Senior Thesis (x2)
Coordinator: KALYVITIS SARANTIS
Number of credits allocated: 12 ECTS Credits
Purpose of the course
Starting in the academic year 2011-12, the course “Seminar and Senior Thesis”, which extends over two semesters, became a compulsory course for all students. During the course of their studies, all of the students in the Department must attend the thesis Seminar and prepare a Senior Thesis on a topic that relates to the specialization which they have selected. The Senior Thesis represents a systematic approach to and analysis of a topic that takes into account the existing literature and the available data and makes use of the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the undergraduate studies.
The primary objective of the Senior Thesis is to give the students the opportunity:
a) to evaluate their knowledge for addressing issues of an applied nature, which relate to the fields of study offered by the Department,
b) to search for the appropriate data sources and references,
c) to evaluate different methods, approaches and data in order to choose the most suitable for the issue at hand,
d) to process, eliminate and compose broad bibliographic and empirical material, and finally
e) to write in a comprehensive and understandable manner and, above all, to learn how to structure the work into an Introduction-Analysis-Conclusions framework.
Prerequisites for preparing the Senior Thesis
In order for students to register for the course “Seminar and Senior Thesis”, they must:
- be in their fourth year of studies or above,
- have passed all of the core courses in the first and second years of the curriculum or have passed a total of 30 courses and owe only one compulsory course from the first two years of study, and
- choose a thesis topic which has been satisfactorily covered in the Department’s curriculum, and have sufficient knowledge of the topic.
In order to prepare the Senior Thesis, students are required to attend the thesis Seminar in the subject area which they have chosen. The Seminar covers methodological issues such as how to prepare the thesis, how to cite sources and prepare the bibliography, and so forth.
Procedure for selecting a thesis seminar and assignment of thesis topics.
The procedure for thesis assignments is the following:
- Within the first week of the academic year, all members of the teaching faculty submit to the Secretariat of the Department five subject areas in which they will offer a thesis Seminar.
- During the second week of classes after the start of the academic year, the full list of subject areas is announced through the Eurolab. Students are given a short period of time (until the announcement of the grades from the September exam period) during which they can talk to faculty members and be informed in more detail about the knowledge as well as the requirements needed for each subject area.
- Students then declare, in a form on the Department’s webpage, five subject areas that they would like to choose, and designate them in order of preference as A, B C, D and E.
- The Eurolab collects the students’ preferences and gives them to the Course Coordinator who is appointed by the Departmental General Assembly.
- The Course Coordinator then assigns students to the thesis Seminars. The exact topic of the Senior Thesis is decided upon during the course of the Seminar, in collaboration with the faculty supervisor. To determine the best assignment of students to the thesis Seminars, the following criteria (taken from the declaration of preferences and accompanying transcript of classes passed which each student submits) are used:
1. The student’s preferences with regard to subject areas, and
2. The student’s grade point average.
Preparation and length of the Senior Thesis
After the process for assigning students to a thesis Seminar is completed, the students attend the Seminar on the days and times set by the faculty member teaching the Seminar and then prepare the Thesis. The student and the faculty supervisor work cooperatively to ensure the successful completion of the Thesis. The scope of the Senior Thesis is clearly greater than that of assignments for other undergraduate courses, but is not intended to reach the length and depth of a Master’s dissertation.
The Senior Thesis should be about 10,000 words long, or 25-30 typed pages in length (including any relevant tables, but not the appendices (if any) or the bibliography), formatted as follows:
- 1.5 line spacing throughout the Thesis
- Courier 10 point font
- 2.5 centimeter margins on all sides of the page
The Thesis must meet these guidelines in order to be accepted by the Departmental Secretariat.
Presentation, examination and grading of the Senior Thesis
The Senior Thesis is submitted electronically (in pdf format) to the Departmental Secretariat only after it has been approved by the faculty supervisor. The Thesis must be submitted to the Secretariat no later than the last day of classes in the relevant semester. A Thesis which is completed during the September period must be submitted no later than September 15.
Examinations for the course “Seminar and Senior Thesis” take place during the June and September exam periods. Students who are not examined in the course during the academic year in which they registered for it are required to register for it again in the academic year in which they wish to be examined.
During the January/February exam period, examinations for the course can be given to:
- students who attended the course during the previous academic year, and
- students who were assigned a topic in October but who had passed all of the other courses required to obtain the degree prior to the beginning of the “Seminar and Senior Thesis” course.
Students must submit three bound copies of their Senior Thesis with the format below:
1. On the first page. The title of the Thesis, the first and last name of the student (as it was written during their enrollment in the Department), the first and last name of the faculty supervisor, and the date when the Thesis is submitted.
2. On the second page. A Summary of about 300 words which briefly describes the main aspects of the topic that was examined in the work and the main conclusions.
3. On the third page. The Table of Contents.
4. The pages following the Table of Contents contain the main body of the work.
5. The Appendix (if any) and the Bibliography of all sources used in the work are put at the end of the Thesis.
The timing of the examination for the course is determined by the faculty supervisor and takes place either within the exam period or after it. The Senior Thesis is presented and examined orally before a committee comprised of the faculty supervisor and a member of the teaching staff or auxiliary teaching staff or a doctoral candidate in the Department.
The Thesis is graded on a scale from 1 to 10. The supervisor has the right to give a double grade: one grade for the general diligence and cooperation that the student demonstrated during the preparation of the Thesis, and a second grade, like that of the co-examiner, for the student’s presentation and knowledge of the topic. The course has double the weight of the other courses in the curriculum, since it is a two-semester course – that is, the winter and spring semesters of the fourth year curriculum – and as such it receives 12 ECTS credits. Students who do not pass the course have the right to select a different Thesis topic the following semester, unless their supervisor judges that the work can be improved and re-examined.
The grade for the Thesis is submitted by the supervisor to the Departmental Secretariat and the Secretariat compiles a list of students for each exam period who completed the Thesis and their grades. For each academic year, including the three examination periods of January-February, June and September, the student whose Thesis receives the highest grade is awarded by the Department with honors and a scholarship for the Department’s Master’s Programme (if the student chooses to attend it). In case of a tie, the selection of the student whose Thesis will receive the award is made by a three-member committee consisting of the Deputy Chair of the Department, the course Coordinator for the Senior Thesis and a third member of the Faculty. appointed by the Department Chair. The decisions of the committee are taken by a majority vote.