The aim of the Bachelor's thesis is to enhance and demonstrate the ability of students to apply their knowledge and skills in practical expert duties related to their professional studies.

The aim of the Master's thesis is to enhance and demonstrate the ability of students to apply research knowledge and use selected methods for distinguishing and solving problems of working life as well as the ability to perform demanding expert tasks independently.

To demonstrate their acquaintance in their field of study as well as their competence in the Finnish or Swedish language, the student is required to take a written maturity test in the field of their thesis.

Theses written at universities of applied sciences can be found on Theseus.

Possible degree programme specific instructions can be found in Oiva. »

Thesis Instructions:

  • Research Ethics

    Research ethics refers to complying with ethically responsible and correct practices.

    Both the students and staff of Oamk are committed to following the guidelines on research integrity by the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (TENK).  Your thesis process will also be guided by the Ethical recommendations for thesis writing at universities of applied sciences and Instructions for the data management plan (Arene). Please also read the GDPR instructions for Thesis.

    For a project thesis, make a cooperation agreement in Pulmu. The cooperation agreement clarifies matters concerning data protection, publication and confidentiality of the results, as well as user rights.

    If you need to examine secret documents for your thesis, draw up a separate non-disclosure agreement as required. In its entirety, the thesis is public. If your thesis contains business secrets or other information classified as secret in the Act on the Openness of Government Activities, you must write out the thesis report without breaching the data confidentiality. Where necessary, the secret information must be included in the background materials of the thesis.

    Find out if you need a research permission for your thesis.

    Find out from the thesis supervisor how the plagiarism check is carried out.


    Theses are protected under the Finnish Copyright Act (404/1961) on the same grounds as literary and other works.

    Copyright applies to several different forms of works. In practice, a thesis is always a work, regardless of whether it is a written presentation, coded computer program, performed presentation, or a composition. This means that the thesis report is not a work on its own, but instead, the copyright may also cover the functional part of the thesis. The Copyright Act gives a more detailed list of the forms of works.

    There are also other copyright-related rights. These refer to rights that are dependent on the copyright of the original work. For example, a performance, arrangement, translation or recording falls under rights that are linked to the original work.

    It will be assessed case-by-case whether the work meets the characteristics of an independent and original work. Thoughts, topics, methods, principles, scientific discoveries, theories, or research results and data cannot be protected.

    As theses are usually protected under the Copyright Act, the different parties should agree upon their rights at the start of the thesis process, as well as how to protect them. An individual student or a group of students may own the copyright. Copyright enters into force once the work is done. The copyright is automatic on the basis of the Copyright Act, and it requires no registration or notification.

    Copying a thesis without the original author’s permission is forbidden, as well as altering the work in a manner that violates the author’s rights. The author(s) of a thesis may transfer the copyright to someone else, either entirely or in part. The transfer can be made informally, but we recommend that it is done in writing. A thesis is usually an assignment for a company or community. If the thesis is an assignment, the parties should agree upon its copyright.

    If you want, you can test your knowledge about copyright ( and earn the Copyright Expert badge issued by Kopiosto ry.

    Further information

    The Copyright Act (404/1961), the Copyright Decree (574/1995), the Patents Act (550/1967), the Patents Decree (669/1980), the Act on the Right in Inventions made at Higher Education Institutions (369/2006), Registered Designs Act (221/1971), the Act on Utility Model Rights (800/1991), Trademarks Act (544/2019), and the Act on the Exclusive Right in the Layout-Design (Topography) of an Integrated Circuit (32/1991) lay down provisions on immaterial rights. You can find the up-to-date legislative and other judicial information at

    Here are some other useful sites:
    Copyright organisation Kopiosto,
    Säveltäjäin Tekijänoikeustoimisto Teosto r.y. (non-profit performance rights organisation),
    Copyright society for artists KUVASTO ry and
    The Copyright Information and Anti-Piracy Centre

    The Ethical Principles of Research with Human Participants

    For bachelor’s theses at universities of applied sciences, we do not recommend topics that require ethical review.

    The Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (TENK) has published guidelines (2019) called The ethical principles of research with human participants and ethical review in the human sciences in Finland. The guidelines outline the ethical principles of research with human participants, such as research involving minors. The guidelines also contain information on the potential ethical review in the human sciences. If your topic requires an ethical review, discuss the matter with the thesis supervisor. Please note that ethical review takes several months.

  • Different Reporting Formats

    Apart from the traditional format, the thesis project can be reported in the form of a diary, portfolio or article(s). All of these formats are accepted in all of our degree programmes.

