Students are qualified to start with the master thesis work when they have:
1. Passed all mandatory exams during the first year of the master study (at least 55 credits).
2. Participated at the exams of all three courses (15 credits) during the fall semester of the second year, and is waiting for the final grades.
3. An exemption from the requirement may be conditionally granted if one subject (5 or 10 credits) is missing at the start of the master thesis, and the missing subject is not a part of the topic of the master thesis.
The master thesis work is divided in two parts where the total allocated time is limited to about 27 weeks fulltime work. A workload of about 40 - 45 hours per week per student is expected, which means a total workload of about 1150 hours per student throughout the total working period.
If a student is going to carry out the work in cooperation with an organization abroad, the allocated time will be extended accordingly. The length of the extension has to be decided in each case.
Part I is generally an introduction to the project and counts for 1/3 of the total allocated time. It is normally a literature review especially adapted to meet the challenges within the project as well as to strengthen the competence of the candidates in the defined field. The intention is to provide the students with the adequate background, knowledge, and overview of methodologies and tools for further in-depth research in part II.
Part II is the main part of the work and counts for 2/3 of the total allocated time.
The actual supervisor is normally responsible for preparing the assignment texts for both part I and part II.
The students have to perform the master thesis work independently. The intention is that the students will gain knowledge about the craft and art of R&D. They will learn how to develop a complicated research project, how to write a scientific report, and how to plan and perform such a project within a defined time limit.
The students normally perform the work individually, but if appropriate and accepted by the actual supervisor, the work may be performed by a group of two or three students.
The scientific staff will initiate the work through suggestions of possible topics. The students are also strongly encouraged to suggest topics of their own interests, and discuss possible alternatives with the relevant professors. It is normally required that actual topics are related to one or more of the subjects included in the study program or the staff’s on-going research work.
Each student (or student group) will have one or more supervisors through the total working period, but once the project assignment is given, the students are responsible to manage the project themselves.
During the first three weeks of part II it is normally required that the students prepare a pre-study report including an analysis of the assignment, specifications of activities and work packages and a time schedule. The plan should also include milestones and agreed progress meetings with the supervisor(s) and, when relevant, the external company liaison. The plan will be used as basis for progress monitoring throughout the total working period. In some cases the pre-study report will also include a budget.
For each progress meeting the students have to prepare written status reports, which have to be reviewed and accepted by the supervisor(s).
The work with the resulting R&D report is mandatory in order to obtain the master degree. It is also provided that all the other mandatory subjects are passed.
Part I is finalized with an oral presentation of the work, and of the achieved results.
The written final report with all relevant enclosures and documentation has to be handed-in in due time. This part will be finalized with an oral presentation of the work and the achieved results.
The final report with enclosures will be assessed as a whole based on its scientific contribution as well as the possible further use of the results.
The assessment will usually focus on the following criteria: Accomplishment in accordance with the predefined assignment, academic with regard to data collection, methodology, data processing, data utilization, comments, conclusions, independency, originality, structure, outline, editing, context, style of writing, orthography, illustrations, documentation (sources, citations, and references), complexity, and workload. The grades are based on the ECTS-system: A (excellent), B (very good), C (good), D (satisfactory), E (sufficient) and F (fail).
A re-sit exam will not be arranged for this course.