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The Postgraduate Study Guide of the Faculty of Humanities

The essential information on how to pursue the Doctor of Philosophy degree at the Faculty of Humanities can be found in the Postgraduate Study Guide of the Faculty.

The Study Guide includes information about

  • eligibility,
  •  language requirements and other issues needed to know when applying for doctoral studies.
  •  It also includes a detailed description on the process of assessment of doctoral dissertation.

 

Postgraduate Study Guide, 2016-2017

 
2. Application to postgraduate studies
 
 

3. Progression, supervision and follow-up of postgraduate studies

 

Please note that, in this guide, the term department refers to the postgraduate student’s main subject at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Turku
 
The doctoral degree process is regulated by the Universities Act (558/2009), the Government decree on University Degrees (794/2004 and 1039/2013), the regulations issued by the Faculty and the guidelines of the University of Turku Graduate School.
According to the Decree on University Degrees, the aim of postgraduate studies is that the student
• becomes well-versed in his/her own field of research and its social significance
• gains knowledge and skills needed to apply scientific research methods independently and critically and to produce new scientific knowledge within his/her field of research
• becomes conversant with the development, basic problems and research methods of his/her own field of research
• gains such knowledge of the general theory of science and of other disciplines relating to his/her own field of research as enables him/her to follow developments in them
• gains such skills in communications and languages and such generic abilities that he/she can work in demanding expert positions and international networks. 
 
General structure of postgraduate studies

At the Faculty of Humanities the postgraduate student is admitted to take the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree. The doctoral degree comprises of 240 ECTS credits, which include the doctoral dissertation worth 180 ECTS credits and other studies worth 60 ECTS credits.

It is possible for the student to take the licentiate degree of 150 ECTS credits, which comprises of the licentiate thesis worth 90 ECTS credits and other studies worth 60 ECTS credits. If the student continues his or her studies towards a PhD degree, the studies worth 60 ECTS will be approved as a part of the Doctor of Philosophy degree.
 
  
 
The general prerequisite for the right to complete postgraduate studies is a Master's degree or an equivalent higher university degree. Applicants must hold an applicable higher university degree or must have completed an applicable education abroad which, in the country in question, qualifies the student for postgraduate studies equivalent to those offered at the University of Turku, or must be able to otherwise demonstrate the knowledge and readiness needed for scientific postgraduate studies. A degree or other form of education will be considered relevant if the work is of a high standard, includes advanced studies (or equivalent), and is in a field that adequately prepares the candidate for conducting the research proposed in the dissertation plan/preliminary research plan.
 
Applicants must also have sufficient knowledge of the languages needed to conduct their postgraduate studies.

A single Master's degree cannot form the basis for more than one postgraduate degree. Thus, applicants with, for instance, a Master's and a doctoral degree in another field cannot complete a Doctor of Philosophy degree at the Faculty of Humanities without first completing a Master's degree in a relevant humanist discipline.
 
 
There are two application deadlines for postgraduate studies per academic year.  Information on the application periods as well as application process can be found from the web page of the Faculty.

Well before submitting the application for postgraduate studies, the applicant should contact the department that most closely corresponds to his or her research interests and agree on a preliminary research and study plan as well as on the arrangements concerning the supervision of the future doctoral dissertation.

The department in question will evaluate the application, estimate the resources at its disposal for supervision of the student and make a decision on recommending the application.

The applicant should ask for a statement concerning her/his application from the professor in charge of postgraduate studies at the department. The department is asked to send the statement directly to the faculty. The student submits the application and other needed documents according to the instructions. It is the responsibility of the student to deliver the documents by the deadline.

The board of the doctoral programmes JUNO and Utuling will evaluate the applications and make a proposal to the Dean for accepting or rejecting them. The applicants will be informed in writing about the decision.
 
 
Application form
 
Applicants must fill in an electronic form especially meant for postgraduate students. The application form includes area where the applicant should write down

• the postgraduate study plan (60 ECTS). The plan should include the contents of the postgraduate studies (60 ECTS) and a preliminary schedule for carrying out these studies
• plan for funding.
 
Preliminary postgraduate study plan (60 ECTS)

Doctoral studies include a dissertation 180 ECTS and postgraduate studies (60 ECTS) that can consist of courses and individual assignments. The courses and assignments are planned according to the curricula of the doctoral programme but typically are very individual. The preliminary plan is given in the application and after the start of the studies a more detailed plan is done with the supervisor.
 
Note! Teaching at the Faculty of Humanities is provided principally in Finnish, but the supervision of doctoral dissertations and teaching at the doctoral level can also be provided in English or, at the language departments, in the language in question. In addition to Finnish and English, postgraduate studies can also be carried out in a foreign language agreed upon with the relevant department. If the applicant does not have a working knowledge of Finnish or English, when making the postgraduate study plan, he or she must ensure that the studies can be conducted in the language(s) he/she prefers.
 
The link to the electronic application form can be found on the web page of the Faculty of Humanities
http://www.utu.fi/en/units/hum/research/postgraduate/applying/

A: Documents that all applicants need to submit (1-3) either in Finnish or in English
1 Preliminary research plan
The preliminary research plan should be formulated according to the following structure:
1. Background
- the topic of the doctoral dissertation and its significance
-  its connections to former research as well as current scholarly discussions

2. The aim of the research and the research question

3. The materials and methods used in the research
-  a reflection on research ethics

4. A plan for collaboration and mobility

5. Execution
-  the applicant’s abilities,  previous research experience and familiarity with the field
-  a schedule for the research
-  a publishing plan: whether the dissertation will be a collection of articles or a monograph
a) in case of an article-based dissertation, the applicant should include an estimate of the   number of articles, a brief summary of their contents as well as a tentative plan concerning the possible publishing forums
b) a preliminary plan for the content of the monograph and a view on its possible publishing

6. A list of references
The directive length of the preliminary research plan is five pages, not including the list of references (using 12-point font, 1.5 line spacing and 2-2.5 cm margin).
 
