Degree Regulations on Licentiate and Doctoral Studies in the Field

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16.2.2016
Approved on 29 January 2013 in the Faculty Board meeting of the Faculty of
Business Studies
1
Degree Regulations on Licentiate and Doctoral Studies in the Field of Business Studies
Degrees and studies as well as teaching and students in the field of Business Studies at the
Faculty of Business Studies and the Faculty of Technology are governed by the
Universities Act (558/2009), Act on the implementation of the Universities Act (559/2009)
and the following Decrees and Acts, as amended: Government Decree on University
Degrees (794/2004), Decree on the System of Higher Education Degrees (464/1998), and
University of Vaasa Degree Ordinance. These Regulations supplement and specify the
above mentioned acts as regards doctoral and licentiate studies. The Faculty Board at the
Faculty of Business Studies approves the Regulations. The Faculty Board or the Dean may
specify the regulations or instructions on completing degrees at the Faculty of Business
Studies.
Aims of Scientific Postgraduate Education
The aim of postgraduate education is that the student (Section 21 of Government Decree
on University Degrees):
 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;
 becomes conversant with the development, basic problems and research methods of
his/her own field of research; and
 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.
By completing the Doctoral Programme in Business Studies or the Doctoral Programme in
Technical Sciences, the doctoral candidates are awarded Doctor of Science in Economics
and Business Administration or Doctor of Philosophy degrees which enable them to work
in demanding expert, research or management positions.
Organisation of Scientific Postgraduate Education
The Faculty of Business Studies organises scientific postgraduate education in the Doctoral
Programme in Business Studies. Scientific postgraduate education in the field of Business
Studies in the Faculty of Technology is organised as part of the Doctoral Programme in
Technical Sciences.
The major subjects in licentiate and doctorate degrees may be the following:
Faculty of Business Studies:
1) Business Administration: Management and Organisation
2) Business Administration: Accounting and Finance
3) Business Administration: Marketing
16.2.2016
Approved on 29 January 2013 in the Faculty Board meeting of the Faculty of
Business Studies
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4) Economics
5) Business Law
Faculty of Technology:
1) Computer Science
2) Industrial Management
3) Business Mathematics
4) Statistics
Curricula of Licentiate and Doctoral Studies
Education leading to a degree must be arranged in a way that full-time students have the
possibility to gain their doctorate degrees in four (4) years and licentiate degrees in two
and a half (2.5) years.
As a rule, the curricula for licentiate and doctoral studies are confirmed for two years at a
time.
Personal Study Plan
The accepted student and his/her supervisor confirm the personal study plan and agree in
writing on the main principles of supervision for the doctoral studies. The study plan is
updated annually. The department responsible for the major subject, study administration
at the faculty, and the Graduate School of the University of Vaasa regularly follow the
students’ progress in studies.
Full-time and Part-time Students
All active licentiate and doctoral students are registered at the Graduate School of the
University of Vaasa. The personal study plan can be confirmed for either 4 years (full-time
doctoral students) or 6 years (part-time doctoral students). The guidance and other
resources at the University are targeted mainly at full-time doctoral students.
A student is not considered an active doctoral student if the student has not completed any
studies nor prepared any publications or presented their research in research seminars,
tutorials, or conferences within the past two years.
Study Right for Doctoral Studies
A person admitted to doctoral studies is granted a study right for a Doctor of Science in
Economics and Business Administration degree. A person admitted to a Doctor of Science
in Economics and Business Administration degree may take a Licentiate of Science in
Economics and Business Administration degree after completing all the courses required
by the Faculty for the postgraduate studies. Licentiate thesis is part of the licentiate degree.
16.2.2016
Approved on 29 January 2013 in the Faculty Board meeting of the Faculty of
Business Studies
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Students may also complete a Doctor of Philosophy degree at the Faculty. General studies
in the field of business studies are not required in the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Student
admitted to a Doctor of Philosophy degree cannot complete a Licentiate of Philosophy
degree before the doctorate degree.
Admissions
Students are admitted to the Doctoral Programme in Business Studies or the Doctoral
Programme in Technical Sciences. Through the admission, they are also registered at the
Graduate School of the University of Vaasa.
