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Final Thesis - IDA, Technical faculty

Instructions International Master


International Master Programs, 30hp

These instructions are only available in English

Content:

1 Information
2 General
3 Thesis project aims
4 Compulsory parts
5 Thesis work process overview
6 Thesis work process
Appendix: Evaluation

1. Information

These instructions hold for students in the international master programs for which a thesis work of 30 points is required.

Much of the practical handling of the thesis work is handled through the system WExUpp but some questions are handled by your thesis Administrator , as well as IDA's thesis coordinator. Contact information can be found at the administration page.

2. General

To obtain the master's degree it is required that you complete an approved thesis. These are rated with a Fail / Pass.

To start the degree project requires at least 60 credits from completed courses within the program, including 30 credits on advanced level in the main field.

Auscultation may be made from semester 1 in the masters program. Registration of the thesis work can be done on the course code TEXMAS. The thesis is placed in the last semester of the program.

Each degree is assigned an examiner . The examiner is responsible for making sure that the approved thesis meets the University's requirements. The examiner grades the thesis and examines the opposition.

Each degree project is assigned an IDA supervisor . The supervisor shall assist the student in such a way that he or she can carry out an independent project. For the thesis project carried out as an assignment for a company it is also required that the company provides a topic skilled supervisor.

The work is done either individually or in groups of two students. Thesis work carried out by more than two persons are not allowed. In cases where two students carry out thesis work together everyone's contribution to the work must be clearly reported. The scope of the work shall collectively represent two individual works. The examiner must ensure that each student has contributed in a satisfactory way to the work, and meet the requirements to pass the thesis.

3. Thesis project aims

Knowledge of underlying sciences
The student is expected to:
  • Systematically integrate knowledge aquired during the studies.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the main field of study, including both broad knowledge in the field and substantially deeper knowledge.
  • Demonstrate deeper methodological knowledge in the main field of study.
  • Be able to assimilate the contents of the relevant literature and relate their work to this.
Personal and professional skills
The student is expected to:
  • Plan, implement and document an independent degree project.
  • Formulate issues, plan and carry out advanced tasks within specified time limits.
  • Find and evaluate literature.
Teamwork and Communication
The student is expected to:
  • Demonstrate ability to clearly present and discuss conclusions on the degree project in writing and orally.
  • Critically examine and oppose on another student´s degree project.
CDIO science
The student is expected to:
  • Be able to create, analyze and/or assess scientific issues in theories and methods.

The course syllabus is also a more detailed description of the purpose. Search for the course with the code TQxx30 in the study guide.

4. Compulsory parts

Three compulsory parts are required for the whole thesis to be completed. Only after all the required elements are complete, will the results of the thesis be recorded in LADOK.
  • UPG1 Planning Report, half-time report, written report, oral presentation and reflection report (Pass/Fail)
  • OPPO Opposition at the presentation of another degree project (Pass/Fail)
  • AUSK 1 auscultation (presence) at the presentation of other degree projects (D) (NOTE: You must be registered in the thesis course TQxx30 or TEXMAS to sign up on the attendance list.)
Note that the requirements for auscultation must be met before you can present your own thesis and before you can be an opponent on another student's thesis. Attendance at the presentation in other engineering courses or master's degrees at Linköping University may be counted.

In addition to these LADOK related compulsory parts, there is a requirement for a planning report to be made during the first weeks of the thesis. About halfway into the thesis there is a half-time control in which the examiner examines how the work is progressing related to the planning report.

