The most important part of the doctorate degree is the doctoral dissertation and research work related to it.
In addition to the dissertation, the degree also includes academic graduate studies, which are studies that support researcher skills and research work and studies that promote other academic and working life skills. The Schools define more detailed degree requirements in the doctoral programmes’ curricula.
The scope of the graduate studies varies depending on the field between 40 and 60 ECTS. The graduate studies support the dissertation research and they are specified in the doctoral student’s personal study plan. Graduate studies must be finished before the dissertation is examined.
In order to complete a doctoral degree, a student shall:
- participate regularly in the teaching organized for the degree in a way that is instructed in the curriculum
- write and publish a dissertation and defend it in public
- complete other studies which are instructed in the curriculum, and which together with the dissertation show independent and critical thinking in the student’s own field of research.
The scope of a doctoral degree is equivalent to four years of full-time study.
A graduate student may complete a Licentiate Degree, when s/he has completed the postgraduate studies instructed by the Faculty and finished his/her licentiate thesis. More detailed degree requirements can be found in the doctoral programmes’ curricula.
In the licentiate thesis the student should show that s/he is conversant with his/her field of research and is able to apply the methods of academic research independently and critically. The licentiate thesis may either be one single research (monograph) or several academic publications or manuscripts accepted for publication (article-based licentiate thesis). More detailed instructions about the licentiate thesis can be found on the web pages of the doctoral programmes.
Examination and Evaluation of Licentiate Thesis
The work that is intended to be a licentiate thesis shall be submitted to the School for assigning the examiners. A separate abstract shall be enclosed in the research, and it is written and printed according to the writing guidelines for the theses in the faculty in question. Before submitting the work, the student shall upload the work into Moodle for the plagiarism check. Before submitting the work, the student shall check from the supervisor that the research is ready to be examined.
After hearing the supervisors, the Management Group of the School appoints two examiners for the research. At least one of the examiners shall come from outside the Faculty. The supervisor of the research cannot act as the examiner. The examiners shall have a doctorate degree or other equivalent academic qualification. Provisions on disqualification applied also to the examiners are enacted in the Administrative Procedure Act (434/2003, Sections 27-28).
After the examiners have been appointed, the supervisor of the licentiate thesis agrees with the student and the examiners on the timing of the examination event and other practical matters related to the examination.
The research is presented in public in the seminar of the study subject in question. The thesis shall be displayed in public for at least 10 days before the examination of the work. The licentiate thesis may also be made available in electronic form on the University’s website. The student agrees with the supervisor on the number of printed copies of the work. The student shall also save the licentiate thesis electronically to the University’s library database.
The examiners shall give a justified written statement about the licentiate thesis within 30 days of the public presentation. The examiners shall suggest either to pass or to fail the thesis. No grade is given for the licentiate thesis.
The decision about the acceptance of the licentiate thesis is made by the Management Group of the School on the basis of the examiners’ written statement. Before the decision is made, the licentiate candidate is reserved the right to submit a plea to the statement made by the examiners.
The researcher may apply to the Education Council of the University of Vaasa for rectification of the assessment within 14 days of the day when the decision was served.