Teaching Lab

Aalto Thesis: For the Student

Professionals of the future are all about cross-cutting collaboration. Skills such as self-management, communication, and adaptability are in demand as work is becoming increasingly project-based. Still, the final and most demanding part of our studies, the Master’s thesis, is often created in solitude and without exact process or structure. We at Aalto Thesis want to change this!
Illustration on beige background: two students painting a big yellow lightbulb.

During coronavirus, Aalto Thesis is working remotely, but projects continue as usual! Read more here.

For who?

> All Aalto graduate students starting on their Master’s thesis!

The programme is a multidisciplinary, project-based and work-life oriented possibility to enhance your professional competences during the thesis process. Instead of tackling an isolated academic issue by yourself, Aalto Thesis is an opportunity to solve real-life Partners’ complex and concrete challenges.

Are you looking to develop yourself as a future professional? Aalto Thesis might be just right for you. Start by signing up for our mailing list!

    What’s in it for me?

    1. Future of work competences: strengthen your project work, multidisciplinary collaboration, teamwork, and communication skills
    2. An explicit process and time frame: accelerate and motivate the demanding process of Master's thesis work
    3. A real-life Challenge: create something genuinely beneficial for the real Partner organisation
    4. A grant of 5,000 €: cover the living costs during the Master’s thesis work
    5. The support and guidance: trust that other students in the project, as well as the Aalto Thesis Team, are there for you
    6. Aalto Thesis Diploma: boost your CV by gaining real work experience from your field

    I wanted to join the programme to work in a multidisciplinary team and learn while doing. A real client was also a major motivation.

    Fiona Kaihari, IDBM student

    Aalto Thesis Experience

    Compared to the regular Master’s thesis process, our programme offers two unique components:

    Aalto Thesis is a multidisciplinary programme

    1. Multidisciplinary teamwork

    Solve a shared real-life Challenge together as a team!

    • Work with and learn from your teammates’ disciplines
      > future is multi-sectoral co-creation
    • Collaborate, e.g. in data collection, desktop research and literature review
      > why do it all alone?
    • Let your Student Team motivate you when you face the famous “this is shitty” moment
      > we all need some social support
    Aalto Thesis offers a possibility to strenghten presentation skills

    2. Structured project-based approach

    Learn project management and delivery!

    • Plan the project (and your Master’s thesis process) together with your team
      > demanding thesis process truly benefits from a roadmap
    • Join official Status Meetings
      > positive pressure to present the results regularly will accelerate your work
    • Finish your thesis in 6 months
      > forget the hearsays about the never-ending or life-long thesis projects
    Aalto Thesis Student Guide

    Note: Aalto Thesis students will share a Challenge, Partner, and Project but everyone will create their own Master’s thesis with the guidance of the supervisor from their field - Aalto Thesis is not a group thesis programme.

    The opportunity the Aalto Thesis offers will significantly add to my resume and help boost my chances in the employment market.

    Babakolade Ojuri, Creative Sustainability student

    How to apply?

    Whenever a call for an Aalto Thesis project is open, you will find an application form from the project's site. Fill out the form thoroughly before the announced deadline. Remember to write the name of the project to the form and submit your study transcript and CV. Also, you need to have your thesis supervisor's permission to apply for Aalto Thesis.

    Student selection for the programme will be based on the academic criteria (study grades, efficiency, and interests) as well as the motivation and aptitude (interests, skills, and experience) for each project. We also take into account the aspect of multidisciplinarity when forming the Student Teams of 2-4 students to each Partner. We encourage you to pay special attention when suggesting preliminary research questions - this is your chance to stand out!

    Note: We cannot share any detailed information about the Partners or upcoming project topics before opening the formal application process for each project.

    So, what is the process?

    After you have been selected for the specific Aalto Thesis project, the actual working process of six months can kick-start! Basically, the process is as follows:

    1. Student Orientation with Aalto Thesis Team    
    2. Kick-Off Meeting with the Partner
    3. Creating a joint Project Plan 
    4. 2-month Status Meeting
    5. 4-month Status Meeting
    6. The Final Presentation: The results, conclusions, and suggestions
    7. Handing in the Master’s theses and the interdisciplinary summary for the Partner

    During this journey, our Aalto Thesis team will guide and support you and your team by offering project-related information, instructions and professional coordination.

    The students have convinced us with their academic skills and solid presentation and project management skills.

    Specialist Joonas Aitonurmi, Finnish Digital and Population Data Services Agency

    Didn't find what you were looking for? 

    Check out our Student FAQ!

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      We are here to help.

      Silva Saulio

      Silva Saulio

      Project coordinator
      School Services, BIZ
      Laura Sivula

      Laura Sivula

      Projektipäällikkö
      School Services, BIZ
      Aalto Thesis
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