2 An abstract of the applicant’s Master's thesis (or equivalent) or a summary of other scientific publication activities

The recommended length of the summary is approximately one page (using 12-point font, 1.5 line spacing, and 2-2.5 cm margin).
 
3 Motivation letter

A motivation letter is a one page long, free-form document (12-point font, 1.5 line spacing) that states

• why the applicant wishes to undertake postgraduate studies,
• how the proposed research relates to other research done at the University of Turku and
• the funding plan for the postgraduate studies.
 
B: The applicants that have a Master’s degree from outside the University of Turku must also supply the following documents:
 
4 A copy of the previous degree certificate, along with a copy of the transcript of records or other qualifications which form the basis for the applicant’s right to postgraduate studies

• The copies of the degree certificate and the transcript of records must be officially certified (legalised). They must bear the stamp and signature of an official who has the right to certify documents. Such authorities include, for example, the office of the school or university which has awarded the certificate, a notary public or other applicable authority.
• Official translations (to Finnish, Swedish or English) of the degree certificates and transcripts of records are required if the official documents are not written in English, Finnish or Swedish. Translations of the certificates must be either done or verified by an official/authorized translator.
 
5 Language certificates

The doctoral dissertation can be written in Finnish or in English, and furthermore, according to previous agreement, in any other language that is taught at the University of Turku at postgraduate level.

The applicants are required to have knowledge in Finnish or English language to be able to participate in the teaching and communicate with the university’s members of the staff. In practice, knowledge in the English language is required always when working in an international science community. Those applying for a right to study must prove their knowledge of English or Finnish as described below.

Acceptable language tests and the minimum scores are:

• International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) with an overall band score of 6.5 and no individual score below 6.0,
• Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 575 on the paper-based test or minimum score of 92 and no individual score below 20 on the internet-based test,
• Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with pass grade C or higher,
• Pearson Test of English, Academic (PTE A) with a minimum overall score of 62 and no individual score below 54.
• Test for the National Certificate of Language Proficiency in English set by the Finnish National Board on Education with a minimum score of 5 for each subtest.

Language skills are considered sufficient and no language tests are required, if the applicant

• has completed a higher education degree and studies required for the degree

1. in a university or polytechnic in Finland
2. in a university or polytechnic in EU/ETA countries in English. The language of the degree must appear from the degree certificate, diploma supplement, transcript of study records or other official document awarded by the university in question.
3. in a university located in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand in English.

• has completed a comprehensive or secondary education in Finnish.

• has completed an upper secondary education in the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland or New Zealand in English. In this case, a degree certificate of the upper secondary education must be enclosed to the application.
 
Certificate of Finnish language proficiency

If the applicant wishes to complete the postgraduate studies and/or write the doctoral dissertation in Finnish, an official certificate of Finnish language proficiency must be appended to the application. The certificate is not needed if the applicant's native tongue is Finnish or if the applicant has completed his or her Master's degree in Finnish. Sufficient Finnish language proficiency can be demonstrated in one of the following ways:

• a certificate confirming that the applicant has passed the State Board of Language Examinations' minor language test
• a certificate confirming that the applicant has passed the intermediate level test of the National Certificate of Language Proficiency
• a statement written by a Finnish language lecturer, who teaches at a foreign university, confirming that the applicant’s language skills are equivalent to the minor language test offered by the State Board of Language Examinations.

C: Additional documents required of applicants who have completed their Master’s degree outside the European Union (6)
 
 6 Information about the curriculum and contents of the Master's degree or equivalent academic qualification, authenticated by the applicant's former educational institution.
 

According to the University of Turku Regulation on Studies (section 5) “when students are selected to pursue Doctoral degrees, admission criteria may include studies completed earlier, study success, a study and research plan or other indication of eligibility for doctoral studies. When students are selected to pursue doctoral studies, it shall be ensured that high quality guidance is available in the field of research”.
 
The decision as to whether the applicant has been granted the right to study is made by the Dean upon the recommendation of the board of the doctoral programme. The decision is drafted evaluating each applicant’s application documents according to the admission criteria and taking account of the statement made by the person responsible for postgraduate degrees at the relevant department. The evaluation criteria are the following:
 
- quality of the research plan: its feasibility and scholarly significance
- research skills indicated and
- motivation.
 
One criterion can also be whether or not the department can offer supervision in the applicant’s field of research. If an applicant cannot be accepted as a postgraduate student, he or she will be sent a written notice stating the reasons for the rejection. An applicant, who is not satisfied with the decision, may appeal in writing to the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities within 14 days of the decision being sent. 
 

An admitted applicant has to notify in writing University of Turku of his/her acceptance of the study place by time announced in the call for applications. If the admitted applicant does not give the notification in the time indicated, he/she shall forfeit the study place. A person admitted to more than one university or polytechnic degree has to notify only the degree in which he/she accepts the study place. Notification is binding, it is not possible to cancel or change it later.
 
According to Finnish legislation, student may accept only one study place leading to a higher education degree in Finland during one academic term (autumn term 1.8.-31.12. or spring term 1.1.-31.7). This rule applies to all higher education. Higher education degrees included in the rule are Bachelor degrees and Master degrees awarded by Finnish universities of applied sciences, Bachelor degrees and Master degrees awarded by Finnish universities and Licentiate and Doctoral degrees awarded by Finnish universities. Only exemptions are Transfer student selections, the Åland Poly-technic and the Police College of Finland.
 
