Assessment criteria

Criteria for assessment of BSc and MSc thesis work at FQD

The grades for BSc and MSc thesis work range from 1 to 10. The University allows only integer marks and the minimum requirement to pass is a 6. So, what are the criteria for assessment?

We assess students on 4 aspects:

  1. Level of demonstrated knowledge
  2. Attitude towards work
  3. Use of literature and other sources of information
  4. Oral presentations and written reports

Most important in thesis work is the ability to interpret results, to make a synthesis of own results and collected information, to formulate creative ideas and solutions, and to do all this in a critical way.

To obtain a mark of 10 this implies:

All 4 aspects are assessed as exceptionally good. We seldom give the mark of 10. It is not impossible, but it must be really very special to obtain more than a mark of 9, for instance if the student has produced a thesis that could immediately be published in a peer-reviewed journal because of its importance.

To obtain a mark of 9 this implies:

  1. Level of knowledge: excellent, knows how to apply this knowledge to the problem at hand, contributes actively to an increase of knowledge, broadens knowledge
  2. Attitude towards work: active, takes initiative, plans the work according to the problem statement and research goal, can work independently, gives suggestions, is critical to own results and those published in literature
  3. Use of information: actively searches for new literature and other information from relevant sources, knows how to interpret literature results, is very critical in using literature
  4. Oral presentations and written reporting: problem statement is followed throughout, clear structure, adequate use of language, shows a critical attitude, knows how to incorporate and interpret his/her own results in results published in literature, adds new information to literature results, makes a synthesis of own work and literature.
  5. To obtain a mark of 9, the thesis must show something special in the sense that the student has really contributed to the advancement of science, has done original work, has shown creativity, and is able to give new directions to the problem that was investigated.

To obtain a mark of 8 this implies:

  1. Level of knowledge: adequate, knows how to apply this knowledge to the problem at hand, and has actively contributed to an increase of knowledge
  2. Attitude towards work: active, takes initiative, plans the work according to the problem statement and research goal, works independently, gives suggestions, is critical
  3. Use of information: actively searches for new literature, and other information from relevant sources
  4. Oral presentations and written reporting: problem statement is followed throughout, clear structure, adequate use of language, shows a critical attitude, knows how to incorporate his/her own results in results published in literature, is able to come to a synthesis

To obtain a mark of 7 this means:

  1. Level of knowledge: adequate, knows how to apply this knowledge to the problem at hand
  2. Attitude towards work: active, plans the work adequately, gives suggestions, is critical
  3. Use of information: actively searches for new literature
  4. Oral presentations and written reporting: problem statement is followed throughout, clear structure, adequate use of language
If you are getting a mark of 6 this means:
  1. Level of knowledge: limited, finds it difficult to apply knowledge to the problem at hand
  2. Attitude towards work: passive, is only doing as advised by the coach, has no own contribution, shows poor planning of work
  3. Use of information: limited, no active search and updates, is not very critical
  4. Oral presentations and written reporting: is not able to indicate the main points, doesn’t have the overview, looses himself in details, cannot give structure, has difficulty in discussing and interpreting results, and the final result is only obtained with much help of the supervisor.

If you are getting a mark below 6 this means:

  1. Level of knowledge: insufficient, is not able to apply knowledge to a given problem, is not able to update knowledge
  2. Attitude towards work: passive, has trouble in performing research and assignments, neglects advice, does not see to appointments and agreements
  3. Use of information: uses only literature that was given by supervisor, does not show any critical attitude towards literature, does not actively search for new literature
  4. Oral presentations and written reporting: is not able to indicate the main points, does not have the overview, gets lost in details, cannot give structure, is not able to discuss results, and does not connect results to literature.

In other words, a mark below 6 means that a student has failed, and that means that he/she will have to resubmit the thesis, or will have to do more research, or will get the advice to stop. When the supervisor and/or the examiner foresees during the thesis work that it may result in a mark below 6, this will be communicated well before the end of the project, together with recommendations on how to improve the performance, so as to obtain a mark of 6 or higher.

In general, the same criteria apply to BSc students, but we will put less weight on the ability to incorporate results in view of literature results, to increase scientific knowledge, and to come to new ideas.