Regulations for defending graduation theses

Approved by

NPO Eesti Euroinfo Ühing

Euroakadeemia Senate Decision

28.08.2013

NPO EESTI EUROINFO ÜHING

REGULATIONS FOR WRITING AND DEFENDING DIPLOMA AND MASTER’S THESES AT EUROAKADEEMIA

1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

1.1. The present regulations regulate the process of writing and defending diploma and Master’s theses at Euroakadeemia and complement the regulations of the organisation of studies at Euroakadeemia.
1.2. With regard to the general requirements for the diploma and Master’s theses, the rules are based on the legislation regulating higher education.
1.3. The main aims of the students’ diploma and Master’s theses are:
o To develop the skills of conducting independent creative work;
o To anchor and extend one’s theoretical knowledge and practical skills;
o To acquire skills and knowledge for planning research and development work, selecting and using respective methods, data processing, making generalisations and formalising the research;
o To confirm the applied level of education upon completing the curriculum (graduating from the higher education institution).
1.4. The diploma and Master’s theses must adhere to the general requirements of the logic of research and development, address current issues and include new information in the given area.
1.5. The diploma and Master’s theses may be compiled as a theoretical generalisation on the basis of the analysis of respective literature or as a result of an experiment.

2. THE SELECTION OF THE RESEARCH TOPIC OF DIPLOMA AND MASTER’S THESES

2.1. The research topic of the thesis must generally be related to the specialty of the curriculum and the selection may be based on the recommendation of the faculty (chair) or on the student’s own initiative or as a result of research projects.
2.2. The topic of the diploma and Master’s thesis together with the supervisor(s) is approved by the Rector on the proposal of the dean of the faculty.

3. DIPLOMA THESIS (the final thesis of professional higher education curricula)

3.1. The diploma thesis is a part of professional higher education curricula assessed at the defence of the thesis.
3.2. The diploma thesis is an independently conducted theoretical or experimental research.
3.3. The extent of the thesis (excluding the appendices and graphs) is at least 50 typed pages (line spacing 1.5, font size 12, 1800 characters on a page).
3.4. The thesis generally includes the introduction explaining the selection of the given topic, its currency, the aims and tasks of the research and a general description of the problem on the basis of literature; also a detailed description of the materials used and methods employed; the presentation of the research results and the comparison with other similar studies; a resume of the results in the original language and also in a foreign language (usually in English); a list of references and appendices if necessary.
3.5. The diploma thesis in the arts consists of a project/models, respective graphic material and explanatory summary up to 25 typed pages (line spacing 1.5, font size 12, 1800 characters on a page).
3.6. The diploma thesis in the specialty of Translation may include a translation with respective comments.
3.7. The diploma thesis is submitted in three copies in hardback binding and also in digital form. One of the copies together with the digital version shall be stored at the library of Euroakadeemia.

4. MASTER’S THESIS

4.1. The Master’s thesis is a part of Master’s studies curricula assessed at the defence of the thesis.
4.2. The Master’s thesis is an independently conducted scientific research or development work certifying the student’s erudition in the given area, his creative abilities, his skills to formulate problems and find sound means for their solution.
4.3. The Master’s thesis includes the introduction explaining the selection of the given topic, the aims and tasks of the problem solution, the main hypothesis of the study; a detailed description of the materials used and methods employed; an analysis of the source materials, the well-founded presentation of the results and their comparison with other similar studies; a resume of the results and suggestions (also in a foreign language); a list of referenced materials used and appendices if necessary.
4.4. The extent of Master’s thesis (excluding the appendices and graphs) is no less than 80 and no more than 100 typed pages (line spacing 1.5, font size 12, 1800 characters on a page).
4.5. The Master’s thesis is submitted in three copies in hardback binding and also in digital form. One of the copies together with the digital version shall be stored at the library of Euroakadeemia

5. THE TASKS OF DIPLOMA AND MASTER’S DEGREE CANDIDATES

5.1. In writing the research, the candidate must perform the following tasks:
– searching for pertinent literature,
– collecting necessary data for the thesis;
– selecting the methods for conducting the research or developing it himself, if necessary;
– analysing the collected data;
– making conclusions and suggestions on the basis of the data analysis;
– reporting to the supervisor in the course of the process;
– assuming responsibility for the validity of the data presented in the study;
– referencing to scientific literature and other sources of data pursuant to copyright laws and good practices;
– formulating the study pursuant to the thesis writing requirements;
– defending the research results and presented opinions before a defence committee generally in Estonian, however, by agreement of the defence committee also in another language.

