MSc Thesis information Farming Systems Ecology Group

To download  a detailed MSc thesis rules booklet and other relevant downloads, follow the links on the right side of this page. Down here a summary of the MSc thesis rules:

  1. Before starting the MSc program in FSE, the student should orient him/herself about courses that would be beneficial for his/her thesis topic. The Group-specific course 'Analysis and Design of Organic Farming Systems' or 'Agroecology' is required for students who want to do thesis research at FSE. In individual cases, this requirement could be waved in consultation with the education officer, Dr Dirk van Apeldoorn.
  2. Students join ongoing research of PhD-candidates or research projects of FSE. It is possible to present an exceptional bright idea for your thesis to the study coordinator, which can be considered provided the idea fits the main research themes of FSE and supervision can arranged. However this is rather the exception than the rule. Students can work by themselves or in groups of two on a thesis topic
  3. The subject area should fall under the research themes selected by the faculty of FSE, and students should select a supervisor among the faculty of this group. If extra expertise is needed outside of the disciplines represented in FSE, a second supervisor from another area (for instance animal sciences) can be selected in addition to a supervisor of FSE. For research in the field of the social sciences a supervisor from FSE should be supplemented with someone from the socio-economic area (Leeuwenborch).
  4. Research can be conducted in the Netherlands or abroad. Research abroad should be supervised by a local scientist of sufficient quality (to be judged by the examiner from FSE).
  5. Preferably 3 months before the start of every research project, there will be consultation between the student and his/her supervisor(s). The supervisor presents a brief description of a project (one A4) to the chair of the Group before initiation of the thesis research. A more detailed research proposal (5 A4, including references) will be prepared by the student in cooperation with the supervisor(s). This proposal must be approved by the professor before the start of the research
  6. The research should be conducted so that the results can be published in a scientific refereed journal, either by itself or together with research done by scientific staff or other students
  7. The supervisor will inform the secretariat that a new student is coming. The student needs to obtain a thesis contract from the secretariat or download it here on the right side of this page. The contract needs to be filled in, signed, and returned to the secretariat before the start of the research (follow the link on top right of this page for this contract).
  8. The student will arrange regular consultations with the supervisor(s) during the period when the research is carried out. Every student must keep a diary of the daily activities and results. The original of this diary will be handed over to the supervisor after finishing the research
  9. A report will be written in English in the form of a manuscript, completed with appendices (the original data, not-publishable data, models etc.). The title page needs to have a standard layout (follow the link on top right of this page for this layout).
  10. The final draft of the report should be handed to the supervisor of FSE at least two weeks before the final meeting with the examiner so that there is still time to make changes if necessary. The contents should not deviate substantially from the original proposal. The final report needs to be sent to the examiner and supervisor one week before the examination
  11. One copy of the approved report should be delivered to the secretariat after the examination for the FSE files. Also, if required, 1 copy for the supervisor and 1 for the examiner. In addition to the paper versions, a digital version of the final report and original data must be submitted to the FSE supervisor. The costs for the preparation of the required number of copies of the report will be paid by FSE (if necessary also 1 copy for the organisation where the research was done). For this purpose a "guest card" (to make photocopies) and permission to use the printer in the MSc room can be obtained at the secretariat. Binding of the report can be done at the Radix Service corner (ground floor, next to the meeting rooms, W0 - corridor E/F). For colour copies, please, contact the secretariat beforehand
  12. The student will present an exit colloquium in English, provided that the research project is longer than 3 months. The colloquium will preferably be held on Tuesday afternoon at 12.30 pm and should be indicated to the secretariat at least two weeks before the date on which the colloquium will take place. The secretariat will announce the colloquium in the Wb and among staff members. The student is responsible for announcing the colloquium to other students, friends and (if desired) family
  13. A final discussion of the research project, the colloquium, and related issues and literature will be held with the supervisor(s) and the examiner. This discussion can only take place after all previous conditions have been met
  14. The final grade will be based on: the research process, the thesis quality, the colloquium, and the final discussion.

You will enjoy your thesis project at FSE and can be proud of the high quality thesis that will result!