3. Progression, supervision and follow-up of postgraduate studies
 
Full-time postgraduate students should aim to complete their Doctor of Philosophy degree within four years. The studies should be planned and sized according to this.
 

In addition to the research evidenced in the dissertation, the postgraduate degree comprises studies (60 ECTS credits). More detailed information about the contents of such studies can be found in the postgraduate curriculum of the doctoral programmes. The contents of studies will be agreed upon during the application stage while drawing up the preliminary postgraduate study plan. After the studies begin, a personal study plan (JOPS) should be drawn up and the contents of the studies planned in detail and discussed with the supervisor.

The progress of the postgraduate studies (60 ECTS) and the realisation of the personal study plan (JOPS) will be monitored annually.

Please note the following:
The aim of the studies of 60 ECTS credits, that form a part of the postgraduate degree, is to accumulate the knowledge and skills needed when completing a licentiate thesis and/or a doctoral dissertation. Thus, the timing of the studies should be borne in mind when setting the research agenda – by the time the dissertation is ready for pre-examination the studies should be completed and entered into the study register.
 
The other studies of the postgraduate degree, licentiate thesis and doctoral dissertation are entered into the study register by those departments, where the studies in question have been completed. The study modules (20 ECTS credits + 40 ECTS credits) included in the postgraduate studies are not graded.
 
Before submitting the dissertation manuscript for pre-examination, the postgraduate student has to complete the postgraduate studies worth 60 ECTS credits. Exceptions to this rule can be made for special reasons.
 

Supervision is an essential part of trouble-free and successful postgraduate studies. It is a long-term process that demands mutual commitment from the supervisor and the student. When successful, it is a rewarding experience for both sides. It is important to agree on the practicalities of the supervision in the very beginning of the postgraduate studies. Even though every supervisory relationship is different, all should contain guidance, communication, one-on-one meetings and messaging. Supervision involves giving critical and constructive as well as appreciative and encouraging feedback of different types of texts during different stages of the dissertation process. The faculty has given out binding supervision guidelines that concern all parties and an example of the supervision plan that both the supervisor and the student should familiarize themselves with.
 
Supervision Plan
The link can be found on the Intranet (UTU username needed for signing in)
https://intranet.utu.fi/fi/yksikot/hum/tutkimus/jatkoopinnot/ohjaajille/Sivut/Ohjaussopimus-ja-sivuohjaajien-palkkioden-maksaminen.aspx
 
Changes in supervision

Changes in the supervision must be discussed and agreed upon. When the second supervisor is changed or added to the team the faculty office must be informed. If the main supervisor is going to be changed the professor in charge of the postgraduate studies proposes the change in written. The change is confirmed by the dean.
 
3.3. Follow-up

The postgraduate student must update his or her supervisor about the progress of the dissertation and accomplishment of set goals, and inform the supervisor of possible delays. The postgraduate programmes send out a follow-up survey annually to all registered postgraduate students. The postgraduate student or the doctoral programme will send the information to the supervisor.

Supervision benefits both sides. It is also the advantage of the postgraduate student to have to evaluate his or her progress, to assess realistically the remaining workload and to be able to get help and guidance when needed.

3.4. Guidance

Any questions concerning postgraduate studies can be addressed to general e-mail humpostgraduate@utu.fi or to programme manager Kirsi Tuohela (kirtuohe@utu.fi). Education secretary Tarja Ahonen counsels especially on issues related to examination process and grants (e-mail: humpostgraduate@utu.fi).

Sometimes the research takes unpredicted directions and a new major may better fit the research theme. In this case a free-form application with attachments such as new research plan and postgraduate study plan are needed. For further information contact the programme manager Kirsi Tuohela (kirtuohe@utu.fi) or email humpostgraduate@utu.fi.

Financing is of key importance for fluent doctoral training. Supervisors give advice, Graduate School UTUGS arranges courses and Research Funding Unit provide counselling. See also this. Stay tuned in the intranet.

 


A doctoral dissertation is a consistent scholarly work on a subject which lies within the Faculty of Humanities’ field of research and can be studied there as a major subject. The dissertation should be based on independent research that makes an original contribution to scientific knowledge.

The doctoral dissertation is either a monograph or a compilation of several separate scholarly articles. The extent of the dissertation required for a doctor’s degree is 180 ECTS credits.
 

A monograph dissertation is a previously unpublished research that is written by the postgraduate student and is published as a consistent work. The recommended length of a monograph dissertation is approximately 250 pages, appendices not included.

An article-based dissertation is a consistent scholarly work composed of articles. The Government Decree on University Degrees states:
 
“As a doctoral dissertation may also be approved a number of scientific publications or manuscripts vetted for publication deemed sufficient by the university which deal with the same set of problems and a paper summarizing the findings or some other work which meets corresponding scientific criteria. The publications may include co-authored publications if the author's independent contribution to them can be demonstrated.” (Government Decree on University Degrees [Valtioneuvoston asetus yliopistojen tutkinnoista], 794/2004, section 22.)

New Guidelines: Article-Based Doctoral Dissertation


The doctoral candidate must be currently enrolled as an attending postgraduate student at the university when the manuscript of the dissertation is submitted for pre-examination. Furthermore, the required postgraduate studies for the doctoral degree (60 ECTS) must be completed and entered into the student register. It is the student’s duty to attend to the above-mentioned matters before submitting the manuscript. The completed courses are entered into the register by the student’s department.
 
A plagiarism check (with a plagiarism detection programme Turnitin) must be performed to doctoral dissertation manuscripts prior to submitting them for preliminary examination. The supervisor of the student will perform the plagiarism check. A plagiarism check certificate must be signed and returned to the faculty.
 
