Master's Thesis and Degree Certificate

A Master’s thesis is a thesis in a Master’s programme with a scope of 30 to 40 credits, depending on the programme. It is a research-type study project requiring the student to do about six months of full-time work. Students starting their thesis are expected to be able to work independently and responsibly following a plan. The student must have completed a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent and a sufficient number of credits towards the Master’s degree.

A Master’s thesis aims to familiarise students with the academic discussion and research in their field, produce an independent thesis related to their field and demonstrate proficiency in their academic field.

A Master’s thesis in engineering covers a topic related to a professional field. The topic shall be agreed upon between the student and the professor in the field. The thesis subject may also be multidisciplinary (the content may include both major and minor subjects) in a manner agreed with the professor in the field.

Submitting Master's thesis for official review

When you feel your thesis draft is ready, submit it to the supervisor (the thesis supervisor) for pre-review. The supervisor provides feedback and possible suggestions for corrections. Re-submit the corrected version to the supervisor, who will authorise the handing in of your thesis for plagiarism inspection. Before the work can be approved, all theses at the University of Vaasa are subjected to an electronic check using the Turnitin plagiarism detection service. Follow your supervisor’s instructions on submitting your completed thesis to the Moodle platform for the Turnitin check.  You can find the return box for your degree programme by typing the word ‘Turnitin’ in the search window in Moodle.

Once your supervisor has inspected the plagiarism inspection report and verified that nothing was flagged, the supervisor authorises the submission of your thesis for review, archiving and publication in the Osuva publication archive. This version must be the same as the version saved for plagiarism detection.

Guide for publishing Master's theses: LibGuides (This guide you can publish your thesis in the Osuva Publication Archive)

Save your thesis in the Osuva publications archive and email the same file to your supervisor and Education Services.

Education Services contact persons:
Administrative Sciences: Marja Vettenranta
Business Studies: Leena Larimo
Communication Studies: Hanna Korpela
School of Technology and Innovations: (Ulla Laakkonen)

Plagiarism detection

The plagiarism detection software is a part of the quality system of education and research. The use of the software is not a separate form or method of instruction or grading but an aid in instructing and grading thesis writers.

All theses (bachelor's and master's theses as well as licentiate and doctoral theses) written for the University of Vaasa are checked against plagiarism with this software before they are accepted. An entry of the check will be added on the student's transcripts of records. The software in use is called Turnitin.

Students submit their theses for the plagiarism check (in Moodle) at the latest when they give their theses in for grading. To find the correct Moodle course to submit your thesis for the check, search in Moodle with the keyword "Turnitin", or for School of Technology and Innovations, for the course "Tekniikan ja innovaatiojohtamisen akateemisen yksikön diplomityöt & pro gradu -tutkielmat / School of Technology & Innovations Master's Thesis".

All theses submitted for grading are checked for originality with Turnitin. Once a thesis has been checked, the supervisor will give the student permission to save the thesis in the electronic publication archive Osuva.

Review of the thesis

The review period starts when the thesis is saved in the Osuva publications archive and sent to your supervisor and Education Services.

The examiners will now conduct a review of your thesis. You will be notified of the grade once the review is completed. When the review is completed, the Dean of the School confirms the grade, after which the grade is registered, and the Master’s thesis is published in Osuva.

The student receives a copy of the review criteria applied to the Master’s thesis.

 Maturity test for the Master’s degree: If you have completed a maturity test in a Finnish Bachelor’s degree, the abstract included in the Master’s thesis in the language of your secondary education (Finnish or Swedish) serves as the maturity test, eliminating the need for a separate maturity test. Proficiency in the secondary education language has already been demonstrated in the lower degree, so the abstract will be reviewed only for proficiency in the field of study.

Maturity test for the Master’s degree: If you have completed a maturity test in a Finnish Bachelor’s degree, the abstract included in the Master’s thesis in the language of your secondary education (Finnish or Swedish) serves as the maturity test, eliminating the need for a separate maturity test. Proficiency in the secondary education language has already been demonstrated in the lower degree, so the abstract will be reviewed only for proficiency in the field of study.

