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Master's theses

The curricula leading to the award of an official master's degree conclude with the completion, submission and public defence of a master's thesis. The thesis is mandatory and involves the completion of a comprehensive project that synthesises the knowledge acquired during master’s degree studies. Master’s theses are completed individually and defended before a university examination committee.

Modalitats

TYPE A
Theses completed, submitted and defended at the ETSEIB under the supervision of an academic staff member assigned by the School.

TYPE B
Theses completed at a company and overseen by an external supervisor who holds a university degree (Spanish or foreign). In this case, an academic staff member must be assigned at the School to act as a tutor.

TYPE D
Theses completed at a company without the supervision of another university. Students may only complete theses of this type within the framework of work placement mobility programmes. Students who wish to complete this type of thesis must choose type B when they register their thesis at the School.


Procedure for Type A and Type B

TYPE C
Theses completed at another university with which the School has signed an agreement that provides for the completion of master's theses within the framework of mobility programmes, under the supervision of a member of the foreign university’s academic staff. Theses of this type are submitted and defended at the host university.


Procedure for Type C

EXTENDED MASTER'S THESES
At the proposal of a Department, an extension of the TFM of 18 credits (for a total of 30 ECTS) called an extended TFM can be carried out in some master's degrees, under the supervision of a director and the coordinator of the master's degree.

This type of extended TFM cannot be performed in the following studies:
  • Master's Degree in Automotive Engineering (syllabus 2019)
  • Master's Degree in Energy Engineering
  • Master's Degree in Nuclear Engineering
  • Master's Degree in Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation from the UAB
  • Double master's degrees from the School with the UOC
  • Double master's degrees from the School (MUEI + thematic master's degree)

The extended TFM must be carried out in an ETSEIB research group, must be a research project and must be dedicated full time to the TFM.

In the degrees where it is possible to take this modality (Master's Degree in Industrial Engineering, Master's Degree in Automation and Robotics, Master's Degree in Organizational Engineering and Master's Degree in Supply Chain Transport and Mobility), the student must do a request to the TFG / TFM Intranet. Once the application has been validated by the director/tutor and the coordinator of the master's degree, the procedure indicated for the TFM must be followed.


PROCEDURE FOR TYPE A AND TYPE B MASTER'S THESES

The completion of master's theses is regulated by legislation in force and by the academic regulations of the UPC and the ETSEIB. Each academic year, the School publishes a master's thesis calendar with the deadlines for each step in the procedure.

Theses must follow the template that the School makes available to students.

For further information, see the related documents section and the next procedure.

Topic

Students must find a topic for their master's thesis. Broadly speaking, there are two ways to do this:

  • Propose a topic of your own and contact the ETSEIB professor who will act as your thesis supervisor. If your master's thesis is to be completed at a company, you will need to agree the topic with a member of the School's academic staff who will act as a tutor.

Master’s theses may also be completed within the framework of a mobility programme (see the section on type-C master’s theses).

In the case of extended master's theses, students must submit an application via thes de TFM ampliatstudents must submit an application via the bachelor's/master's intranet. Applications must be submitted after the thesis has been registered and approved by the thesis supervisor or tutor and before the student enrols for the master’s thesis. In this case, the thesis to be completed must be equivalent to a study load of 30 ECTS credits. In the case of ETSEIB double master’s degrees (MUEI + thematic master's degree), given the pathways they entail, the extended master’s degree option is not possible.

Students pursuing an ETSEIB double master’s degree may complete a single thesis or one for each degree, as stipulated in the School's  la double master's degree report for each double degree pathway. If a student completes a single master's thesis, it must cover all of the competencies and meet the master's thesis study load requirements for both degrees.
 

 

Registration

  • Once the topic has been agreed with the professor involved, students must register their thesis via the e-secretaria. Students may register their thesis when they have 90 credits remaining to complete their degree. Registration is required to enrol for the master's thesis.

