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Graduation policy
EEMCS MSc-graduation policy v10, October 11, 2010. Textual improvements (v12) 2011 March, 23; (v13) April 12, 2012, 2012 July 04 (v14)
Status: Approved by Directors of Studies (ODIR) EEMCS, October 11, 2010, with recommendations by Board of Examiners, November 4, 2010.
Adaptations in Thesis Evaluation (v13) p 8, approved by Directors of Studies (ODIR) EEMCS, April 11, 2012.
Renewed procedures 20120704v14 Effective from 1 September 2012
MSc GRADUATION POLICY
FACULTY ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING, MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTER SCIENCE 1
The MSc graduation policy is written under the authority of the Board of Examiners and aims to
harmonise the different graduation practices at the 5 EEMCS Master programmes.
This policy documents the definitions, objectives, procedures, starting requirements and the assessment
criteria of a Master thesis. It is written firstly for the use by students, but is also meant for other users:

for the student and thesis advisor: to get an answer on the what, when and how questions;

for the members of the thesis committee: to know which criteria are to be used in order to grade
the thesis;

for the members of Board of Examiners: to monitor thesis grades and procedures, in order to
guarantee that final qualifications are met in a reliable and valid way.
This policy and all necessary documents are published on the EEMCS website:
http://studenten.tudelft.nl/en/eemcs/ > Graduation
To promote the usability of this policy document, all actions are turned into checklists for different users.
These checklists are published for the thesis advisor, the thesis committee and the Board of Examiners
on the https://blackboard.tudelft.nl Organisation: ”Docenten EWI” / MSc graduation
1
WORKING GROUP 2009-2011: , Sorin Cotofana(Computer Engineering), Hans Geers (Software
Engineering), Erik Jansen (Computer Graphics), Rik Lopuhaa (Statistics), Henk Polinder (Electrical
Sustainable Energy), Jos Weber (Wireless Mobile Communications) Kalinka Grijpink (chair, EEMCS
Education consultant), Julia Caussin (EEMCS Programme coordinator)
1
SCOPE AND APPLICABILITY OF MSc GRADUATION POLICY
The MSc graduation policy concerns the preparation and examination of the master thesis
and defines a further specification of the articles 12, 26 – 29 of the ‘Rules and Guidelines
(RG) 2 laid down by the Board of Examiners of all EEMCS masters’ degree programmes.
These procedures comply with the Teaching and Examination Regulations (TER) 3 and the
Implementation Regulations (IR) 4, both issued by the dean of the faculty and approved by
the Executive Board of the University, July 2012.
2
DEFINITIONS
Student, candidate
Student taking part in master programme
Master’s Thesis Project
Research or design assignment that forms the final
part of the EEMCS master’s degree programme
Thesis report
Written text that documents the results of the Master’s
Thesis Project
Thesis defense
Formal presentation and examination of the thesis
(afstudeervoordracht)
Specialisation
Direction within variant or track of the master
programme covering a specific area or topic
Thesis advisor
Staff member (UD, UHD, or HL 5) responsible for
students’ guidance
Thesis tutor (daily supervisor)
Staff member (e.g., PhD student or postdoc) or
external expert from company, responsible for
students’ daily guidance
MSc coordinator
Staff member responsible for student intake in master
programme, and for study advice (e.g., composing the
individual study programme)
Thesis committee
Committee assessing the thesis
Board of Examiners
Committee responsible for monitoring the examination
regulations and execution. See TER
IEP
Individual Examination Programme (keuzevakkenlijst)
TEP
Thesis Entrance Permit
Graduation Ceremony
Formal graduation session, where the student receives
the master’s degree diploma
2
RG = Regulations and Guidelines = Regels en Richtlijnen van de examencommissie (art. 7.12 WHW)
3
T ER = Teaching and Examination Regulations = Onderwijs en Examenregeling (art.7.13 WHW)
4
IR= Implementation Regulations = Uitvoeringsregeling (art.7.13 WHW)
5
UD = assistant professor, UHD = associate professor, HL = full professor
2
3
FORMAL PROCEDURES
1.
