When a doctoral student has completed all the courses belonging to the DoCS programme, the modules required for the doctoral must be registered before the thesis of the doctoral student can be pre-examined. 

Currently, the Director of the DoCS programme records the doctoral study modules on the request of the doctoral student and the recommendation of the supervisor.  The modules can be get registered as follows:

  1. If you are completing your doctoral degree according to the old degree requirements (valid from 1.8.2008), compile a list of all the courses to be included to your degree using form "58090 Ph.Lic. and Ph.D. Studies in Computer Science". The list of complete courses you can get from a transcript of the study register.
  2. If you are completing your doctoral degree according to the new degree requirements (valid from 1.8.2017), compile a list of all the courses to be included to your degree using forms "DOCS-998 Discipline-Spesific Studies" and "DONAS-997 General Competence Studies". The list of complete courses you can get from a transcript of the study register.
  3. Ask your supervisor to check the form(s) and give his or her informal approval for your studies.
  4. Ask your supervisor to send the form (or send it yourself) to the Research Coordinator of the Department of Computer Science, who first checks it and then sends it further to the Director of the DoCS programme for a formal approval and registration.

Note that before you ask your supervisor to check the list of your PhD studies, all the courses to be included must already be in the register. This holds also for the completion of the PhD seminar and the personal study plan.

The steps required for the pre-examination of a doctoral thesis in the DoCS programme are the following:

  • When an approximate schedule has been set for a thesis, the supervisor of the doctoral student will contact potential pre-examiners.
  • When selecting pre-examiners, competence requirements and disqualifying circumstances must be considered (please see the guidelines of the Faculty of Science).
  • When the pre-examiners have committed to the work, the supervisor, or if the supervisor is not a professor, the professor responsible for the doctoral student will propose the appointment of the pre-examiners to the Faculty. In practice, the supervisor, or if the supervisor is not a professor, the professor responsible for the doctoral student fills in form Proposal for pre-examiners, and asks the doctoral student to approve it. Please, remember to follow the instructions given on the form.
  • The form must then be send to the Faculty to address sci-phd-thesis@helsinki.fi. Please, also send a copy of the form to the Research Coordinator of the Department of Computer Science (researchcoordinator@cs.helsinki.fi). In case your thesis is an article-based one, you'll have to send the list of publications included to your thesis to the Faculty, too. 
  • In addition to the proposal form, you also have to send the manuscript of your thesis to the Faculty (sci-phd-thesis@helsinki.fi). The Faculty will submit the manuscript to the pre-examiners.  You should send the manuscript and also any unpublished articles as pdf-files and links to published articles to sci-phd-thesis@helsinki.fi at latest within a week from the Faculty Council meeting, where the pre-examiners are appointed.
  • Note that before the proposal for pre-examiners is made, the thesis manuscript has to be checked for plagiarism using the Urkund system using the instructions on Älä kopsaa! Be a good writer pages of the University of Helsinki.
  • It is recommended that the language of your thesis is checked either before it is send for pre-examination, or at least before the final thesis is printed. You can send your thesis for language checking to Marina Kurtén, the translator of the department. 
  • When the pre-examiners have been appointed at a meeting of the Faculty Council, the Faculty send a letter to the selected pre-examiners. The letter will announce the decision, give instructions on the contents of the statement, and include the forms necessary for payment of fees and a template for the statement. The statement can also be written in the examiner's own words. At this point, the Faculty will also send the thesis manuscript to the pre-examiners.
  • Officially, the pre-examiners have 2 months to write their statement, but if there is a drive to arrange the dissertation sooner, the supervisor may negotiate a quicker schedule with the pre-examiner.
  • In addition to their statements, the pre-examiners can give more detailed feedback to the respondent.

The supervisor will contact potential opponents when the thesis is being pre-examined, at the latest. Please see the instructions of the Faculty of Science on the public examination of Doctoral theses.

  • Once the Faculty of Science has received favourable statements from the pre-examiners (or it is known that the statements will arrive by the deadline), it is time to appoint an opponent and custos for the dissertation. 
  • The supervisor or, if the supervisor is not a professor, a professor responsible for the doctoral student will propose the appointment of the opponent and custos to the Faculty Council. In practice, this means that the supervisoror, if the supervisor is not a professor, a professor responsible for the doctoral student , fills in form Proposal for opponent and custos, and asks the respondent to approve it.
  • At the same time, the supervisor or, if the supervisor is not a professor, a professor responsible for the doctoral student, must also fill in form Proposal for the dissertation grading committee, and ask the respondent to approve it.
  • Both the forms should be sent to the Faculty to address sci-phd-thesis@helsinki.fi
  • A copy of the proposals should also be given to the Research Coordinator of the Department of Computer Science (researchcoordinator@cs.helsinki.fi).
  • When the Faculty Council has appointed an opponent and custos and given a permission for printing the thesis and for defending it in public, the faculty will send a package of instructions to the respondent.