  • Thesis registration must be approved by the student’s supervisor or the tutor via the e-Secretaria. Up until the point when the thesis registration is approved by the thesis supervisor or tutor, the student may make changes via the e-Secretaria. Once the registration has been approved, the thesis supervisor or tutor must inform the Student Information and Support Service (SIAE) of any changes.
  • Students taking a double master's degree must register their thesis twice (once for each degree)

 

Enrolment

  • Students may enrol for the master’s thesis when they have a maximum of 60 ECTS credits remaining (including the credits for the master’s thesis) to complete their master's degree. Credits for bridging courses do not count when determining whether the limit of 60 remaining ECTS credits is exceeded.
  • When a student’s thesis has been registered and the thesis supervisor or tutor has approved the registration, they can enrol for the thesis in a generic group. In this case, students may enrol for their thesis during the ordinary enrolment period in each semester (or, at the latest, during the period for changes indicated in the procedure calendar) by submitting an application via the e-secretaria.
  • It is recommended that students who wish to complete an extended master’s thesis submit an application via the bachelor's/master's thesis intranet before enrolling for the thesis.
  • Students taking an ETSEIB double master’s degree must enrol for the master's thesis twice (once for each degree).


Extended enrolment

  • Pursuant to the Academic Regulations for Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at the UPC in effect, when a master’s thesis is not deposited in the semester in which the student enrolled for it, the student may choose whether to request extended enrolment for the following semester or complete the ordinary enrolment procedure in the following semester or a subsequent one.
  • Extended enrolment must be requested via the Demana support service. For extended enrolment, students are only required to pay the fee for administrative services. Theses must be deposited by the deadline specified in the extended enrolment calendar (see calendar).
  • If the thesis topic changes, extended enrolment may not be requested.

 

 

Deposit and approval

  • Master’s theses must be deposited in digital format via the bachelors'/master's intranetDigital deposit facilitates user management and the management of thesis-related documents in electronic format, ensuring their proper archiving, safekeeping and permanent conservation.
  • Students must deposit their thesis in digital format via the bachelor's/master's theiss intranet by the deadline indicated on the master's thesis calendar. Theses will not be accepted after the deadline. After a thesis has been deposited, it must be reviewed and approved by the supervisor or tutor.
  • Master's theses must be published in open access in the  de UPC Academic Works repository (subject to prior authorisation by the author), provided that publishing the thesis does not breach a duty of confidentiality or infringe any industrial property rights in the work.
  • In the case of theses that are not published in open access in the UPC Academic Works repository, steps must be taken to ensure that the can can be consulted for research or study purposes while respecting protected parts and confidentiality periods

  • To authorise (or not authorise) publication of their master's thesis, students must complete the authorisation form available on the bachelor's/master's thesis intranet before digitally depositing their thesis.

  • The student's academic tutor must complete a confidentiality document for their thesis. This document can also be found on the bachelor's/master's thesis intranet.

  • Theses that are not deposited by the deadlines indicated on the calendar may be deposited for the extension session, provided that the student applies for extended enrolment during the period indicated on the bachelor's or master's thesis calendar. Otherwise, the student will be given a mark of Absent for their thesis.

 

Examination committees

  • The examination committees responsible for conducting thesis defences in each session and awarding marks (and any substitutes required) will be appointed by the office of the ETSEIB assistant director responsible for master's theses.
  • Once a master's thesis has been approved, a notice of appointment will be sent to the student and all of the examiners via the bachelor's/master's thesis intranet. The chair of the examination committee, who is responsible for organising the thesis defence, must notify the other members of the date, time and place proposed for the defence. If these arrangements are not acceptable to all of the members, the chair may make another proposal. Once the date, time and place for the defence have been set, the chair will communicate these details directly to the student.

