Bachelor and Master Theses

Roles and responsibility of the persons involved in the course

1.3 Roles and responsibility of the persons involved in the course

  1.3.1 The Student
  1.3.2 The Supervisor
  1.3.3 The Examiner
  1.3.4 The Examination Committee
  1.3.5 The Thesis Coordinator

1.3.1 The Student

As the ones driving the work forward, students are the main actors of the process. Specifically, they are expected to:

  • Be pro-active (do the work, search information about the course, find a possible topic, find out the deadlines, etc.).
  • Find a possible thesis topic and, if needed, the supervisor at IDT.
  • Keep the supervisor involved and informed of the progress of the work. This can be done through regular meetings, mails, etc. Modalities of communication and timeframes have to be agreed with the supervisor in the beginning of the work.
  • Be respectful of the time of the supervisor. Documents should not be sent on the day of the deadline for approval and feedbacks (unless previously agreed with the supervisor).
  • Value the inputs from the supervisor.
  • Be honest when discussing their results to their supervisors (e.g. do not falsify results so that they match what was expected).
  • Keep your supervisor informed of technical or non-technical problems that might affect the work.
  • Submit the examination documents in time.
  • Check and follow the rules and regulations on the thesis work (read the documentation, contact the thesis coordinator, talk to the supervisor).
  • Be involved and do their best.
  • Proof-read documents before sending it out for feedbacks.

As it can be understood from this list, students and their supervisor have a lot of contacts during the thesis. The supervisor shall be seen as a guide who will provide feedbacks on the work, both positives and negatives. This is done to help you become better so you can achieve your best. Therefore, the more effort you put into the work, the more gain you will get.

1.3.2 The Supervisor

Post-doc, phd students, researchers, lecturers and guest researchers are typically appointed as supervisors. Supervisors do not concretely contribute to the progress of the thesis work. Their role is to mainly provide inputs and information to the students but they shall not be expected to (1) do any implementation, (2) do major changes on the final report, (3) solve administrative problems created by students (e.g. students missing a deadline). Supervisor’s role includes to:

  • Guide the student throughout the work, however still ensuring the independence of the student.
  • Regularly meet the students and follow the advancement of the work.
  • Review the work, give feedbacks and advices on the student’s work.
  • Remind the student on important deadlines.
  • Be available for the students within reasonable limits.
  • Provide the students with information on how thesis work are done at IDT (evaluation criteria, expected standard for the work, etc.).
  • Advice the students on whether the report would be good enough for examination.
  • In case of industrial thesis work, regularly meet with the company supervisor to ensure that the academic requirements will be met in the work.
  • Inform students when risks arise that they might not reach the expected standards for the work.
  • Provide feedbacks on the report and presentation.

Supervision is limited to a predefined number of hours in the period of the course instance in which the thesis work is started. For example, for a master thesis starting in January, supervision will be provided up until the beginning June. A variable amount of time is also granted in the month preceding the course start to help in the specification of the thesis proposal.

Several supervisors might be appointed on a thesis work with different supervision time allocated to the thesis work. This would happen for example if one supervisor is rather junior in the role as supervisor and would need guidance from a more experience supervisor. Another case would be for thesis which topic is borderline to several fields.

If a student use all her/his allocated supervision, the supervisor can denied to spend further time on supervising the thesis work. It is therefore important that students come prepared to meeting with the supervisors and do not unnecessarily request inputs from the supervisor. For example, by proof-reading documents before sending out to the supervisor, the supervisor can focus on providing feedbacks on the ideas or structure of the documents instead of spending time on the grammar.

Additionally, supervisors provide the examiner with inputs for some of the grading criteria. Therefore, students should pay attention to their supervisor’s advices.

1.3.3 The Examiner

The role of the examiner is to ensure that the work satisfies the educational requirements to approve the work. In particular, this includes:

  • assessing whether the thesis proposal is good enough to start the work
  • grades the individual parts of the thesis work (report, presentation, opponentship, student’s skills) according to the grading criteria
  • attend the presentation
  • participate in the examination committee
  • set the final grade for the thesis
  • in case the thesis work is done at a partner university, the examiner shall assess the report and if possible the final presentation (through Skype for example) according to the criteria in place at IDT. As a consequence he has the responsibility to set the final grade.
  • inform the thesis coordinator of his/her decisions
  • verify through Urkund that the work do not contain plagiarism
  • report the student(s) to the disciplinary commission if the work contain plagiarism

Examiners are not involved in the day-to-day progress of the work. Thus, the examiner and supervisor of a thesis cannot be the same person. Only examiners from the list of available examiners for the course instance can be assigned to a thesis work. The thesis examiner is typically a docent or a professor at IDT. Post-docs, PhD students and research guests cannot act as examiner.

As for supervision, examination is also limited. Typically, examiners are only involved in the process at the predefined examination periods. On top of that, examiners are also involved in the beginning of the process to ensure that the thesis proposal satisfies the requirements to start a thesis work.

1.3.4 The Examination Committee

The examination committee consists of examiners who are involved in a thesis work for a given course instance, plus in case of needs supplementary members (post-docs, phd students, guest researchers, etc.). The examination committee members attend the thesis presentations and ask question to evaluate the student’s knowledge on the work. When all the work of a course instance have been presented, the examination committee members will meet, discuss the work that have been presented and set the final grade together with the examiner of the thesis.

1.3.5 The Thesis Coordinator

The thesis coordinator manages the process surrounding the thesis work. His role is to:

  • Manage the course instances.
  • Set up the examination committees.
  • Schedule the presentation days.
  • Have an overview of the student’s status.
  • Answer student’s questions concerning the process and the course in general.
  • Collect the grades from the examiner and process them so they can be registered in LADOK.
  • Organize the opponentship for student’s at advance level.

The thesis coordinator shall be contacted by using the following email address:

  • Mälardalen University |
  • Box 883 |
  • 721 23 Västerås/Eskilstuna |
  • 021-101300, 016-153600 |
  • webmaster |
  • Latest update: 2018.08.31