The doctoral theses in Computer Science are published in the A series of the Department of Computer Science. When you are finalising your doctoral thesis, take into account the following points:

  • It is recommended that the language of your thesis is checked either before it is send for pre-examination, or at least before the final thesis is printed. You can send your thesis for language checking to Marina Kurtén, the translator of the department. 
  • Check that you are using the latest version of the Latex template for the department's doctoral theses, and that you have taken into account the other departmental instructions concerning the theses.
  • The thesis catalogue of the department has to be attached to the doctoral thesis. Make sure that the latest theses are included (check the A series list). If the list does not fit on two pages, you can remove the first ('oldest') year. It is customary not include your own thesis in the list. Note that these catalogue pages are not numbered.
  • A respondent must make sure that his/her thesis is furnished with an A series number and an ISBN number. The Research Coordinator of the Department of Computer Science provides the A series number, and the Finnish ISBN centre provides the ISBN number on application.
    • The publisher is University of Helsinki and the publisher identifier is 978-952-10.
    • The series number is ISSN 1238-8645 and the name of the series is Series of publications A / Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki
    • Note! You need two ISBN numbers, one for the paper version and one for the electronic version.
  • Note that you must wait until they receive the faculty's permission to defend your thesis at a public examination (aka "permission to print") before you apply for report and ISBN numbers.

Doctoral  theses in Computer Science are published in the A series of the Department of Computer Science, and printed by the Unigrafia.

  • The University of Helsinki has decided that each doctoral candidate must publish her/his doctoral thesis online in the e-thesis service of the university, and also distribute some printed copies of the doctoral thesis at the university. The maximum number of printed copies required is 20. More detailed information on the distribution of the theses is available on the web site of the Faculty of Science.
  • The university pays the printing costs of the 20 theses (250€; non-colored copies). No separate application for the financial support for this part of the printing costs is required.
  • If more than 20 printed copies of the thesis are needed (see the guidelines of the distribution of the theses), respondents should negotiate with their supervisors on how many theses to have printed. The DoCS programme is ready to pay for up to 40 theses above the 20 copies required by the university. You can also ask the Research Coordinator of the Department of Computer Science on advice for the total number of copies required, but the current recommendation is to print a total of 60 copies.
  • Some theses have coloured pages, and printing of them costs more that printing of black and white pages. The DoCS programme is ready to pay the printing costs of at maximum 25 coloured pages for 60 copies of the theses. In case you want to print more than 60 books, then you have to discuss with your supervisor who is going to pay the rest of the copies above 60.
  • Unigrafia gives the option of also having a few copies of a one-sided print version of the thesis that is enclosed in a folder (väitöskirjakansio). Such a version is usually not necessary.
  • Respondents should contact Unigrafia in good time, e.g. by filling the quote request form available on the Unigrafia's page of instructions for respondents.
  • Theses can be ordered using the dissertation order form of Unigrafia. This form can also be used for estimating the printing costs of the thesis.
  • The order form automatically computes the discount of 250€ for the printing costs.
  • The respondent will then get an estimate for the costs above this amount. Please, check with Financial Coordinator of DoCS (anita.tienhaara(at)helsinki.fi) that this amount is fine and that the invoice for the printing cost can be send to the programme. In case you are going to print more than 60 books, then you also have to tell her who is going to pay the rest of the copies above 60 and what is the wbs number to be used for payment of these copies.
  • The invoice that the DoCS programme is supposed to pay has to be addressed to the programme. This invoice should habe the text "H923/wbs 7923107" as refence on the invoice, along with the name of the respondent.
  • When the theses have been printed, Unigrafia delivers them to a cabinet in the room behind the office of the porters in the first floor of the Exactum building (there is a Unigrafia sign on the door of the cabinet). Unigrafia does not send any message on this; they just deliver the theses there on the day they have promised the theses to be ready.

Note! Send the final pdf version of your thesis (for checking some technical details) to the Research Coordinator of the Department of Computer Science (researchcoordinator(at)cs.helsinki.fi) BEFORE sending it to Unigrafia for printing.

Note 2! When you get a proof version of your thesis from Unigrafia, please, check carefully that everything is as it should be. Especially, check all the texts on the covers of the thesis. Send the covers also to the Research Coordinator of the Department of Computer Science (researchcoordinator(at)cs.helsinki.fi) for proof-reading.

When the theses have been printed, Unigrafia delivers them to a cabinet in the room behind the office of the porters in the first floor of the Exactum building (there is a Unigrafia sign on the door of the cabinet). Unigrafia does not send any message on this; they just deliver the theses there on the day they have promised the theses to be ready.

Please see the guidelines of the Faculty of Science on printing and distributing theses outside the department. Respondents should check with a representative of Unigrafia which parts of the distribution they will handle. Usually, Unigrafia delivers 7 extra copies of the thesis to the Finnish National Library and 1 copy of the thesis to the University Main Building.

The respondent should distribute the thesis at the department at least as follows:

  • one copy to each of the coffee rooms (B225, 2nd floor, Department) and (A308, 3rd floor, HIIT),
  • one copy for the vitrine ("museum") on the 2nd floor (give this copy to the Research Coordinator of the Department of Computer Science),
  • one copy for the department archives (give this copy to the Research Coordinator of the Department of Computer Science), and
  • some copies can be left in the post rooms (C226, A335) for anybody interested in the subject.