6. THE ASSESSMENT OF DIPLOMA AND MASTER’S THESES

6.1. In assessing the diploma and Master’s theses, the following are considered:
– the adherence of the work to the topic and aims of the study;
– the appropriateness of the source materials, comprehensiveness of the content and analysis (the selection and use of methods);
– the logic and feasibility of the structure
– the novelty of the topic and necessity of the research;
– the argumentation of the conclusions and suggestions.
6.2. The diploma and Master’s theses are assessed pursuant to the uniform grading system of educational institutions providing higher education:
– grade „5“ („A“) – excellent,
– grade „4“ („B“) – very good,
– grade „3“ („C“) – good,
– grade „2“ („D“) – satisfactory,
– grade „1“ („E“) – sufficient,
– grade „0“ („F“) – unsatisfactory.
6.3. The adoption of the assessment decision requires the support of more than half of the members of the defence committee.
6.4. In case the diploma or Master’s thesis is graded “excellent”, the given grade will be indicated on the student’s academic supplement and in case of completing the curriculum with the average grade of at least 4.6, also the honours “cum laude”. In case the thesis defence is graded “unsatisfactory”, the diploma certifying the respective level of education shall not be issued.
6.5. Theses graded “sufficient” and “unsatisfactory” may be submitted for re-defence after revision, however, not before the defence committee’s following work period. The work period of the defence committee shall be determined annually in the academic calendar.
6.6. The defence committee may be convened by way of exception. In such case, the applicant shall cover the expenses related to the committee’s work.
6.7. The defence committee may be convened also in case the applicant has not submitted his thesis for defence within the nominal period of studies. In such case, the applicant shall cover the expenses related to the committee’s work.
7. SUPERVISION

7.1. The supervisor(s) of each thesis shall be approved by the Rector’s decree. At least one of the supervisors must have at least a Master’s degree. The supervision of a diploma thesis shall be remunerated to the extent of 10 hours and a Master’s thesis to the extent of 15 hours pursuant to the hourly fee rates of Euroakadeemia.
7.2. The tasks of the supervisor are:
– to help to formulate the topic, structure and aim of the thesis,
– to help to draw up a programme and schedule of the thesis,
– to guide the student in searching for pertinent literature,
– to consult the student in the course of research and writing process,
– to check the formulation of the thesis,
– to find consultants, if necessary,
– to evaluate the student’s attitude, enterprise and performance,
– to provide the defence committee with a written evaluation of the compliance of the thesis with the requirements including also a proposal for the grade.

8. REVIEWING

8.1. Each thesis shall be reviewed by one reviewer (a specialist-practitioner with a research or Master’s degree or with competent professional background). The reviewer is remunerated to the extent of 3 hours pursuant to the hourly fee rates of Euroakadeemia.
8.2. The reviewer shall submit his well-founded opinion of the diploma or Master’s thesis to the defence committee. The reviewer’s opinion must include the assessment of the following aspects:
– the adherence of the thesis to the selected topic,
– the novelty of the topic,
– the compliance of the source data with the set task,
– the feasibility of the analytical and data processing methods,
– the logic of the structure of the thesis,
– the compliance of the results with the source data,
– the compliance of the conclusions with the analysis,
– the feasibility of the referenced literature,
– the formulation of the thesis,
– the comprehensiveness of the thesis.
The reviewer shall also make a proposal regarding the grade.
9. THE DEFENCE

9.1. The chairman (preferably not a member of Euroakadeemia) and members of the diploma and Master’s theses defence committee shall be determined with the Rector’s decree on the proposal of the dean of the faculty. The committee must include at least three members. The supervisor and reviewer of the defended thesis shall not be members of the defence committee. The defence committee members who are not members of Euroakadeemia are remunerated to the extent of 1 hour per each submitted thesis pursuant to the hourly rates of Euroakadeemia.
9.2. At the defence, the chairman (or secretary) of the committee shall introduce the documents submitted by the applicant (an extract from the academic transcript, the faculty’s position on allowing the thesis to the defence, in case of development work a notice on the possibilities for implementing the results), also the thesis, supervisor and reviewer. The applicant shall present the main points of the defended thesis within 10-15 minutes. The reviewer shall present his opinion of the thesis. In case the reviewer is not present, the written review shall be read out. The applicant shall answer any questions asked by the reviewer. In exceptional cases, the thesis may be appointed an additional reviewer prior to the defence in case the reviewer’s absence with good reason has been given prior notice. The discussion at the Master’s thesis defence may be in conducted in the form of a dialogue between the reviewer and the applicant. Following the presentation of the reviewer’s evaluation of the thesis, other members of the defence committee have the right to ask questions followed by the other people present at the defence. The defence shall end with the applicant’s closing statement. The defence committee’s evaluation (grade) shall be announced following the defence session.
9.3. The applicant may contest the result of the defence within five days of the date following the defence in case the present rules have been breached. The contestation shall be reviewed and commented upon by the committee appointed by the Rector within seven days following the submission of the contestation.
9.4. The diploma and Master’s thesis defence is a public event.
10. GRADUATION CERTIFICATES

10.1. Following the completion of the professional higher education curriculum in full, the higher education institution shall issue the student a respective diploma and diploma supplement.
10.2. Having graduated from professional higher education studies, the person has the right to continue his studies in Master’s studies pursuant to the terms and requirements set by the higher education institution or university.
10.3. Following the completion of the Master’s curriculum, the higher education institution shall issue the student a respective diploma and diploma supplement.
10.4. Having graduated from Master’s studies, the person has the right to continue his studies in Doctoral studies pursuant to the terms and requirements set by the legislation.