CHAPTER 14 STRUCTURE OF THE MASTERS ASSIGNMENT

The Master’s assignment is the final part of both Master’s tracks. The Master’s assignment (course code 275099) covers minimally 30 weeks (45 EC) during which the student performs individual scientific research under supervision of a member from the chosen research group. The assignment is completed with a Master’s thesis.

OBJECTIVES AND REQUIREMENTS

Objectives

During the assignment, students have to individually perform a relatively complex and large research project, which meets certain scientific criteria. The objectives of the assignment concern:

o

Specialisation in a certain research area: recognition of problems and formulation of research problems;

o

Independent performance of biomedical-engineering research or biomedical-engineering design;

o

Oral and written report of a research project.

Requirements

The student has to show and develop a sufficient level of:

o

Scientific work, including showing considerations of the “how and why” of the research;

o

Creativity, including making links and using of know-how from former studies and literature;

o

Working speed and methodology;

o

Progress of personal research contribution;

o

Oral and written expression skills to clear report executed work.

At the end of the assignment, founded conclusions of the research results and useful recommendations for further research have to be formulated.

CHOICE AND START OF THE MASTERS ASSIGNMENT

Choice

Students are recommended to timely inform at the professor about the possible assignments in the research group at which they have indicated to graduate at. This may be well before the actual planned start of the assignment. The professor has to be allied to a research group of the BME group. The research group and professor have to be chosen in the beginning of the study program to confirm the curriculum to be followed, see chapter 12.

Starting obligations

Before start of the assignment, a student has to be satisfy the following rules:

o

In possession of a Bachelor’s degree;

o

Internship is completed;

o

All Master’s courses are completed (or some exceptions may be possible, see application form).

Supervisor(s)

Once the student has agreed on an assignment, supervisor(s) will be appointed by the responsible professor. This generally concerns:

o

A daily supervisor;

Often, this concerns a PhD student of the research group and, in case of an external assignment, a member of the concerning company/organisation.

o

A tutor of the regular scientific staff;

Whether a tutor is appointed is dependent of the organisational structure of the group. In many groups, such a tutor is the daily supervisor of the PhD student, who most of the time also coordinates general tasks, like the official description of the assignment and the composition of an MSc Assignment committee.

The professor, tutor and daily supervisor determine the content of the assignment, for which the professor is held ultimately responsible.

MSc assignment committee

Before start of the assignment, the MSc assignment committee has to be composed and subsequently approved by the Board of Examiners. The MSc Assignment committee evaluates the results and monitors the progress of the assignment. The committee comprises at least three members from the BME scientific staff:

o

The professor (chairman);

o

A daily supervisor;

o

A member of a different BME;

o

A member of the concerning organisation (fulfilling an advising role in the committee) in case of an external assignment.

Application form for Master’s assignment

Minimally one month before start of the Master’s assignment, an application form for the Master’s assignment has to be submitted to BOOZ. This form can be found at the BME website (http://www.tnw.utwente.nl/bmt/master) and in Appendices 9. The form has to comprise the title of the assignment, a short project description, a short time plan and signatures of the professor and student. In case not all Master’s courses have been completed with consent of the professor, this has to be indicated on the application form accompanied by a grounded reason for a premature start of the assignment and a planned final date per course. The application is required to ensure that a student satifies all rules for starting the Master’s assignment which is to be confirmed by the Board of Examiners. Without such confirmation, the student is not allowed to start.

Practical arrangements

Some practical arrangements have to be made before starting the Master’s assignment, which differs per research group. In general, this concerns:

Action by the secretary:

o

Provision of safety rules and signing these rules by the student

o

Registration of contact information (home address, phone number) to ensure attainability

o

Appending of e-mail address to mailing lists for colloquia and news letters

Actions by the daily supervisor:

o

Appointing a working space and computer

o

Introduction to the staff members

o

Arrangements for keys and overtime approval (e.g. access to building outside office hours)

Actions by the system administrator:

o

Appointing a computer

o

Generating an account

o

Including student name to the website of the research group

8.11.2

PROGRESS AND COACHING

Progress

o

Individual assignments require high levels of independency. In the first place, students are responsible for their own progress, planning and arrangements for coaching during the assignment.

o

In general, students are expected to perform the assignment at the working space of the research group (instead of working at home). In this way, a normal working rhythm can be generated which allows for scientific and social contacts and increases the coachability. Potential absence has to be announced.

o

Students should make a good time schedule to ensure that the assignment can be finished in the planned period. This schedule can be discussed with the daily supervisor to determine whether it is realistic and should be adapted when circumstances turn out to be different.

o

Tip: start as soon as possible with the thesis. Postponing writing, generally leads to delay.

o

Tip for evaluation of written work (parts of thesis or other work): supply timely to the daily supervisor and add previous versions (with comments on previous work).