  • The examination committee will be composed of three members of the School’s academic staff. Two of the three members will be academic staff members affiliated to the department of the master's thesis supervisor or tutor, and one of these members will act as the chair of the examination committee. (In the case of the master's degrees in Industrial Scheduling Engineering, Energy Engineering, Nuclear Engineering and Automotive Engineering, one of the members may be the thesis supervisor or tutor.) The third member will be an individual who is not affiliated to the same department.
  • In the case of ETSEIB double master’s degrees for which it is possible to complete a single thesis with a credit load equal to the sum of the thesis credits for both degrees, the examination committee must be composed of teaching staff from both programmes.
  • In addition to the examiners, two substitutes will be appointed. One will be affiliated to the thesis supervisor’s (or tutor’s) department; the other will be from another department.
  • Whenever possible, the examination committee will remain unchanged regardless of the session in which the thesis is defended

 

Thesis defence

  • Master’s theses are assessed in a public session in which the student gives an oral presentation and defends their thesis. Sessions are conducted by an examination committee. A thesis defence has two stages:

    • Presentation.The student presents a summary of the content of their master's thesis. This stage lasts around 30 minutes. (The time is determined by the chair and communicated in advance.)

    • Defence. The student defends their thesis by responding to questions from the examiners.

  • If a master’s thesis makes reference to matters that are subject to confidentiality restrictions and/or affect intellectual or industrial property, the examination committee may establish mechanisms to maintain confidentiality and protect the IP. Such mechanisms may affect the public defence of a thesis and will include the signing of a confidentiality agreement by the examiners. The confidentiality agreement is available to examiners via the final thesis intranet. The document must be completed, signed and submitted to the SIAE together with the official master's thesis assessment results.
  • In the case of ETSEIB double master's drees, the thesis must meet the study load and assessment requirements for 30 ECTS credits.
  • In the case of ETSEIB double master's degrees for which students complete a single thesis, the thesis defence must meet the requirements with respect to credit load and assessment of competencies for both degrees.

  • Master’s theses completed during a period of mobility will be defended at the host university in accordance with the rules that apply to thesis supervision and presentation at the host institution (see the section on type C master's theses).
  • The School will provide students with any audiovisual equipment it has available. Students are responsible for requesting equipment, checking that it is in good working order, and ensuring its proper use. Requests to use audiovisual equipment are handled by the reception service.
  • Under no circumstances may a student present and orally defend their master’s thesis by remote means (videoconference, Skype, etc.).

 

 

Mark

  • Once the presentation and defence of the thesis has been completed, the examination committee will deliberate in closed session and then publicly announce the mark awarded.
  • Each member of the examination committee will assess the thesis and the presentation and defence.
  • In the case of ETSEIB double master’s degrees, the examination committee must base its assessment on the study load and competencies for both degrees.
  • The decision on the mark to be awarded may be taken unanimously or by a simple majority vote.
  • The mark awarded will be indicated on the student's official examination results. In the case of extended master’s theses, two official examination result documents must be issued: one for the master's thesis and another for the extended enrolment or supervised research project. For ETSEIB double degrees, official examination results must be issued for each degree.
  • Master's thesis marks:

    • If the mark is Pass, it will be included in the official examination results that the chair sends to the SIAE.

    • If the mark is Fail, the chair will indicate this on the official examination results, which will be sent to the SIAE together with any written comments that the chair deems appropriate.

      In this case, the student will have to complete the ordinary enrolment process in the next semester or a subsequent one. For ordinary enrolment, students must pay all fees, including the surcharge for retaking the thesis, as stipulated in the decree on fees.
    • Students who do not attend their master's thesis defence will be given a mark of Absent (Catalan acronym: NP). In this case, pursuant to the Academic Regulations for Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at the UPC in effect, the student may choose whether to request extended enrolment for the following semester or complete the ordinary enrolment procedure in the following semester or a subsequent one.

      Thesis submission and defence deadlines for each thesis type are indicated in the master’s thesis calendar.

      If the topic of a master’s thesis changes, extended enrolment may not be requested.
  • It is important to bear in mind the provisions of the Academic Regulations for Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at the UPC with respect to distinctions:

    • In the case of master’s theses, the examiners may propose that a distinction be awarded. In the case of an external placement, the tutor will make the proposal. Based on these proposals, the School will make the final decision on how distinctions are awarded, without exceeding 5% of the number of enrolled students, and based on objective criteria in all cases.