5. Thesis work process overview

1 Self-monitoring of prerequisites (student)
2 Registration of the thesis in WExUpp and assignment of an examiner and IDA supervisor (student)
3 Approval of the commencement of the thesis (student + examiner + study counsellor)
4 Meeting with the examiner and the supervisor (student)
5 Planning Report (student)
6 Meetings with examinaer and supervisor (student)
7 Auscultation (student)
8 Half-time control (student + examiner)
9 Draft of final report (student)
10 Examination of the final report draft (supervisor)
11 Correction of the final report draft (student)
12 Examination of the final report draft (examiner)
13 Correction of the final report draft (student)
14 Management of opposition (student + opponent + examiner)
15 Approval for presentation (examiner + student)
16 Selection of the time of presentation (student + examiner + opponent)
17 Administrative preparation of the presentation (student)
18 Presentation (student)
19 Correction (student)
20 Approval (examiner)
21 Publication of the report of the E-Press and submission of the reflection report (student)
22 Evaluation (student + supervisor + examiner)

6. Thesis work process

The subsequent section presents the individual steps in the thesis work process, together with information on who is responsible for each step.

6.1 Self-monitoring of prerequisites (student)

The first step in the process is a self-assessment that the requirements for the commencement of the thesis are satisfied. To start the degree project requires at least 60 credits from courses within the program, including 30 credits on advanced level in your main field of study. The courses must be completed.

When the self-assessment is done, it is essential that you are clear about what the main field of study (sv. "huvudområde") of your thesis shall be. Below are valid main field of study of thesis work at IDA for some common master programs:

  • Master's programme in Computer Science = {Computer Science (sv. Datavetenskap)}
  • Master's programme in System on Chip (SoC) = {Electrical Engineering (sv. Elektroteknik)}
  • Master's programme in Computer Systems = {Computer Engineering (sv. Datateknik)}

The next step in the thesis work process may not start before the self-assessment has been completed with a positive outcome.

6.2 Registration of the thesis in WExUpp and assignment of an examiner and IDA supervisor (student)

After an appropriate degree project has been selected (see Thesis opportunities) and you have gotten a go-ahead from the customer, the thesis project must be registered in the WExUpp system.

Note that there is a registration form in which to fill in information about the proposed thesis. This text you should prepare before starting the registration. The text should include the following:

  • Contact information for you as a student (email + phone nr)
  • Background to the thesis (brief information about the company, if applicable, location, number of employees, context of the thesis problem to be solved, etc.)
  • Problem and justification for its importance
  • Preliminary approaches
  • Expected results
  • Courses you have attended that are related to the thesis topic
The form must also select the division of IDA that you believe is best for the thesis focus. See the description of IDA's divisions.

After registration a coordinator will help with finding a suitable examiner and IDA supervisor. NOTE: This may take several weeks depending on the teachers' other tasks, so be sure to register well in advance of the planned starting date of the thesis project!

Registration in WExUpp is done via the following address: http://www.ida.liu.se/wexupp/student/.

6.3 Approval of the commencement of the thesis (student + examiner + study counsellor)

Once you have chosen your topic and an examiner at IDA has been appointed you should complete the form Application to thesis work to be registered on the thesis course. First, make sure you are registered on the semester, otherwise the thesis registration cannot be done!

You need to enter the main field of study and the course code for the thesis. As for the main field of study you should first check with the examiner that your choice is in line with your choice of subject area for the thesis. Make sure you have enough credits in the main field of study (see 6.1 above).

As for the course code as it is dependent on the chosen main field of study. In the Study Guide, Swedish version, at the bottom of the web page, you will find a link ("Huvudområden - exjobbskoder, generella kursplaner") to information on allowable main fields of study and their course codes (for example, if Computer Engineering is the main field of study, then the course code is TQDT30, where "DT" stands for "DataTeknik" which is the Swedish equivalent of "Computer Engineering").

Degree title should also be indicated on the form.

When the form's upper part is fully completed, the form is submitted to the study counsellor.

The first step in the approval process is that the study counsellor checks that the prerequisits to begin a thesis project are met. When this stage is finished, the form is sent to the examiner for checking that you have the necessary prerequisites for the particular thesis topic, namely that you have taken the right courses, etc. Likewise, it is checked that the thesis proposal complies with the following:

  • it is well defined and moderately extensive
  • the purpose is clearly articulated
  • the thesis topic clearly belongs within IDAs field
When the examiner's has approved the application form it is returned to the study counsellor, after which the course registration is completed and the thesis work can begin.