    Thesis's language

    Traditional Thesis Report

    Structure of a Traditional Thesis Report

    1. Introduction
      • The introduction introduces the subject of the Bachelor’s thesis to the reader. The introduction briefly describes the background of the choice of subject and the viewpoint, purpose and function of the thesis and the methods used. It introduces the core concepts and briefly the frame of reference or theoretical foundation of the thesis.
      • The author of the thesis may establish the topicality and importance of the project, the benefits of the work to the client or to the professional field and its significance to his own professional development.
    2. Theoretical foundation, theory
      • In this section the student describes the theoretical foundation he has used in the Bachelor’s thesis and its application to practice. It is important that a connection is established between these aspects.
    3. Description of development/research task, empirical results and process
      • In the Bachelor’s thesis the research material and methods must be described so accurately that an expert in the field can assess their reliability.
      • The development/research task is the most important and most extensive part of the report, because the results and conclusions are built on it. Its title must reflect the content and nature of the thesis.
    4. Results and conclusions
      • The publication of the results and outcomes of Bachelor's theses varies depending on the development/research task undertaken. The results may also be organized in different ways. One recommended method is to present the main results so that they answer the questions asked in the definition of the development/research task.
      • The conclusions are drawn from the results obtained in the Bachelor’s thesis and they are considered in relation to the starting point of the development/research task. In the conclusions the used theoretical foundation is reflected against the empirical results. The conclusions show how the Bachelor’s thesis has changed or increased knowledge in the development area and how the results can be utilized in practice.
      • It is advisable to pay special attention to the way the results and conclusions are presented, since it is the part of the thesis that is of most interest to the client.
    5. Discussion
      • In the discussion the author analyses the subject of the Bachelor’s thesis and its execution, as well as ethical questions. The results of the thesis are compared with the questions presented in the determination of the research task and new questions that have arisen during the writing process are analyzed.
      • In the discussion the author presents his own comments and views on the development/research task.


    Article-Based Thesis Report

    Article-based reporting is a suitable option for theses dealing with particularly relevant or future-oriented topics that are of interest to the great public. Demonstrating your competence in an article can provide valuable visibility that may help with further studies, for example. The thesis can comprise one or several professional or scientific articles introducing the results of your research or development project. The publication channels are determined in a personal guidance discussion so that they are relevant in the professional field and suit the nature of the project. If an article is co-authored by several people, the thesis-writer's personal, independent contribution must be clearly indicated. Introduction, conclusions and reflection are written for the thesis, as well as the article(s).

    Structure of an Article-Based Thesis Report

    1. Introduction, conclusions and reflection
      • Defining the objectives, theoretical background and methods of the article(s) and assessing the significance and usability of the outcomes upon publishing. The actual results are left in the article because the results published in the article must be unpublished. If the thesis contains several articles, this section also includes a description of how they are connected to each other and what kind of entity they form.
      • If there are several writers, their contribution is clearly specified in the design, implementation and writing of the thesis.
    2. The article(s)
      • Articles are written according to the instructions of the publication channel as professional journal expert article (D), publication in ePooki - RDI Publications of Oulu University of Applied Sciences (D), scientific peer-reviewed article (A), scientific non peer-reviewed article (B) or other applicable publication (E). For A and B publications, one article is sufficient. More than one is required for publication categories D and E. An article can only be offered to one publishing channel at a time and results must be unpublished. The publishing channel must have an editorial board.
      • If there are several students, their names are listed in alphabetical order. The supervisor is marked as the last writer.
      • The manuscript of an article may be accepted as a thesis before it is published. In this case, the thesis to be published in Theseus mentions the publication channel to which the article has been offered. The results of an article or the article script will not be saved in Theseus, because the results published in the article must be unpublished.
      • If the article(s) has been published before saving the thesis in Theseus, the report will include the bibliographic information of the article.

    Portfolio-Based Thesis Report

    Portfolio-based reporting is a good option for students strongly committed to the professional field. The student builds a portfolio of works produced during the studies. Work products created outside the degree programme can also be included, as long as they are relevant for the professional competence and meet other requirements. The work products can also be in formats other than writing, but they must nevertheless be documented. The set of works is bound together using a theoretical basis, and this will form the thesis entity. The portfolio is based on planned and pre-defined research theses/questions and chosen research methods.

    Structure of a Portfolio-Based Thesis Report

    1. Introduction
      • The introduction describes the background of the chosen topic/topics and explains the need for such work. It can also include background information on the author's interest in the topic. The research theses/questions are also presented in this section.
    2. Theoretical basis for the topic
      • Introducing the theoretical basis that binds the chosen topic and works: previous research, reviews and recommendations.
    3. Presentation of the portfolio works
      • Describing and analysing the works included in the portfolio, the processes of selecting, planning and implementing each of them, as well as their applicability in the professional field.
      • Describing the applied research and development methods. In addition, the connection between the works and the theoretical basis, as well as their professional relevance, are explained.
    4. Conclusions and reflection
      • In this section, the author reflects on the portfolio thesis as an entity, critically assessing the thesis, its applicability, the development path entailed in it, and further study or research possibilities. The reflection section also includes the possible feedback from the client and a critical analysis of the author's personal learning process.

    Diary-Based Thesis Report

    Diary-based reporting is a good option for students working in tasks required for the degree. In addition to the diary, the thesis report includes a theoretical background that features a development perspective applied to the chosen topic(s). The diary can be written on a topic- or week-specific basis, for example. The thesis report contains reflection, ideas and conclusions by the author.