According to the admission process of the Graduate School, doctoral students are selected
to the programmes two times per an academic year.
Eligibility for Doctoral Studies
Eligible for studies leading to an academic postgraduate degree shall be a person who has
completed
 an applicable higher university degree
 an applicable polytechnic degree or
 an applicable education completed abroad which in the awarding country gives
eligibility for corresponding higher education.
The university may require a student admitted to study for an academic postgraduate
degree to complete the necessary supplementary studies in order to acquire the knowledge
and skills needed for the studies (Section 37 of Universities Act 558/2009). If the amount
of required supplementary studies exceeds 30 ECTS when evaluating the applicant’s
eligibility for postgraduate studies, the previous degree is not considered applicable when
applying for a Doctor of Science in Economics and Business Administration degree.
Admission Criteria
The doctoral student candidates are required to have adequate basic knowledge and
research capabilities in the study field of their dissertation.
The applicants should have completed their previous degrees with at least the grade ‘Good’
and have been awarded the grade ‘Good’ or higher for their Master’s thesis (grade ‘Good’,
3/5 or other equivalent grade). In special cases, additional studies supplementing the
awarded grade or other qualifying study attainments may be taken into account in the
admission process.
The applicants should also have adequate language proficiency to complete their studies.
Proof of language proficiency should be attached to the application.
Applicant’s study and research plan and the available resources of the unit providing the
supervision and courses for doctorate degrees are also taken into account in the admission
process. The topic of the applicant’s research must relate to the topics of the research
16.2.2016
Approved on 29 January 2013 in the Faculty Board meeting of the Faculty of
Business Studies
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groups in the Doctoral Programme in Business Studies or the Doctoral Programme in
Technical Sciences.
Applicants who have not finished their Master's degree by the application deadline may
apply for conditional admission to the doctoral programme during the final year of their
studies if deemed appropriate. If the applicant is selected to pursue doctoral studies in the
programme, they are required to submit a copy of their degree certificate to the university
before the study right begins.
The Dean grants study rights for doctoral students based on a statement by the
management group of the doctoral programme. For the acceptance as a licentiate or
doctoral student, it is required that the student fulfils the above mentioned admission
criteria, the department responsible for the major subject studies approves the granting of a
study right, and accepts the research plan and the personal study plan.
A primary supervisor and possible other supervisors are appointed to each student if their
applications are successful. At least one of the supervisors should be a professor or have
the qualifications of a professor or docent.
Scope and Components of Doctorate Degrees
Full-time students can complete their doctorate degrees in four years.
Doctorate degree consists of:
 General and Method Studies,
 Studies in the discipline (Major Subject Studies) and studies in the research area,
 Optional Studies
 Dissertation.
The scope, contents and methods of completing the doctorate degrees are determined in
detail in the curricula of the doctorate and licentiate degrees.
Assessing the Studies
Studies are assessed as Pass/Fail. Passed studies may also be assessed with a five-step
grading scale from 1 to 5 in which 1 = sufficient, 2 = satisfactory, 3 = good, 4 = very good,
and 5 = excellent.
The assessment of doctoral and licentiate theses is described below.
Students may request for rectification of the assessment of their studies or theses.
Rectification process is described in detail in the Degree Ordinance of the University of
Vaasa.
16.2.2016
Approved on 29 January 2013 in the Faculty Board meeting of the Faculty of
Business Studies
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Degree Certificates
Upon application, the Dean awards a student a certificate of the completed degree. A
Diploma Supplement intended especially for international use is attached to the degree
certificate.
The degree certificate awarded for licentiate degree specifies the title of licentiate thesis
and grade of the major subject as well as grades of possible minor subjects.
The degree certificate awarded for doctorate degree specifies the title of the dissertation
and its grade, and the discipline of dissertation.
A degree which has been taught and studied in a language other than Finnish or Swedish
shall be given an English degree title listed in the Appendix of Degree 794/2004. If the
dissertation has been written and defended in public in English, the student completing the
doctorate degree will upon request be given a degree certificate both in Finnish and in
English.
Completion of Doctoral and Licentiate Studies
Doctorate Degree
According to the Government Decree (794/2004), the aim of the doctorate degree is that
the student becomes well-versed in his/her own field of study, demonstrates independent
and critical thinking in the field of research, and gains knowledge and skills needed to
produce new scientific knowledge.
