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The thesis in the Degree Programme in International Business 

 
During studies preceding the thesis students will become conversant with the principles of research and development activity. Students who have accomplished studies prior to the thesis should possess the basic competence to carry out a university level thesis. Such competence includes skills in critical thinking, sufficient basic skills and knowledge concerning the main topic of the thesis and sufficient methodological and research skills. The nature of the task involved in the thesis will emphasise either research skills or knowledge and skills in development operations.

The thesis requires the ability to carry out systematic and long-term research or development work. It emphasises analysis, critical thinking (critique of sources, self-criticism), logical thinking and the ability to justify decisions, solutions and choices. In order to complete your thesis you will require the ability to search for and use existing knowledge and to evaluate your own work as well as good oral and written communication skills.

The thesis process progresses in stages. It is natural that the thesis topic is practical and concrete while its completion will require close collaboration with the world of work and useful results.

The aim of the thesis is to develop and provide a demonstration of students’ skills in applying knowledge and skills to practical expert tasks linked to their professional studies (Decree 353/2003). In order to achieve this, the thesis authors must be able to recognise their own skills, their need to develop and as well as finding a topic suitable to a practical task requiring expertise in a specific field. The main feature of theses completed at universities of applied sciences is their connection with the practicalities of work and business.

The first information bulletin concerning selecting a suitable topic for your thesis (topic search meeting) will be held at the end of the semester during the practical training information meetings (prior to the start of the practical training period).

Choosing Your Topic

In the first instance you should try to find a topic linked to a practical problem at work. A topic that interests you and serves the development requirements of working life benefits you, the commissioning body and the UAS.

It is recommended that you actively try to find a thesis topic from your work or practical training place. Other profession-oriented topics are to be found amongst research and development tasks that have been commissioned for completion in the UAS. These tasks can be seen in Jobstep (www.jobstep.net). When the thesis is commissioned by an external body, the commissioning company or organisation appoints a thesis supervisor.

A work-oriented thesis topic can also comprise a general subject that serves the requirements of working life and is based on your experiences of the practical training period, without any need for commissioning. In this case, it is still recommended that an external supervisor be appointed.

The thesis is usually completed on an individual basis, sometimes in pairs. Theses completed by several students can form part of a larger subject area. When students do their thesis in pairs they must demonstrate their own individual skills and contribution in the actual completion of the work.

The thesis is worth 15 credits. It includes independent work by the student, participation in thesis seminars and discussions with the supervisor.

Once you have found a topic you must first discuss it at your work/practical training place or with a representative of the commissioning company or organisation. If you find the topic during your practical training period it is also worth discussing it with the teacher supervising your practical training. Then you must fill in a Topic Analysis Form and send it to and contact the teacher acting as theses co-ordinator. The next step involves a discussion of your chosen topic between you, the theses co-ordinator and/or your thesis supervisor (if known), and the commissioning party. Your topic must be approved by the co-ordinator and the commissioning party. The aim of the discussion is to clarify the objectives, aim and schedule of your thesis.

A supervising teacher is appointed to supervise your thesis. If your thesis is part of a scheme or project the person/teacher in charge of the project is also the thesis supervisor. The theses co-ordinator appoints your thesis supervisor according to the thesis subject area, taking into account available supervision resources.

During the thesis seminar you will receive a thesis passport in which you will be obliged to collect entries recording your work achievements during the completion of your thesis.

Completing the thesis involves independent work and students are responsible for getting their own work done and keeping to schedule. Students must also request supervision themselves and supervision is mainly provided in the form of co-operation between the supervising teacher and commissioning party. It is necessary to prepare carefully for supervision sessions. Students should provide their supervisors with a written paper version of their work so far and a list of questions/issues that they wish to discuss during the supervision session well before the meeting. During the first supervision meeting you will discuss supervision procedure and the responsibilities and duties involved in thesis process.

 

Planning Your Thesis

After the topic analysis phase you must compile a written Thesis Plan according to UAS instructions. You must also attend the information retrieval workshop organised by the Library and collect an entry recording your attendance in your thesis passport.

The compilation of your thesis plan involves knowledge of the literature/material available on your chosen thesis topic area. You must present your completed plan at a Thesis Plan Presentation Seminar that has been agreed with your supervisor. You must also be familiar with one other student’s thesis plan and be prepared to comment it in the role of opponent. If necessary, you will be asked to alter or make additions to your thesis plan.

