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Preparing your Master's thesis

Preparing and submitting the final thesis is guided by the Dean's Provision No. 29/2010: Rules for Filing, Submitting and Publishing of Final Theses.


The Master's Thesis is an extended piece of original academic writing, with which students are expected to complete their studies. Students have some flexibility in their choice of thesis topic. Generally, a thesis topic that falls into any of the main subject areas of the programme will be acceptable, though individual thesis proposals are subject to the approval of the Head of the programme.


Although the final thesis must be your own work, each individual student will be assigned an academic who will advise and guide you in your research, especially in the early stages of the thesis. This is the Thesis Supervisor, you are encouraged to identify and propose a potential supervisor from amongst the regular teachers of the programme, according to your own interests. Your choice of supervisor is, however, subject to the approval of the Head of the programme.

Deadlines

Preparing and submitting your thesis is a two-stage process:

  1. First of all, in the very early stages of your thesis, and certainly no later than 12 months before you intend to graduate, you are expected to submit a simple 2-4 page outline of your proposed thesis, for preliminary approval by the Head of the programme. This is the so-called Thesis Project (see below for further details), and you will not be allowed to submit a final thesis unless you have previously submitted (and received approved for) the project.

  2. The thesis itself is submitted in the final semester of your studies, generally a few weeks before the date of the final exam. See below for further details of the formal requirements.

The exact deadlines for submitting your thesis project and your final thesis will vary slightly form year to year, but you will always find them in the current  Academic Calendar of the university. Generally, we will also send an announcement through our mailing list.


As a rough guide, the basic timeline is as follows, but please remember to check for specific deadlines:

  • If you plan to graduate in the summer (June): submit project in May/June of the year before you intend to graduate, submit final thesis in May.

  • If you plan to graduate in the spring (February): submit project in January/February of the year before you intend to graduate, submit final thesis in January.

Formal requirements for the Thesis project

The thesis project is a preliminary outline of your proposed thesis, which must be submitted at least one year before the thesis itself (see above). Generally it is about 2-4 pages in length, and it must include:

  1. The proposed title of you thesis

  2. The name of your supervisor

  3. A short outline of your proposed line of argument (including potential chapters) and the methodology you plan to use

  4. A bibliography of your main sources, relating to both the content and the methodology of the thesis

At this early stage, we do not expect you to go into any particular detail, but the text should be sufficiently well developed, so we can tell what your main topic is, how you plan to structure the text, and what sources you plan to use.

The project is subject to the approval of the Head of the programme, who may ask you to revise your proposal, if he thinks this is necessary. It is therefore advisable to secure the approval of the programme head, before you start writing in earnest.

Formal requirements for the Master's thesis

The thesis proper is submitted in the final semester of your studies, before you proceed to the final Master's exam (see above). When preparing your thesis, please remember that:

  1. Your thesis is an original piece of academic writing, and must fulfil all the usual standards of an academic text (bibliography, attribution of sources, etc).

  2. The text must be submitted in standard manuscript format. Use a plaint font (Times New Roman or Arial), point size 12, line spacing 1.5 or 2.

  3. The minimum length of the thesis is 70 standard manuscript pages, excluding supplements. For the purposes of calculating the length of the thesis, a standard manuscript page is taken to be 1800 keystrokes long (including spaces). Most modern word-processing packages will calculate this for you (in MS Word, use the "Word Count" menu). Pages should be numbered.

  4. Every student must submit two printed hard copies of the thesis, plus one electronic copy on CD. The hard copies must be bound (ask for a list of binders).

Contents of the thesis

Every thesis must contain the following (in this order):

  1. Title page in standard format (download here)

  2. The original Project of your Master's Thesis, as described above, signed and approved by the Head of the programme

  3. A Declaration that the thesis is your own work, signed and dated by yourself (download text here)

  4. A Contents List

  5. The main text of the thesis itself

  6. A Conclusion

  7. A 1-page Abstract summarising the contents of the thesis

  8. Full bibliography and citations

Oral defence of thesis

As part of your final exam, you will be expected to undertake an oral defence of your thesis. Prior to that, it will be independently assessed by an academic other than your thesis supervisor, who will submit a written report on the quality of the thesis. This academic is the so-called Thesis Opponent, who will also generally be present at the oral defence, and his/her report will be available in advance of the final exam. Please make sure you get a copy and read it, and prepare yourself in advance to react to his/her comments during the thesis defence.


For further details of the oral defence and other aspects of the final oral exam, please see our  Final State Examination page.

Further information about the formal requirements for the Master's thesis is also included in the  Rules for the Organisation of Studies of the university, and in  Dean´s Provision No. 3/2006, which forms a supplement to those rules.


