The thesis project begins with the choice of the topic. The student makes a topic proposal either before or at the beginning of the Applied Design Research course. Once the student has defined the topic, he/she prepares and processes the topic proposal in the manner instructed by the specialisation head. The specialisation head approves the topic proposal, and after that the student saves it in Wihi. Please ensure that the type of thesis is a Master's Thesis in Wihi. The head of specialisation appoints an advisor for the student’s thesis project. The supervision of the thesis can be individual or group supervision.
In the Applied Design Research course, the student prepares a thesis plan based on the topic proposal. The student saves the thesis plan in Wihi, after which the guidance process starts with the advisor. At the beginning of the guidance process, the student and the advisor go through the guidance contract together.
A thorough plan is a good starting point for the implementation of the thesis. The main features of the plan are as follows:
- Introduction: The topic of the work (problem or need) and a compact introduction of the target organisation.
- Objectives: The expected results for the organisation.
- Research questions: Which questions does the thesis answer?
- Theoretical framework: What are the previous research, theories, concepts, literature and other possible material that are essential for the work?
- Methodology: Data and tools which are used in the research and development.
- Organisation: The business unit, function or project in the organisation which is the focus of the student’s research and development (in case the thesis is commissioned by an organisation).
- Schedule: Phasing and scheduling the tasks.
- Risk assessment: Anticipation and preparedness for problem situations.
In defining the objectives and schedule, the preparation of the plan is also supported by discussions with a representative of the organisation, ie. the commissioning party. In particular, the commissioning party can help define the goals and schedule of the thesis.
If possible, the student makes a commissioning contract with the representative of the target organisation. A contract is recommended especially when the organisation is other than the student's employer. In addition, a possible research permit must be agreed with the organisation.
When Haaga-Helia is the commissioning party, the contract is always made. If Haaga-Helia is the subject of the thesis or the research is conducted for Haaga-Helia students, staff or alumni, the research must be approved in accordance with research authorization guidelines. The research authorization application will be sent to the following expert email@example.com.
When making the thesis plan, the student also familiarizes herself with research ethics (see 5. Research ethics).