Please also check the following documents that can be downloaded from the EnvEuro website
- Master Thesis Guide (PDF)
- Graduation Guide (PDF)
- Supervisor and Co-Supervisor Guidelines (PDF)
- List of Former Supervisors and Theses Titles (PDF)
- Thesis Defense Form and Guidelines (PDF)
The Master's thesis needs to be written and defended according to the regulations of the host university!
Master's thesis written and defended at BOKU:
- 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 EnvEuro 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 or in the break between winter and summer term (i.e. between third and fourth semester).
- Are there any forms/ contracts I need to submit before writing my thesis?
You are responsible for completing the EnvEuro Master's thesis form, which can be found and filled out on the EnvEuro eCampus under the thesis section.
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.
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 and the head of the institute of the supervisor (original signatures needed, exception: co-supervisor)
- E-mail from the programme coordinator that he agrees with supervisor and co-supervisor (and examination subjects) or signature on the registration form
- E-mail or confirmation issued by the administrative coordinator at BOKU that co-supervisor of the home university is allowed to supervise the thesis according to the university rules of the home university.
Additionally you are required to fill out the EnvEuro MSc thesis declaration form (see absalon) in April of your second year, in which you indicate your thesis working title, the specialisation within which it is done, your supervisor, co-supervsior as well as the expected start and end date.
- How much time do I have to write my thesis? If there is a limit, what happens if the time span is exceeded?
At BOKU there is no formal time period in which the Master's thesis must be completed.
Note: As long as you have not graduated you will need to stay registered in the University system, and thus are responsible for paying all student fees which apply to you.
- 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 EnvEuro 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.
- What do I submit when my thesis project is completed?
See the information on the graduation
- 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.
- Are there special requirements for submitting my Master's thesis at my home university when I have completed my work?
If BOKU was your home university, you do not have to register your thesis at BOKU. However, once you have completed your thesis at your host university, you should send a copy to the BOKU library for their records. Please be aware that you have to submit various documents to get your BOKU degree (after having finished EnvEuro at the host university, where you wrote your thesis) - see information on graduation