    Structure of a Diary-Based Thesis Report

    1. Introduction
      • The introduction describes the background of the chosen topic(s) and explains the need for such work. It can also include background information on the author's interest in the topic. The research theses/questions are also presented in this section.
    2. Description of the current state
      • Introducing the employer company and work environment
      • Outlining the company's stakeholders and their interests
      • Describing the workplace's competence requirements
      • Describing the author's task and its competence requirements
      • Describing and explaining the author's stage of professional development and development needs
      • Describing the chosen topic and relevant theoretical background: core theoretical and professional concepts based on researches, reviews and recommendations.
    3. Purpose and objectives
      • Specifying the research theses/questions, the purpose of the thesis and learning objectives
      • Time-span covered in the diary
      • Diary reporting plan (topic-based, weekly and/or daily)
      • Diary reporting contents plan (development ideas)
    4. Description of work tasks and learning as diary entries
      • Describing issues encountered at work, reflecting them against the theoretical background
      • Introducing good practices for the resolution of the above-mentioned situations, reflecting this against the theoretical background
      • Assessing different practices, reflecting their suitability for the author's line of work or developing alternative practices
    5. Reflection
      • In the conclusion and reflection section, the author reflects on the diary thesis as an entity, critically assessing the thesis, its applicability, the development path entailed in it, and further study or research possibilities. The reflection section also includes the possible feedback from the thesis commissioner and a critical analysis of the author's personal learning process.
  • Stages of the Thesis

    The thesis begins with the brainstorming, selection and approval of the topic.

    In the thesis plan, you outline the theoretical foundation, specify the purpose and objective of the thesis and describe the development/research task, the methods used and the schedule.

    Ethically responsible and correct practices are followed in the implementation of the thesis. A cooperation agreement is made for the projected thesis. See Research Ethics

    The thesis can be reported in different ways. You have the thesis template available. See instructions for references. The thesis ends with the assessment, the publication of the thesis and maturity test.

    The progress of the thesis process is communicated in Pulmu and documents related to the thesis are also recorded there. If you attempt to connect from outside of Oamk, you need a VPN connection.

    Choice of Subject

    A good subject for a Bachelor’s thesis is characterized by:

    • importance to own educational field and own professional growth
    • importance to working life, usefulness for practical activities and development of the field
    • possibility for a well-defined development/research task
    • possibility to utilize existing theoretical foundation and earlier research in the field
    • suitability of the demands and definition of the subject to the competence and resources of a student at an institution of higher education (time, money, physical and mental resources, knowledge)
    • enduring personal interest in the subject
    • topicality and newness
    • connection to own experience in practical training and working life.

    Actors in a Bachelor’s Thesis Process and their Tasks


    • familiarizes himself with the Bachelor’s thesis instructions
    • acquires a subject for the thesis and has it approved
    • makes an agreement on a cooperative Bachelor’s thesis project together with the Oulu University of Applied Sciences and the client
    • draws up a plan for the Bachelor’s thesis
    • draws up a schedule for the preparation of the Bachelor’s thesis, monitors it and modifies it if necessary
    • if you are doing your thesis in a group, please agree in advance the working rules and the division of labor
    • keeps in contact with the supervisors as agreed and discusses possible changes in the work with them
    • has the material intended for external distribution (for example questionnaire forms) approved by his supervising teacher
    • participates in possible seminar work
    • is responsible for the outcome of the work
    • documents the work according to the reporting instructions
    • assesses his Bachelor’s thesis and his Bachelor’s thesis process
    • requests feedback on the Bachelor’s thesis from the client
    • submits the finalized Bachelor’s thesis with all attachments to the teachers and reports the approved thesis into Theseus
    • writes a maturity test

    University of applied sciences

    • is responsible for the practices related to Bachelor’s theses
    • approves the subject of the Bachelor’s thesis and the implementation plan
    • nominates the supervising teachers
    • signs the Bachelor’s thesis cooperation agreement
    • arranges possible Bachelor’s thesis seminars
    • guides the learning process and ethical choices and gives help in problem situations at guidance discussions, supervisors’ consultation hours and seminars
    • informs the student and the client how to act if the background material for the Bachelor’s thesis contains confidential material
    • assesses the Bachelor’s thesis and the maturity test

    The library reviews the metadata of the thesis before it is saved into Theseus.


    • participates in the definition of the objectives of the work together with the student and the supervising teacher
    • signs the Bachelor’s thesis cooperation agreement
    • promotes the advancement of the Bachelor’s thesis process by providing the student with required information and material and supervises the process from the client organization’s perspective
    • provides written feedback on the Bachelor’s thesis
  • Thesis Writing and Academic Style

    Formal Text

    Follow these general guidelines to create a well-structured formal text:

    • Organize the text into coherent chapters by dividing the chapters into a two or three-level hierarchy (i.e. headings and sub-headings), if needed.
    • Divide the text into paragraphs so that there is one topic per paragraph. A paragraph has a topic sentence which is further described and explained by several supporting sentences and a concluding sentence. Write reasonably long paragraphs and clear sentences. A paragraph is longer than one sentence.
    • Link the paragraphs together with a phrase or an adverb to maintain continuity of argument. Remember also to link the individual sentences within a paragraph.
    • Write both main clauses and subordinate clauses and link them with appropriate linking words. Vary sentence length; if you want to make a point, keep the sentence length short. If you want to focus on specific actions or events, use verbs. On the other hand, if you discuss general concepts and want to achieve a higher degree of abstraction, use noun forms.
    • Pay attention to the overall academic style and choice of words. Aim for precise and unambiguous expression. Avoid using unnecessary foreign words and phrases as well as clichés, figures of speech, fashionable expressions, or colloquial expressions. Instead of using phrasal verbs or prepositional verbs, use single verbs with Latinate origins (e.g. carry out -> conduct, go down -> decrease, look into -> investigate).
    • Due to the nature of academic writing, use cautious language for argumentation such as modal adverbs (e.g. may, can) and modal adverbs and adjectives (e.g. perhaps, probably; probable, possible).
    • Illustrate your text with images, tables, graphs, and formulas.
    • Follow grammar standards such as guidelines related to punctuation.

    You can find more writing tips on the following websites:

    Grammatical Tenses

    The three most used tenses in academic writing are present simple, past simple and present perfect. These tenses can be used both in active and passive voice.

    Present simple tense is used to
    • define the goals and purpose of the thesis in the introduction
    • refer to literary sources in the theoretical background
    • refer to nonverbal illustrations such as tables, graphs and figures
    • draw conclusions and to propose a topic for a follow-up study in the chapter of conclusions

    Past simple tense is used to
    • describe the progress of one's work, i.e., what and how the study was conducted
    • describe the goals, stages, and results of the work in the chapter of discussion
    • write the abstract

    Present perfect tense is used to
    • introduce a new topic
    • point out a research gap
    • bridge previous research related to your research

    Active and Passive Voice

    There are no explicit guidelines on the use of active and passive voice; this may vary depending on field specific practices or the actual reporting format. For example, in the fields of technology, it is common to use passive voice in reports whereas in the fields of culture and business active voice is often recommended. This is especially the case if the text deals with the author's personal choices, conclusions or interpretations.

    • active and passive voice can both be used
    • avoid using I and we (introduction ok)
    • avoid addressing the reader as you
    • use passive voice in process descriptions
    • use impersonal pronouns (it, there, one)


    The thesis is organized into main chapters and corresponding subsections. Create descriptive and self-explanatory headings and sub-headings that are structured in a parallel manner. For example, headings such as Theory and General convey very little information for the reader. A concise, easy-to-read table of contents gives the reader a clear overview of the work at a glance and also helps focus on specific areas of interest.

    Referring to Sources: Paraphrasing and Direct Quotations

    The most recommended and common way to cite a source is paraphrasing. Paraphrasing refers to changing the wording of a text so that it is significantly different from the original source without changing the meaning. Effective paraphrasing is a key academic skill needed to avoid the risk of plagiarism and your understanding of a source.

    A direct quotation, which follows the original text verbatim, needs to be used with consideration. Choose a direct quotation in case you want to give extra weight to a particular piece of information by emphasizing the authority of the source. Direct quotations are short and to the point and possible omissions are marked by two dashes (– –). Direct quotations are always linked to the rest of the text.

    In each way of quoting, it is mandatory to mark the sources as in-text references in the text and in the list of references.

    Thesis Abstract

    An abstract is a self-contained one-page text that provides the reader with a summary of a larger work. The abstract is written in complete sentences and it is organised into paragraphs. The abstract briefly describes the background, goals, theory, methods and materials used, key results, conclusions, and development proposals and/or topics for follow-up studies.

    Linguistic features of an abstract: complete sentences, simple past tense, impersonal passive voice, absence of negatives, avoidance of abbreviations.

    Language of Traditional, Article-based, Portfolio-based and Diary-based Formats

    Regardless of the reporting format, the author follows the academic writing guidelines. When writing, the author should pay attention to the following general recommendations:

    • Thesis language is formal and it conforms to academic style conventions; the author has limited possibilities of breaking the established ways of presentation
    • Academic style entails high abstraction level which is why concepts always need to be defined and explained.
    • It is important to distinguish between facts and opinions; the author’s own subjective statements are based on beliefs and attitudes.
    • Maintaining objectivity, explicitness and neutrality in your writing is essential.
    • What really matters is explorative research approach and meaningful content.
    • Managing formal style and standard language increases credibility.

  • Thesis Template

    The prepared thesis template facilitates writing, because it has already taken into account issues related to, among other things, the layout (for example, the logo) and accessibility.

    Thesis Accessibility Guidelines

    In the degree programmes conducted in Finnish Bachelor’s theses are written in Finnish and in the degree programmes conducted in English Bachelor’s theses are written in English. You are able to apply change the language of your Bachelor’s thesis

    If you have reasons to deviate from this rule, you are able to apply the change of language in Pulmu. The decision will be made by the director of school on the recommendation of the head of studies.