The Master’s Thesis Project is the final part of the EEMCS master’s degree programmes
and aims to show that the student has acquired the academic competences for the
degree ‘Master of Science’.
2.
The Master’s Thesis Project comprises 40 - 45 ECTS and should take a maximum of
nine months of work. In the programme Microelectronics explicit prototyping and field
testing the period may be longer and is the project extended to 60 ECTS, i.e. a year.
3.
The student can only start with his Master’s Thesis Project when he/she has an
approved IEP and has successfully completed all of the compulsory courses of the
master programme. Only 12 EC of elective courses may still be open. In order to show
that the student meets the criteria, he or she should hand in a TEP (Thesis Entrance
Permit, ask at Service desk) to the thesis advisor before starting the master thesis
assignment.
4.
The Master’s Thesis Project consists of a research or design assignment. The Master’s
Thesis Project will be assessed on basis of a written report, an oral presenta tion and
defense. The assessment will be done by a thesis committee.
5.
The Board of Examiners appoints the thesis committee. The professor responsible for
graduation proposes a thesis committee more than 3 months before defense.(See R&G.
art.27.2) (Use form: “Application form Members of MSc Thesis Committee ”)
6.
At least 3 months before defense, the thesis committee is installed by the Board of
Examiners. The thesis committee is nominated by the responsible professor in whose
area the Master’s Thesis Project has taken place.
7.
A thesis committee will be appointed by or on behalf of the Board of Examiners for the
supervision and assessment of Master’s Thesis Project. Th is committee will consist of a
core of three members: 1) the chair (a full professor or associate professor of the
faculty), 2) a full professor, associate or assistant professor of the faculty, 3) a full
professor, associate or assistant professor or an external expert. O ne of the core
members must be from a different field and is a full professor, associate or assistant
professor of an university. There may be additional members from the ranks of
researchers, PhD students and internal and external experts. The core member s,
appointed by the Board of Examiners, determine the thesis grade. (See also R&G art.
27.1)
8.
Students can present and defend their final thesis work only after they have finished
all courses as stated in their approved I EP.
9.
The defense consists of a public session. During this session the student will give a
presentation on the Master’s Thesis Project and will be questioned by the thesis
committee, after which the thesis committee determines the grade.
10. Thirty working days before the defense (See R&G art. 12.1), the student applies for
the final examination by the Board of Examiners by submitting the form “EEMCS MSc
Final Examination” at the Service desk.
11. At least five working days before the defense the student uploads a pdf of the final
version of the thesis report in the electronic TU Delft repository.
(http://www.library.tudelft.nl/collecties/tu -delft-repository/)
12. The Board of Examiners assesses whether the student has completed all parts of his
master programme and may enter the final graduation ceremony .
13. At the graduation ceremony the student receives the Master diploma and has to sign it.
4
1.
GETTING STARTED
Ultimately three months before starting the actual thesis work , the student should
decide upon a specialisation. To start, the student shows his IEP and TEP to the thesis
3
advisor. In consultation with the thesis advisor, the student will select a thesis topic.
In addition, a daily supervisor (tutor) or an advisor , from the company where the
thesis research is conducted, may be assigned. The thesis topic should comply with the
research area of the thesis advisor.
2.
The Master’s Thesis Project may be done within a research programme of the
university, or within another suitable context, e.g. a research institute or enterprise.
Companies should be aware that the Master’s Thesis Project may require some
freedom for academic work which may not directly contribute to the company’s own
business process.
3.
The thesis should have sufficient academic depth. The project, being either a research
or design project should be performed by following a systematic approach, and the
assignment should cover all phases of a research/design project including an explicit
modelling/implementation/building phase, and a validation/evaluation of the results.
4.
Within the first month after the start of the project, the student should write a short
proposal with objectives and a planning of deliverables and milestones. ( Use: “EEMCS
Master’s Thesis Project Proposal Guidelines: Milestones, Deliverables and Phasing ”).
The thesis advisor assesses the proposal on feasibility and academic depth, and may
suggest modifications.
