Your final exam
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Oral examination

All Master's degree programmes at Czech universities are completed by a Final State Examination. Unlike the equivalent exam at many English-speaking universities, at the Faculty of Social Sciences the final exam is always an oral examination - instead of writing a paper or answering questions in writing, you will be expected to undertake an oral (spoken) defence of your thesis, as well as answering oral questions from your examiners.

Final exams are generally held twice per year, at the end of each semester (late January/early February and June). Students are examined individually by a committee of 3 or more examiners. Each exam lasts about 40-45 minutes.

Composition of the examination committee

The Examination Committee is made up of a minimum of three academics, and the composition is as follows:

  1. The Head of the Programme (always present).

  2. Two other professors from the Programme

  3. An external examiner (sometimes, but not always present).

  4. Your Thesis Opponent (sometimes, but not always present), see the Master´s Thesis page for details.

  5. Occasionally, an additional professor may be invited as a guest.

   

In addition, an exam administrator will be present, generally the programme assistant. The administrator is not part of the Examination Committee. She does not ask any questions and does not award any grades. His/her role is simply to ensure that administrative procedures run smoothly.

What happens at the Final State Exam?

The Final State Examination breaks down into three parts: the Thesis Defence, and two additional questions relating to topics from the programme.


The Thesis Defence lasts about 15-20 minutes. As part of the defence you will be expected to speak briefly about the main points of your thesis, and to answer questions from your examiners. Clearly, given that you will be summarising your own work, it is perfectly acceptable for you to prepare what you are going to say in advance (indeed, it is advisable to do so). However, you cannot take previously prepared notes into the examination.


For the two additional questions, early in the last semester you will be issued with a list of about 35 broad thematic topics from the programme, on which the final exam will be based. These are the topics you should revise when you prepare for the exam.

At the exam itself, you will be asked to draw two topics (of the 35) out of a hat, and you will then be given approximately 30 minutes to prepare some comments on the topics you have selected. When your 30 minutes are up, you will be invited to speak to the committee, who will first of all hear your thesis defence, and then your comments on the two topics. Your comments on each topic should take about 10 minutes, and the examiners may ask you additional questions and/or ask you to expand on any points they feel lack clarity.


During this part of the exam, including the 30-minute preparation period, you are allowed to make notes, and you are allowed to take any notes you have made on the spot into the examination. However, you are not allowed to use any books during the preparation period, or any notes you have made previously, or any electronic sources (Wi-Fi, tablet, smartphone, etc.)

Administrative procedures before taking the Final State Exam

Please note that there are a number of administrative steps you must take before you will be allowed to proceed to the Final State Exam. They are:

  1. Upload an electronic copy of your Master's Thesis in a .pdf format to SIS and deliver two bound copies of your Master's Thesis to the relevant Institute secretariat (either Jinonice or Opletalova building) by the appropriate deadline (see this Master´s Thesis page for details).

  2. Online registration for final state exams, i.e. register for final state exams including your thesis defence via SIS - see the detailed instructions here.

  3. Only students of Economics - namely programmes BEF and MEF in old acreditation, i.e. students enrolled till 2014 (academic year 2014/2015) fill in the Application Form for the Final State Examination, and deliver it to relevant Institute secretariat together with your thesis. You will need two copies of the Application form.

  4. Check with the Student Services Officer whether your professors have recorded all your grades from all the classes you have taken, and if they have not, take steps in good time to get the missing grades recorded.

   


Your participation in the exam is conditional on your fulfilling all four of these steps.


Revised: October 2014







Your final exam



Oral examination

All Master's degree programmes at Czech universities are completed by a Final State Examination. Unlike the equivalent exam at many English-speaking universities, at the Faculty of Social Sciences the final exam is always an oral examination - instead of writing a paper or answering questions in writing, you will be expected to undertake an oral (spoken) defence of your thesis, as well as answering oral questions from your examiners.

Final exams are generally held twice per year, at the end of each semester (late January/early February and June). Students are examined individually by a committee of 3 or more examiners. Each exam lasts about 40-45 minutes.

Composition of the examination committee

The Examination Committee is made up of a minimum of three academics, and the composition is as follows:

  1. The Head of the Programme (always present).

  2. Two other professors from the Programme

  3. An external examiner (sometimes, but not always present).

  4. Your Thesis Opponent (sometimes, but not always present), see the Master´s Thesis page for details.

  5. Occasionally, an additional professor may be invited as a guest.

   

In addition, an exam administrator will be present, generally the programme assistant. The administrator is not part of the Examination Committee. She does not ask any questions and does not award any grades. His/her role is simply to ensure that administrative procedures run smoothly.

What happens at the Final State Exam?

The Final State Examination breaks down into three parts: the Thesis Defence, and two additional questions relating to topics from the programme.


The Thesis Defence lasts about 15-20 minutes. As part of the defence you will be expected to speak briefly about the main points of your thesis, and to answer questions from your examiners. Clearly, given that you will be summarising your own work, it is perfectly acceptable for you to prepare what you are going to say in advance (indeed, it is advisable to do so). However, you cannot take previously prepared notes into the examination.


For the two additional questions, early in the last semester you will be issued with a list of about 35 broad thematic topics from the programme, on which the final exam will be based. These are the topics you should revise when you prepare for the exam.

At the exam itself, you will be asked to draw two topics (of the 35) out of a hat, and you will then be given approximately 30 minutes to prepare some comments on the topics you have selected. When your 30 minutes are up, you will be invited to speak to the committee, who will first of all hear your thesis defence, and then your comments on the two topics. Your comments on each topic should take about 10 minutes, and the examiners may ask you additional questions and/or ask you to expand on any points they feel lack clarity.


During this part of the exam, including the 30-minute preparation period, you are allowed to make notes, and you are allowed to take any notes you have made on the spot into the examination. However, you are not allowed to use any books during the preparation period, or any notes you have made previously, or any electronic sources (Wi-Fi, tablet, smartphone, etc.)

Administrative procedures before taking the Final State Exam

Please note that there are a number of administrative steps you must take before you will be allowed to proceed to the Final State Exam. They are:

  1. Upload an electronic copy of your Master's Thesis in a .pdf format to SIS and deliver two bound copies of your Master's Thesis to the relevant Institute secretariat (either Jinonice or Opletalova building) by the appropriate deadline (see this Master´s Thesis page for details).

  2. Online registration for final state exams, i.e. register for final state exams including your thesis defence via SIS - see the detailed instructions here.

  3. Only students of Economics - namely programmes BEF and MEF in old acreditation, i.e. students enrolled till 2014 (academic year 2014/2015) fill in the Application Form for the Final State Examination, and deliver it to relevant Institute secretariat together with your thesis. You will need two copies of the Application form.

  4. Check with the Student Services Officer whether your professors have recorded all your grades from all the classes you have taken, and if they have not, take steps in good time to get the missing grades recorded.

   


Your participation in the exam is conditional on your fulfilling all four of these steps.


Revised: October 2014