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university of tampere: faculty of social sciences: doctoral studies:
Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of TampereFaculty of Social Sciences

Studies Required for Licentiate's Degree

Curricula for Doctoral Programmes  |  Licentiate's Degree  |  Licentiate's Thesis  |  Examination  |  Printing and grading  |  Practical information 

Curricula for Doctoral Programmes

Postgraduate studies consist of two levels: Licentiate’s degree and Doctor’s degree. Licentiate’s degree is an intermediate but optional step towards Doctor’s degree. Licentiate’s and Doctor’s degrees are pursued in some of the four doctoral programmes offered by the School of Social Sciences and Humanities. Postgraduate studies consist of the Licentiate’s thesis or Doctoral dissertation, and a minimum of 60 ECTS credits of studies defined in the student’s personal study plan.

Licentiate's Degree

According to the Government Decree on University Degrees (794/2004, amended 1039/2013, §21) the objectives of scientific postgraduate education are that the student

  1. Becomes thoroughly acquainted with her/his own field of research and its social significance
  2. Gains the knowledge and skills needed to apply scientific research methods independently and critically and to produce new scientific knowledge within her/his field of research
  3. Becomes acquainted with the development, basic problems and research methods of her/his field of research
  4. Gains such knowledge of the general theory of science and of other disciplines relating to her/his own field of research that enables her/him to follow their development
  5. Achieves sufficient communication and language skills and other abilities to work as an expert or a developer in demanding positions and within international co-operation

The School of Social Sciences and Humanities requires the following studies for the Licentiate’s degree:

a) Approximately 60 ECTS credits of postgraduate studies, which contribute either to the research work or to professional capabilities

Joint postgraduate studies 20-30 ECTS credits:  

These studies develop general theoretical and methodological skills, prepare for work in a multidisciplinary research community, develop general abilities in scientific expertise and ethics as well as general skills for working life. These studies should be pursued according to the curricula of each doctoral programme and according to the personal study plan.

Knowledge of the student’s own discipline and research area 30-40 ECTS credits: 

These studies develop the knowledge of the student’s own discipline, firstly, more broadly than the thesis and, secondly by deepening the student’s knowledge of the special issues of the discipline. These studies should be pursued on the postgraduate courses offered by the student’s major subject or by the School's other disciplines.

The specific requirements of the breadth, the contents and the ways to conduct the studies are defined in the curricula for the doctoral programmes.


b) Licentiate’s thesis, which will be assessed by the Board after a public examination seminar. The normative extent of the thesis is 90 ECTS.


Licentiate's Thesis

Research Plan

Students are required to prepare a detailed research plan for the Licentiate’s thesis. The students present their research plans in a seminar, where the plans are discussed and assessed.

Monograph or an Article-based thesis

The Licentiate's thesis must demonstrate the student's theoretical knowledge in his/her major subject and the student's ability to apply scientific research methods independently and critically.

An approved Licentiate's thesis (90 ECTS) can be a) a coherent dissertation (a monograph) b) a thesis comprising of at least two scientific publications or manuscripts that have been approved to be published and that deal with an integrated set of problems and include a summary (an article-based thesis). The summary should present the aims, the methods and the results of the study. The publications may also include collective publications, provided that the independent, personal contribution of the Licentiate candidate can be distinguished in them. The candidate must present a written clarification of his/her contribution to the collective research when submitting his/her Licentiate's thesis the examination. Furthermore, this document should be confirmed with the signatures of all authors. Also a list of the articles with information on where they have been published or accepted to be published, must be attached to the thesis.


On the candidate's request, a manuscript for a doctoral dissertation that has been granted the permission to be published can also be accepted as a Licentiate's thesis.


The Rector of the University of Tampere has decided that the authenticity of doctoral dissertations and Licentiate’s theses submitted for preliminary examination must be checked by using the Turnitin originality checking software which tracks the theses for plagiarism. The student feeds her/his thesis into the system and the first supervisor of the thesis reads the report of authenticity the programme produces. After the first supervisor has given her/his written approval, the thesis can be submitted for the examination. Instructions.

The Licentiate thesis is submitted to the School Office in three paper copies in folders. Before submitting the thesis, the student should consult the professor of his/her major subject to get a permission to hand in the thesis for examination. This is important also because the professor of the major subject is the one who makes the proposal for the examiners of the thesis. The thesis must be fully completed and all the final revisions made, as after submitting the thesis for examination the student is not allowed to revise the thesis any more. Practical information on the examination process can be found here.


When the student is submitting the thesis to the School for examination, it is also checked that the author of the thesis  has handed in an approved personal study plan and an application for a degree cerficate to the School. In addition, a transcript of the academic record must be submitted, indicating that all the other studies required for Licentiate’s Degree (60 ECTS credits) and an overall grade of them have been registered.


The Dean appoints at least two examiners both of whom must have completed their own doctoral degrees. Before the examiners are selected, the author of the thesis must be provided with an opportunity to comment on the potential unacceptability of the prospective examiners if a doubt of being biased exists. The examiners are to give a well-grounded written statement on the thesis and a proposal for the grade.

A public examination seminar for the thesis is organized by the the major subject. At least one of the examiners should be present at the examination seminar. The office of the major subject agrees upon the date and other practicalities of the examination with the student and the examiners.

The chairperson of the seminar writes a report, which includes the time and the place of the seminar, the number of the participants, the names of the persons who will speak in the seminar and the general progression of the seminar. The report is delivered to the members of the Management Board with the examiner's statements.

The examiners' statements will be delivered to the author of the thesis as soon as they have been submitted to the School Office, but at no later than 14 days before the Management Board's meeting in order to provide the Postgraduate Committee with enough time to consider the matter in their meeting. 

Printing and grading  

Once the public examination seminar has been held, the Licentiate candidate submits the thesis to be printed as a pdf document according to the guidelines of the Tampere University Library  ( 

The Licentiate's thesis can be taken to the Management Board's agenda only after the School Office has received one copy in print or other paper version. Within four (4) days of receiving the documents mentioned in the Library guidelines, the printing house (Juvenes Print) delivers one copy of the thesis to the School Office and another to the Tampere University Library for filing. The Library publishes the thesis and its summary online ( ) if the student has authorised this.

The Licentiate thesis is evaluated and graded by the Management Board on the basis of the statements given by the examiners. Before that, the Postgraduate Committee considers the matter. The examiners propose a grade for the Licentiate's thesis. The student is given a chance to comment on the statements. After having the second examiner's statement, the student is given the guidelines on how to present their comments. The student may ask for the assessment of the thesis to be postponed to the next meeting of the Management Board in order to prepare his/her reply. The student may ask the Management Board for an amendment to the assessment of the thesis, but must do so within 14 days of receiving the decision.

In assessing a Licentiate’s thesis, the following three-tier scale is used: Not accepted, Accepted, Accepted with honours.

Practical information

Practical information concerning the examination process of licentiate's thesis. Please note! The originality check of the licentiate's thesis must be done by using the Turnitin programme before submitting the thesis for examination. Instructions.

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Last update: 7.12.2015 10.52 Muokkaa

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