5.
The student should indicate in advance whether he is available fulltime. If not, he has
to make provisions with the research group or company to do the assignment part
time.
5
GUIDANCE
1.
The student should carry out the project autonomously under guidance of a thesis
advisor. Each student carries out his or her own Master’s Thesis Project., even in case
of a complex project carried out by a team of students .
2.
The student and the thesis advisor (and the daily supervisor) meet on a two -weekly or
three-weekly basis to discuss the progress. The student should provide an agenda and
a written progress report for the meetings describing the progress and the main
discussion items. In between the meetings the student may ask the daily supervisor for
technical assistance.
3.
For the specified milestones ( Use: “EEMCS Master’s Thesis Project Proposal Guidelines:
Milestones, Deliverables and Phasing ”), the student submits a progress report (a
preliminary chapter of the thesis report) and describes (or demonstrates) the
intermediate results and findings. The supervisors will give feedback on the results and
will indicate whether the project is still on track. In all cases, the student is assumed
to take initiative and to guard the progress of the project.
4.
The student should participate in the colloquia of the chosen specialisation. Halfway
through the project, the student should give a midterm presentation on the project
e.g. at a colloquium, in presence of his advisors.
5.
During the project, and in particular near the end, the student should start writing the
thesis report and should hand in chapters for reviewing to the thesis advisor and daily
supervisor. The thesis advisor should give feedback within reasonable time (within two
weeks).
6.
Forty working days before the planned defense, the student should hand in a final
version of the thesis report for approval by the thesis advisor.
7.
Thirty working days before the planned defense the thesis advisor gives approval
(“green light”) to the student. With the green light the student can apply for the final
examination. Use form: “ EEMCS MSc Final examination ”.
4
6
THESIS REPORT
1.
The thesis report documents the results of the Master’s Thesis Project (Use:
“ Guidelines for writing a report ”). It contains an account of the work, the followed
procedure, intermediate milestones and the decisions taken.
2.
The thesis report must be written in English.
3.
The thesis report has a title page which contains the title of t he thesis, the date of the
thesis defense, the name and student number, the chosen specialisation, the master
programme, the faculty EEMCS, and TU Delft.
4.
The thesis report contains a preface that explains the topic of the thesis, the context
(institute or company), the main findings in a few lines and the names of the members
of the thesis committee. The preface may end with a few acknowledgements, and
completed with name and date.
5.
The thesis report contains an introduction chapter that introduces the main research
themes and gives an overview of the report.
6.
The thesis report contains a chapter with prior art that describes previous work and
scientific publications relevant for the topic. This chapter reformulates the research
questions in a form that complies with the state of the art in the field.
7.
The thesis report contains several chapters that describe the performed work.
8.
The thesis report concludes with a concluding chapter with a discussion of the results,
and recommendations and suggestions for future research.
9.
The thesis report may contain a scientific paper about the work, often written together
with the thesis advisor, added as an appendix.
10. The thesis report will be made public after the assessment by the thesis committee,
unless the organisation in which the Master’s Thesis Project has taken place considers
that its publication would harm its interests (e.g. patents, knowledge, market figures).
The organisation or the thesis advisor can submit a request concerning confidentiality
for some parts to the Board of Examiners. The members of the thesis committee,
however, should have access to the full report.
11. At least five working days before the defense the student uploads a pdf of the final
version of the thesis report in the electronic TU Delft repository.
(http://www.library.tudelft.nl/collecties/tu -delft-repository/)
7
DEFENSE
1.
At the same moment of approval of the thesis report by the thesis advisor, the so
called “green light”, a date for the defense is set (Use form: “ EEMCS MSc Final
examination ” and count thirty working days for administration). The student will make
a reservation for a room/lecture hall.
2.
At least twenty working days before the date of the thesis defense the student will
supply a digital or printed copy of the final thesis report to the members of the Thesis
Committee. Exceptions can be made upon agreement with the thesis advisor.
3.
Ultimately after ten working days the thesis committee sends her reaction and
eventually her request for completion to the student and thesis advisor. The student
has five working days to incorporate the remarks into the report.