    Visual Illustration

    The comprehensibility and readability of text can be improved by using, tables, figures and diagrams. They should be used to illustrate only the essential content or conclusions of the thesis. If there are a large number of tables and figures, it is advisable to include some of them as appendices.

    Tables, figures and diagrams must be numbered and entitled. It is possible to assign diagrams only a number without a title. The words TABLE, FIGURE and DIAGRAM are capitalized and italicized. Also the names of the tables, figures and diagrams as well as possible citations are italicized. Tables, figures and diagrams begin at the same point on the left margin as the body text. It is recommended that the same typeface and font size are used for them as for body text.

    There is an introductory piece of text between the heading and the table, figure or formula. You should always refer to a figure, table or diagram in the actual text.


    Tables must be as explicit and self-explanatory as possible, so that it is possible to understand them after reading a description of the material and methods. The title of a table must indicate its content.

    Place the title above the table. The name should be no longer than the width of the table and it can be continued on the next line if necessary. It is recommended that you leave two blank lines before the title and one blank line after the title. If necessary, you may place footnotes under the horizontal line at the foot of the table. Each row and column must have a name or a heading.

    If a table includes percentages the table must indicate what figure has been used to calculate the percentages. If any variable has a great deal of missing data (for example a large number of respondents have not answered a question), you may provide information on the extent of missing data either in the text, in a footnote to the table or in the table itself. If a statistical test has been carried out, it must be mentioned in a footnote.

    Tables that have been previously published elsewhere can also be used in the report. In this event you must mention the source either at the end of the heading or in a footnote at the end of the table.


    All illustrations that are not tables are designated as figures. Such are for example bar and sector graphs, as well as screenshots, photographs, maps and drawings. The title of the figure is placed below the figure. In some degree programmes the word “image” may be used instead of the word “figure”.

    FIGURE 1. Breakdown of mathematics grades (n = 49)


    Below are three different options from the same formula.

    Example 1. A continuous sentence. Example 2. Quantities are listed below the formula. Example 3 If a formula is numbered and entitled, the title is placed above the formula.

    Report Appearance

    Page size, margins, line spacing and page numbering

    • page size: A4
    • left and right margins: 3 cm
    • top and bottom margins: 2,5 cm
    • distance between page number and bottom of page: 1,5 cm

    Line spacing must be 1,5 lines, and it must remain consistent throughout the report. In the abstract, at the bottom right corner of the title page and in a long direct quotation the line spacing must be 1. Both edges must be justified.

    Page numbers are centred at the bottom of the page. Page numbering starts from the cover, but the numbers only appear on the page starting from the abstract page, which is on page three. Page numbering continues to the list of references and appendices, which are included in the table of contents. If an appendix has multiple pages, the appendix marking should only appear on the first page.

    Division into paragraphs
    A paragraph is always longer than just one sentence. Each paragraph consists of one information unit, and it is a good idea to vary the length of paragraphs. All lines start at the same point on the left margin without indentation, and one blank line is left between paragraphs.

    Typefaces and text effects
    Font sizes and character profiles must be clear and easy to read. The same typeface should be used throughout the Bachelor’s thesis. The recommended point size for body text is 12.

    You can also emphasize individual words by making them bold or italic. Underlining is not recommended. It is advisable to exercise moderation in the use of text effects. The text of the report should be as straightforward as possible, using full sentences; for example, you should not use lists unless absolutely necessary.

    All headings start from the left margin at the same point where the text starts. Hierarchical numbering is used for headings. The number and the text of the heading are separated by a single character space. The last figure in the number is not followed by a full stop. If a heading is more than one line long, the second line is aligned with the first letter of the first line rather than the heading number on the first line.

    In text, the size of main headings is 14 points and the point size of subheadings is 12. All headings are in bold. If necessary, you may also use unnumbered subheadings, but they are not in-cluded in the list of contents, and their point size is the same as that used for body text.

    There must be at leasttwo subheadings on each heading level: if there is a subheading 2.1, there mustalso be a subheading 2.2. Three heading levels are usually enough.

    Each chapter starts on its own new page. The heading and the following text or subheading are separated by three line breaks (that is two blank lines). Subheadings within a chapter are separated from the sections above and below by two line breaks (that is one blank line).

    Formal Text

    A well-written formal text may be based for example on the following principles:

    • Divide the text into logical chapters. Divide the chapters into a two or three level hierarchy if necessary.
    • Divide the text into paragraphs with one subject matter and a core sentence. Support sentences describe and explain the content of the core sentence. Write paragraphs of reasonable length and clear sentences. Remember to use both principal clauses and subordinate clauses. Vary the length of sentences and clauses. Use participial phrases with care.
    • Pay attention to the choice of words. Aim at exact and unambiguous expression. Avoid unnecessary foreign words and discard clichés as well as vague expressions and figures of speech.
    • Keep in mind the norms (for example punctuation) and recommendations for correct language usage. (Vilkka 2020, 32; Vilkka & Airaksinen 2003, 151.)

    Binding the Thesis

    Oamk does not require the thesis to be binded. If you wish to have your theses printed for your own use, you may do so at a bookbindery of your choice and at your own expense.

