or reused in the thesis? 
  • How will the material be collected?
  • In what file formats will the material be available?

2. Documentation and quality of material

  • How will the research material be documented (e.g. what identification data will be used)? 
  • How will the quality of the material and its documentation be ensured? For example, the quality of the material depends on the feeding of quantitative material in a statistical program, the definition of missing data, the naming of variables, the success of the transcription of interviews, and the technical implementation of audio and video recordings.

3. Data retention and backup copies

  • Describe where the material will be saved and how. Example: file name – the location of the file(s) – the possible file size – the program used to create the file. Remember to protect your file with a password.
  • Describe how information security (e.g. access to the material) can be ensured during the thesis process. 
  • Name the persons who have access to the material, and who can examine it. 
  • Describe how backup copies will be taken, and where they will be saved. 

4. Ethical and legal questions related to retention

  • Specify what ethical questions are related to the processing and retention of the material, and briefly describe how you will address them.  For example, how will sensitive personal data, access by others to your material, and data protection be addressed?
  • How will data providers be informed?
  • Describe whether you will collect or process any personal data, and how you will process it. How will you inform data subjects of the processing of data? 
  • How will rights of ownership and use be controlled?

5. Open access to and long-term retention of the material

  • Briefly describe what will happen to the material after your thesis has been completed, and when.  
  • Will the collected material be saved for further use, and where? How will the further use of the material be enabled?

More information on the data management plan can be found, for example:

Thesis preparation form

Along with the thesis plan, the student must fill in the thesis preparation form. The purpose of the preparation form is to help the student and the supervisor to see the thesis process as a whole. The form helps to identify the impact of the data protection legislation and ethical standards on the thesis and its implementation at a sufficiently early stage, as well as any matters related to the publication of the thesis and open access, to be agreed upon separately if necessary. The preparation form must be approved by the supervisor, and it must be attached with the thesis plan and agreement.

The preparation form is available on the thesis pages at the Lapland UAS website. (Link to the preparation form).

Thesis Agreement

The UAS’s theses are working life-oriented and develop working life, and thus cooperation with professional life is carried out throughout the entire commissioned thesis process. A thesis may be commissioned by an external partner, Lapland or an externally funded project of Lapland UAS. All theses are subject to a written thesis agreement. The agreement is always signed before the beginning of the thesis. The rules related to the thesis are agreed in the thesis agreement. The preparation form must be included in the thesis agreement as an attachment.

When the thesis plan meets the requirements, return it, the preparation form and the agreement to the supervisor in Wihi. The supervisor approves the thesis plan, the preparation form and the thesis agreement in Wihi and gives permission to submit the agreement and its appendices for signatures.

Signing of the thesis agreement

Thesis agreements are signed electronically. The student sends the supervisor-approved thesis agreement and preparation form to the study services of the University of Applied Sciences (opinnaytetyosopimukset@lapinamk.fi). Enter Thesis Agreement and the name of your degree programme in the subject line. The thesis agreement will be saved in the Dynasty data management system of Lapland UAS, through which each signatory will receive an email link for an electronic signature. The documents can be signed with online banking credentials or a mobile ID.

If any one of the signatories not have access to a Finnish online banking account or mobile IDs, the thesis agreement is signed manually and delivered by post to the University of Applied Sciences. In such a case, the student sends the thesis agreement to the parties and delivers the signed document to the study services, either to the campus study office or by post to the address below.

Lapland University of Applied Sciences/Study
Jokiväylä 11 C
96300 Rovaniemi, Finland

If the student transfers their research material or rights thereto to Lapland UAS, a separate agreement must be prepared for the transfer of the material (link to the material transfer agreement)

Approval of the planning phase

The student receives an approved grade for the planning period of the thesis (5 cr/10 cr), when

  • the student has obtained the necessary permits 
  • the student has successfully completed any other programme-specific requirements
  • the instructor has approved the thesis plan, the thesis agreement and the preparation form
  • the thesis agreement has been sent for signature.
  • depending on the degree programme, the plan can also be presented at a planning seminar.