Postgraduate student has usually two supervisors. The supervision relations are made official by the Faculty Council. The supervising professor is a doctor, professor, or docent working for the faculty who gives the statement of admission to postgraduate studies and advises the postgraduate student in issues related to the doctoral dissertation work. The postgraduate student may propose suitable supervisors and the student will be heard when the supervisor is being selected. A main supervisor will be nominated for the research. He or she is responsible for the instruction and postgraduate studies as a whole. It is good practice that the supervisors agree on their division of responsibilities.

The postgraduate studies supervision includes 1) introducing the research on yearly basis in the postgraduate seminar until the research manuscript is ready, 2) appointments, discussions and other contacts with the supervisor and 3) presenting the research in the postgraduate seminar when it is ready for pre-examination.

Research will be presented in national and international seminars and conferences whenever possible. Feedback from presentation, articles and posters should be considered as part of supervision and instruction. In addition postgraduate students are offered opportunity to join research projects, groups and networks.

The postgraduate student is not only the object of instruction but also responsible for the progress of the work, and he/she must also provide information to the instructor. The postgraduate has the right to inquire and to receive comments from the supervisors, and he/she is responsible for keeping the supervisors updated on the progress of the research work. The supervisor is committed to further the research work of the postgraduate student and to give guidance on its contents. The supervisors also take care of quality assurance and the validity for pre-examination.

Since the thesis is a piece of a researcher’s independent work the decisions are to be made by the researcher him/herself. Postgraduate students are encouraged to keep research journal to

The work of both the instructor and the instructed is governed by research-ethical rules. Consequently, the parties must respect each other’s professionalism and keep all ideas, unfinished papers and comments confidential. Research ethics also call for precision in reference practices and protection of the originality of one’s own text. Further, it includes consideration for those who have contributed to the text and research. Ideas move in both directions in an instructional relationship.

The instructional relations can be changed officially at the request of the postgraduate student or the instructor if the subject or its focus changes during the research process or if the instructional relationship does not work. The new instructional relationship is declared official in a similar way as the previous one.

See Recommendations for Thesis Instruction Practice at the University of Lapland

A supervision agreement is made for thesis supervision. It defines the responsibilities, duties, and commitment of the supervisor(s) and student as well as other noteworthy issues.


All those admitted to study for a postgraduate degree must make a personal postgraduate study plan (PSP) together with the process supervisor. The PSP is mandatory. The process is implemented as follows:

  1. The PSP instructions and forms are available online
  2. The student stays in touch with the process supervisor with whom he or she make the PSP. The PSP defines how the student will complete the postgraduate studies required by curricula and possible supplementary studies and how the personal research work is carried forward. The PSP must also have a schedule for the completion of studies. The postgraduate student’s personal learning objectives can also be discussed in the PSP.
  3. The student sends the PSP, signed by both parties, to the Chief of Administration within three months from the approval of the postgraduate study right.

Postgraduate students report their progress annually by updating the PSP with their process supervisor by the end of September. The updated PSP shall contain the study plans for the following academic year and the realization of the plans of the previous years. The PSP also describes the progress of the dissertation.