Permission to Defend a Doctoral Dissertation and Its Evaluation

​After receiving a written statement from the pre-reviewers, the faculty decides on granting the permission to defend the dissertation. The faculty also appoints one or more dissertation opponents, as well as a Custos, who acts as the chairperson of the public defence of the doctoral dissertation and is usually a professor of the discipline in question.

To be granted permission to defend the dissertation the manuscript intended as a dissertation must be submitted to the faculty in two printed copies (in the Faculty of Medicine in one copy and in the Faculty of Social Sciences in three copies). The faculty delivers the copies to the pre-reviewers, except in the faculties of Medicine, and Mathematics and Natural Sciences where the Doctoral Candidate delivers the copies personally.

The dissertation must first be checked for plagiarism with the Turnitin system of the University of Turku. Secondly, the dissertation must be enclosed with a certificate signed by the supervisor verifying that the check has been conducted.

The certificate on FairUTU webpages.

The printed dissertation must be released no later than ten days before its public defence, unless the dean of the faculty gives other instructions.  A digital copy of the dissertation must be delivered to the University Library no later than 15 days before the public defence of the doctoral dissertation.

Evaluation of the Dissertation

After the public defence, the Opponent makes a statement, which concerns both the examination of the manuscript of the doctoral dissertation and the assessment of its public defence. In some faculties, the Opponent must conclude his or her statement by proposing a grade for the dissertation.

The faculty will then decide on the approval and grade of the dissertation based on the Opponent's statement. The Faculty of Humanities appoints an Examining Committee of 3-4 members to propose a grade.

Before the grading of the dissertation, the Doctoral Candidate must be given an opportunity to comment on the statements made by the pre-reviewers, the assessors and the Opponent (Universities Decree §18).

The faculties have differing practices, due to which Doctoral Candidates are advised to read through the instructions of their own faculty for specific details. 


Keywords: Viestintä;

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