Coaching

o

Students should have a preferably weekly discussion with their daily supervisor about progress, time schedule and scientific work: approach, theory, modelling, experiments, results, conclusions.

o

Plan timely all meetings of the MSc assignment Committee together with the daily supervisor and tutor. Minimally two official meetings are required. At these meetings, a research approach, progress (especially halfway) and results will be discussed. Gifts at the end of the assignment are not desirable. Dependent of the professor, the draft version of the thesis or the management summary can be point of discussion during these meetings. In that case work has to be provided timely.

Group presentations and social events

o

At some groups, it is also a rule to give short presentation(s) for people within the group.

o

The organisation of all events is strongly dependent of the size and culture within the group.

8.11.3

COMPLETION OF ASSIGNMENT

Course of actions

The final part of the graduation process consists of possible revising the draft version of the thesis, processing latest corrections and preparations of the MSc assignment colloquium. Once the thesis is finished and all Master’s courses are completed, the final colloquium can be planned with the MSc assignment Committee. Furthermore, at least a month prior to the colloquium (excluding holidays), an application form for the Master’s exam has to be signed by the professor and student, submitted to BOOZ and approved by the Board of Examiners. The preceding month is required to comply with the meeting frequency of the Board of Examiners and is required for BOOZ to print a diploma.

When every requirement for graduation has been met, BOOZ-BMT will announce the colloquium at VIST and the BME website. BOOZ will give her consent and provide a list of grades. Students should check this grade list on correctness and completeness. This list can be adapted, only until a week before the colloquium and only based upon formal written evidence from grade slips, formal official grade lists by BOOZ and official e-mails by tutors. Additionally, the final Master’s thesis has to be handed over to BOOZ-BMT on CD-ROM in PDF format, minimally a week before the colloquium.

Master’s thesis

The thesis has to be in written English and should contain a summary in English and Dutch (also for foreign students).

Structure:

o

The lay-out of the standard cover for BME Master’s theses can be found on the BME website.

o

The number of theses to be printed has to be conferred with the tutor of the MSc assignment committee.

o

Reproduction of the report (copying and binding) has to be conferred with the secretary of the research group.

o

An electronic version has to be given to BOOZ (see previous) and a printed version has to be given to the secretary of the BME study program (chapter 8). The Master’s theses are required for the accreditation of the study program.

Points for evaluation:

o

Contents and structure;

o

Design;

o

Language and style;

o

Discussion and conclusion of results plus recommendations for future work;

o

References, list of symbols, description of the experimental set up, etc..

Colloquium

During the final presentation, the texts on the sheets need to be in English to meet foreign group members and students. The language of the presentation is preferably English, but depends on the composition of the research group. The student can consult the professor on this matter. The oral presentation is in the first place meant for the scientific members of the research group (and possibly the research partners or clients) and in second place for other interested parties such as fellow students, family, etc. The speaking time should be approximately 30 minutes, the defence afterwards approximately 10 minutes. Exceeding the 30 minutes of presentation, may limit the time for defence. Arrangements:

o

The student is responsible for planning the colloquium with all committee members on a time at which no other meetings of the research group are planned. The latter can be consulted with the secretary of the research group.

o

A location for the colloquium can be arranged after consent of BOOZ. (All courses have to be completed. Otherwise presentation of the diploma is not possible!) Along with the formal application for the Master’s exam, the arrangements for the colloquium can be made. On the application form, the estimated number of attending persons and preference for location has to be indicated.

o

The student is responsible for the presence of required presentation material (beamer, pointers, lights, etc.) at the arranged location for presentation. This should be checked in advance. (Consult the secretary of the group.)

Points for evaluation:

o

Contents and structure;

o

Message, selection of presented work considering the attending parties;

o

Explanation of used methods and results (clearness);

o

Style of presentation and use of audio-visual matters;

o

Answering questions.

Overall evaluation

The student is evaluated on several aspects during the assignment:

o

Final result of the delivered work:

-

Quality and quantity;

-

Relevancy;

-

Complexity;

-

Accessibility and usefulness (important criteria for possible publication);

o

Execution of the assignment:

-

Insight of the assigned work;

-

Theoretical foundations and applied methodology;

-

Practical skills;

-

Originality and creativity;

- Attitude, effort, tempo;

- Cooperation with “client” and co-workers;

o

Thesis (see Master’s thesis);

o

Final presentation (see Colloquium).