Secret theses

Thesis reports can not be classified. The company should be informed of this in advance. Sometimes parts of a thesis based on information from the client's point of view should not be publicly available. The aim of the thesis can be to provide a basis for future decisions, which preferably should not have been anticipated by competing firms.

One way to resolve the conflict between the principle of public access that exists for the thesis and on the other hand, the client's need to protect information that is in the report is to refer to the appendices containing the sensitive data.

6.4 Meeting with the examiner and the supervisor (student)

It is important that you make sure that your IDA supervisor and the examiner will meet before beginning the thesis work. If you do not, the supervisor and the examiner will be less able to help you define and formulate the task, which will increase the risk that you will have problems during the thesis work. At the meeting you will discuss what expectations the supervisor and the examiner has on you and what expectations you have on them and the company.

company supervisor

In this meeting, it is also important that a reconciliation is done between the examiner, IDA supervisor, company supervisors and students including topics such as the University's requirements on size and academic level. That this reconciliation occurs at the meeting is the examiner's responsibility.

6.5 Planning report (student)

The student will, during the first week of the thesis, make a planning report. A model is available through Templates for papers and theses.

The planning is very important and many subsequent problems can be avoided with proper preparation. The planning report is also used as a basis for the outcome of the half-time evaluation of the thesis.

When the planning report has been approved it is marked by the examiner in WExUpp.

6.6 Meetings with supervisor and examiner (student)

It is important to keep in regular contact with the supervisor and examiner during the work. Particularly frequent contacts should be at the start of work. It is the student who must take the initiative to these meetings. Try to book the examiner and the supervisor in advance.

6.7 Auscultation (student)

The student must perform one auscultation. This means that the student must attend at least one thesis presentation. Auscultation must be done with presentation of theses with the same or higher level than the student's own thesis.

An auscultation of a master thesis presentation can be replaced by a licentiate seminar or a doctoral dissertation. The student is then responsible for ensuring that certificates of attendance are written and submitted to the thesis project administrator for IDA for insertion in LADOK.

Perform the auscultation required as early as possible in order not to end up in a tight situation later on, when a presentation at worst may have to wait for the auscultation. Make sure to take careful notes about the presentation you attended to.

Information about upcoming presentations is available here: Upcoming presentations.

For your auscultation to be registered, you must either be registered with the thesis course code TQxx30 or, if you have not yet started your own thesis, on the temporary course TEXMAS.

6.8 Half-time evaluation (student + examiner)

About halfway into the thesis, the student must show the examiner how the work is progressing in relation to the planning report. The supervisor may also be involved in this evaluation. The forms of the half-time evaluation can range from a verbal briefing to an open seminar. As a support for the half-time evaluation, a form is available in IDA's archive of theses templates . The half-time evaluation could lead to one of three possible outcomes:
  • The work was essentially carried out according to the planning report and can proceed as planned. Half-time evaluation is approved.
  • The work was carried out with some deviations from the planning report. The work is judged to be completed with minor adjustments in formulation, approach and / or schedule. Half-time evaluation is approved.
  • The work has substantially deviated from the planning report and the work will likely lead to failure. Half-time evaluation is not approved. A new planning report must be generated and a new half-time evaluation made.
Approved half-time evaluation is registered in WExUpp by the examiner.

Observe that the thesis must be completed within 12 months, otherwise it will be reported as failed in LADOK.

If you are two who carry out a thesis together, it will be important to help your examiner determine the individual contributions (who did what).

6.9 Final report draft (student)

The thesis work will culminate in a report that describes the problem, approach and results of your work. It is important to be able to present the findings in an understandable and practical manner. If you can not convey the results and experiences, they have not much value to others in the area. The requirements for report content and design are therefore high.

Formal requirements for the report

Technical reports are a text genre as well as other genres, with more or less explicit rules. Concrete advice on how to write a thesis report (the writing process and the report's structure) is given in the handbook "Report writing: A guide for students".