 
The final version of the dissertation must include the following note stating that the originality check has been performed:
“The originality of this thesis has been checked in accordance with the University of Turku quality assurance system using the Turnitin OriginalityCheck service.”
 
The manuscript of the doctoral dissertation must be delivered to the Faculty Office in three unbound copies in a cardboard file folder or similar, which allows them to be handled and mailed easily.
 
The manuscript of a monograph dissertation must include a title page, a table of contents and a list of references at the end. One should use 1.5 line spacing and 12-point font. The manuscript of an article-based dissertation must include a summarizing section and the content of the articles must be identical to the original publications. When the article-based dissertation is submitted to the pre-examiners prior to the public examination, it should be accompanied by a list of the journals or edited volumes in which the articles have been published or accepted for publication. Furthermore, when co-authored publications are included, the postgraduate student must submit a written statement explaining the nature of his or her independent contribution to these publications.

Two copies of the manuscript must be printed one-sided (for the examiners’ use) and the third can be printed two-sided (for the Faculty Office’s use).

When the doctoral candidate submits his or her manuscript to the Faculty Office, he/she is also requested to give a written approval or rejection of the proposed examiners. The approval/rejection of the examiners can be given in the form of a signed letter or by sending an email to the following address: humpostgraduate@utu.fi

Doctoral dissertations are examined in two stages: the pre-examination and the public defence of a doctoral dissertation.
 
Well before submitting the manuscript for examination, the doctoral candidate must contact the Head of the department, who can thus start preparing his/her proposal for the pre-examiners for the Dean.
 
The doctoral dissertation must have a minimum of two pre-examiners, appointed by the Dean. When possible, the pre-examiners should be an adjunct professor or have equivalent scientific qualifications. The proposal for the pre-examiners is made by the Head of the doctoral candidate’s department after hearing the postgraduate student and his/her supervisor.
 
The pre-examiners must be chosen from outside the faculty and the dissertation supervisor may not act as a pre-examiner. The pre-examiner must not be anyone who has had joint publications or research projects with the student during the time of his/her postgraduate studies. The author of the dissertation is given the possibility to object to the Dean about the choice of the pre-examiners.
 
While the pre-examination is in progress, neither the author of the thesis nor his or her supervisor is allowed to contact the pre-examiners. When necessary, the persons responsible for postgraduate studies at the Faculty Office will take care of the communication with the pre-examiners.
 
The pre-examiners must submit their statements within three months of receiving the dissertation manuscript for examination. The deadline is calculated from the date of the pre-examination decision. The Faculty Office delivers copies of the statements to the postgraduate student and to the professor of the student’s department who made the proposal regarding pre-examination. The doctoral candidate has the right to make remarks on the pre-examiners’ statements before the decision about granting permission to defend the dissertation is made. The statements will be attached to the decision about granting permission, after which they will become public documents. The recommended length for the statements is between two and five pages. The pre-examiners can also issue a joint statement.
 
The principal duties of the pre-examiners are to assess whether the manuscript can be accepted as a dissertation in its present state or not, and to provide a reasoned written statement on the matter. In other words, the pre-examination is essentially a process which leads to an approval or rejection of the dissertation. The statements of the pre-examiners may contain suggestions for corrections and improvements, but they cannot be conditional.
 
The dissertation manuscript is assessed according to the following criteria:

• Choice of topic, research problem, outlining the research topic and research questions: The topic should have significant information value and yet the research task should be appropriately defined. (The faculty recommends that the length of a monograph dissertation should not exceed ca. 250 pages, appendices not included.)
• Acknowledgement of previous research: The work must serve as an appropriate continuation of a previous debate or introduce a completely new initiative. Previous research must thus be acknowledged, but not repeated as such.
• Conceptual clarity, definitions and theoretical knowledge: The reader must be able to fathom what the research is about.
• Methods: The methods used must be presented and justified.
• Material: The material must be qualitatively relevant in relation to the topic and quantitatively sufficient.
• Results and conclusions: The scientific significance of the results and conclusions should be neither exaggerated nor underestimated. The analysis must be logical and include different points of view. Interesting prospects for follow-up research and social relevance of the research can be considered as extra merits.
• Format: The structure of the dissertation must be logical and the language clear. The basic idea must not be overwhelmed by a superfluity of information.
• Critical attitude: The writer should demonstrate a critical attitude towards previous research, theories, methods, materials, sources and the scientific significance of his/her own work. In other words, good research is original and independent.
• Consistency: If the doctoral dissertation is a compilation of several publications or manuscripts accepted for publication, in their statements the pre-examiners must evaluate, whether these focus on the same topic and thus form a consistent scholarly work.
 
If both of the pre-examiners recommend that the doctoral candidate be granted permission to defend the dissertation at a public examination, the Dean will grant the permission.  The decision will be sent to the doctoral candidate, to the professor who made the pre-examination decision and to the University Communications.
 
After this, the candidate may begin to finalize the dissertation for publication and to start the practical arrangements for the public examination of the dissertation.
At this point, it has been preliminarily asserted, that the manuscript fulfils the minimum requirements for a doctoral dissertation, but the final decision on the approval or rejection of the dissertation and on its grading will be made only after the public examination. A rejection of a dissertation at this later stage of the examination process is possible, but very uncommon.
 
A negative statement by the pre-examiners means that the pre-examination is discontinued. Usually it is the student who asks for the discontinuation and starts correcting the dissertation. Should the Head of the doctoral candidate’s department recommend that the pre-examination procedure should be restarted after the dissertation has been revised, the Dean re-appoints pre-examiners for the dissertation. It is possible to appoint the same or new pre-examiners to complete the task.
 
If the dissertation has been written in a non-native language, its language must be revised before permission for the public defence can be granted.
 
