MSc Introduction week

This Section describes the guidelines and procedures to monitor and to limit the duration of MSc thesis projects for students in the MSc program Systems & Control. This procedure applies for all students that officially start the MSc program Systems & Control on September 1, 2021 or later. In the graduation agreement a date for a go-ahead meeting will be included. The go-ahead meeting should be scheduled to take place at most X − 1 months after the official start date of the final MSc thesis project as indicated in the signed graduation agreement. Here X is equal to the nominal duration of an MSc thesis project, i.e., 9 months for a short MSc thesis project (literature survey included) and 12 months for a long MSc thesis project  (literature survey and research project (course code SC52055) included). For part-time students or for double-degree students, X can be adjusted accordingly.

After the official start date of the final MSc thesis project as recorded in the signed graduation agreement, the date of the go-ahead meeting can be postponed at most once by the daily supervisor in case of special circumstances. Any further extension requires explicit permission (e.g., via email) from the Director of studies of the MSc program Systems & Control.

Go-ahead meeting
During the go-ahead meeting the supervisors5 assess whether or not the MSc student will be expected to pass the MSc thesis defense based on the information available at that time (this could include a draft of report if supervisors want so). If the supervisors want, then additional people can be invited to participate in the go-ahead meeting. Note that the procedure of the go-ahead meeting is deliberately kept light, so no rubricis required and neither is a formal report required. Moreover, if the MSc thesis defense takes place, then the student will in principle pass.

“Go” decision
In case the supervisors decide to assign a “go ahead”, then a date will be planned for a final MSc defense within 1-2 months.

“No go” decision
In case the supervisors decide to assign a “no go” (i.e., if they expect that the MSc student is very likely to fail the final MSc defense), they first compose an MSc committee (with a composition that satisfies all formal requirements for MSc committees). This MSc committee is then asked by the supervisors to assess the current (draft) report and to provide recommendations to improve the report.  The daily supervisor collects these recommendations and communicates them to the students. The student then gets 2 months to revise the report.  Next, the MSc committee checks whether feedback was properly processed. If so,  a date will be planned for a final MSc defense within 1-2 months. If the MSc committee finds that the feedback was not processed in an adequate way, and the project will be terminated (see Section 2.3).

Intervention after “go” decision In exceptional cases, if an MSc committee member detects major issues with the MSc thesis report, then an intervention is possible,  but at the latest 3 days before the final MSc defense. In that case the planned MSc defense will be canceled and the path of the “no go” decision will be followed. 5Throughout this document the term “supervisors” also covers a single supervisor in case there is indeed only one supervisor.

Termination of an MSc thesis
Termination of an MSc thesis project can occur in one of the following cases:

  •  In case of a “no go” decision: if the MSc committee finds that the feedback was not processed in an adequate way (see item ”no go decision” above).
  •  If there is no MSc thesis report provided to the MSc thesis committee by the ultimate deadline  of 3 days before the planned MSc thesis defense, the MSc thesis committee can decide to terminate the MSc thesis project.

If an MSc project is terminated, student has to start new project with another supervisor. This new supervisor should be a senior staff member and is assigned by the Management Team of DCSC together with the Direction of Education of the MSc program Systems &Control.

Final provisions
In case of unclarities in the above guidelines, the Direction of Studies of the MSc program Systems & Control takes notice of the specific unclarity. He/she will then decide upon the issue and also make sure to update the above guidelines in consultation withthe DCSC staff.  The procedure described in this document will be evaluated and, if needed, revised on a three-yearly basis, as well as if the number of terminated students exceeds 2–3 per year.