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The Defense

Preparation for defence: 

  • After hand-in, rest properly, then read the thesis through with fresh eyes.
  • Read it through several times with critical eyes. Every thesis has strengths and weaknesses. Try to focus on the weaknesses the evaluators will detect, predict what kind of questions may come up, and prepare accordingly.
  • Prepare your material for presentation. Briefly introduce your problem background and research question, how you collected the data, and emphasize your main findings. Remember that the evaluators have read the thesis. There is no need to emphasize what is known. It is better to focus on the benefits of your thesis – what is its potential theoretical or practical impact? The more you can show that it has served a purpose, the better.
  • Rehearse the presentation.
  • Potentially: print the slides out (in two sets) and bring them with you.
  • Arrive in good time (if possible) to test or set up the projector if you wish to use it – otherwise, we can just informally look at your PC on the table.
  • Dress appropriately.

 

The actual defense:

  • The examiner will explain the procedure.
  • Questions from the evaluators can pertain to both the written thesis and the presentation. This is an opportunity to further explain and reflect on your theoretical and methodological choices, as well as to highlight the learnings to be gathered from your thesis.
  • After the evaluators’ questions have been addressed, you will be asked to leave the room. It is important that you remove all personal possessions from the room when the evaluators are conferring. After a few minutes, you will be recalled, the grade will be announced, and you will receive an explanation for the grade.
  • The duration of the defense is one hour from start to finish.