It is the postgraduate student’s responsibility to ensure that the language of a dissertation written in a non-native language is revised to a publishable standard. The final revisions should take place after the pre-examination, at the latest, when the work otherwise has reached its final form. Already during the stage of pre-examination, it is necessary to pay attention to the grammatical correctness of the language used and to its fluent linguistic form. In order to achieve a publishable standard, hiring a professional, native-speaking language reviser is nearly always necessary. The costs of the revision are undertaken by the doctoral candidate but the faculty offers support for the costs.
 
Language revision support

The doctoral candidate can apply for a language revision grant from the faculty for language revision of a dissertation written in a non-native language. In order to apply, a free-form application should be handed in after the language revision has taken place. The application should be directed to the Faculty of Humanities and it should include the receipts and a copy of the language reviser’s statement. More information on the language revision support can be obtained from the Administrative Officer at the Faculty Office (email: humpostgraduate@utu.fi, tel: +358 2 333 5201).
 
In order to obtain permission to defend the dissertation at a public examination, the language reviser’s statement must be delivered to the faculty. If the dissertation is written in a non-native language, the permission will be granted only after the candidate has submitted this statement.

The Faculty Council has assigned to the Dean the right to grant permission to defend the dissertation at a public examination (Decree of the Faculty Board 22/8/2013). The Dean will make the decision based on the pre-examiners’ and the possible language reviser’s statements. A prerequisite for obtaining the permission is also that the postgraduate studies (60 ECTS credits) have been completed and registered.
 
The dissertation may be published only after the Dean has granted permission to defend the dissertation.
 
After being granted the permission, the doctoral candidate must see to it that the doctoral dissertation is released no later than 10 days before the date of the public examination.
 
Informing
 
Doctoral candidate must inform the Communication Unit about the coming public defence and write a press release on his/her dissertation. See
http://www.utu.fi/en/research/dissertations/guidelines-for-the-doctoral-candidate/Pages/home.aspx
 
Loose leaf
 
Dissertation must include a loose leaf giving the information of the title page and the time and place of the public defence of the dissertation.
 
The affiliation of the doctoral candidate, supervisor, examiners, and opponent
 
The information on the affiliation of the doctoral candidate must be on the reverse side of the title page:

• University of Turku, faculty, department, subject and doctoral programme. If the doctoral thesis research has been carried out in a special unit, the name of the special unit is mentioned in the affiliation

On the same page one must add information on

• supervisors
• pre examiners
• opponent
 
Originality Check -notice
 
“The originality of this thesis has been checked in accordance with the University of Turku quality assurance system using the Turnitin OriginalityCheck service.”

Abstracts
 
Since the beginning of 2014, all doctoral theses must contain a one-page abstract ("tiivistelmäsivu") both in English and in Finnish. In addition, the dissertation may contain abstracts in other languages, but the English and Finnish versions are obligatory. Please find the instructions here (in Finnish) https://intranet.utu.fi/fi/yksikot/hum/tutkimus/jatkoopinnot/ohjeita/Sivut/home.aspx
 
Manner of publication; distribution and the number of copies
 
1. The dissertation is published only in electronic form

At the University of Turku, the doctoral dissertation can be published in an electronic format. An electronically published dissertation can be a part of the University of Turku Annales series, in which case the publishing contract is made with the University of Turku Library Feeniks. If the dissertation is not published as a part of the Annales series, the publishing contract is made at the faculty.

In addition the dissertation published in the electronic publication archive, the doctoral candidate must deliver bound paper copies to the university. They must be bound with cardboard covers (the front cover can also be a see-through plastic cover).
 
Doctoral candidate delivers paper copies as follows:
- members of the Grading Committee, 3-4 copies
-  Feeniks Library 2 copies (of which 1 is reading copy to be placed on display)
- Faculty 1 copy
- 1 printout of the Finnish abstrack to the Rector.

A dissertation that is only published electronically cannot receive publishing support.


2. The dissertation is published electronically and also in printed form in the Annales series/other series or as a monograph

The candidate delivers copies of the printed dissertation as follows:
- members of the Grading Committee, 3-4 copies
- pre-examiner(s),1 copy for each pre-examiner
- 2 copies for the Feeniks Library (of which 1 is a reading copy to be placed on display) and volyntary copies to be sold at UTUSHOP (e.g. 5 copies)
- Rector 1 copy
- Faculty 1 copy

3. The dissertation is published in the Annales series/other series or as a monograph, but not electronically

The candidate delivers copies of the printed dissertation as follows:
- members of the Grading Committee, 3-4 copies
- pre-examiner(s),1 copy for each pre-examiner
 - 2 copies for the Feeniks Library (of which 1 is a reading copy to be placed on display) 2 copies and volyntary copies to be sold at UTUSHOP (e.g. 5 copies)
-  Faculty 21 copies (1 for the Faculty, 20 copies for the public distribution)
- Rector, 1 copy.
 
Distribution
 
The doctoral candidate is responsible for the delivery of his/her dissertation.

The bound paper copy or the printed dissertation doctoral candidate deliveres to the members of the Grading Committee, the Feeniks (University Library) and the Faculty 10 days before the public examination at  latest. NB: The dissertation must be delivered to the Opponent(s) as soon as the final version is ready.

The copies for the Feeniks are delivered to the library information desk (2nd floor). The copies for the Faculty can be delivered to Signum Service Point (2nd floor) or posted to address: Signum Service Point, Doctoral Training, Koskenniemenkatu 4, FI-University of Turku.