4.
Ten working days before the defense the student sends a clear announcement of the
thesis defense to the committee members, to the staff of the department of the
chosen specialisation with the title of the thesis, the place of the defense, the date and
time, the committee, and the abstract of his project (250 words). If the student
desires, he or she may also invite family and friends.
5
5.
Prior to the session, the student checks the room and the equipment (portable,
beamer). After the session the student takes care that the room is brought back in
order.
6.
The public session starts with a short introduction by the chair of the thesis
committee, introducing the candidate, the topic of th e project, the members of the
thesis committee and the examination procedure.
7.
The student gives a 30-40 minutes presentation on the project. This should cover all
aspects and phases of the project, starting with a clear problem definition and ending
with conclusions. The presentation should be on a level that addresses the colleague
students, i.e. it is not intended as a layman’s presentation. After the presentation 10
minutes are reserved for questions from the audience.
8.
After the presentation and discussion, the thesis committee examines the candidate
about the thesis. This will take a maximum of one hour and each committee member
must have the opportunity to discuss the work in detail with the candidate.
9.
After the examination, the committee withdraws to make their conclusion upon the
grade.
8
1.
ASSESSMENT
The thesis committee assesses the thesis and the defense on the following criteria:

Quality of work: novelty, volume, grasp, methodology, publishable (40%)

Personal performance: autonomy, planning, creativity, attitude (30%)

Quality of thesis report: clarity, organisation, argumentation (20%)

Oral presentation and defense: clarity, focus, relevance, discussion (10%)
These criteria are published in the study guide and should be known to the student
beforehand. (Use “ Thesis evaluation form ”).
2.
The voting members of the thesis committee determine the final grade. The grade
should reflect a weighted average of the four scores above, but need not to be an
exact arithmetical mean. The final mark starts from 5 up to and 10. Marks ending in .5
may also be used.
3.
If the student shows excellence (is nominated for a 10) the chair of the thesis
committee should consult the chair of the Board of Examiners, at least five working
days in advance of the defense. The chair may advice to add an extra member to the
thesis committee.
4.
The motivation for the grade at each of the four criteria as listed above is summarized
on a form (Use: “ Thesis evaluation form ”) and signed by the chairman of the thesis
committee. The candidate is given a short account of the assessment, either in private
or in front of the audience.
9
DISPUTES
1.
In case of disputes between the student and the daily supervisor or/and the thesis
advisor, the student may consult the MSc coordinator. If this does not le ad to a
solution, disputes can be brought before the Board of Examiners.
2.
The student may make an appeal against decisions of, and the treatment by the Thesis
Committee, at the TUD’s Examinations Appeals Board, on the basis of article 7.60 of
the WHW. However, there can be no discussion on the grade.
6
10
SUMMARY of PROCEDURE
1.
After the start of the MSc programme and before the start of the Master’s Thesis
Project, the student should get acquainted with the different specialisations within the
master programme.
2.
Before the start of the Master’s Thesis Project, the student shows his IEP and TEP to
the thesis advisor and selects a thesis topic.
3.
One month after the start of the project, the student writes a short proposal for thesis
research with objectives, milestones and deliverables. The thesis advisor checks the
proposal at: feasibility in time, academic level, research question, research
methodology, suitable to the student.
4.
Four months after start, the student should give a midterm presentation at a
colloquium of the chosen specialisation.
5.
Three months before the planned defense, the responsible professor compiles a thesis
committee and sends it for approval to the Board of Examiners
6.
Forty working days before the planned defense the student hands in the fi nal version
of the thesis report to the thesis advisor.
7.
Thirty working days before the thesis defense, the student should get “green light”
from the thesis advisor and sets the date for the defense.
8.
Thirty working days before the thesis defense the student submits the examination
application. The Board of Examiners checks fulfillment of all requirements.
9.
Twenty working days before the thesis defense the student sends the final report to
the members of the thesis committee. He also sends an invitation to all people
involved.
10. Ten working days before the thesis defense the thesis committee sends her remarks to
the student and the thesis advisor.
