Section Information Systems (IS)

What is the procedure for a master thesis project?

Every BIS or CSE master student who wishes to do a master thesis project in the WE group must follow the following procedure very strictly. Failure to complete one of the steps or to complete them on time may result in a delay in starting or finishing the project.

  1. Before you start the first elective course you must present your selected course program to the coordinator. If you do not have a course program that is approved by the coordinator you will never be allowed to do a master project in the WE group. If you wait for this approval until later you risk having taken courses the coordinator will not approve in your course program. You may find another group that will accept you as a master student with the program you chose but you will not be allowed to do a master project in the WE group.
  2. At least 3 months before the date you think you will be able to start the master project you should contact the coordinator again, to discuss concrete topics and mentors for the project. The coordinator will try to find a match between your interests, the courses in your program, and the available projects and mentors and supervisors. Because the coordinator has to manage a large number of students, projects and mentors, he will find the best possible match, considering the global planning. This may imply that you do not get the first topic or mentor on your wishlist. The coordinator will arrange the first contact between the mentor (called tutor in the graduation regulations), the supervisor and yourself, and after that he is out of the loop (and your contacts continue with the mentor). It is possible that your mentor and supervisor are the same person, in the case the mentor is a (full, associate or assistant) professor in the WE group.
  3. In order to start the master project you must satisfy the requirements defined in the “graduation regulations”. There is a form, that you can obtain from the student administration, in which the administration will confirm that you satisfy the requirements. After this you have to ensure that other parts of this form are completed and communicated to the student administration.
  4. For the duration of the master project (6 months full time is standard) you will have very frequent contact with your mentor and (perhaps a bit less with your) supervisor. You must frequently (e.g. weekly) report on your progress. It is up to your mentor and yourself whether you report through face to face meetings, email or paper reports, and how you schedule your appointments. You cannot expect your mentor or supervisor to be available full time to start reading your reports immediately and give immediate feedback. It is normal for the feedback times to have a frequency and timeliness that is related to the frequency and timeliness of your own reports.
  5. In order to finish your master project you need to have an “assessment committee” that satisfies the rules specified in the “graduation regulations”. Your mentor and supervisor can help you in deciding who should be on your committee. In order to inform all committee members about the progress of your work in a timely fashion you should assemble that committee at least 3 months before your planned graduation, and in time for an “interim presentation”.
  6. When you are halfway through your master project (normally after 3 months) you must arrange an “interim presentation”, for an audience of WE staff members, other WE students and perhaps other people that you are free to invite. The mentor and supervisor and other members of your assessment committee should be present, and after your presentation they will discuss with you how the master project should proceed.
  7. Near the end of the master project you must write a final report. (It is wise to start gathering material for this report right from the start of the project, so as to not have to start from scratch in the last few weeks.) Note that you cannot expect to hand a draft of your report to your mentor and supervisor and expect detailed feedback the very next day. You should plan your writing so that the report can be read and feedback given without running into a timing problem. Note that a final report, or “thesis” is not a diary of all the events that happened during the internship but a description of the project, the goals, the background, the design decisions and the argumentation for them, the results and conclusions and possible future work in the subject area.
  8. You must register for the graduation. Finishing your report and handing it in at the student administration does not imply that you register for the graduation. It is a separate administrative step with a deadline that you should strictly observe.
  9. You must hand in your final, approved, report at the student administration office long enough in advance to have the document printed before the graduation date. You cannot graduate if your thesis is not printed with the official university cover. When you register for the graduation the student administration will inform you of the deadline for printing.
  10. You must organize a presentation of your master project. The presentation is intended for WE group members and fellow students. Other guests are welcome (like family and friends) but the presentation is not intended for them, so you should not lower the technical level of your presentation to suit the needs of people without any computer science or information systems background knowledge. The student administration will inform you of the deadline for holding this presentation. Your assessment committee must be present at your presentation (in person or virtually through video conferencing). Following the presentation there will be a questioning session and the committee will decide on your grade.
  11. You should note that you will only be allowed to give your final presentation of (and obtain a grade for) the master project after you have completed (successfully) all other requirements, like passing all exams and having all assignments graded.