The thesis is the concluding part of the MSc and is sized up to 60 ECTS.
The thesis is part of the MSc where the student independently demonstrates his/her ability to professionally identify, analyze, and critically manipulate scientific issues. The experimental thesis should demonstrate the student’s ability to plan and finish a practical-orientated project within a defined timeframe. The thesis should furthermore demonstrate the student’s ability to deliver a written report of the work done.
The thesis consists of the following elements:
- Experimental or theoretical project.
- A thesis report that is handed in to grading and that is part of the thesis exam.
- A thesis exam. The type of the thesis exam varies according to the department at the Faculty of Science. Some departments ask the student to make a project within the subject area of the thesis. The project posed by the supervisor is presented by the student at the thesis exam and is part of the overall picture. At other departments, the student is examined in the thesis report only.
The thesis itself consists of literature search, of reading, of carrying out experiments, of treatment of results and is that part of the studies where the student has the opportunity to work with his/her main area of interest.
The thesis report should be written in Danish or English but has to contain an English summary.
Thesis Conclusion and Thesis Exam
The thesis is concluded with a report covering the work done. The Study Board at the Faculty of Science has clarified that the role of the supervisor is to guide the student. The intention, however, is not to read and mark the entire report before submission deadline.
The thesis exam consists of a lecture either on a predetermined topic or on an area taken directly from the thesis report. The points of departure for the oral exam are the thesis report and the lecture.
After the thesis exam, the thesis report and the oral presentation are graded according to the 7-point scale. There is an external examiner present at the exam. The student receives his/her grade immediately after the exam. The examiner and censor must evaluate the thesis report and the summary as a whole. This includes writing skills.
The thesis exam must take place no later than two months after submission of the thesis report.
How Do I Find a Supervisor?
During the thesis, the student has a supervisor from the department responsible for the MSc. The supervisor has the main responsibility for the scientific supervision of the student and participates in the final thesis exam.
The student is responsible for finding and contacting a supervisor himself/herself.
All permanent academic staff (lecturers and professors) at the Faculty of Science can serve as head supervisors. In addition to these two groups of staff, assistant professors can serve as head supervisors, too, provided that the grading of the thesis has taken place before the end of the period of employment of the assistant professor. PhD students can act as co-supervisors only.
It is not required the thesis be carried out at the university. The work can take place elsewhere, too. If the thesis is being carried out outside the Faculty of Science, the student usually has a supervisor (also referred to as an external supervisor) from the place in question. When this is the case, it is mandatory for the student to have an internal supervisor, too, at the department responsible for the MSc.
An agreement should be made to specify the allocation of work between the two supervisors, in order to ensure that the thesis meets the standards applicable for theses carried out at the Faculty of Science.
When I Have Found a Supervisor
The area of the thesis is identified together with the supervisor. During this process, the supervisor helps selecting relevant literature and planning experiments.
Before the thesis starts, the student and the supervisor draw up a contract. This is called a thesis presentation. The form is available at the Study Board Secretariat, at the department secretariats, and online.
The thesis presentation must include
- Danish and English title
- Subject matter and issue
- Start and submission dates
- Responsible supervisor(s)
To ensure the validity of the thesis contract, it must be signed by the supervisor(s), the student, and the head of the department.
The department should make sure that the prerequisites of the student are OK, before the thesis starts. When the department has signed the thesis presentation, this is passed on to the Study Board. When the thesis presentation has been approved by the Study Board, the student and the department will receive an e-mail confirming this approval.
The thesis can be carried out by two or more students, as long as the supervisor has agreed to this. It is required it be made clear in the thesis report which student is responsible for which part(s) of the thesis report.
The submission deadline set by the university is final. This means that one exam attempt has been used if the thesis report has not been handed in on time. In the event of a missed submission deadline, the university sets a new assignment within the same subject area as the thesis. A new submission deadline of three months is set, too.
These conditions are valid for all MSc theses where the university approves the thesis presentation on September 1st 2007 or later. The new rules apply to all students whether they belong to an old ministerial order on the study programme and curriculum.
Extension of the Submission Deadline
The Study Board at the Faculty of Science may approve an extension of the submission deadline of the thesis report in case of special circumstances. By special circumstances is meant illness, death or force majeure. An application for an extension of the submission deadline should be handed in to the Study Board no later than four weeks before this deadline. This means that it is not possible to hand in the application to the supervisor or the department four weeks before the deadline.
If the deadline of four weeks has not been met, the application will not be considered.
Change of Thesis Title
The Study Board should receive applications for a change of the title no later than four weeks before the submission deadline.
Specifically for Biomedicine and Pharmaceutical Chemistry/Pharmaceutical Science
There is a special procedure for Biomedicine and Pharmaceutical Chemistry/Pharmaceutical Science.
Students who write their thesis at the Faculty of Health Sciences must have at least two supervisors (one from the Faculty of Health Sciences and one from the Faculty of Science). External supervisors are allowed. The supervisor from the Faculty of Science must be associated with the department responsible for the MSc in question.