In addition to the above, the respondent can decide (with the supervisor) whom to send the thesis, e.g., to those how have contributed to the work, to researchers in the same field (abroad and at home), or to relatives and friends.

Custom also dictates that doctoral candidates write a dedication to dissertation copies given away. Our faculty recommends that this dedication is written on a card and enclosed with the dissertation. To such a card you can, for example, write to whom the thesis is dedicated, short greetings and your name.

You must fill in the doctoral dissertation form at least three weeks before the dissertation. You need to write also popular abstracts in Finnish or Swedish.

Please also read the instructions at the E-thesis service and follow the guidelines on how to submit your e-thesis and how to report your dissertation to the university events calendar. Note that it is important that you mention tags "@UnivHelsinkiCS" and "@KumpulaScience" when submitting the information on your dissertation to the E-thesis service. In this way, your dissertation will also be shown in the event calendar of the Department of Computer Science.

Submit the popular abstract, date and place of the defense, and the names of the opponent and the custos to the following:

  • the Research Coordinator of the Department of Computer Science for archiving purposes as well as for the web pages and the posting list of the department, and
  • the Communications and Community Relations unit at the Kumpula Campus (comms-kumpula@helsinki.fi) for a possible press release.

For the web pages of the department, a photograph of the respondent is also needed.

If you are associated with Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT, please also send the popular abstract, date and place of the defense, and the names of the opponent and the custos to the Communication Officer at HIIT. Also state clearly that you work at HIIT and would like the information to be published on HIIT's web site.

If you are associated with any other organisation (e.g., with Aalto University, a company, or another department at the University of Helsinki), you should also inform that organisation about your dissertation.

In preparing for the public examination of your doctoral thesis you must follow the guidelines of the University of Helsinki. Here below are also some additional information related to public examinations in the DoCS programme.

The date and place of the defense

When it is known when the pre-examiners' statements can be expected, the respondent can agree on the dissertation date with the opponent.

Respondents must book the auditorium through the university's facility services at tilavaraus[at]helsinki.fi. The facility services will know which auditoriums are suitable for dissertations.

  • Some auditoriums that are frequently used are e.g. Exactum CK112 and the ones in the old part of the Main Building, such as Auditorium XII. 
  • The Board of the DoCS programme recommends using a lecture room in Exactum as there probably will be a larger audience attending the dissertation than if it is organised outside the department.

Dissertations usually start at 10 or 12 on weekdays and at 10 on Saturdays. The auditorium is usually booked for four hours.

The Department of Computer Science will pay for the booking so respondents need not worry about that.

Dress code

The website Welcome to the public examination gives the official dress code. However, the dress code must always be discussed with the opponent.

Coffee after the defense

Respondents usually invite the guests for coffee after the public examination. The menu usually consists of tea/coffee and cake, but there are other alternatives. The respondent, or the supervisor, will pay for the coffee.

To order, see http://www.unicafe.fi. The staff of Unicafe will know which facilities are suitable for the coffee service.

Respondents must estimate the number of guests, e.g. on the basis of how many guests they have invited from outside the department, how many people at the department are interested in the topic area, how well known they are at the department, etc.

Unicafe will ask for an estimate of how long the dissertation itself will last, but they know that it can be hard to give an exact time period.

Programme of the defense

Respondents must prepare a 20-minute presentation (lectio precursoria) of their work in fairly general terms. Respondents should discuss how the dissertation progresses and how to act, etc, with their supervisor/custos beforehand. The site Welcome to the public examination describes the event and also offers some frequently used phrases.

Guiding the opponent

The supervisor/custos takes care of guiding the opponent, especially foreign ones.

The Welcome to the public examination site is a good aid for this, but the progress of the event itself, verbal cues, etc, should also be rehearsed just before the public examination. The custos will inform you how long the public examinatio will last, but may also say that most public examinations last only 2-3 hours.

It is often useful for the respondent and opponent to chat for a moment before the public examination, especially if they do not know each other at all.

Delivering of copies of the thesis

Respondents should deliver a number of copies of their thesis to the dissertation for the audience. If the theses have to be transported e.g. from Kumpula to the Main Building, you can use the internal mail service (for the return trip, too).

Organising a post-doctoral party ("karonkka")

The Welcome to the public examination website has an introduction to the 'karonkka' traditions, but every respondent may organise their own party as they see fit. You can search for suitable locations for the party, for example, on the Visit Helsinki website.

The doctoral thesis is approved by the Faculty Council of the Faculty of Science. Before the thesis approval is decided in the Faculty Council, the statements of the opponent and grading committee as well as the written statement of the doctoral candidate must be sent to the Faculty (to address sci-phd-thesis@helsinki.fi). See more detailed instructions and the link to the written statement form of the doctoral candidate on the web pages of the Faculty at Approval and grading of the dissertation.

As soon as you know, when your thesis will be approved, and you want to graduate, you must apply for the PhD Degree Diploma from the Faculty of Science. See more detailed instructions on this on the web pages of the Faculty at Graduation.