A dissertation that will be published in an electronic format must be delivered to the Feenik's  e-mail address julkaisut@utu.fi, as a finished document, 15 days before the public examination at the latest. The dissertation will be published in the University of Turku Publication Archive (DORIA) 10 days before the public examination at the latest. Guidelines for the publication can be found here: http://www.utu.fi/en/units/library/requestbuypublish/publish/publishing-doctoral-dissertation/Pages/home.aspx

If publishing the dissertation electronically, please note the following:
 
1. A publishing agreement is always required if the dissertation is published in the University of Turku Publication Archive (DORIA). If a commercial publisher publishes a printed version of the dissertation, the candidate must acquire permission for electronic publishing from the publisher before filling in the agreement with the library.

2. The publishing agreement for the University of Turku publishing series (Annales Universitatis Turkuensis) is approved at the Feeniks (University library).

3. The publishing agreement for electronic publishing elsewhere than in the Annales series is approved at the faculty by the Dean. The publishing agreement must be delivered to the Faculty (to address: Signum Service Point, 2nd floor) 15 days before the public examination at the latest. (NB: the deadline is the same as that for the completed dissertation to be delivered to the Feeniks)

4. If the dissertation is published only electronically in the Annales series, the publishing agreement is made with the library.  In other cases, the agreement is approved at the faculty. If the publishing agreement is made with the faculty, the agreement must be delivered to the Faculty (address: Signum Service Point, 2nd floor)15 days before the public examination at the latest. (NB: the deadline is the same as that for the completed dissertation to be delivered to the Feeniks.)

5. The Faculty delivers a copy of the publishing agreement approved by the Dean to the library and to the candidate and files away the original copy.

6. The publishing agreement forms can be found at the Feeniks Publishing Services web page: http://www.utu.fi/en/units/library/requestbuypublish/publish/publishing-agreements/Pages/home.aspx

7. Also the electronically published dissertations must include a first page that states the time and place of the public examination.

8. If the dissertation is rejected after the public examination, it will be removed from the publication archive.
 

According to the University of Turku guidelines, the dissertation should always be published also electronically, unless there is a specific reason against this. A dissertation published in the Annales Universitatis Turkuensis series can receive a 500€ grant for printing from the Faculty of Humanities. The support for a dissertation published outside the Annales series is 350€.
 
The doctoral candidate can apply for a publishing grant from the Faculty of Humanities. The free-form application should be submitted after the dissertation is published. The application should be directed to the Faculty of Humanities and it should include the receipts. More information on how to receive publishing support can be obtained from humpostgraduate@utu.fi.
 
After granting permission to defend the dissertation, the Dean appoints an Opponent (or Opponents), a Custos and a Grading Committee for the public examination of the dissertation.
 
The proposal for the Opponent(s) and for the members of the Grading Committee is made by the Head of the doctoral candidate’s department. Before the Opponent(s) is/are appointed, the author of the dissertation is given the possibility to object to the proposal. Similarly, the candidate will have an opportunity to express his/her view on the composition of the Grading Committee.
 
The Opponent(s)

The Opponent should, if possible, be an adjunct professor or have equivalent qualifications. The Opponent must come from outside the University of Turku. If there is more than one Opponent, at least one of them must come from outside the University of Turku. The supervisor of the dissertation cannot act as an Opponent.
Each Opponent submits a statement to the faculty concerning the scientific value of the dissertation. The statement can also be given jointly. The reasoned, written statement must be delivered within one month of the public examination. It must include a grade proposal.

 
The Custos

When appointing the members of the Grading Committee, the Dean also appoints the Custos for the public examination. The Custos opens and concludes the public examination and presides over it. The Custos can be a professor of the disputant’s department, a professor in a related discipline or an adjunct professor of the disputant’s department, having an employment relationship to the University of Turku. The Custos can also be emeritus, who has acted as the supervisor of the dissertation and who holds an emeritus agreement with the University of Turku.
 
The Custos informs the Opponent(s) about the practices and progression of the public examination at the University of Turku. The Custos also acts as a host to the Opponent(s) while he/she/they is/are visiting the university (unless other agreements have been made).
 
The Custos introduces the Opponent(s) and the members of the Grading Committee to the faculty’s grading practices, grading scale and other regulations, and acts as the chair and secretary of the Grading Committee that gathers after the public examination.

If the Custos him/herself has acted as the supervisor, he/she can participate in the committee meeting, but he/she is not allowed to participate in evaluating the scientific value of the dissertation and proposing a grade. Then the Custos asks the third member appointed by the faculty to act as the chair and secretary of the Grading Committee.
 
The Grading Committee

The Custos acts as the chair of the Grading Committee. Other members of the committee include the Opponent(s) and one or a maximum of two adjunct professors, who usually represent one of the related disciplines at the University of Turku, and who have not participated in the supervision of the dissertation.

Pre-examiner of the dissertation or a representative of related disciplines from other universities can be the member of the Grading Committee.
 
The members of the Grading Committee – except the Custos – cannot be supervisors of the dissertation which is being graded. Since the grade proposal must take into account not only the scientific value of the dissertation, but also the doctoral candidate’s public defence, all members of the Grading Committee must be present at the public examination and at the committee meeting after it. If the Custos him/herself has acted as the supervisor, he/she can participate in the committee meeting as the chair, but he/she is not allowed to participate in evaluating the scientific value of the dissertation and proposing a grade.
 
The Grading Committee delivers a written statement to the faculty, in which it briefly mentions the merits and shortcomings of the dissertation, assesses the disputant’s performance in defending the dissertation and makes a reasoned proposal for approving or failing the dissertation and for the dissertation’s grade. However, a description of the contents of the dissertation need not be included in the statement. For grading the doctoral dissertation see 4.12.

The grade proposal must be based on consultation between the members of the grading committee. Proposal of the grade of the grading committee does not need to be unanimous. Then each member of the grading committee must give reasoned written statement.