Presentation of diploma

Directly after the colloquium, the MSc assignment committee determines the final grade for the Master’s assignment and presents the diploma and the temporary grade list at which the mark for the Master’s assignment is still missing. After a few days, BOOZ sends the final grade list with the mark for the Master’s assignment to the student’s home address. At BME, it is not allowed to present gifts to the MSc assignment committee after the colloquium. Optionally, the student may invite guests for a festive drink afterwards, which is up to the student and has to be arranged personally.

To preserve the quality of the study program, the student is expected to cooperate in a final survey by filling in the “Exit enquete” of the Quality Assurance Committee. This concerns questions about the chosen curriculum, internship and Master’s assignment. Especially the connection of the different program parts is of importance.

8.11.4

SIGN OUT AT CSA AND IBG AND STOP GRANTS

BOOZ of the concerning faculty will inform CSA about graduation of their students official graduation dates. CSA will inform the IBG.

For students that graduate during the academic year (ending in July), it is important to sign out of the program/university directly after graduation at CSA. Like this, the student can apply for a refund for a part of the tuition fees from the official date of signing out. This can be arranged at CSA (blue desk, Bastille) from the end of the month in which graduation takes place and by means of an application form for tuition refunds. The application has to be submitted within a month after graduation.

Students personally have to stop their allowance for study grants. For Dutch students this means that they should personally take care of quitting studiefinanciering and turn in their OV-card.

8.11.5

CREDIT POINTS DURING MASTERS ASSIGNMENT

At moment of starting the Master’s assignment (official date on the application form), some kind of counter for study progress is started at BOOZ. Like this, every month 4 virtual EC is subscribed to the student’s record with a maximum of 36 EC. This may be of interest for study grants. The full 45 EC are only accounted to the student’s total record at actual graduation.

8.11.6

CHECKLIST FOR PROCEDURES REGARDING THE MASTERS ASSIGNMENT

In this checklist: Forms to submit are marked bold, Persons to take action in italics.

At least 1 month prior to starting date of Master’s assignment:

1.

Student acquires a Master’s assignment by consulting the staff of the chosen research group.

2.

Student, Professor, tutor and daily supervisor compose and agree on a project description.

3.

Student and Professor sign an Application form for the Master’s assignment, to get consent for proposed assignment and confirmation to have obliged all rules for starting the Master’s assignment.

4.

Student submits application form to BOOZ, who will pass it on to the Board of Examiners.

Start of the assignment

1.

Student signs safety rules provided by the secretary of the research group.

2.

The secretary of the group registers the contact information of the student.

3.

The daily supervisor appoints a working space to the student, introduces the other staff members and plans the assignment.

4.

The system administrator generates a student account, appoints a computer to the student and adds the student’s name to the group’s website.

During the assignment

1.

Student and daily supervisor have (a weekly) consultation.

2.

Student and daily supervisor make interim colloquia plans.

3.

Student and MSc assignment committee plan at least two interim meetings (in consultation with secretary).

During completion

1.

Student sets date and time for colloquium after consult with MSc assignment committee and secretary of the research group.

2.

Student submits “Application form for Master’s exam” to BOOZ at least one month before planned colloquium

3.

The colloquium is announced internally by the secretary of the group and externally by BOOZ by announcement at VIST.

4.

Student/BOOZ arranges room for colloquium and presence of required audio-visual materials.

5.

Student invites guests for colloquium and may plan a festivity drink.

6.

Student requests BMT thesis number at BOOZ and potentially an entry number at the secretary.

7.

Student (with help of secretary) takes care of reproduction and distribution of the thesis at least two weeks prior to the colloquium.

8.

Student hands over a printed version of the thesis to the secretary of the study program.

9.

Student hands over an electronic version of the thesis (PDF format) to BOOZ.

10.

BOOZ sends admission with unsigned diploma, temporary grade list and empty grade slip to the daily supervisor and informs student.

11.

Student (with daily supervisor and system administrator of the group) clears desk, dismantles experimental set-up, restores books and backs up data.

After colloquium

1.

Student signs diploma.

2.

Daily supervisor turns filled-in grade slip to BOOZ.

3.

BOOZ sends final grade list to student’s home address.

4.

Student signs out of program at CSA (and IBG).

5.

Student turns in Master’s exit enquete of the Quality Assurance Committee at the Program coordinator.