Grading Scale for Doctoral Dissertations

Pass with Distinction
The dissertation is ambitious in its choice of topic. In the light of all essential assessment criteria and also by international comparisons, it is highly distinguished. The dissertation must meet the set ethical criteria.

Pass
Dissertation fulfils that Faculty’s definition of a doctoral dissertation and meets the set ethical norms.

Assessment criteria

Choice of topic and research problem
While the topic must be connected to previous research, it must also produce genuinely new knowledge and may even launch a new line of research. The research area must be defined appropriately. The questions posed by the research problem must be set in such a way that they can be reasonably answered in the research.

Clarity of the concepts used and command of the relevant theory
The concepts used must be clear and the author must prove that he or she is in command of the theories behind the research and is able to conceptualise the research problem.

Methods used
The methods used must be well grounded and they must provide an answer to the research problem. Versatile use of the methodology will be considered a merit. Profound competence in and creative use of the methodology will be considered a further asset.

Material
The materials used must be of high quality and sufficient from the point of view of both the research problem and the methods used.

Presentation of results
The research results must be presented in a lucid and consistent manner. The analysis must be logical and well grounded.  

Conclusions
The conclusions must be systematic and well grounded, and they must be presented in relation to the research problem as well as the materials and methods used. Speculations should be avoided. 

The dissertation as a whole and the standard of the language used
The structure of the dissertation must be coherent and the language used must be clear. The text should flow in a cohesive and logical manner and focus on the essential. Arguments should proceed logically. The researcher must demonstrate critical thinking, originality and independence.

Responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in Finland