The report shall begin with a title page (which can be downloaded from the page with the templates in the menu), followed by a cover page (see Templates). For this report, you need a registration number and you can have it only after the report is approved for presentation (see 6.15). After the cover page follows an abstract. It should be on one page in length and mainly concentrate on results and conclusions. The index that follows must include all section titles (usually only down to and including level 3) and associated numbers. The presentation should be designed so that the reader can quickly form an opinion of the report's structure and content. The contents also include any attachments to the report. Under Templates in the menu on the IDA's thesis site's pages, some useful files will be found.

6.10 Review of final report draft (supervisor)

When you start being satisfied with the report, submit it to the supervisor for review.

6.11 Revision (student)

After each review modify the report in accordance with the supervisor's instructions. When you submit work for repeated review though, submit also a bulleted list that clearly describes what changes you made to facilitate the supervisor's work and to speed up the process. The number of audits depends on the quality of the work. Normally a number of proofs are required. The audit can be a lengthy process depending on the quality of the report and supervisor's other duties.

6.12 Review of the final report (examiner)

When the supervisor believes it is appropriate, the revised report is also reviewed by the examiner.

6.13 Revision (student)

After the examiner's review modify the report according to the comments. Also in this phase a number of reviews and revisions may be required. When you submit work for repeated review though, submit also a bulleted list that clearly describes what changes you made to facilitate the supervisor's work and to speed up the process.

6.14 Opposition (student + opponent + examiner)

It is the student's responsibility to find a suitable opponent. Through IDA's thesis pages, you can report that you are looking for an opponent or that you are looking for a thesis to oppose on.

It is also the student's responsibility to ensure that the opponent will contact the examiner as soon as possible. The selected opponent must be approved by the examiner. In order to oppose on a thesis the student must have reached the prerequisites for starting a thesis project on the same level, and must also have completed one auscultation, and have it reported in LADOK. The opponent is responsible for showing the examiner that these prerequisites have been satisfied by demonstrating a LADOK excerpt.

The examiner should have accepted the opponent at least 2 weeks before the presentation.

At least one week before the presentation the opponent has to contact the examiner again and describe in detail the issues that he or she wants to bring up in the opposition.

It is the examiner who grades the opponent (Pass/Fail).

6.15 Approval of the presentation (examiner + student)

The examiner approves the thesis for the presentation. It is the student's responsibility to show the examiner a LADOK excerpt that demonstrates that the student has fulfilled the ascultation obligation. The examiner makes a note of this in WExUpp.

6.16 Choice of time for presentation (student + examiner + opponent)

After the thesis report has been approved for presentation by the examiner, you will jointly decide on a suitable time, together with the examiner, the supervisor and the opponent. The presentation must be held after you have completed the auscultation. (You must be registered in the thesis course (TQxx30 or TEXMAS) to sign up for attendance at an auscultation.) At IDA, thesis presentations can only occur at the semester times at the university.

The opponent must have had access to the report for at least two weeks before the presentation. The time of the presentation must be reported to the thesis project administrator no later than two weeks before the presentation. It is very important that this deadline is maintained, so that other students have the possibility to attend.

6.17 Administrative preparation of the presentation (student)

After your examiner has approved your thesis for the presentation, the presentation must be advertised, which your thesis Administrator , takes care of.

When you and your examiner has agreed a time for the presentation, contact your administrator for advertising and booking of rooms and equipment. The following information is needed for your presentation to be correctly advertised at the department:

  • your name and personal number
  • thesis title
  • abstract
  • examiner
  • number of credits
  • date and time of presentation
  • name of the opponent(s)
  • language for presentation
  • specific room requests
The easiest way to convey the above information is through an e-mail with no attachments, just plain text. (This makes the work easier for all involved.)

Communicate at the same time if you need to book equipment, such as a video projector.

