Agree on the topic with a professor
Master's thesis topic is agreed with a professor from the subject field of your major. There are three primary sources for finding a topic:
- topics offered by research groups as a part of ongoing research projects (announced on department websites, during courses, etc.)
- individual topics offered by professors (announced on professor's websites or agreed individually)
- topics offered by companies, the public sector, etc.
There is no general list of available topics, in all cases, you should contact the corresponding professor directly yourself. If you do not find a funded thesis position, you may always do your thesis in one of the university's research groups without funding. All supervisors are obliged to offer you a topic. You can also suggest a topic based on your own interest. Descriptions of possible thesis topic areas by professors in each programme:
Electronics and Nanotechnology
Automation and Electrical Engineering
Computer, Communication and Information Sciences
Get to know also the possibilities of project-based and multidisciplinary Aalto Thesis programme
The supervisor of the thesis must be a professor or a university lecturer working in Aalto University. You must also have one or two advisors for your thesis. A Master's thesis advisor must have completed at least a Master's degree.
The Supervisor’s responsibility is to provide guidance on the scientific validity and format of the thesis and the thesis as a whole.
Advisor's role is to take care of daily guidance and support the student in the planning and execution of the experimental part of the thesis as well as in the writing process. The supervisor of the thesis can also work as the advisor.
At the beginning of the thesis process, the supervisor and the student (and possibly advisor(s)) should organize an initial master's thesis meeting (template here).
Apply for Master’s thesis topic approval
Apply for approval of the thesis topic as soon as you start the thesis process. For the topic application it is sufficient that you have agreed on the topic in a broad sense, i.e. the field of the thesis. The final title of the thesis emerges during the thesis work, and it has to be within the field of the original topic application. The thesis topic is officially approved by the Degree Programme Committee. Committee also approves the language of the thesis as well as the thesis supervisor and advisor(s). See application deadlines at the end of the page.
Topic is applied electronically in eAge system (enter application form). With the application you must attach a confirmation about the topic from your supervisor (for example a screenshot of an e-mail discussion or a separate document).
You can apply for thesis topic approval when:
- you have completed your Bachelor's degree (graduation date passed)
- you have an approved personal study plan for the Master's degree
The thesis topic and the completed thesis cannot be approved in the same committee meeting. The Master’s thesis topic is valid for one year from the date of approval. However, the target time for completing the thesis is six months. Time used for completing the thesis affects the thesis evaluation. Note, that this time period is not calculated from the approval date of the topic but from the actual start date of the thesis as agreed and judged by the supervisor.
If you have problems completing your thesis within the target time, please contact your supervisor as soon as possible. The thesis supervisor can extend the target time if there is a good reason for it.
Re-approval of the topic is needed if:
- the topic expires before the thesis is ready (same topic can be re-approved)
- the topic changes significantly (minor changes to the title don't require re-approval)
- the supervisor and/or the advisor(s) change
Register to ELEC-E0210 Master's thesis process (if applicable)
If ELEC-E0210 is part of your major's compulsory courses, remember to register for the course. The course is compulsory in many programmes in ELEC and students from programmes where it is not compulsory can also attend. Register for the course as soon as you have agreed on the topic with your supervisor. The course supports you in the initial stages of your thesis. Register in Sisu and then proceed to the further steps according to the instructions on the course's MyCourses page.
Write the Master’s thesis
Thesis work in brief consists of topic definition, research plan, literature review, experiments, analysis and conclusion. It is essential to start writing the actual thesis from the very beginning and continue the writing process throughout each phase of your research.
The evaluation of the Master's thesis is based on the School of Electrical Engineering common guideline for thesis evaluation. By reading the guideline you will get an idea of what is expected of a Master's thesis.
Support courses for thesis writing:
- ELEC-E0210 Master's Thesis Process
- LC-1320 Thesis Writing for engineers (MSc) (w)
- LC-1315 Tools for Master's Thesis
Other support services:
- Writing clinic (language support for writing in English offered by the language center)
- Starting Point of Wellbeing’s Theses & Tomatoes
- Turnitin (online tool for practicing scientific writing and prevention of plagiarism
Write your thesis on a master's thesis template. Two templates are available:
- Thesis template for LaTeX (recommended). For LaTeX use Aalto provides free accounts for students on Overlief (a web-based Latex tool) or you can download a free Latex software on your own computer.
- Thesis template for Microsoft Word.
Please note that the Master’s thesis is a public document once it has been approved. The thesis can't have any confidential sections. If there are confidential sections, only the "visible" part of the thesis will be evaluated and the thesis must form a coherent whole also without the concealed parts. Read more about theses as public documents.
Give a seminar presentation
A seminar presentation about the topic of your thesis is a compulsory requirement in the approval process. The schedule and the arrangements of the presentation are agreed with the supervisor. When applying for the thesis approval you must indicate if you have already held the seminar presentation or inform the agreed date of the presentation. Please note that the seminar presentation must be completed at the latest in the deadline for submitting theses and applications.
Notification of seminar presentation below
According to the Universities Act 794/2004 students are required to complete a maturity essay. The abstract of your thesis will serve as the maturity essay. Hence, you don't need to agree on writing a maturity essay separately with your supervisor. When you submit your thesis with an abstract completed according to the instruction in the master's thesis template, your maturity essay is considered done.
Apply for the approval of your Master’s thesis
The Master’s thesis will be evaluated in the Degree Programme Committee meeting. The topic of the thesis must still be valid at the time of thesis approval. The topic is valid for one year from topic approval. See application deadlines for the approval of Master’s thesis at the end of the page.
In order to have your Master's thesis approved:
- check the application deadlines (see topic approval section above)
- convert your thesis into pdf/A format (instructions)
- fill in the online application form in the eAge system for the approval of your thesis
- attach a pdf/A version of your thesis in the online application form
- if you also want to apply for graduation, see the instructions under Graduation.
Please make sure that the electronic version submitted in the application is the final and corrected version of your thesis. Your supervisor will write the evaluation statement on the basis of this electronic version. Also, this version is the one that will be evaluated by the degree programme committee. In addition, this will be the archive version which is used for example as the official copy of the thesis in thesis grade appeal cases.
The degree programme committee evaluates and grades the thesis based on the written statement and grade proposal provided by the thesis supervisor. The evaluation statement will be provided to the student after the Committee meeting and at the same time when the student receives information on the Committee's decision. The evaluation decision is subject to appeal, i.e., students dissatisfied with the evaluation may submit an appeal.
Application deadlines for applying Master’s thesis topic approval and the approval of Master’s thesis
|Application deadline||Committee meeting|
|Fri 30.12.2022||January 2023|
|Application deadline||Committee meeting|