Your master's thesis should be written in a topic related to Plant Breeding and has to be supervised by a BOKU lecturer in this area. The master's thesis needs to be written and defended according to BOKU regulations.
If you decide to do a project at your year-1 university, you will still need a main supervisor at BOKU and additionally a co-supervisor at your year-1university.
- What is the purpose of the Master's thesis?
You should learn to work on a scientific question, do guided individual work and be able to defend your results.
- When should I begin writing my thesis?
The Master's thesis should be done in the fourth semester of the emPLANT+ Master programme. Therefore, the main supervisor should be found, and the task of the Master's thesis be fixed, by the end of the third semester. We recommend to start planning your master thesis, your preferred supervisor, topic, etc. soon after your arrival at BOKU.
- Are there any forms/ contracts I need to submit before writing my thesis?
You have to register your Master's thesis at the study services as soon as the task and the supervisors have been fixed. According to the regulations the Master's thesis has to be registered before you start working on it. Latest possible date for the registration: March 15
Required documents for the registration of your thesis:
- Form "Master's thesis registration" (for courses of study with a presentation or defensio) with signatures of supervisor, co-supervisor (if applicable) and the head of the institute of the supervisor
- E-mail from the programme coordinator that he agrees with your topic and your supervisor (and a potential co-supervisor) or signature on the registration form
- How do I find a thesis topic and a supervisor? Who is allowed to be my supervisor?
You are responsible for choosing your thesis topic and supervisor. Thesis topics offered by specific supervisors can be found on institute's homepages, blackboards, etc. However, you can ask your local emPLANT+ coordinator to help with suitable suggestions.
At BOKU university lecturers with venia docendi (="habilitiert"), that means professors and associated professors, but NOT assistant professors are allowed to act as your thesis supervisor or co-supervisor.
- Am I expected to create my own idea for the thesis topic? Am I expected to elaborate the idea in cooperation with the supervisor? Do I have to deliver a specific text/synopsis (e.g. a form) before the supervisor can approve the project? How proactive must I be throughout the project? How big part of the thesis must have been available to the supervisor before submission?
You can think of your own ideas for the thesis topic, but collaboration with a supervisor to find a suitable topic is encouraged (see also above). For example, it is sufficient to present an idea to your supervisor (personal communication, oral or written) or you can select a topic that is being offered by a supervisor. The more proactive you are, the better. If you need help you can go to your supervisors, as well as members of the institute, etc. who can offer additional hhelp when needed.
You must take part in a thesis seminar, which includes:
1) participation at presentations of other students
2) presentation of own work (minimum twice), concept note at the beginning of thesis work. The aim is to get feedback from the supervisor and from colleagues on the research question, the hypothesis, the methodology, etc. and presentation of results. Aim is to reflect the findings before binding the thesis, so comments and improvements are still possible. Also it is a training for the final defense.
You should submit your final thesis work for your supervisor before final submission. The supervisor will read the thesis and make suggestions for improvements.
- Is there a specific structure?
The thesis should have a structure of a scientific report. Depending on the specific case, some modifications can be done.
The typical outline of a master's thesis includes
1.Introduction and objectives
- Is there a required number of pages?
There are no formal requirements, the average number of pages is approx. 50. Length and content should be discussed with the supervisor.
- Is it possible to integrate an internship into my thesis project?
Yes, this could be either with a company, municipality or other university. Note: Someone from the internship can not be considered as your thesis supervisors, but would contribute as an additional local technical supervisor.
- How will I be graded on my thesis?
The thesis is immediately assessed after submission of the written work to the supervisors. The supervisor must agree that the thesis is acceptable for submission and he must assess it before applying for the defence. Grading for the written and oral defense is similar to any other lecture using the 1-5 scale. The oral performance of the thesis is related to two topics relevant to the study. Main emphasis is on the subject content and clarity of presentation of results (graphs, tables). The communication skills are part of the oral examination.
The final grading of the study is: pass with distinction, pass or fail. The mark of the thesis and title will be included in your diploma.
- When do I have to submit my thesis at the study services (already graded by the supervisors)?
in June - latest possible date for submission: July 15
- What do I submit when my thesis project is completed?
See the information on the graduation