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Arkistoitu opetussuunnitelma 2015–2017
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COSOPMT Master's Thesis and Thesis Seminar 40 op
Organised by
MDP in Comparative Social Policy and Welfare

Learning outcomes

The aim of the seminar and the thesis process is to perfect general principles and tools in relation with research design and realisation of the research project leading to the master’s thesis. The aim of the joint master’s degree programme is that the students will be capable of completing independent research based on holistic thinking. Equally the programme will enable them to have initiative, show social competence and be ready to assume responsibility as well as develop free judgement and a critical mind. The basis for this is provided by cognitive and applied research. The research oriented, scientifically founded teaching provides the instrumental and methodological basis for a successful professional career and ensures a high degree of competence.

As an outcome students will be able to work independently but will find supervision if needed. The student will write and present a Master's thesis with solid theoretical and methodological basis in the area relevant to the programme.


The thesis is defined as a student’s independent work in which s/he can show his/her ability in selecting a topic, setting up research questions, mastering methodology and capability in a critical and consistent manner. The purpose of an MA thesis is to allow the student to prove his or her ability to carry out academic research independently and in a substantively and methodologically correct manner.

The purpose of the Master's Thesis Seminar is to assist students during the early stages of their Master's theses. It offers support in the process of choosing a topic for the Master's Thesis.

Between the second and the third semester of the program students write a Master's thesis proposal. The classroom-section of the Master's Thesis Seminar then provides a forum for the presentation and in-depth discussion of the the Master's Thesis proposals. The Master's Thesis Seminar supplies guidance in the process of revising the Master's Thesis proposal and moving from the proposal toward actual conceptual and empirical work on the Master's Thesis itself.

The Master's Thesis Seminar guides students through the following steps:

1. Students select a Master's Thesis topic during the second semester of the program
2. Between the second and the third semester they write a Master's thesis proposal, which, based on a thorough review of the relevant literature about the topic selected by the student, presents a research question, its rationale and significance, the empirical strategy that the student envisions for answering that question, and information about the empirical data available for answering the research question. The Master's thesis proposals are about 20 to 25 pages; ideally they constitute the building blocks of the conceptual and methodology-chapters of the Master's theses.
3. During the Intensive Programme at the beginning of the third semester students give a ten to fifteen minute-presentation of their Master's Thesis proposals, followed by a thirty-minute discussion of the proposal.
4. This is followed, during the third semester, either by thorough revisions of the research proposal and further work on the relevant secondary literature, or by first steps toward the empirical and conceptual work on the Master's thesis itself.

Teaching language


Modes of study

Option 1
Available for:
  • Degree Programme Students
  • Other Students
  • Open University Students
  • Doctoral Students
  • Exchange Students
Participation in course work 
In English
Thesis / dissertation 
In English

Participation in thesis seminar, independendt writing and individual supervision.

The thesis also includes a maturity test, an essay written on the theme of the thesis. The maturity test will be examined both by the thesis examiner for its content, and by a language expert for the academic language.


Numeric 1-5.

Belongs to following study modules

Yhteiskunta- ja kulttuuritieteiden yksikkö
Archived Teaching Schedule. Please refer to current Teaching Shedule.
Yhteiskunta- ja kulttuuritieteiden yksikkö