    • If the number of distinctions awarded to students with ordinary enrolment reaches the 5% limit, no distinctions may be awarded to students who opted for extended enrolment for their master’s thesis or completed their thesis on an external placement.
  • The academic records of students are closed approximately one week after the date on which they present and defend their master's thesis. If the master’s thesis credits were the last ones a student needed to pass, at that point they may request a degree certificate and other documents certifying that they have successfully completed their degree.

 


PROCEDURE FOR TYPE C MASTER'S THESES

Topic

  • Students who have been granted mobility places that envisage the completion of a master's thesis must find a tutor at the host university before undertaking their period of mobility and agree the topic of their master's thesis with that professor in accordance with the procedure and requirements that apply at the host institution. They should also clarify any confidentiality requirements that will apply to their thesis with a view to subsequently authorising its publication in open access in the UPC Academic Works repository.

 

Enrolment

  • Given the characteristics and the calendar for periods of mobility, and the requirement that students register their master's thesis before completing the ordinary enrolment process, the ETSEIB International Relations Office will register master's theses provisionally as “pending”.
  • Once their thesis is registered, students must complete the ordinary enrolment process via the e-secretaria on the date and at the time scheduled. Where applicable, they must also enrol for the block of credits that will be recognised for their period of mobility.

 

Registration

  • Once the title of the master's thesis is final (two months after the start of the period of mobility at the latest), the student may add it to their thesis registration in the e-secretaria by completing the “Thesis title” and “Description” sections. Students must also provide the full name of their tutor or thesis supervisor at the host university in the “Comments” section. In the “Examiners” section, students should select the Department of Management and add Professor Lucas van Wunnik, the assistant director of Internationalisation, as the thesis supervisor. (Prof Van Wunnik acts as the supervisor for theses of this type.)

 

 

Defence and assessment

  • Master’s theses completed during a period of mobility are defended at the host university in accordance with its requirements and regulations on thesis defence and assessment.
  • Students who do not defend their master’s thesis at the host university at the end of the semester in which they enrolled for it at the School will be deemed to have opted for extended enrolment. In this case, the International Relations and Admissions Office will complete the extended enrolment.

 

Deposit

  • Once a master's thesis has been defended and assessed at the host university, the student must deposit a copy via the School's bachelor's/master's thesis intranet application.
  • Master's theses must be published in open access in the UPC Academic Works, repository (subject to prior authorisation by the author), provided that publishing the thesis does not breach a duty of confidentiality or infringe any industrial property rights in the work.
  • In the case of theses that are not published in open access in the UPC Academic Works repository, steps must be taken to ensure that they can be consulted for research or study purposes while respecting protected parts and confidentiality periods.
  • To authorise publication of their thesis and/or specify any confidentiality requirements that apply, students must complete the authorisation form available on the School's bachelor's/master's thesis intranet before digitally depositing their thesis.

 

 

Mark

  • Once a student has deposited their master’s thesis via the bachelor's/master's thesis intranet, the host university has sent the International Relations and Admissions Office their official academic transcript with the mark for the thesis, and the student has submitted all documentation related to the period of mobility, the student's thesis supervisor at the ETSEIB will initiate the master's thesis review, approval and assessment procedure. The resulting mark will be indicated on the student’s official examination results for the master's thesis.
  • Students may view the status of documentation for their period of mobility at the e-secretaria"Mobility” > “Period of mobility” > “Documentation”..
  • Students who receive a mark of Fail on their master’s thesis must complete the ordinary enrolment process in the following semester or a subsequent one. In this case, they must enrol for both the master’s thesis credits and credits for the extension, taking into account the study load for their master’s thesis at the foreign university. For ordinary enrolment, students must pay all fees, including the surcharge for retaking the thesis, as stipulated in the decree on fees.