NB! The following is a compilation of all aspects of the Master's degree graduation process at the University of Vaasa. For further details, please refer to the study field-specific guidelines (on the right).

The total number of credits required for a Master’s degree is 120 ECTS credits including Master’s thesis (usually 30-40 ECTS). The programme will provide you with a thesis supervisor and instruct you on when to start writing your Master’s thesis. Please consult the programme for detailed instructions on Master’s thesis.

Common Writing Guidelines

The common writing guidelines contain instructions about the layout and contents of theses and other written assignments as well as instructions on how to refer to source literature and other material used in the work. Familiarise yourself with the instructions and apply them to your thesis. If you have started your thesis work using the old guidelines, see information regarding the transition period from the old guidelines.

Handing in the Thesis and Plagiarism Check

The Master’s thesis must be submitted in for the final revision 4-5 weeks before the thesis is to be approved. Please check with your thesis supervisor the latest date you can submit your thesis and take the maturity exam. The schedule depends not only on the thesis supervisor, but also on the Dean as s/he will make the final decision about the approval of the thesis.

As of 1 August 2014, all the theses written at the University of Vaasa undergo a plagiarism check based on an electronic plagiarism detection software before the theses are accepted. Depending on the practice of your study field, please deliver a pdf version of your thesis into Moodle or follow the instructions given by your thesis supervisor.

The supervisor of the work is responsible for the check and interpretation of the results. The check procedure is reported in an evaluation form and to the student register. For more information please see Plagiarism Detection.

A copy of the evaluation of the thesis will be submitted to the student after the thesis has been evaluated and accepted.

Maturity Exam

After submitting your thesis for review and before graduation, you need to pass an examination based on the topic of your thesis, i.e. a maturity exam. Your thesis supervisor will prepare the question(s) for this examination and it will take place in EXAM electronic exam service.

In the maturity essay, the student is expected to demonstrate both proficiency in the appropriate field of study and fluency in the writing in a supervised examination situation. Information about the language requirements of the maturity test are available on the second page of the maturity exam results form. Please read the instructions carefully before taking your maturity exam.

You will be given two or three questions on the subject of your master’s thesis. You should answer one of the questions by writing an essay. The essay should be written for a reader that is familiar with the appropriate field but has not studied the specific research topic of the master’s thesis. In other words, the maturity essay should comprise an independent text and you should not assume that the reader is familiar with your master’s thesis.

In addition to academic content, the essay must also demonstrate good language proficiency and comprise a logical, well-structured whole. It must present the topic by writing, not by graphical presentations like tables or charts. The essay must also have a heading (otherwise the examiner evaluating the language of the thesis will not be able to see whether the essay really answers the question). The essay must have an introduction and a conclusion. Suggested length of the essay is approximately one examination sheet (four pages). It should be written on each line of the paper with empty lines separating chapters.

After the first draft, it is advisable to rewrite the maturity essay, with special emphasis on clear handwriting. Words should be clearly separate and the difference between capital and lower case letters should be clear. The essay must show knowledge of the basics of grammar and punctuation. Excessive use of abbreviations should be avoided. Sentences and clauses must be clearly connected, and they should be logical and show variation. Incorrect reference relationships must be avoided. Word order must be unambiguous and fit the structure of the presented information. The essay must be written in a matter-of-fact style.

The result of the maturity essay is released within 30 days from the date of examination. The grading scale for maturity essay is pass/fail (no other grade).

Publishing the Thesis

As of 1 August 2019, all theses are submitted and published in the Osuva publications archive and printing physical copies of the theses is no longer required.

Registration for the Academic Year When Graduating

You need to be registered as attending in order to graduate and receive the degree certificate. Students who will graduate in August must register as attending at least for the autumn semester. If you graduate in August, registration for the academic year must be done before the graduation date.

Students who have graduated at the latest on 31 August or 31 January may apply for refund of their respective semester's student union fee. The refund must be applied for within 30 days from graduation. For more information please contact the Secretary General of the student union or the Student Services office.

University Information Systems After Graduation

The students’ right to use the university information systems such as email and WebOodi expires automatically upon graduation. Make sure to save all important messages from your university email to your private email account or on your computer before graduation.

Degree Certificate

When a student has completed all the required studies, s/he can apply for degree certificate.


The average grades concerning the major and minors are mentioned in the degree certificate. The average grade can be checked from the Transcript of Records. The grades and ECTS credits of the major, thesis, minors and other study units exceeding 15 ECTS are mentioned in the degree certificate. Also the number of ECTS credits of the whole degree is mentioned. The grade of the thesis does not affect the grade of the major, it is marked separately.

Final grades are determined in the following way (no rounding up/down):

Average Grade
4,2-5,0 Excellent
3,4-4,1 Very good
2,6-3,3 Good
1,8-2,5 Satisfactory
1,0-1,7 Sufficient

The thesis is graded with the normal grading scale (1-5, failed) or, in some study fields, with the following scale:

  • Approbatur
  • Lubenter approbatur
  • Non sine laude approbatur
  • Cum laude approbatur
  • Magna cum laude approbatur
  • Eximia cum laude approbatur
  • Laudatur

in which Approbatur is the lowest and Laudatur the highest mark.

In the study field of Technology, the grading scale for theses is as follows:

Abbreviation Grade in Finnish Grade in English
E Erinomainen Excellent
EH Erittäin hyvä Very Good
H Hyvä Good
T Tyydyttävä Satisfactory
V Välttävä Sufficient

Graduates will receive their final Transcript of Records and degree certificate in Finnish and in English upon graduation. Graduates are also issued a Diploma Supplement in English.

The Diploma Supplement is an attachment to the degree certificate intended for international use. The English-language supplement provides a description of the nature, level, content and status of the qualification in the national system, and gives information on the professional status the qualification confers. Diploma Supplement is given automatically and free of charge to all graduates together with the degree certificate. Diploma Supplement is a part of the Europass-portfolio.