The statement must be submitted within one month of the public examination and it must be signed by all members of the committee. A one-page statement will suffice.

At the public examination, the disputant defends his/her dissertation against the Opponent’s (or Opponents’) criticism. The public examination begins with an introductory lecture (lectio praecursoria) by the doctoral candidate, followed by the Opponent’s comments on the dissertation. The maximum length of the Opponent’s examination is four hours. After that, the floor will be given to the audience who may present their criticisms of the dissertation. The total length of the public examination of a dissertation may not exceed six hours.
 
The Custos presides over the public examination and takes care of other duties commissioned to him/her by the university.
 
General instructions for the doctoral candidate given by the university are available at:
http://www.utu.fi/en/research/dissertations/guidelines-for-the-doctoral-candidate/Pages/home.aspx
 
The dissertation is approved and the decision upon the grade is made by the Dean or the Faculty Board based on the Opponent’s (or Opponents’) and the Grading Committee’s statements. If the statements are unanimous, the decision is made by the Dean. If they are not unanimous, the decision upon the grade is made by the Faculty Board. In this case, only those members or deputy members of the Faculty Board, who hold a degree of the same level (in practice, holders of a doctoral degree), may participate in the grading of the dissertation.
 
Doctoral dissertations are graded on a scale Fail, Pass, Pass with Distinction (decision of the Faculty Board 22 June 2016). As a rule, dissertations are approved with the grade Pass. Only when a doctoral dissertation is of exceptionally high academic quality and merit it may be graded with Pass with Distinction.

When the opponent and the grading committee propose the grade Pass with Distinction they are to append a clarification sheet to the statement in which they present reasons for proposing the grade. When suggested the grade pass with
Distinction the dissertation should represent the highest 10% quality of it’s field.

The assessment criteria for doctoral dissertation are: 
 
Choice of topic, research problem, outlining the research topic and research questions: The topic should have significant information value and yet the research task should be appropriately defined. (The faculty recommends that the length of a monograph dissertation should not exceed ca. 250 pages, appendices not included.)
 
Acknowledgement of previous research: The work must serve as an appropriate continuation of a previous debate or introduce a completely new initiative. Previous research must thus be acknowledged, but not repeated as such.
 
Conceptual clarity, definitions and theoretical knowledge: The reader must be able to fathom what the research is about.
 
Methods: The methods used must be presented and justified.
 
Material: The material must be qualitatively relevant in relation to the topic and quantitatively sufficient.
 
Results and conclusions: The scientific significance of the results and conclusions should be neither exaggerated nor underestimated. The analysis must be logical and include different points of view. Interesting prospects for follow-up research and social relevance of the research can be considered as extra merits.
 
Format: The structure of the dissertation must be logical and the language clear. The basic idea must not be overwhelmed by a superfluity of information.

 Critical approach: The writer should demonstrate a critical attitude towards previous research, theories, methods, materials, sources and the scientific significance of his/her own work. In other words, good research is original and independent.
 
Consistency: If the doctoral dissertation is a compilation of several publications or manuscripts accepted for publication, in their statements the pre-examiners must evaluate, whether these focus on the same topic and thus form a consistent scholarly work.
 
When proposing the grade Pass with Distinction the above mentioned criteria must be met most explicitly. clarification sheet of the exceptional academic quality and merits of the dissertation must be appended. The exceptional innovative merits of the dissertation in comparison to dissertations of the discipline in general, must be stated explicitly. When proposing the grade Pass with Distinction the dissertation should represent the highest 10% quality of it’s field.

The grade proposal must be based on consultation between the members of the grading committee. Proposal of the grade of the grading committee does not need to be unanimous. Then each member of the grading committee must give reasoned written statement. 

Decision of approval
 
Before the dissertation is approved and graded, the disputant is given the possibility to object to the statements made by the Opponent(s) and the Grading Committee. The Faculty Office delivers copies of these statements to the disputant.
 
The dissertation can be graded after the required documents (the statements written by the Opponent(s) and the Grading Committee, and the possible objection of the disputant) have arrived at the Faculty Office. After the grade has been decided, the documents become public.
 
A doctoral candidate, who is unsatisfied with the evaluation of his/her doctoral dissertation, may appeal in writing to the Dean within 14 days of the decision being sent.

The Faculty Board grants the permission to defend the dissertation at a public examination and accepts the doctoral dissertation and licentiate thesis (University of Turku Rules of Procedure, section 21).
 
However, at the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty Board has delegated to the Dean the task of granting permission to defend and approving or rejecting the dissertation (Faculty Board Decree 22/8/2013).
 
This affects the timetable of the doctoral defence process so that the doctoral candidate, when planning the schedule for the public examination, does not have to consider the Faculty Board meeting schedule.
 
Nevertheless, it is important that the disputant allows enough time for the examination process of the dissertation and considers, amongst other things, the time needed for the preparation of decisions, submitting the statements, publishing the dissertation and organizing the public examination. The disputant should also bear in mind that the public examination cannot take place until 10 days after the release of the dissertation at the earliest.
 
Administrative decisions that affect the schedule of the doctoral defence process:
• pre-examiners (Dean decides, the Head of the department makes a proposal)
• permission to defend the dissertation at a public examination (Dean decides if the pre-examination statements are favourable)
• Opponent(s) (Dean decides, the Head of the department makes a proposal)
• Grading Committee (Dean decides, the Head of the department makes a proposal)
• grading of the dissertation (Dean (or if the decision is not unanimous the Faculty Board) decides)
• awarding the degree (Dean decides after the approval of the dissertation without s separate application).
 
The time limit for the pre-examiners’ statements is three months, and for the Opponent’s (or Opponents’) and Grading Committee’s statements is one month.
 
