Doctoral education

Instructions for examiners of licentiate thesis

This page contains guidelines for examiners of licentiate theses (in the fields of technology and business only)

Forms of licentiate thesis

A licentiate thesis shall demonstrate good conversance with the field of research and the capability of independently and critically applying scientific research methods.

An approved licentiate thesis may be:

  • A single study, i.e. a monograph
  • 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 summary of the findings
    • The thesis may consist of joint publications if the author’s independent contribution can be shown
  • Some other work which meets corresponding scientific criteria

A publication consisting of separate publications or manuscripts shall meet the criteria for a licentiate thesis when evaluated as an entity.

In addition, an approved licentiate thesis may also be a literature review showing good conversance with and a critical approach to a topic related to the field of research.

The examiner’s statement on the licentiate thesis

If necessary, the examiner may discuss the thesis with the student/supervising professor/thesis advisor in order to confirm some details in the thesis. The examiner should not embark on an actual supervision of the thesis or go too deep into giving suggestions for improvement, but he/she should examine the thesis as an independent examiner. The examiner will write the statement based on the material he/she has received.

  • In his/her statement, the examiner should give a summation of the merits of the thesis along with discovered shortcomings. If the thesis consists of joint publications, the examiner should also note whether the student’s independent contribution is sufficient for a licentiate thesis.
  • At the end of the statement the examiner will propose whether the licentiate thesis be accepted or failed. A demand of failing the thesis must be made in writing and reasons must be given.
  • There is no grading scale used for licentiate theses. All licentiate theses are evaluated as either pass or fail and this must be clearly stated in the statement.
  • 1-2 pages will suffice as the length of the statement. 

Submitting the statement

The examiner is asked to give his/her statement within four (4) weeks (SCI 4 weeks 1.8.2024 onwards, until then 6 weeks, ARTS & BIZ 6 weeks) time from receiving the material that is to be examined.


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