    Oamk’s logo -> For professional printing (PDF)
    Thesis binding guidelines

  • References

    Both the name-year system and the number reference system can be used in Oamk's theses.

    The reference has always two parts: it consists of an in-text reference and a note in the list of references.

    • In-text reference: a reference in the text, the detailed bibliographic information of which is available in the References chapter of the thesis.
    • Note in the list of references: accurately identifies the reference in the References chapter of the thesis.

    Make a clear difference between your own and the referred text. The references inform whose text or thoughts are referred to and make it easy for the reader to find the original sources. If references are not marked, the reader assumes that the thoughts and arguments in the text are yours. Failure to mark the references may result in allegations of plagiarism.

    Examples of in-text references and notes in the list of references

    • (Kallenbach 2020, 199.) or Kallenbach (2020, 199) found that...
    • Kallenbach, Theresa 2020. Narratives of urban mobility in Germany: On the threshold of a departure from the car-centered city?. Sustainability: science, practice, & policy, 16 (1), 197-207. Search date 23.9.2020.
      The web address starts on the same line after the search date (added March 2, 2021).


    • (Rodger & Kennedy-Behr 2017, 10.)
    • Rodger, Sylvia & Kennedy-Behr, Ann 2017. Occupation-centred practice with children: A practical guide to occupational therapists. Second edition. Chichester: Oxford Wiley Blackwell. 

    If a quotation extends over more than one page, the dash is used between page numbers.

    • (Rudestam & Newton 2007, 62 – 63.)

    If a non-continuous quotation that consists of pieces of text taken from several pages, the comma is used between page numbers.

    • (Rudestam & Newton 2007, 62, 64, 67.)

    When simultaneously referring to multiple sources on the same content, separate the sources by a semi-colon. The sources are presented in chronological order and sources published in the same year in alphabetical order by author name.

    • (Swales & Feak 1994, 125; Sharp & Howard 1996, 189; Murray 2002, 114.)

    References chapter of the thesis

    • All in-text references must be found in the list of references.
    • The references are in alphabetical order.
    • Publications by the same author from different years are arranged by year of publication from oldest to newest.
    • In cases where an author has published many texts in the same year, they are distinguished by the letters a, b, c etcetera both in the list of references and in-text references.

    Use permanent addresses in electronic materials, for example theses. Do not copy the temporary search title from the browser's title bar. Permanent addresses are, for example, addresses starting with URN and DOI. See an example in the Articles section.

    Position of the Point in the Text Reference

    In-text references are enclosed in parentheses and placed either at the beginning or at the end of the quoted text.

    The position of the full stop is significant in in-text references. If the referenced thought is expressed in one sentence, the full stop is placed outside the brackets. The referenced sentence does not have its own full stop.

    Example 1 The essential concepts related to the study should be defined and there can even be a separate chapter for the concepts and terminology (Kananen 2011, 141-142).

    If the reference thought expands over several previous sentences, the full stop is placed within the brackets. Each referenced sentence has its own full stop. When a paragraph changes within a chapter, a reference mark is always needed, even if the source remains the same.

    Example 2 You should draw up a timetable for the thesis and each of its parts. The timetable should be made realistically so that you can follow it. Making a timetable for a big development project is difficult, but if you divide it into suitable sub-processes then the job is a lot easier and it is easier to make an approximate estimate of the working time required for each sub-process. (Hakala 2000, 53.)

    Indirect and Direct Quotation

    Indirect quotation means text referenced in the original text in its own words. It is used a lot in the thesis because it facilitates the creation of a unified text style for the thesis. The direct quote corresponds exactly to the original text. It is used only in justified situations, such as when the wording of the source must be kept absolutely unchanged.

    Examples of indirect quotations (See previous paragraph “The Position of the Point in the Text Reference”)

    Examples of direct quotations

    ”You should use references to justify and support your arguments” (Blaxter, Hughes & Tight 2001, 127).

    A long direct quote that is indented and written without quotation marks in line spacing 1.

    Example of a direct quote with abbreviated text (two hyphens in the place of removed words / sentences)

    ”- - a skillful researcher draws on original source material rather than - - review articles and secondary sources” (Rudestam & Newton 2007, 64).


    Below are examples of in-text references (1) and notes in the list of references (2). Please make sure that the point location concerning in-text references is in the correct place.

    Printed Periodicals
    1: (Moll & Yigitbasioglu 2019, 3.)
    2: Moll, Jodie & Yigitbasioglu, Ogan 2019. The role of internet-related technologies in shaping the work of accountants: New directions for accounting research. The British Accounting Review 51 (6), 1–16.
    In the example, number 51 is the volume number of the journal and number 6 is the issue of the journal.

    Electronic Materials
    1: (Kallenbach 2020, 199.)
    2: Kallenbach, Theresa 2020. Narratives of urban mobility in Germany: On the threshold of a departure from the car-centered city?. Sustainability: science, practice, & policy 16 (1), 197-207. Search date 23.9.2020.


    Below are examples of in-text references (1) and notes in the list of references (2). Please make sure that the point location concerning in-text references is in the correct place.