11. Ten working days before the thesis defense the student sends a clear announcement
of the defense.
12. Five working days before the thesis defense the student has incorporated the remarks
into the report.
13. At least five working days before the defense the student uploads a pdf of the final
version of the thesis report in the electronic TU Delft repository.
14. At the defense the student gives a 40 minutes presentation and answers the questions
of the thesis committee. The thesis committee determines the final grade.
15. After a successful defense the graduation ceremony will take place; the student
receives the Master diploma and has to sign it.
7
give midterm presentation
ask for compilation thesis
committee and for approval
by the BoE
hand in a final version to
thesis advisor
ask for green light from thesis
advisor
submit application for final
examination
send final report to thesis cie
4 months after start
3 months before defense
40 working days before
defense
30 working days before
defense
30 working days before
defense
20 working days before
defense
incorporate remarks from
thesis cie and upload thesis
report in TUD repository
defense and graduation
ceremony
at least 5 working days
before defense
[date]
BoE checks all requirements
receive remarks from thesis
committee and send
invitations
write proposal with
deliverables + milestones
1 month after start
10 working days before
defense
start project
[date]
select thesis advisor
and choose topic
show IEP and TEP
kwk
before start M thesis project
3 months before start
Timeline
8
Thesis Project Evaluation Form
The table below shows the thesis evaluation categories and criteria. The main elements of
evaluation are quality of work, performance during the Master’s Thesis Project, quality of
thesis report and quality of oral presentation and defense. Weights are indicative to each
of these categories and may be subjectively decided by the thesis committee. The final
grade can be arrived at by averaging out the partial grades allocated by each member of
the thesis committee.
Quality of Work
Performance during
M Thesis Project
Quality of Thesis
Report
Oral Presentation and
Defense
40%
30%
20%
10%
Volume of work
Ability to formulate
problem
Quality of report
1. Presentation of
thesis to peer audience
Relevance/Importance
of work
Ability to find solution
Organization and
structure
Clarity/lucidity of
presentation
Novelty/Originality of
work
Scientific methodologies
applied
Clarity and readability of
report
Coherence of presentation
Student’s Contribution
Practical methodologies
applied
Coherence of content
and continuity
Quality of presentation
material
Grasp of subject and
problem
Creativity displayed
Language
Focus and relevance of
presentation
Quality of
implementation
Student’s autonomy
Quality of literature
survey
Ability to understand
questions from audience
and provide suitable
answer
Publishable
Interaction with peers
and superiors
Conclusions and
recommendations
2. Defense with
committee
Achievement of goals
and milestones following Quality of Publications
a schedule
(if any)
Quality of
argumentation and
conclusions
Critical attitude
Ability to cogently answer
questions
Ability to actively
participate and contribute
towards the discussion
Performance within time
line
References
The following Master Thesis Evaluation Guides from other universities were consulted and
used in the preparation of this document.
[1] Graduate School of International Relations, International University of Japan,
http://www.iuj.ac.jp/gsir/thesis/evaluation.html
[2] TU Eindhoven,
http://w3.tm.tue.nl/uploads/media/Manual_graduating_HTI_TP_def__eng__01.pdf
[3] Universiteit Utrecht,
http://www.uu.nl/uupublish/education/studentdesk/references/mastersthesis/42894main.ht
ml
[4] Smith College, Massachusetts, USA,
http://www.smith.edu/library/research/masters.htm#introduction
[5]Michigan State University, USA, http://grad.msu.edu/format.htm
9
Forms and documents
Forms and documents are posted at:
https://blackboard.tudelft.nl organisation: “Docenten EWI” / MSc graduation
http://studenten.tudelft.nl/en/eemcs/ >Graduation
1: Application form Members of MSc thesis committee
2: Planning document milestones and deliverables
3: Guidelines for writing a report
4: EEMCS master Final Examination
5: Thesis evaluation form
6:Flow chart of thesis graduation regulations EEMCS (for students)
7: Checklists for thesis advisors, members of Thesis committee and B oard of Examiners
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