To complete a doctorate degree, a student must complete the courses and other studies
required for the scientific doctorate degree, prepare a dissertation, and defend the
dissertation in public.
Dissertation
Dissertation is a research which is based on independent scientific work, and it is
submitted to public examination in the public defence of a dissertation.
The Forms and Requirements of Doctorate Dissertations in the Doctoral Programme
in Business Studies
In the Doctoral Programme in Business Studies, the dissertation submitted for the Doctor
of Science in Economics and Business Administration degree or the Doctor of Philosophy
degree may be a monograph or a so-called article-based doctoral dissertation. The articlebased doctoral dissertation may consist of articles or essays.
16.2.2016
Approved on 29 January 2013 in the Faculty Board meeting of the Faculty of
Business Studies
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Article-based Doctoral Dissertation
An article-based doctoral dissertation is a publication consisting of an introduction and at
least three (3) already published articles or articles accepted for publication. The articles
briefly present and discuss the joint research problem or problems. The articles must be
published or accepted for publication in a publication which has been awarded at least a
level one (1) Publication Forum classification.
The publication intended to be a doctoral thesis must consist of a summary of the articles
presenting the research problem, objectives, methods, material, results and conclusions, as
well the position in and contribution to the research area.
The doctoral candidate must be the sole author of at least one (1) of the articles. An
article-based doctorate dissertation may also consist of joint publications if the independent
contribution of the doctoral candidate can be clearly indicated in them. In case of joint
publications, the doctoral candidate must submit a written statement of his/her independent
contribution when the manuscript intended to be a doctorate dissertation is submitted for
pre-examination. The statement must contain an approval from the other authors. In
justified cases, the same article may also be used in another doctorate dissertation.
Essay-based Doctorate Dissertation
An essay-based doctorate dissertation consists of an introduction and at least four scientific
manuscripts presenting and discussing the joint research question or questions. The
manuscripts must be independent unities which can be published and may be submitted to
a distinguished refereed publication. The essays must have been presented in applicable
conferences or workshops of the discipline.
The publication intended to be a doctorate dissertation must consist a summary of the
articles presenting the research problem, objectives, methods, material, results and
conclusions, as well the position in and contribution to the research area.
The doctoral candidate must be the sole author of at least one section of the essay-based
doctorate dissertation. An essay-based doctorate dissertation may consist of joint
publications if the independent contribution of the doctoral candidate can be clearly
indicated in them. In this case the doctoral candidate must submit a written statement of
his/her independent contribution when the manuscript intended to be a doctorate
dissertation is submitted for pre-examination. The statement must contain an approval from
the other authors. In justified cases, the same essay may also be used in another doctorate
dissertation.
Regardless of the type, the doctorate dissertation is always evaluated based on the entire
dissertation.
16.2.2016
Approved on 29 January 2013 in the Faculty Board meeting of the Faculty of
Business Studies
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Submitting the Dissertation to Examination
The dissertation may be submitted to examination when the appointed supervisor(s)
approves commencing the pre-examination process. The doctoral dissertation manuscript
submitted for pre-examination must be carefully prepared as per the instructions and
grammatically impeccable.
As a rule, the doctorate studies specified in the study plan must be recorded to the student’s
register before commencing the pre-examination process.
Pre-examination and Right to Defend the Dissertation in Public
Three copies of the work that is intended to be a dissertation must be left to the Faculty for
pre-examination.
The appointed instructor(s) will present justified suggestion for pre-examiners to the
Faculty. After hearing the department, the Faculty Board appoints at least two preexaminers for the research. The pre-examiners must be appointed from outside the Faculty.
The instructors of the dissertation may not act as pre-examiners. The pre-examiners must
have the qualifications of a professor or docent, or have a doctorate degree and expertise in
the field of the dissertation.
Provisions on disqualification are enacted in Section 27 and 28 of Administrative
Procedure Act (434/2003). Doctoral candidate is reserved the right to give a statement
about the possible disqualification of pre-examiner before the decision is made by the
Faculty Board.
The Faculty Board grants a permission to publish the dissertation. The permission is valid
for six (6) months.