    1: (Rodger & Kennedy-Behr 2017, 10.)
    2: Rodger, Sylvia & Kennedy-Behr, Ann 2017. Occupation-centred practice with children: A practical guide to occupational therapistis. Second edition. Chichester: Oxford Wiley Blackwell.

    Electronic Books
    1: If the authors are more than three, the first in-text reference (Altmann et al. 2018, 8.) and the following in-text references (Altmann et al. 2018, 18.)
    2: Altmann, Andreas, Ebersberger, Bernd, Mössenlechner, Claudia & Wieser, Desiree 2018. Introduction: The Disruptive Power of Online Education: Challenges, Opportunities, Responses. Bingley: Emerald Publishing Limited. Search date 23.9.2020. Access required.
    If an electronic book does not have page number, the number of the chapter is marked in the intext reference (for example Smith 2020, chapter 3.1). If the chapters are not numbered, the title of the chapter is used. If the chapter is extensive, the in-text reference is specified with the title of thesub-chapter. (Added 19.3.2021)

    Serial Publications and Reports

    Below are examples of in-text references (1) and notes in the list of references (2). Please make sure that the point location concerning in-text references is in the correct place.

    1: (Kiefer 2002, 42.)
    2: Kiefer, Tina 2002. Understanding the emotional experience of organizational change: evidence from a merger. Academy of Human Resource Development, Advances in developing human resources 2002: 4, 39. Search date 23.9.2020.

    Network Sources

    Below are examples of in-text references (1) and notes in the list of references (2). Please make sure that the point location concerning in-text references is in the correct place.

    If network source has a creator, it will be used. If this information is missing, the organization responsible for the administration of the pages is listed as the author. If this piece of information is not available, the title of the text is listed first. The first piece of information of an in-text reference is also placed first on the references.

    The web address starts on the same line after the search date (added March 2, 2021).

    1: (Bhatia 2018.)
    2: Bhatia, Manu 2018. Your Guide to Qualitative and Quantitative Data Analysis Methods. Search date 17.12.2019.

    1: (Lund Research Ltd 2018.)
    2: Lund Research Ltd 2018. Descriptive and Inferential Statistics. Search date 23.9.2020.

    Social Media and Network Services

    Below are examples of in-text references (1) and notes in the list of references (2). Please make sure that the point location concerning in-text references is in the correct place.

    1: (Flinders & Dimova 2020.)
    2: Flinders, Matthew & Dimova, Gergana 2020. Bringing in the experts: blame deflection and the COVID-19 crisis. LSE: British Politics and Policy. Search Date 12.3.2021.

    1: (Wesch 2019.)
    2: Wesch, Michael 2019. 10 Online Teaching Tips beyond Zoom: Teaching Without Walls Episode 1. Search Date 12.3.2021.

    1: (Cycling Weekly 2019.)
    2: Cycling Weekly 2019. Twitter update 18.2.2019. Search Date 12.3.2021.


    Below are examples of in-text references (1) and notes in the list of references (2). Please make sure that the point location concerning in-text references is in the correct place.

    1: (Blanken 2020.)
    2: Blanken, Rob 2020. Great Grey Owl [online image]. Search Date 25.3.2021.

    1: (Turner 1849.)
    2: Turner, Joseph Mallord William 1849. The Wreck Buoy [oil on canvas]. At: Liverpool: Sudley House.

    Ibid., See and Cf.

    Please make sure that the point location concerning in-text references is in the correct place.

    If the same reference is repeated in full two or more times in succession within a chapter, it may be replaced by “(ibid.)”. If the author and year of publication are the same but the page numbers differ, use ”(ibid., 23.)”. Never use “(ibid.)” in the first reference on a page.

    If you want to lend support to presented results and conclusions, you can refer to publications on the same subject which either provide similar information on the matter or justify the conclusions that have been reached.
    “(see In-text references 1; In-text references 2; In-text references 3.)”

    If you are referring to views that differ from your own conclusions you can use ”(cf.)” Similarly if sources are interpreted in such a way that the original idea may change, it should also be noted.
    “(cf. In-text references 1).”

    Missing Information

    The information must be provided whenever available. If any of the information is missing, this field is omitted, with the exception of the journal or volume number, in which case a hyphen (-) is entered.

  • Assessment

    A successfully completed thesis follows the objectives of your degree programme, the instructions for thesis and ethical principles. 

    In addition to the grade, you will receive feedback on your thesis if you wish.


    Self-assessment throughout the Bachelor’s thesis process improves your learning. You will receive feedback on your thesis from the supervising teacher, the client and from the peer reviewers at the possible seminars. Your bachelor’s thesis is graded by the staff of the Oulu University of Applied Sciences.

    Bachelor’s thesis is graded on a numerical scale of 0–5. The aspects taken into consideration in the assessment are choice and planning of subject, implementation, written reporting and the whole Bachelor’s thesis process, taking into account the nature of the Bachelor’s thesis. The grade is awarded for the entire thesis and describes the quality of the whole process.

