Assessment guidelines for the master's thesis in Society, Science and Technology in Europe (ESST)
The examination of the thesis in ESST is based on a written and oral assessment. The master's thesis is 40 ECTS (studiepoeng).
The master’s thesis is an independent scientific product. Through the work on the master’s thesis, the student should demonstrate analytical skills and use of relevant theory and/or literature, carry out empirical research, and write a scholarly treatise that encapsulates the approach and the results.
The Centre appoints an internal and external examiner. The external examiner starts the process by reading the thesis and give his/her comments to the internal examiner. Together both examiners agree on a grade based on the written product. Final grade is set after the oral examination, and the candidate receive a written assessment within a week after the exam.
The assessment process must take no more than 6 hours and within 8 weeks after the students have handed in their thesis. If the examiners are not able to agree on a grade based on the written product, a third (external) examiner will be appointed by the M.A. program coordinator. The outcome of the third examiner’s evaluation will be decisive.
The oral examination provides both the candidate and the examiners a chance to discuss the thesis and the possibility to adjust the tentative grade.
The oral exam takes around 45 minutes. The actual examination does not last longer than max. 30 minutes. After the oral exam has ended, the student leaves the room for 15 minutes while the examiners discuss the final evaluation and grade.
The candidate may choose whether he/she would know the tentative grade before or get the final grade after the exam.
The internal examiner is responsible for the final draft of the written assessment of the examination. The written assessment shall reflect the general principles of which the evaluation has been based upon.
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS: What are the main questions, which the dissertation attempts to answer? Does it have a clear focus? Are the research questions relevant?
- STRUCTURE AND OVERALL IMPRESSION: Is the dissertation well structured? Is the research design thoroughly connected to the research questions? Assess technical aspects such as language, the length of the thesis.
- USE OF LITERATURE: Is the research questions integrated comprehensively to relevant literature and theory? Is the literature utilized/applied in a useful matter? Does the candidate follow the guidelines of citation and referencing?
- DATA COLLECTION: Collection of method, sources and presentation of empirical material. Does the empirical material contribute in answering the research questions? Does the candidate describe potential limitations of the material?
- DATA ANALYSIS AND CONTENT: How do you assess the originality of the thesis in terms of theme and approaches? Assess the candidate`s use of theory and analytical concepts in the analysis.
- OVERALL CONCLUSIONS, INSIGHTS AND CONTRIBUTION: Is the reasoning well done? Does the thesis contribute to new theoretical and/or empirical insight? Is the candidate showing ability to carry out an independent work of research?
- ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT?
A – Excellent
An excellent performance, clearly outstanding. The candidate demonstrates excellent judgement and a high degree of independent thinking.
An outstanding thesis with an original analysis, where the research question is well rooted in the literature of the discipline. The use of methodology and the presentation of the content stands out.
B – Very good
A very good performance. The candidate demonstrates sound judgement and a very good degree of independent thinking.
A very god analysis with a clear research question well rooted in the literature of the discipline. A very good use of methodology and presentation of the content.
C – Good
A good performance in most areas. The candidate demonstrates a reasonable degree of judgement and independent thinking in the most important areas.
A good thesis in most important areas. Clear research question and research design. Well-written analysis rooted in the literature of the discipline. Use of methodology and presentation of content is also good. Overall, correct use of citation and referencing.
D – Satisfactory
A satisfactory performance, but with significant shortcomings. The candidate demonstrates a limited degree of judgement and independent thinking.
Overall a good thesis with a useable analysis, which also has significant weaknesses when it comes to research question, research design, the analysis, use of method and presentation of content.
E – Sufficient
A performance that meets the minimum criteria, but no more. The candidate demonstrates a very limited degree of judgement and independent thinking.
The performance meets the minimum criteria for a scientific presentation and discussion and also has significant weaknesses when it comes to research question, research design, the analysis, use of method and presentation of content.
F – Fail
A performance that does not meet the minimum academic criteria. The candidate demonstrates an absence of both judgement and independent thinking.
The performance does not meet the minimum criteria for a scientific presentation and discussion, and also has very significant weaknesses when it comes to research question, research design, the analysis, use of method and presentation of content. Does not meet the research ethical minimum standard.