Public discussion and examination

Public discussion and examination

At the degree project seminar, the author's work is presented and the opponent poses questions. Below are instructions for the opponent.

Notification of interest

You register interest in serving as an opponent by notifying the degree project coordinator by e-mail.

You may indicate a preference for at particular degree project or a general interest to serve as opponent early. When your own thesis is approved for presentation by the examiner, you may join a queue to  opposition. During the last weeks of the spring term, most opponents will be assigned from this queue.

Please note that you can never serve as an opponent for a degree project from the same supervision group. The degree projects that will be presented on the upcoming dates are listed under

Assignment of degree projects to publicly discuss and examine

The degree project coordinator will assign all opponents. You will be notified via e-mail regarding which degree project you have been assigned. Don't start preparing the opposition until you have been notified.

You must confirm that you really intend to serve as an opponent within a time frame specified by the degree project coordinator. Without a clear confirmation from you, the assignment will be given to someone else.

Priority and queue

When your examiner has approved your own thesis for presentation you may receive a priority position as opponent through a queuing system. You may notify the degree project coordinator directly or wait until you register for presentation. The registration must include your "opposition status". Please see the instruction for registration for presentation. Opponents are assigned primarily from the queue and secondly by other students. Students not in the queue may indicate interest for a particular thesis or interest in doing the opposition shortly. A mailing list is assembled and used (essentially without priorities) whenever searching for opponents is necessary.

Written opposition

Read the report carefully and critically. Write comments in the report. Fill out the opponent record, which you can download in pdf format or Word format below.

Opponent record (pdf)

Opponent record (Word)

Then send the completed record (as a pdf file) by e-mail, no later than 15:00 on the day before the presentation takes place, to the following people (e-mail addresses of KTH employees are found under “Sök anställda” on the KTH homepage):

  • The degree project coordinator
  • The author's supervisor
  • The author's examiner

The student who has written the degree project will also receive the record, but not until after the presentation.

Oral opposition

At the presentation, it is the opponent's role to stimulate a constructive discussion that clarifies the degree project's content, strengths and weaknesses.

You should therefore focus on asking open questions that allow the presenter room to clarify elements that have been unclear in the report and/or presentation.

The opponent must also be active in the discussion, which means that it is normally required to have follow-up questions and/or comments in response to the presenter's answers, not only separate questions without context.

Consider the following:

  • the time for the discussion and examination is limited (approximately 10 minutes) and it is therefore important to focus on the most important elements;
  • the discussion and examination should be interesting to other audience members so that the discussion is also relevant for those who have not read the report;
  • detailed comments and a general judgment of the degree project are submitted in the written opposition and therefore do not need to be repeated verbally;
  • the opposition is assessed by the examiner and must be well prepared and executed in order to pass: you must show that you have immersed yourself in the work in order to identify weaknesses and strengths, and that you have the ability to, orally and in writing, discuss another project in a qualified manner.
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