Carrying out the actual project
Initiate the degree project
Initiate the degree project after consultation with your supervisor. Some departments require a project plan in the beginning of the degree project. This is advisable whether or not it is required. Note already now that there are requirements regarding both content and how it is presented. A degree project of 30 credits is evaluated on the basis of three criteria: process, academic content and presentation.
The reading phase
Some departments have an explicit period of reading, in general in the beginning of the degree project. This period usually consists of one individual ‘course, that supervisor, examiner and the student define with the starting point in some pertinent literature such as books and/or a collection of scientific articles. You should be prepared to take an active part in the search for literature, and not only depend on your supervisor. The presentation of the reading period is made in the way agreed upon between the supervisor and examiner, for example through an oral exam. However, the reading period should always be referred to in the degree project thesis.
Keep continuous contact with your supervisor(s) and let them know the progress of your degree project.
Observation of others’ report presentations
As early as possible, arrange to observe others’ presentation of their master theses. Attendance at two is required. Ask the presenter’s supervisor to sign your "Certificate of Participation" form after the presentation.
Attendance is required because it can be very helpful in guiding you both in your progress on your project but also in writing the thesis. It is helpful to have observed before it is your turn to act as opponent.
Call a report meeting two to three weeks before you have completed your degree project. At this meeting you should present to your supervisor and possibly the examiner, the penultimate draft of the degree project thesis which should include all essential parts, including conclusions. Naturally the demands of a complete thesis and the quality of the contents are lower than at the final review/presentation.
- If you have been doing your degree project at a company, your supervisor from the company should also be present at this meeting.
- Both supervisors should have access to the draft of the thesis well in advance of the meeting.
- The supervisors will revise the thesis and offer their opinions at the meeting.
Oral presentation and opposition
When you are finished, you will present and defend your thesis at a seminar where teachers, other engineers and staff from the department have the possibility to participate. An opponent can also attend and ask questions about your presentation.
If the presentation does not fulfill the requirements to the satisfaction of your examiner, you will have the opportunity to present your thesis again on another occasion.
Act as opponent
Part of the degree project is the requirement to act as opponent for another student’s degree project thesis presentation. When you are acting as opponent the idea is to make a constructive critique of the degree project you are reviewing. Try to find questions at issue that are interesting in principle rather than focusing on details. At a minimum, the following items should be discussed:
- The planning of the degree project thesis
- The way the degree project thesis considers and discusses previous thesis/work on the area
- The relevance and significance of the conclusions
- Linguistic and graphical presentation
You must obtain the signature of the presenter’s supervisor afterwards on your "Certificate of Participation". This form should be complete then.
Writing your thesis/report
Writing of the degree project thesis is an integrated part of the technical work. For this reason you should continuously document your work.
If you do your degree project outside KTH the company sometimes expects documentation in the form of a company report. Sometimes companies have their own specific requirements and desires for the design of the documentation and report. For this reason the company report may not be sufficient as a degree project thesis. Discuss this at an early stage with your supervisor at KTH.
For you to pass the course, your project degree thesis should above all accurately describe your degree project, but there are also some formal requirements. Consider the following:
- When you use facts taken from other sources you must reference the source book . This is imperative even if you are not quoting directly, but only summarizing what someone else has written.
- Try to relate the work you have done to the literature and scientific knowledge or standpoints.
- Be careful to distinguish your information from information from others.
- Be careful to distinguish between facts and interpretation of facts.
- Describe not just what your results are, but also how you reached your results. It is important to present the methodology and the results as distinctly separate.
- Describe obstacles in the working process, how you managed them, worked around them or why you could not overcome them.
The degree project should rely on scholarly and scientific foundations. For this reason the requirements are high regarding references to literature. You must refer to scientific literature and not only to manuals, company reports and course literature.
Be aware that the thesis/reports are reviewed for language. If you need help, speak with your supervisor, examiner or the person(s) responsible for the degree project theses at your supervisor’s department.
The thesis should be written in Swedish or English. In exceptional cases the report may be written in German or French. There must be an abstract written in English and Swedish, both.
The principle of free access to public records
All degree project theses/reports are official documents. When your degree project thesis is approved (that is, on the date a grade is received) the document becomes official.