Revised: August 2012







Your thesis



Preparing your Master's thesis

Preparing and submitting the final thesis is guided by the Dean's Provision No. 29/2010: Rules for Filing, Submitting and Publishing of Final Theses.


The Master's Thesis is an extended piece of original academic writing, with which students are expected to complete their studies. Students have some flexibility in their choice of thesis topic. Generally, a thesis topic that falls into any of the main subject areas of the programme will be acceptable, though individual thesis proposals are subject to the approval of the Head of the programme.


Although the final thesis must be your own work, each individual student will be assigned an academic who will advise and guide you in your research, especially in the early stages of the thesis. This is the Thesis Supervisor, you are encouraged to identify and propose a potential supervisor from amongst the regular teachers of the programme, according to your own interests. Your choice of supervisor is, however, subject to the approval of the Head of the programme.

Deadlines

Preparing and submitting your thesis is a two-stage process:

  1. First of all, in the very early stages of your thesis, and certainly no later than 12 months before you intend to graduate, you are expected to submit a simple 2-4 page outline of your proposed thesis, for preliminary approval by the Head of the programme. This is the so-called Thesis Project (see below for further details), and you will not be allowed to submit a final thesis unless you have previously submitted (and received approved for) the project.

  2. The thesis itself is submitted in the final semester of your studies, generally a few weeks before the date of the final exam. See below for further details of the formal requirements.

The exact deadlines for submitting your thesis project and your final thesis will vary slightly form year to year, but you will always find them in the current  Academic Calendar of the university. Generally, we will also send an announcement through our mailing list.


As a rough guide, the basic timeline is as follows, but please remember to check for specific deadlines:

  • If you plan to graduate in the summer (June): submit project in May/June of the year before you intend to graduate, submit final thesis in May.

  • If you plan to graduate in the spring (February): submit project in January/February of the year before you intend to graduate, submit final thesis in January.

Formal requirements for the Thesis project

The thesis project is a preliminary outline of your proposed thesis, which must be submitted at least one year before the thesis itself (see above). Generally it is about 2-4 pages in length, and it must include:

  1. The proposed title of you thesis

  2. The name of your supervisor

  3. A short outline of your proposed line of argument (including potential chapters) and the methodology you plan to use

  4. A bibliography of your main sources, relating to both the content and the methodology of the thesis

At this early stage, we do not expect you to go into any particular detail, but the text should be sufficiently well developed, so we can tell what your main topic is, how you plan to structure the text, and what sources you plan to use.

The project is subject to the approval of the Head of the programme, who may ask you to revise your proposal, if he thinks this is necessary. It is therefore advisable to secure the approval of the programme head, before you start writing in earnest.

Formal requirements for the Master's thesis

The thesis proper is submitted in the final semester of your studies, before you proceed to the final Master's exam (see above). When preparing your thesis, please remember that:

  1. Your thesis is an original piece of academic writing, and must fulfil all the usual standards of an academic text (bibliography, attribution of sources, etc).

  2. The text must be submitted in standard manuscript format. Use a plaint font (Times New Roman or Arial), point size 12, line spacing 1.5 or 2.

  3. The minimum length of the thesis is 70 standard manuscript pages, excluding supplements. For the purposes of calculating the length of the thesis, a standard manuscript page is taken to be 1800 keystrokes long (including spaces). Most modern word-processing packages will calculate this for you (in MS Word, use the "Word Count" menu). Pages should be numbered.

  4. Every student must submit two printed hard copies of the thesis, plus one electronic copy on CD. The hard copies must be bound (ask for a list of binders).

Contents of the thesis

Every thesis must contain the following (in this order):

  1. Title page in standard format (download here)

  2. The original Project of your Master's Thesis, as described above, signed and approved by the Head of the programme

  3. A Declaration that the thesis is your own work, signed and dated by yourself (download text here)

  4. A Contents List

  5. The main text of the thesis itself

  6. A Conclusion

  7. A 1-page Abstract summarising the contents of the thesis

  8. Full bibliography and citations

Oral defence of thesis

As part of your final exam, you will be expected to undertake an oral defence of your thesis. Prior to that, it will be independently assessed by an academic other than your thesis supervisor, who will submit a written report on the quality of the thesis. This academic is the so-called Thesis Opponent, who will also generally be present at the oral defence, and his/her report will be available in advance of the final exam. Please make sure you get a copy and read it, and prepare yourself in advance to react to his/her comments during the thesis defence.


For further details of the oral defence and other aspects of the final oral exam, please see our  Final State Examination page.

Further information about the formal requirements for the Master's thesis is also included in the  Rules for the Organisation of Studies of the university, and in  Dean´s Provision No. 3/2006, which forms a supplement to those rules.


Revised: August 2012