Pre-examiners are asked to give a written statement on whether or not they consider the
research to have such scientific value that a permission to defend the dissertation in public
can be granted. Their statement on granting a permission to publish the research cannot be
conditional. Pre-examiners are required to make their statements within three (3) months of
the request.
The pre-examination statement of a dissertation comprising articles and essays should
evaluate if the articles and their summary constitute the kind of entity which can be
recommended as a dissertation.
In addition, the content of articles must be evaluated even if they have been previously
published in scientific publications which evaluated the content as well.
If the preliminary examination is cancelled or the Faculty Board does not grant a right for
the public defence of the dissertation, a doctoral candidate may ask for a new preexamination only after the corrections stated in the declining statement or other alterations
have been made to the dissertation, and the instructor of the work recommends that the preexamination process should commence.
16.2.2016
Approved on 29 January 2013 in the Faculty Board meeting of the Faculty of
Business Studies
8
Statements by the pre-examiners are submitted to the doctoral candidate. The candidate is
reserved the right to make a statement of defence concerning the pre-examiners’
statements.
Appointing Opponents and Custos
The public defence of a dissertation must be organised within six months of granting the
permission to publish the dissertation. When the permission to publish the dissertation has
been granted, the Faculty Board appoints one or two opponents to examine the dissertation
and a professor or docent of the University of Vaasa to act as a Custos in the dissertation
proceedings. The opponent must be a professor or docent or have other verified scientific
qualifications.
Provisions on disqualification are enacted in Section 27 and 28 of Administrative
Procedure Act (434/2003). Doctoral candidate is reserved the right to give a statement
about the possible disqualification of opponent before the decision is made by the Faculty
Board.
Publishing, Printing and Distributing the Dissertation
Before the public examination of the dissertation, the doctoral candidate must hand in
50 copies of the dissertation to the University by submitting the copies to the information
desk. Dissertation must be available online in pdf format no later than on the day when it is
put in public display at least 10 days before the public defence of the dissertation. If the
dissertation is not published in electronic form, instructions given by the Publication
Committee are to be followed. In case of a dissertation comprising separate publications,
Faculty Board may determine how many copies of complete dissertation including all
publications must be submitted to the Faculty. Dissertation must be available at the
information desk at least 10 days before the examination
Opponent’s Statement
The opponent appointed by the Faculty Board must submit a written statement on the
dissertation within 30 days of the public defence. The statement must contain a justified
evaluation of the scientific value of the dissertation and state if the objectives have been
achieved. The defending must also be evaluated. In addition, the statement must contain a
suggestion for a grade.
The doctoral candidate is reserved the right to make a statement of defence concerning the
opponent’s statement.
Grading Committee
The Faculty Board appoints a Grading Committee to approve the doctorate dissertation and
to suggest a grade for it.
16.2.2016
Approved on 29 January 2013 in the Faculty Board meeting of the Faculty of
Business Studies
9
Detailed account of the Grading Committee is given in Section 13 of University
Regulations.
The doctoral candidate is reserved the right to comment on the composition of the Grading
Committee.
The Custos convenes the Committee which nominates the Chair among the members with
the right to vote. The supervisor has the right to attend the meetings and to be heard by the
Committee but does not have the right to vote.
The Grading Committee makes a suggestion on accepting the dissertation and on its
grading. The suggestion must be made within 30 days of the public defence of the
doctorate dissertation.
The activities of the Grading Committee are governed by separate instructions.
Grading Scale and Application
The dissertations are given a grade based on the following scale: Pass with Distinction,
Pass, or Fail.
Pass with Distinction
The work contributes to the research area significantly. In his/her doctoral dissertation as
well as in the public defence of the dissertation, the doctoral candidate has proven that s/he
has become well-versed in his/her own field of research and its social significance and has
gained knowledge and skills needed to apply scientific research methods independently
and critically and to produce new scientific knowledge within his/her field of research.
Pass
The work’s contribution to the research area meets the requirements of an acceptable
doctoral dissertation. In his/her doctoral dissertation as well as in the public defence of the
dissertation, the doctoral candidate has proven that s/he has become well-versed in his/her
own field of research and its social significance and has gained knowledge and skills
needed to apply scientific research methods independently and critically and to produce
new scientific knowledge within his/her field of research.
