REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION THESIS AND PROCEDURE FOR DEFENCE IN THE FACULTY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Adopted in Faculty Council 28.01.2016
1.These rules regulate the requirements for the graduation thesis (bachelor’s and master’s theses) and the procedure for defending the thesis in the Faculty of Science and Technology.
2.The graduation thesis and defence demonstrate the student’s:
2.1.ability to apply the acquired knowledge in phrasing research questions, planning and conducting the corresponding research, making conclusions on the basis of collected data and presenting them in writing and speech;
2.2.ability to find and analyse scientific information and use this information together with their own research data to synthesise new knowledge in the field
2.3.ability to prepare and give a public presentation and express and defend their standpoints related to the specialisation in writing and speech;
2.4.knowledge of the general principles of research ethics and ability to evaluate the quality and intrinsic value of research in their field.
3.If the curriculum is managed by several institutes, the tasks assigned to the institute managing the curriculum are performed by the institute that is appointed as coordinating manager of the curriculum (hereinafter the institute).
II.Topic and supervisor
4.The student chooses a supervisor(s) for the graduation thesis and together with the supervisor(s) a topic of suitable scope and level. The supervisor(s) is appointed by the directive of the head of the institute. The institute sets a date for appointing supervisors for each curriculum.
5.The supervisor may be a person who has at least a master’s degree or an equivalent level of education. If necessary, a co-supervisor may be appointed. If the student’s supervisor does not have an employment contract with the university, a co-supervisor must be appointed from among the faculty’s staff.
6.The graduation thesis may be
6.1. a theoretical or experimental research;
6.2. the solution of an applied problem;
6.3. a teaching device or material;
6.4. work which encompasses several of the components listed in clauses 6.1–6.3.
7.The graduation thesis is in Estonian or English.
8.The graduation thesis includes the following parts:
8.1. title page (institute, title of thesis, bachelor’s or master’s thesis, specialisation, number of EAPs, author, supervisor(s));
8.2. fact sheet: abstract and keywords in Estonian and English;
8.3. table of contents;
8.4. introduction (presentation of the problem, aim and overview of the work);
8.5. main text presented with a proper structure;
8.6. list of references;
8.7. one or more annexes if necessary;
8.8. non-exclusive license for the electronic publishing of the graduation thesis (with a time restriction if necessary).
9.The graduation thesis is in A4 format, font size 12 pt. The pages of the thesis are numbered. The recommended length of the thesis without annexes is 20 pages and no more than 50 pages. The institute has the right to set exceptions.
10.The fact sheet has abstracts in Estonian and English. The abstract begins with the title of the thesis and ends with a list of keywords and the CERCS code of the research field and name in the respective language.
11.List of references is presented in an alphabetical order or in the order of reference. Only the sources that are referred to in the thesis are listed.
IV.Being allowed to the defence
12.In order for the graduation thesis to be allowed to the defence, the author submits their thesis by the date set by the head of the institute along with the supervisor’s written opinion to certify that the thesis meets the requirements.
13.The graduation thesis must be submitted electronically as a PDF file. If it is not possible to publish the thesis due to confidential information, before submitting the thesis to the defence, the author submits to the vice dean for academic affairs an application approved by the supervisor to restrict the publicity of the defence. The restrictions are set by the directive of the vice dean for academic affairs.
14.The head of the institute or a person appointed by them decides whether the thesis is allowed to the defence and appoints a reviewer who has at least a master’s degree or an equivalent level of education. Theses which are allowed to a public defence are published before the defence on the institute’s website. A thesis allowed to be defended cannot be corrected or amended.
15.The prerequisite for allowing a thesis to be defended is that the student has completed all the other courses in the curriculum no later than two working days before the defence.
16.The student must be able to read the written review of the reviewer at least one day before the defence. The review must include a general assessment of the thesis but does not need to include all questions asked at the defence.
17.The author has the right to withdraw the graduation thesis at the beginning of the defence the latest and submit the same or corrected thesis to be allowed to the defence later.
18.The dates for submitting and defending the graduation thesis and composition of the defence committee are approved by the directive of the head of the institute at the beginning of each academic year. If necessary, more dates for defences can be added and changes can be made in the composition of defence committees during the academic year. If the person completing the curriculum is granted a profession, the composition of the defence committee must be coordinated with the profession committee. The defence committee has at least four members, the committee is competent to evaluate if more than half of its members are present.
19.The graduation thesis can only be defended when the author of the thesis is present. If the reviewer is unable to participate in the defence, a member of the defence committee will perform the reviewer’s tasks.
20. The graduation thesis is defended in the form of an open academic debate which includes:
20.1. the author’s presentation of the main results of the thesis (up to 10 minutes for a bachelor’s thesis, up to 15 minutes for a master’s thesis);
20.2. academic discussion between the reviewer(s) and the author;
20.3. general discussion;
20.4. the author’s final remarks for up to one minute.
21.The defended thesis is assessed in the closed part of the meeting where the supervisor(s) and reviewer(s) are allowed to participate. Only members of the committee participate in the voting. If the supervisor is a member of the committee, he/she does not vote.
22.Assessment of the thesis considers whether the thesis meets the requirements (clause 2) set for the thesis.
23.Chair of the committee announces the results of the defence within one working day after the defence. If a student has successfully defended their graduation thesis, they are considered to have graduated from the university with a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
24.If the defence committee decides that the graduation thesis does not have the required level or the author is unable to defend the thesis, the result of the graduation thesis is negative. In this case, the student is entitled to a second defence on the date set by the head of the institute. For a second defence of a graduation thesis, the student is required to supplement the existing work or write a new thesis on a different topic.
25.Matters which are not addressed in these regulations are resolved in accordance with the Study Regulations of the University of Tartu and other regulations of the Faculty of Science and Technology.
26.If required by the specific nature of the specialisation, institutes may prepare additional instructions for writing and defending a graduation thesis in accordance with these regulations. Such instructions must be available on the faculty’s and institute’s website.