If you have not completed a maturity test for a previous degree (e.g. degrees completed abroad), you must take the maturity test in EXAM. In this case, the maturity test is used to verify your proficiency both in the field of study and the secondary education language. For more detailed instructions on the maturity test for a Bachelor’s degree, click here.

Master's thesis evaluation form


Master's thesis evaluation rubrics


Timetable for Graduation, Academic Year 2023-2024

Apply for graduation in Peppi at least 28 days before the intended graduation day. Ask the International Education Specialist to check your studies well before that.

Thesis in Osuva Grade statement
Dean's decision Application for certificate Certificate
 7.6.2023 7.8.2023 9.8.2023 11.8.2023 25.8.2023
4.8.2023 4.9.2023 6.9.2023 15.9.2023 29.9.2023
1.9.2023 2.10.2023 4.10.2023 13.10.2023 27.10.2023
29.9.2023 30.10.2023 1.11.2023 10.11.2023 24.11.2023
20.10.2023 20.11.2023 22.11.2023 4.12.2023 18.12.2023
3.11.2023 4.12.2023 7.12.2023 15.12.2023 29.12.2023*
27.11.2023 3.1.2024 5.1.2024 12.1.2024 26.1.2024
22.12.2023 29.1.2024 31.1.2024 9.2.2024 23.2.2024
2.2.2024 4.3.2024 6.3.2024 13.3.2024 27.3.2024
1.3.2024 2.4.2024 4.4.2024 12.4.2024 26.4.2024
22.3.2024 22.4.2024 24.4.2024 3.5.2024 17.5.2024
5.4.2024 6.5.2024 8.5.2024 17.5.2024 31.5.2024
26.4.2024 27.5.2024 29.5.2024 5.6.2024 19.6.2024
10.5.2024 10.6.2024 12.6.2024 28.6.2024 31.7.2024**

*The degree certificates are prepared in the following month (January 2024)
**The degree certificates are prepared in the following month (August 2024)

Master’s thesis video in business programmes

Master’s students in business studies (not industrial management and computer science) have to produce a short (3-4 minutes) video presentation on their thesis.

The video is an obligatory part of the thesis and it needs to be submitted at the same time as the final thesis. Instructions for the video can be found in Moodle on page Master’s thesis video. The obligatory thesis video does not influence the final grade of the thesis.

Maturity Exam

In the maturity essay, the students are expected to demonstrate both proficiency in their field of study and fluency in the written text.

For international master’s students and Finnish master’s students who have previously completed a Finnish bachelor degree, the abstract included in the master’s thesis serves as the maturity test so a separate maturity test is not required. The thesis supervisor marks in the thesis evaluation form that the familiarity with the field of study has been demonstrated in the abstract. Please see the writing guidelines concerning the abstract.

If you are a Finnish master’s student and have not written a maturity test in your bachelor degree (for example, if your bachelor degree is completed abroad), please check the instructions for the maturity test on the website Kypsyysnäyte.

Applying for a topic for a Master’s thesis in engineering (School of Technology and Innovations)

You can apply for a thesis topic after completing a Bachelor’s degree in engineering or possible supplementary studies. The thesis topic will remain valid for one calendar year starting from the end of the month of approval. If the thesis is not submitted for review by the deadline, the student must apply for an extension or a new thesis topic. 

Special cases


Students cannot make changes to their work after it has been returned for evaluation and archiving. However, if you notice parts of the work that require little repairs or refinements (the error may be a typing mistake, a naming error, an error in siding, a paragraph change, etc.) that generally do not affect the job's review but are more cosmetic, you can contact Tritonia or Education Services and ask them to add to your work the so-called errata, i.e. a change list, where you can announce the corrected parts in your work. No changes can be made to the reviewed and approved thesis file itself.

Background material

With commissioned theses, the commissioner may demand a thesis or parts of it to remain non-public in order to protect business or professional secrets. In this case, those parts of the work that contain such secrets are not integrated into the master’s thesis, but annexed to the thesis as background material. The background material must conform to the general guidelines on writing master’s thesis and must be left for assessment at the same time and in as many copies as the master’s thesis. The background material is not bound together with the master’s thesis but submitted separately with its own title page and titled BACKGROUND MATERIAL. However, general, non-specific information about the background material should be incorporated in the text of the master’s thesis if possible.