Your thesis plan must be approved by your supervising teacher and commissioning body/client. Then you must write a Commissioning Agreement together with the commissioning party concerning the completion of your thesis and send a copy of the agreement’s front page to your supervising teacher.

In addition to your own thesis plan presentation seminar you will be expected to attend at least three more thesis plan presentation seminars organised for other students and record of seminar attendance in your thesis passport. The seminars are also group supervision sessions with your supervising teacher.

Completing Your Thesis and Reporting

Your thesis should progress according to your approved thesis plan. If significant changes arise in your plan, your supervisor together with the commissioning party will consider the need for compiling a new plan with you.

During the completion stage the thesis is done independently by the student while making use of supervision. During this stage you will deepen your expertise and gain further knowledge of literature concerning your subject area. It is easier to carry out practical, developmental and research tasks (empirical data) once you have written up the theoretical part of your thesis. This also prevents mistakes and missing data when carrying out research.

After the theory part or possibly at the same time if required, e.g. due to the commissioning party, you should carry out the research for your thesis. The empirical part of your thesis may consist of the implementation of developmental or qualitative/quantitative research work according to your thesis plan. If it involves statistics, you will benefit from supervision by a statistics teacher (See also Statistical Data in your Thesis). Questionnaires/interview formats must always be approved by your supervisor and statistical data must be approved by the statistics teacher, before using the forms and collecting material. After collecting data you must analyse and interpret results as well as draw conclusions from the results, evaluate the results and the process. Any statistical data used must be approved by the statistics teacher and you must make any necessary corrections. An entry of approval of the use of statistical data must be made in your thesis passport.

Documentation for the thesis must be done on the Thesis Model Template according to the UAS written theses instructions.

Presentation, Submitting and Evaluation of Your Thesis

When all the different parts of your thesis are complete, it is ready for presentation. Your completed thesis must also include an abstract completed according to UAS instructions. Once you receive permission to present your thesis from your supervisor you must agree when you will present it and also reserve the appropriate facilities. You can book a classroom at the Taito 1 Building Info/reception. It is also possible to give a presentation on your commissioning agent’s/client’s premises subject to prior agreement. In order to present your thesis you must prepare an oral Power Point presentation of your work and any other material required.

The presentation of your thesis is a public event and representatives of the commissioning body will be present if possible. Thesis presentation sessions are announced on these pages.

The presentation should include the central contents, implementation and outcomes of your thesis and its length should be about 30 minutes. After the presentation the audience may ask questions and make comments concerning your work. After the presentation the supervisor will not evaluate your work nor will you be given a grade. If the thesis is approved the supervisor will give permission for the thesis to be bound. Before binding an English abstract checked and approved by an English teacher, must be attached to the thesis.

It is possible that the supervisor and a second person may require you to make further changes and corrections to your thesis before it is bound. In this case you must make the required corrections and changes before submitting your thesis for final evaluation and binding.

In addition to your own thesis presentation you must attend the presentations of at least 3 other theses. A record of your attendance at the theses presentations must be kept in your thesis passport.

After presenting your thesis you must sit the maturity test. In order to register for the maturity test you must return a completed exam registration envelope to the study office or to your supervisor. The dates of the maturity exam are announced before the start of each semester. The supervisor gives two titles in the maturity test of which you select one and then write about it.

The completed thesis is submitted to the supervisor for evaluation on any of the submission dates announced every year according to the schedule and you must also provide one loose-leaf copy of your thesis for the Study Office. You must also save your thesis on Electronic library Theseus according to instructions (http://www.theseus.fi/en/ohjeet.html). After saving the thesis in Theseus, you will receive a confirmation email. Please bring that to the Study Office with the paper version of your thesis.

You should also return the commissioning party’s written assessment of your thesis to your supervisor when you submit your thesis for evaluation.

If you wish to have your thesis bound for yourself or your partners you must arrange it yourself through the Student Union (Kamo) office.

Your thesis supervisor and a second evaluator with provide a written assessment of your thesis (grades 1 – 5). Evaluation and assessment is described in more detail in assessment background.


Use of your thesis

  • Your completed thesis will be available in the Theseus database. 
  • Completed theses are announced when appropriate in the Kajaani UAS web pages and professional magazines. 
  • Grade 5 theses can be published in UAS journals. 
  • Theses awarded excellent grades are sent to the national Thesis competition.
  • Completed theses are used/mentioned during field/school-specific meetings – issues for development and successful experiences.

 

The Maturity Test