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university of tampere: faculty of communication sciences: studies:
Faculty of Communication SciencesUniversity of Tampere The School of Communication, Media and Theatre

Study practices

The Finnish system of academic education gives students a lot of freedom to plan and schedule their studies. This means that planning the schedule for the academic year, i.e. choosing the subjects and study modules, matching the times of lectures and keeping the schedule intensive through­out the studies, requires a lot of activity and responsibility on the part of the student. More independence is given also by the free choice of minor subjects and courses from other Schools. If the students meet the prerequisites or pass an initial language test, they are usually free to attend any course they might want.

Book exams and essays

Some course units (see list below) may be completed by independent study of literature either taking a book exam or writing an essay.

Book exams

Some courses may be completed by independent reading of literature included in the course module requirements, followed by an exam on these set books. There are two ways to take the book exams: either on general examination days or as electronic exams. The book exam questions are usually essay questions, one or two on each book the student is taking. Examinations on the books are taken on faculty examination days usually arranged once a month.


An essay is a scientific text, and its aim is to survey literature and other material and present the student’s own views on a given topic. Thus, it is not a summary of the source literature, nor is it a student's personal opinion only. An essay consists of an introduction, main content, conclusion and a list of references. It is important to notice that the main content should already contain references to the source material. The text should clearly identify which parts are the student's own ideas and which are direct or indirect quotations of the source material. The topic of an essay must always be clearly defined. The length and layout of an essay are defined by the subject and lecturer in question. Sometimes it is also possible to complete the whole course by writing an essay on a given topic, but this needs to be negotiated with the teacher in charge of the course.

For more extensive guidance on various types of academic texts, please see the Instructions for writing research papers.

Master's thesis

University of Tampere's guideline on theses

Guidelines for submitting your thesis


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Last update: 4.11.2015 16.18 Muokkaa

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