The minimum requirements for the actual master’s thesis are that it specifies the theoretical framework, research methods, material and its analysis, and has a list of references. It must be an independent, readable whole. Background material is evaluated together with the actual master’s thesis but is not made public. After the assessment, the background material is archived and kept in a secure place at the school. The use of background material as the main source must be agreed upon with the thesis supervisor beforehand.

Anonymisation of science is more preferred.

Online thesis workshop

Come and try the thesis workshop! In the workshop, we solve thesis-related problems together, overcome writer’s blocks, give and get peer support and share tips. You will make progress with your thesis, and get tips on, for example, time management and information searching. You can also stay online and just write your thesis. 

Thursdays at 16-17 onlineZoom link  (password: 070149)

Contact: Ray Ohtonen, Study Psychologist | Niina Sorvari, Information Specialist
Opinnäytetyöpaja | Thesis workshop - Tritonia - Vaasan tiedekirjasto

Ready-made topics for Master's theses

It is possible for students to write their thesis as a commissioned work, in which case the topic of the thesis has been obtained from a company, municipality, government organisation, organisation or other external party. The student may choose to commission the thesis themselves, or they may choose from a list of predefined topics provided by the University. This section lists the organisations through which students can choose a ready-made topic for themselves.

  • The City of Heinola offers thesis topics throughout the year. In addition to the list of topics offered on the city's website, the student can also propose a topic to the sponsor.

The Degree Certificate

Content of the degree certificate

In connection with the degree certificate, all graduates are also issued a Diploma Supplement in English for international use as well as a transcript of studies in English.

The average grades for major and minor studies are marked in the degree certificate. They are calculated from the grades of credits as a weighting average of the number of credits. The grades are visible on the official transcript.
See: Compeltition and Assessment of Studies

Electronic degree certificate

The University of Vaasa has switch to electronic degree certificates starting in August 2022

An electronic degree certificate is an official certificate which is electronically signed by the Dean. This means that you no longer need to certify your electronic degree certificate separately. The certificate meets the highest standards set by the EU Commission. 

The electronic certificate is a more reliable way to prove your qualifications versus a paper certificate. Graduates can use the certificate, for example, when applying for jobs and study places, where increasingly more people want to receive attachments in electronic form. It will also make it easier to keep the certificate safe. Each saved certificate is an official original certificate, the authenticity and integrity of which can be easily verified using the validation service on the University of Vaasa website or the “check PDF document” service of the Finnish Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

The electronic degree certificate can be downloaded on the graduation date (by 14:00 at the latest) from the top menu of the Peppi desktop, under “Study Certificates”. Remember to download the certificate within two weeks of the graduation date if your study rights at the University of Vaasa expire. Save the certificate to multiple locations, such as on a computer, in the cloud and on a memory stick.

A paper copy of the degree certificate will be mailed to those who graduate. As a rule, the copies will be mailed as standard letter mail on the graduation date. Please note that the degree certificate will only be official in electronic form.

Verifying the validity of the degree certificate

The validity of an electronic degree certificate issued by the University of Vaasa can be verified by anyone to whom it is delivered using the Atomi Validator service. The validity can also be verified using the validation service available on the Digital and Population Data Services Agency website.

For more information about the validation of an electronically signed document, contact edusys(at)

Atomi Validator -palvelu

Translations and copies of degree certificates

Degree certificates are issued in Finnish. If the student graduates from a programme in which the language of instruction has been English, the student receives degree certificates both in Finnish and in English. The student always receives a transcript of studies both in Finnish and in English with the degree certificate.

In addition to the degree certificate and transcripts of studies, the student also receives a Diploma Supplement for international use. In the Diploma Supplement, the content of the degree is described in English.

The university does not provide translations of degree certificates. If you need a translation of your certificate, you have to have it translated yourself. It is recommended to use an authorised translator for the translation work.

A graduate who has changed his/her gender will, upon request, obtain a new degree certificate with corrected personal information.

If a graduate has lost or damaged a paper certificate issued before 1 August 2022, they can be provided with a copy of the signed and stamped certificate. The electronic degree certificate should be stored in several places, such as on a computer, in the cloud and on a memory stick. For further information, contact edusys(at)