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Background to the thesis for a university of applied sciences degree qualification


Why?

The thesis is worth 15 credits at Kajaani University of Applied Sciences. It is linked to your own professional field and its procedures and ideas for development. The thesis is an important way to construct new operational models. The thesis teaches you to be critical, creative and to solve problems. The general thesis regulations are provided in the government decree on universities of applied sciences (352/2003). The aim of the thesis is to develop and demonstrate students’ abilities in applying their skills and knowledge to practical tasks that require expertise linked to their professional studies. It is a learning process. The basic competence and professional skill required to become an expert create a foundation for the thesis. They also support the development of expertise during your career. While completing the thesis you deepen your professional knowledge at work and develop practical professional skills using researched information in your reasoning and by obeying the general ethical rules of research.

What is it?

The thesis is, either, a study, project or developmental task or it is action-based. The thesis emphasises the enforcement of applied research and development work typical of the UAS environment by developing professional skills and knowledge for work and in the region. The thesis is linked to the research and development work and product development work of different companies and organisations. It is recommended that your thesis is an integral part of your work/clinical placement and specialisation studies. It is also recommended that you take advantage of the different disciplines on offer at the UAS by completing cross-degree programme theses.

When?

You can start your thesis (alone or in a small group) when you have enough methodological and research skills and enough knowledge of the content, i.e. enough skills to define the problem, use sources critically and commit yourself to study and reflection. You should also possess sufficient written and oral communication skills and be capable of studying in an open learning environment that involves finding, studying and making use of existing knowledge critically. You practise such skills before starting your thesis while studying and completing work-oriented learning assignments. The thesis topic must fulfil UAS approved quality and importance criteria. The topic is selected during practical/clinical training, during classes or by independently searching the Internet (topic bank). The topic selected should reflect your own professional interests and emphasise a commitment to research and development projects.

How?

Co-operation between the work place, student and UAS teachers is important when selecting a thesis topic and defining the objectives. Students, the teacher supervisor and a person appointed by the commissioning party attend supervision sessions. Supervision includes many different types of supervision methods and learning environments. Supervision also takes into account general ethical research principles and the legal duties and responsibilities of the supervisor in relation to confidentiality issues concerning content, if necessary. The aim of supervision is communal learning and shared expertise. The supervision process emphasises the need for an active and responsible attitude in order to be able to use the supervision and learning sessions effectively according to communal principles.

The thesis consists of a work/learning process, a written report, an oral presentation and the maturity test.

The aim of the thesis process is that the student

  • applies know-how to overcome practical work place challenges and develops the specific professional skills related to his/her field of study 
  • demonstrates the competence to work independently, responsibly and systematically 
  • adopts a critical, research-based and developmental attitude to jobs requiring expertise at work 
  • knows how to use appropriate information retrieval methods, understands the importance of criticism of sources and knows how to apply research and development methods 
  • develops communication and co-operation skills 
  • demonstrates the ability to develop his/her own professional field

The thesis always includes a compulsory maturity test, a written document and publication. For more details (thesis module) please see the information under each school in the study guide. You can see how to proceed in the thesis process by studying the process description for each school.