In June this year, 50 Master students finished their degrees with the Department of Biosciences. And I was one of them! I turned in the final draft of my Master's thesis on June 1st. And on June 18th, I presented, defended, and became a Masters of Science. Once approved, Master's theses are digitally published on DUO. Read on for information about what to expect from a Master's exam and our traditional celebrations at IBV.
Biology Master students at IBV have four semesters to complete 60 credits of classes and the 60 credit master's thesis. There are several programs to choose from, which have different course requirements. I began the Ecology and Evolution program in August 2013. Therefore, I was given a deadline to finish the thesis and course requirements by June 1, 2015.
Announcement of Shane's Master Exam, including information about the exam, supervisors, and sensors.
Once your thesis is completed, subitted to the Studentweb, and printed by Reprosentralen, the department will annouce the title, time, and place for the exam. The exam is usually two to three weeks after the thesis deadline. These details are sorted out by your supervisors, who find and invite an internal and external sensor to evalute the written thesis. On the day of the exam, the sensors may decide to raise or lower your grade depending on your presentation and exam. The grades range from A to F depending on your work, analysis & discussion, critical reflection, personal contribution, technical grounding, theoretical insight, goal description, structure, language, form, and level of skill.
Torbjørn presenting his thesis. Photo: Ane Kvinge
At the exam, the Masters candidate explains their research in a 30 minute presentation for the sensors and anyone else who would like to attend. After the presentation, the public is asked to leave and the sensors begin to discuss the thesis with the candidate and his/her supervisors. This questioning and discussion may last a half hour to several hours. Once the defense is concluded, the sensors meet in private to determine the final grade of the thesis with the presentation and defense included. Once the Masters candidate receives their grade, it is time to celebrate!
New Masters of Science Annie & Christopher celebrate with bottles of cava. Photo: Lene Fredriksen.
After the Master exam, friends and lab members organize a celebration with cava and cake. Christopher and I completed our Masters on the same day, so we were able to celebrate together once we had both presented and defended. The department gives all Masters a mug with their name on it. My supervisor baked delicious Danish pastries and my lab group brought fruit. I also received forget-me-nots and a chili plant in a pot decorated with my study species, kelps.
Bottles of cava with the names of the successful Masters of Science. Photo: Annie Evankow
Tradition calls for the new Masters of Science to leave their bottles of cava in their study rooms, for future Masters to appreciate and look forward to their own exam one day. And the Master theses are availabe on DUO, under "Det matematisk-naturvitenskapelige fakultet" and Institutt for Biovitenskap.