At this time the thesis report will be given a registration number (ISRN) by the administrator.

Observe that if you do not book additional equipment through the administrator you will have to pay for them yourself. If all IDA-projector's are already booked you will also have to pay yoursself for renting costs to AV-service. A good advice is therefore to book everything well in advance.

6.18 Presentation (student)

The oral presentation will provide a background to the problem under study, describe the methods, and present the findings and conclusions. The presentation must be made to the audience as a whole and not only to specialists. After doing the presentation, the student should respond to the opponent's criticism and give the opportunity for other participants to ask questions. The presentation and the opposition will be graded by the examiner (Pass/Fail).

Before the presentation a short summary of the thesis should be distributed to the audience to make it possible for those who have not read the thesis to get an idea of the content.

The time allocated for the presentation is two hours, with adequate time for presentation being around 30 minutes. The remainder of the time is given to the opponent's briefing and discussion.

Presentation

In the short time set aside for the presentation you will not have the time to present the thesis in detail. Here you have to sift through the contents. The presentation should not be a compression of the thesis, but concentrate on what is considered essential.

Begin your presentation with a brief overview of the subject so that the audience is given a chance to get a grip on the area and the problem that you tried to solve. Then continue with the essential elements of your thesis. It is important to find a common thread running through the entire presentation.

Practice your presentation in advance and have friends give you feedback. Often it also happens that the time you have calculated for your presentation is not really true. Prepare, therefore, by determining in advance which parts (or which slides) you will not use in your presentation if time would not be enough. It can also be good to have more examples or figures in your work as slides, even if you do not use them in your presentation. They can be helpful in the discussion after the presentation.

Opposition

The opponent's role at the end of the seminar is to discuss the presented work, merits and demerits. The opposition should convey the overall impression of the work and report. The opponent should provide balanced and constructive criticism. This requires that the opponent either already has knowledge of the thesis or problem area or has been able to acquire it. The opposition should be structured as a constructive dialogue with the author.

At least one week before the presentation, the opponent gives the examiner a written report of how the opposition is planned to be implemented.

The opposition should address the following key elements:

  • a discussion of the oral presentation of the respondent
  • the outline of the work
    (What are the relationships between the different parts in the report? How well-founded are the chosen solutions? How well do the solutions follow from the result of the analysis of the problem and a background study? Are the conclusions related to the background and the goals of the work? Are there possibly alternative outlines?)
  • comments about form and style in the report
    (language aspects, table of contents, bibliography, tables, figures etc.)
  • bibliography (Have all the references been noted? Have the reference sources been used in the correct way?)
  • detailed study of the chosen solution
    (Comment on if and how different alternative solutions have been discussed as well.)
  • final judgement
    (Summarized judgement of the work. Comment on the value of the work from scientific and practical points of view.)

6.19 Correction (student)

Before The thesis can be published at LiU E-Press it must be corrected in consultation with the examiner taking the deficiencies discovered by the opponent into account. This should be completed within 10 days of the presentation. The new version of the report must be submitted to the examiner, together will a bullet list summarizing all modifications made.

6.20 Approval (Examiner)

The final report is graded with grades of Pass / Fail.

6.21 Publication of report and submission of the reflection report (student)

For the result of the thesis work to be registered in LADOK, the report must be published.

When the corrected report is approved by the examiner (see section 6.20 above) you shall prepare the report for electronic publishing at LiU E-Press. Se detailed instructions for how you publish your report.

Important! The electronic publication imposes requirements on how you have used copyrighted material such as photos, figures and tables from books, or from the Internet. More information about this can be found at E-Press.

Apart from the thesis report you must also write an individual reflection report. See the instrcutions in the study guide. Hand in your reflection report to the examiner in association with the publication of your report.

6.22 Evaluation (supervisor + student + examiner)

After the thesis work is completed it is recommended that an evaluation of thesis process is carried out together with the examiner and the IDA-supervisor.

Page responsible: Johan Åberg
Last updated: 2014-11-26