Thesis and graduation
This website contains general information related to graduation and the deadlines laid down in the university´s academic calendar. More information can be found on the website of the curriculum.
AUTUMN SEMESTER 2023/24, deadlines
- Deadlines for the submission of thesis task specification and graduation thesis can be found on the website of the curriculum.
- September 11, 2023 - deadline for submission of the semester’s individual study plan, including declaration of thesis/ a final exam in the study plan.
- December 18, 2023 - deadline for submitting the application for defense of graduation thesis (in Study Information System).
- January 4, 2024 - approval of the applications for defense by the supervisor (in Study Information System).
- January 21, 2024 - end of the autumn semester.
SPRING SEMESTER 2023/24, deadlines
Deadlines for submission of thesis task specification:
- December 1, 2023 - for master´s students;
- March 1, 2024 - for bachelor´s students;
- The exact requirements and guidelines for the submission of thesis task specification can be found on the curriculum website.
Declaration of thesis in the individual study plan:
- February 5, 2024 - deadline for submission of the spring semester’s individual study plan.
Deadlines for submission of applications for defense:
- May 6, 2024 - deadline for submitting the application for defense (in Study Information System).
- May 20, 2024 - approval of the applications for defense by the supervisor (in Study Information System).
Thesis defense deadlines:
- May 30, 2024 - for graduates of joint master´s study programs;
- June 4, 2024 - for graduates of master´s studies;
- June 10, 2024 - for graduates of bachelor´s studies,
NB! These are not dates of thesis defenses (although they may concord).
- June 12, 2024 - end of the spring semester;
- June 19 - June 28, 2024 - period of graduation ceremonies;
- June 30, 2023 - end of the academic year.
Submission of application for establishment of restrictions to the publication of the graduation thesis
- The application for a restriction on access to the thesis (including closed defense) shall be submitted together with the thesis task specification/project or when the need for such restriction becomes clear.
- As a rule, the defenses of the thesis at the School of IT take place in public meetings, a closed defense is only permitted in justified exceptional cases.
- The application should be addressed to the Dean, and submitted to the assistant to the program manager.
- The application shall be drafted in a free format and shall include the following: an explanation from the institution/company of the need for the restriction (preferably a formal letter), the term of restriction on access and permission to publish a summary of the thesis in the digital collection of the library. An application may consist of several documents.
- The application must be signed by all parties involved, i.e. the author, the supervisor of the thesis and the representative of the institution/company.
Submission of the application for defense of graduation thesis
- Ensure that the title of the thesis is correctly written in both English and Estonian. In case of changes, contact the Dean´s office.
Submission of thesis
- Information about the deadlines for submission can be found on the curriculum webpage.
- Persons to whom thesis is to be submitted, shall by determined by program managers. Information can be found on the curriculum website.
- Thesis, which has restrictions in regards of publication, is forwarded directly to the assigned person (i.e. not uploaded to any website).
- Thesis must be formatted in accordance with the thesis formatting requirements of the School of Information Technologies.
Check the fulfilment of graduation criteria
- Contact the Dean´s office and make sure that all the criteria for graduation are fulfilled (all the courses have been completed and grades received, internship recognized, the curriculum has been completed according to the specialization, bills paid etc.), so that there are no obstacles for defending the thesis.
- Thesis defenses will take place on the dates set by the defense committees. Information about defense dates can be found on the curriculum website.
- As a rule the defense of the thesis is public, this means that third parties can also participate in defense, and the defense can be broadcast online.
After thesis defense
- Before the graduation ceremony, give a signature to the register book of diplomas in the Dean´s office.
Choose a topic that interests you and which offers an in-depth exploration challenge. When choosing a topic, try to formulate the subject field that interests you, get acquainted with the enterprises engaged in the topics/the subject field and with the topics proposed by the department, also consult the potential supervisors.
If you have chosen the topic of your thesis independently from the supervisor, you should find a supervisor engaged in the relevant field. A thesis may be supervised by two supervisors, from which at least one shall be a member of the TalTech academic staff (incl. PhD students). If the principal supervisor is from outside TalTech, find a co-supervisor from TalTech. If the supervisor is from another TalTech school or department, consent of the study program manager is required.
In order to gather inspiration for a thesis topic, it is worth to check previously defended theses, it will also give an idea of the degree of complexity of the theses.
Students' theses are available at the TalTech digital library.
Where to start?
When writing the thesis, start from the table of contents. First determine the structure of the thesis, then fill it with content. Compiling of the introduction and summary should be the last steps. You can change the title of the thesis until submission of an application for defense, so do not worry about the wording of the title too much at the initial stage of the thesis.
It is worthwhile to prepare a time schedule with important milestones.
X: Deadline for submission of the thesis
X-1 week: additional time for unexpected activities
X-2 weeks: submission of the thesis to the supervisor for a final review
X-1 month: initial version of the thesis
Note that there is always one day short! Plan your thesis-related activities so that they would be completed a day before the actual deadline. Then forget about the extra day, since there will be no extra day in reality, when the deadline arrives.
When writing the thesis make a list of problems that need to be solved and mark the time commitment expected after each problem (e.g. write an introduction to chapter X (2h), design the circuit (6h), etc.). Such an approach helps to commence work and stick to the schedule and to be conscious of time as a resource.
Working through the material
Immediately make a summary of appropriate and interesting materials in the right place of the final document. You can formulate it into a comprehensive text later. Such notes can always be rearranged, supplemented or deleted, if necessary. Do not forget to supplement the list of references at the same time. Retracing a reference or an article later may prove to be more complicated than it seems at first.
Searching for materials
To search for scientific articles use CiteSeer, Google Scholar and the databases that can be accessed from the TalTech network (these are paid databases if accessed from outside the TalTech network; however, with access authorisation, the TalTech network can be accessed from outside the university as well).
Also follow the references at the end of the articles, you will often find good material on your topic.
Create regular backups of your files
Make sure to create regular backups of your files. Discs and people may act unreasonably after 48-hour workdays. For example Dropbox, OneDrive or a backup disc is suitable for simple backup.
When the writing is not progressing
When the list of activities is constantly increasing, the writing is not progressing and depression tends to take over, perhaps some tips will help.
Go and watch another defense before your defense date. Being aware of how the whole process looks like makes you calm and increases your self-confidence.
Course of the academic defense day
First the floor will be taken by the chairman of the defense committee, who will give a brief overview of the upcoming day and introduce the members of the committee. The chairman of the committee will introduce each defense speech separately.
Each student's defense procedure includes the following:
- Defense speech (presentation) - 10 - 15 minutes in case of master´s thesis (length of the defense speech is set by the department).
- Questions to the defender - 5-10 minutes
- Questions of the reviewer (in case of master´s thesis)
- Questions of the committee
- Questions from the audience
- Supervisor´s opinion
- Closing remarks by the defender (as a rule, gratitude is expressed to the supervisors and everyone, who provided assistance in writing the thesis).
The committee makes a decision
After the last defense speech the committee will stay in the room to make their decision. The results will be disclosed on the same day, in 10-30 minutes.
Uniform requirements for thesis preparation are effective at the School of Information Technologies. The author guidelines and formatting requirements for theses preparation can be downloaded as a single PDF-document or as a part of author's toolkit (updated 08.01.2021), which contains the following:
- Author guidelines and formatting requirements for thesis preparation;
- MS Word templates for thesis formatting;
- LibreOffice template for thesis formatting.
LaTeX template for thesis formatting (See also the author guidelines and formatting requirements for thesis preparation)