5. Graduation Portal (Thesis project)

Introduction

You are now entering the final act of your MSc study. Here you find guidelines, rules and tips to support your project management. Take some time to read it all before you ask help from (potential) supervisors, professors, the Graduation Coordinator(s), the Programme Coordinator, SPA or secretaries.

Purpose

The aim of this individual project is twofold: First, to deep-dive in a (new) topic of your own liking, to learn new tools, improve your skills and (in most cases) work in for an external organisation. Second, it allows us to test if you fulfil these academic requirements:

  • Research quality requirements: You become master of your graduation topic and contribute to the reduction of one (or more) research gap(s) you identified in your problem analysis. You write a scientific paper with the highlights of your work;
  • Research competences: You initiate, manage and plan your work effectively and efficiently. You meet your supervisors and other experts (on site/online) regularly to discuss your progress. You use the outcomes to improve yourself; 
  • Reporting skills: You produce thesis documents (chapters or sections), which together lead to a final thesis report that meets the requirements as described in the TIL Master Thesis Grading rubric (use this during your project);
  • Presentation skills: You are able to present and discuss intermediate project results with your supervisors and present and defend the final results convincingly.

The TIL programme is interdisciplinary, which means that your topic is studied from several perspectives. You apply theory and methods related with these perspectives, which usually have been taught in earlier MSc (and BSc) courses.

Thesis planning

Scheduling a thesis project is a dynamic activity. You are the project and process manager and therefor the active party. Your supervisors are in principle re-active. They will however become active if you find it difficult to manage your project, because of internal or external reasons. Ask for support in an early stage.

When scheduling the 4 mandatory meetings, be convinced that the work you want to discuss is sufficient. If it is not, then such meetings have less use. You may be overloaded with comments. Your supervisors may question the way you operate.

It is not always easy to stick to an agreed deadline. If you run out of time, best option is to delay the meeting. In case of very tight agendas, you can shift it to an already reserved date for the next meeting in line.

Result: a report or design

The final thesis product is a report (or a design product) that must be defended. The presentation and defense set-up differs per professor:

  • A public session with an audience and an active Thesis Assessment Committee. This may take up to 1.5 hours  or
  • A separate public presentation and Q&A with the audience and a passive Committee. A closed exam session with your Thesis Assessment Committee takes place before or after the public event. This may take up to 2 hours.

Appendix A of your thesis contains your scientific paper (> 4. Project Execution / Content tab - Reporting tips).

Workload

The work is valued at 30 EC (6 months).

Covid policy

Each project is carried out within the restrictions of the COVID-policy of the TU Delft and the commissioner.
Proposals for a project outside the Netherlands receive a 'no go' from the International Office.

Programme Coordinator

dr. Stefano Fazi

/* */