The public examination can be held, at the earliest, one month after the permission for defence has been granted, since the practical arrangements (e.g. press releases) alone will take a considerable amount of time.
 
After permission to defend has been granted, the disputant and the Custos should agree on an examination date without delay. The Custos makes sure that the date suits the disputant and the members of the Grading Committee alike.

The decision on granting the Doctorate and on issuing the degree certificate is made by the Dean. When the dissertation has been accepted, a degree certificate will be written by the faculty office without a separate application.
 
When the dissertation has been accepted the Doctorate will add the dissertation to the University of Turku Research Portal: https://research.utu.fi/converis/portal;jsessionid=1288821b0182eb8cb2d43450ec3d?lang=en_GB

In a festive promotion ceremony, the faculty awards those who have completed their doctoral degree the insignia associated with this status. The new Doctors of Philosophy can attend the ceremony personally or participate in absentia.
 

The licentiate thesis is a postgraduate thesis which is less substantial than that required for a Doctorate. It is possible for the postgraduate student to take the licentiate degree, if s/he so wishes. The recommended length of a licentiate thesis is 200 pages, the list of references not included. The licentiate thesis is either a monograph or a compilation of several separate scholarly articles. The same guidelines about the contents concern the licentiate thesis and the doctoral thesis.
 
According to the Government Decree on University Degrees
“The licentiate degree shall include a licentiate thesis, in which the student demonstrates good conversance with the field of research and the capability of independently and critically applying scientific research methods.”  (Government Decree on University Degrees 794/2004: section 23).
 
For special reasons, a published research paper or a research paper accepted for publication may be approved as a licentiate thesis if it meets the general criteria set for a licentiate thesis. A Master’s thesis or other undergraduate thesis as such cannot be approved as a licentiate thesis.
 
The extent of the licentiate thesis required for a licentiate degree is 90 ECTS credits.
 
Submitting the thesis for examination
 
The postgraduate student must be currently enrolled as an attending student at the university when submitting the thesis for examination. Furthermore, the required postgraduate studies for the licentiate degree (60 ECTS credits) have to be completed and they must already be entered into the student register. It is the student’s duty to attend to the above-mentioned matters before submitting the thesis. The completed courses are entered into the register by the relevant department.
 
A plagiarism check (with a plagiarism detection programme Turnitin) must be performed to licentiate thesis manuscripts prior to submitting them for examination. The supervisor of the student will perform the plagiarism check. A certificate of the plagiarism check must be signed and returned to the faculty. See
http://www.utu.fi/en/unit/university-services/academic-and-student-affairs/educational-development-and-counselling-services/technology/fairutu/Pages/home.aspx
 
The final version of the licentiate thesis must include a note stating that the originality check has been performed.
 
The licentiate thesis must be delivered to the Faculty Office in four printed copies, two of them hardbound and two unbound. The unbound copies need to be delivered in a cardboard file folder or similar, which allows them to be handled and mailed easily. All copies should be printed one-sided.

The thesis must include a title page and an abstract page, a table of contents and a list of references at the end. One should use 1.5 line spacing (1 in the abstract) and 12-point font. One separate copy of the abstract page is to be delivered to the Faculty Office.

Well before submitting the thesis for examination, the postgraduate student must contact the Head of his/her department, who can thus start preparing for the Dean his/her proposal for the examiners.
 
When the postgraduate student submits his/her thesis to the Faculty Office, he/she is requested to notify the faculty of his/her approval or rejection of the proposed examiners. The approval/rejection of the examiners can be given in the form of a signed letter or by sending an email to the following address: humpostgraduate@utu.fi
 
While the examination is in progress, the author of the thesis is not allowed to contact the examiners. When necessary, the persons responsible for postgraduate studies at the Faculty Office will take care of the communication with the examiners.

Appointing of the examiners
 
The Dean appoints a minimum of two examiners for the thesis. The examiners must have taken the doctoral degree. It is recommended, that the examiners are not from the postgraduate student’s department. The supervisor of the thesis cannot act as an examiner. Before the examiners are appointed, the author of the thesis is given the possibility to object to the proposal for the examiners.
 
Once the proposal for the examiners has been approved and the thesis has been delivered to the examiners, the department arranges a public examination in one of its research seminars. After this, the examiners write their statements, which include a grade proposal. The examiners can also issue a joint statement. The examiners must submit the statement within three months of receiving the thesis for examination.
 
If the licentiate thesis consists of several separate publications or manuscripts accepted for publication, the examiners’ statement must include an evaluation of whether these focus on the same topic and thus form a consistent scholarly work.

Licentiate thesis is assessed with the same scale and criteria as dissertations. See 4.12. Grading the doctoral dissertation
 
Approval of the licentiate thesis

The licentiate thesis is graded and approved by the Dean to whom the Faculty Board has delegated the task of approving grades. Before making of the decision, the author of the thesis is given the possibility to submit an objection to the examiners’ statements. After the decision is made, the documents become public. 
 
A student, who is unsatisfied with the evaluation of his/her licentiate thesis, may appeal in writing to the Dean within 14 days of the decision being sent.

The decision on granting the licentiate degree and on issuing the degree certificate is made by the Dean. When the thesis has been accepted, a degree certificate will be written by the faculty office without a separate application.

 

 

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 Contacts

 


Postgraduate studies' coordinator, Programme Manager
Ms. Kirsi Tuohela
tel. +358 (0)2 333 7949
e-mail: kirsi.tuohela@utu.fi
Signum Service Point, 2nd floor
Faculty of Humanities
FI-20014 UNIVERSITY OF TURKU

General e-mail:
humpostgraduate@utu.fi