    Assessment Criterions
    Choice and Planning of Subject
    Written Reporting


    Master’s thesis is graded on a numerical scale of 0–5. The aspects taken into consideration in the assessment are topic, purpose and objectives, theoretical background, implementation, results and conclusions, reflection and examination, process, reporting and the whole Master’s thesis process, taking into account the nature of the Master’s thesis. The grade is awarded for the entire thesis and describes the quality of the whole process.

    Assessment Criterion
    Client Feedback
  • Maturity Test

    For your degree, you are required to write a maturity test on the subject of your thesis, which will show your familiarity with the subject as well as skills in Finnish or Swedish (Government Decree on Polytechnics 1229/2014, Section 8). 

    The structure, content and style of the maturity test must be harmonious. Apply the knowledge and skills you have learnt during the thesis process to your maturity test, and show your ability to communicate professionally and manage different text types in your profession.

    Forms of the Maturity Test

    The maturity test can be written in the form of an essay, article, blog, press release, professional seminar or poster presentation. Ask your thesis examiner for more information on the different forms of maturity tests.

    In essay form, you should write it at an evaluation event after the thesis has been accepted. The essay either has one topic or you may be able to choose from several given topics. Here are some example topics:

    ▪ The meaning of your thesis for this profession’s working life and its development
    ▪ How has the thesis process developed your professional skills?
    ▪ The opportunities and development targets of the thesis

    In the article the results, conclusions and discussion of the theses are presented. A successful article is informative and the progresses logically. The maturity test is an article manuscript, which probably still needs to be edited before its publication. Different publishers have their own guidelines regarding for example the structure of the article.

    Compared to an article, the style of the blog is freer, sometimes also more personal. It is still written from an expert’s point of view. A blog is usually shorter and more reflective than an article.

    There are different options for publishing an article or a blog. For example, you can offer you maturity test to be published in Oamk Journal (in Finnish) as an article or blog (in Finnish), but only after your language teacher and supervisor have approved it. If they suggest corrections, do them before sending the article or blog to Oamk Journal.

    Language of the Maturity Test

    (Rector of Oamk 20 April 2021, Section 35)

    If you have received your education in Finnish or Swedish, please write your maturity test in the same language. The language of your degree programme does not influence the language of the maturity test.

    If you have received your education abroad or in some other language than Finnish or Swedish, please write your maturity test in English.

    For justified reasons, you may apply for an exception in the language of the maturity test in Pulmu. The director of school makes the decision based on a proposal by the head of studies.

    Assessment of the Maturity Test

    The maturity test will be assessed on a scale of pass or fail (Rector of Oamk 20 April 2021, Section 35).

    The following is assessed for the familiarity with the subject:
    ▪ the content’s connection with the thesis
    ▪ the content shows expertise in the degree subject
    ▪ the content matches the title

    The thesis supervisor assesses familiarity with the field.

    When the maturity test has been written in Finnish or Swedish, in addition to familiarity with the subject, the language is assessed, as well. The maturity test with approved language fulfils the following criteria:

    • The text is a clear and understandable entity that the reader can understand without familiarizing themselves with the thesis of the maturity test.
    • The text follows the assignment (e.g., text type, target group) and the objective of the text is met.
    • The text proceeds logically and has a clear structure.
    • The language is polished and refined for the most part, and the text uses good factual style. Possible linguistic errors do not significantly impede the understanding of the text.
    • The terminology of one's own field has been used appropriately.
    • Perspectives or arguments are substantiated, i.e. argued.

    When the maturity test for Bachelor degree is written in Finnish or Swedish, the Language Centre evaluates the language of the maturity test on a scale passed/to be supplemented. If the maturity test is assessed to be supplemented, the student will receive feedback on the text from the language assessor in order to prepare to supplement the maturity test. When the maturity test is written in a language other than Finnish or Swedish, the familiarity with the subject is assessed by the thesis supervisor. The language of the maturity test is not assessed.

    The language of the maturity test for the Master degree is not evaluated separately, because it will not be entered on the degree certificate.

  • Publication

    You will save your approved and linguistically revised thesis in Theseus. It is not possible to make alterations to the document once it has been saved.

    Theseus is a service of Arene ry, the Rectors’ Confrence of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences, which offers theses and publications online from Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences. Theseus publication options are

    1. Open collection: the thesis in the open Internet or
    2. Restricted collection: limited use only in IP-addresses specified by your university

    The student and the client agree on the reporting of the thesis to one of the above collections. 

    You will receive a confirmation message once your thesis has been processed and published.

    Instructions of Theseus

    Open university of applied sciences students save their thesis in Theseus when they have received the right to study as a degree student. Double degree students make their final thesis to their own home university. This thesis will not be published on Theseus.

    Theses can be found in the library catalogue Oula-Finna.


    Several Authors in the Thesis

    If you have done your thesis in pairs or in groups, agree together which of you will make the Theseus saving. It is enough to save the thesis only once. If the authors are from different degree programmes, the library will add to Theseus those degree programmes that could not be saved on the form.

    If the authors are from different universities of applied sciences, the thesis must be saved in each author’s own university of applied sciences collection.