Fail
Shortcomings are evident in most of the following areas: unclear objective and limitations;
contribution of the work is not evident; there are serious shortcomings/problems both in
the theoretical framework and in the empirical part; critical analysis by the author is
missing or is very limited; main concepts and/or basic justifications for the choices made in
the work are either not defined or are very limited and/or problematic.
16.2.2016
Approved on 29 January 2013 in the Faculty Board meeting of the Faculty of
Business Studies
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Regardless of the form, the dissertation is always evaluated based on the entire
dissertation.
Approving the Doctoral Dissertation
The Dean confirms the grade of the dissertation.
Licentiate of Science in Economics and Business Administration degree
A student admitted to postgraduate studies may be granted a licentiate degree after s/he has
completed the required studies of the degree and written a licentiate thesis. The scope,
contents and methods of completing scientific postgraduate degrees are determined in the
curricula of the doctoral and licentiate studies.
In a licentiate thesis, the student shall demonstrate good conversance with the field of
research and the capability of independent and critical scientific thinking.
Licentiate thesis may also be a monograph or a publication composed of several
publications.
At least two (2) scientific publications or manuscripts accepted for publication and their
abstract which states the research question, objective, methods and results or some other
work meeting the scientific criteria may also be accepted as a licentiate thesis. The
manuscripts must be published or accepted for publication in a publication which has been
awarded at least a level one (1) Publication Forum classification.
The licentiate candidate must be the sole author of at least one (1) of the publications.
Publications may include joint publications if the contribution of the licentiate candidate to
the work can be clearly indicated. The researcher must submit a written clarification of
his/her role in the joint publication when submitting the manuscript for evaluation. The
clarification must include an approval from the other authors.
Regardless of the form, the licentiate thesis is always evaluated based on the entire thesis.
Evaluating and Grading the Licentiate Thesis
The work which is intended to be a licentiate thesis is submitted according to the faculty’s
instructions. Based on the recommendation of the instructor for the licentiate thesis and
after hearing the responsible person of the department, the Dean appoints at least two
examiners of which at least one must be from outside the university. An examiner must
have a doctorate degree or equivalent scientific qualifications and expertise in the research
area of the licentiate thesis. The instructor cannot act as an examiner.
Provisions on disqualification are enacted in Sections 27 to 30 of Administrative Procedure
Act (434/2003).
16.2.2016
Approved on 29 January 2013 in the Faculty Board meeting of the Faculty of
Business Studies
11
After the examiners have been nominated, the instructor agrees on the time of the
examination event and other practical matters related to the examination with the student
and examiners.
The research is examined in a public event. For public distribution purposes, 20 copies of
the research are submitted to the faculty. For public examination, the licentiate thesis must
be in public display for 10 days before the examination. Licentiate thesis must be saved
electronically in pdf format to Tritonia database.
A justified written statement on the licentiate thesis must be submitted by the examiners to
the Faculty within 30 days of the public examination. In their statement the examiners
suggest either approving or not approving the research. The Dean takes the decision on
approving the licentiate thesis based on the written statement of the examiners. Before
taking the decision, the licentiate candidate is reserved the right to make a statement of
defence against the statement made by the examiners.
The candidate may apply for rectification of the evaluation to the Degree Committee in
writing within 14 days from the date when notice of the decision was served.
Grading Scale for Licentiate Thesis
Grading scale applied in a licentiate thesis is Pass/Fail.
Rectification of the Evaluation
The researcher may apply for rectification of the evaluation to the Degree Committee
within 14 days from the date when notice of the decision was served.
The Dean determines faculty specific details related to the public defence of the
dissertation, such as the date and time of the public defence as well as the language used.
Expiration of Study Attainments
The expiration of study attainments is defined in the curricula.
Entry into Force and Transfer Regulations
If needed, the Faculty Board gives further instructions on applying these Regulations.
The Degree Regulations come into force as of 1 August 2013 and repeal the previous
Degree Regulations on postgraduate studies in the faculty (approved on 1 October 2010).
Doctoral students enrolled before 1 August 2013 may comply with the previous Degree
Regulations until 31 July 2014. However, the grading scale shall be applied to all doctoral
students as of 1 August 2013.
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