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- Standing orders for postgraduate studies and degrees
- The orders for dissertations
- Grading Scale and Grading Criteria of Dissertations
- Publicaton and distribution of the dissertation
- Contact information
- Reorganisation of doctoral education
- The Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences
- The Doctoral Programme in Political, Societal and Regional Change (PSRC)
- The Finnish Doctoral Programme in Economics (FDPE)
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Grading scale and grading criteria for doctoral dissertations at the faculty of social science
The documents that serve as the basis for the grading of doctoral dissertations include the statements by the preliminary examiners and the Opponent, and the Custos’ report on the meeting of the dissertation grading committee.
Doctoral dissertations are approved and graded by the Faculty Council. The grading scale for doctoral dissertations is the following: approbatur, lubenter approbatur, non sine laude approbatur, cum laude approbatur, magna cum laude approbatur, eximia cum laude approbatur, and laudatur.
The primary assessment criteria for doctoral dissertations are the scientific significance of the results and the doctoral candidate’s independent contribution to the research. In determining the grade for a doctoral dissertation, consideration is given to the following:
According to the Government Decree on University Degrees (Section 21, Sub-section 1), the objective of scientific postgraduate education is for students:
(1) becomes well-versed in his/her own field of research and its social significance and gains knowledge and skills needed to apply scientific research methods independently
and critically and to produce new scientific knowledge within his/her field of research;
(2) becomes conversant with the development, basic problems and research methods of his/her own field of research; and
(3) gains such knowledge of the general theory of science and of other disciplines relating to his/her own field of research as enables him/her to follow developments in them.
Section 22 of the above-mentioned Decree states that in order to be awarded a doctoral degree, a postgraduate student must demonstrate independent and critical thinking in the field of research.
The doctoral dissertation and the research leading to its publication, as well as its public defence, demonstrate the competence required of a holder of a doctoral degree as specified in the Decree on University Degrees.
According to the regulations of the Faculty of Social Sciences,a doctoral dissertation is a scholarly monograph or a compilation of articles that is based on independent research and makes an original contribution to knowledge. An article-based dissertation consists of scholarly articles dealing with a specific topic, as well as a summary section. Most of the articles in an article-based dissertation must be manuscripts that have been published or have been accepted for publication. Co-authored publications may be included, provided the author’s independent contribution to them is sufficient.
The definition of a doctoral dissertation is applied with consideration for the special features of fields and disciplines.
The Faculty of Social Sciences is committed to observing good and ethical scientific practice in research and in the documentation of its results.
The following criteria are applied in the assessment of doctoral dissertations:
- presentation of the research problem and the grounds for it
- originality demonstrated in the planning and implementation of the work
- command of the research field, familiarity with and use of the literature
- degree to which the choices made and solutions reached in the research process can be assessed
- adequacy of the doctoral candidate’s own contribution.
- publishing forum for the the publications in an article-based dissertation
- difficulty and scope of the research (when evaluating the scope, consideration should be given to the University Senate’s guidelines for postgraduate degrees, which recommend that the scope of a doctoral degree be such that it can be completed in four years of full-time work)
- quality and thoroughness of the work, the applicability and mastery of the methods used
- consistent deduction of results from the material studied
- significance and status of the research and its results within the field of research (any new ideas and insights, solutions to problems and observations the research includes)
- consistency of the presentation of the work
- style and language of the presentation.
Furthermore, the grading is affected by the doctoral candidate's defense at the public examination.
Non sine laude approbatur:
Cum laude approbatur:
Magna cum laude approbatur:
Eximia cum laude approbatur:
Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, 14 February 2012