Master's thesis



Starting your MSc thesis
  1. When you have finished your BSc degree and most of the compulsory courses of the advanced module, as well as the courses that are significant for your thesis field, go see your supervisor to agree on your thesis topic. It is better to start early than later! The thesis does not have to be your final credit. Don't use too much time on finding a topic and a supervisor, but set yourself a deadline (e.g. 1 month).
  2. You can ask any teacher or researcher at the department for suggestions on a thesis topic. If he or she is not suitable to supervise your thesis work, he or she will be able to steer you in the direction of a suitable supervisor. It may take some time to bounce from one supervisor to another, but don't be discouraged! Be pro-active! Send an email to announce that you are coming to see the supervisor at their next office hour to discuss starting work on your thesis. Describe your interests, if any, in the message, and what elective courses you have completed.
  3. There is also some bureaucracy involved in starting your thesis work officially: A topic specification of 1-2 pages and the approval form for the topic, which must be approved by the professor in charge of the sub-programme. The most important thing is to start now!
  4. After the topic specification, there are two different checkpoints in the thesis process: the thesis plan and the finished MSc thesis. When you see your supervisor for the topic specification, you should set the date when your thesis plan must be ready. The thesis plan should be made very carefully, so that the reviewer(s) can assess the contents and text of the work. The thesis plan also includes a planned schedule; the main point is to set a clear final date for handing in your thesis.  
Writing your thesis
  1. Your thesis supervisor will not necessarily push you to work or keep in touch. Writing your thesis is totally your responsibility!
  2. If your supervisor does not automatically set a new meeting at the end of your thesis meeting, bring it up yourself.  A set schedule and checkpoints will help you proceed with your work.
  3. Always compile your questions (on paper) before going to meet your supervisor.
  4. Be prepared to tell your supervisor what you have done since your last meeting. Each supervisor usually has several thesis supervisions under way, so do not forget to give sufficient background information.
  5. Make notes during the meeting. Transcribe your notes on the compute so that you can email them to your supervisor before your next meeting.
  6. Don't leave the supervisor meeting without finding out what you should be doing before your next meeting!
  7. If you ask your supervisor for comments on your text, keep in mind that the more finished a text is, the easier it will be to comment on it.
  8. Supervisors may not have time to comment on your text immediately. Plan your work so that you can always work on some other part while you wait for comments.
  9. Keep in mind! The thesis work is extensive and independent. It is easy to use up unnecessary time on pointless information searches; the work can also easily broaden uncontrollably, since the scientific world is full of interesting topics and connections between them. Keep your direction and the focus of your work very clear in your mind the whole time!
  10. There are countless guides for writing your thesis. It is a good idea to read the department's own guide for the thesis process with care.
Finishing your thesis
  1. Since your thesis is proof of your learning, it has some educational goals. In order to write your thesis so that it satisfies its examiners, check the factors affecting your grade at the start of your thesis work.
  2. In order to finish your thesis, start making your thesis plan immediately after the topic specification. Four months have been reserved for it, but please make it faster.
  3. After finishing the thesis plan, work out your thesis quickly. It is often the case that, after making a good thesis plan, your thesis 'writes itself.' The recommended time to write a thesis is 12 months, but for you, it is better to finish it much sooner.
  4. At the end of your thesis work, there is some more bureaucracy awaiting you, please see the instructions. In practice, you had better ask your supervisor to make sure that all necessary papers are being delivered on time to the department council meeting agreed on.


20.09.2012 - 16:35 Webmaster
20.04.2011 - 11:15 Marina Kurtén