Master of Science in Biology, 120 credits
Pace of studyFull-time
The Master’s programme in Ecology and the Environment aims to provide the students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for a professional in the field or for further postgraduate studies. The programme meets both national and international needs from universities, industry and society in general. The education intends to provide an in-depth knowledge in ecology and its applications in nature conservation and environmental management.
Students graduating from the Master's programme in Ecology and the Environment shall:
- be well prepared for advanced scientific communication with different target groups.
- be able to contribute to a sustainable development of society.
- be well prepared for further postgraduate studies, but also for advanced positions in the national or international labour market.
Disciplinary knowledge and reasoning
Graduates from the Master's programme in Ecology and the Environment demonstrate theoretical knowledge and understanding in ecology, including a broad knowledge of the area and considerable in-depth knowledge in certain parts of the area. The graduates are also acquainted with current research in the field.
The programme builds upon a Bachelor education in Biology, where fundamental knowledge in the area has been acquired. Entry requirements include at least 5 ECTS credits in Ecology.
Graduates from the Master's programme in Ecology and the Environment have acquired advanced knowledge in ecological theory and analysis. Also, the graduated student knows how this theory can be applied within e. g. nature conservation, biological pest control, and wetland design for water purification. The programme covers current theories in population, society and systems ecology in a broad sense, but also gives in-depth knowledge in certain areas. A graduate from the Master's programme in Ecology and the Environment has gained:
- knowledge in current issues in the field of environment and natural resource managment
- ability to identify how ecological skills can be used to contribute to the development of a sustainable society, including how to prioritise between different areas of development
- awareness of current ecological theories
- ability to plan and implement ecological studies in the field and in the laboratory
- ability to evaluate and interpret data from environmental monitoring software and experiments
- ability to carry out ecological risk assessments
- ability to use mathematical and statistical tools and models for structuring and analysing complex ecological problems, and familiarity with current software for this purpose.
The Master's programme in Ecology and the Environment is conducted in close collaboration with strong research environments, which gives the students insight into current research and development within the areas of ecological networks and species extinction, spread of infection, food safety and recirculation of nutrients in the socioecological context, biodiversity, nature conservation and landscape ecology. During the Master thesis work the student can work for a full year with a research group, a company or a public authority, getting very well acquainted with research findings within one of the areas. The graduated student is also able design a scientific study and is skilled in critically reading relevant research literature.
Personal and professional skills and attributes
Students graduated from the Master's programme in Ecology and the Environment have achieved the individual and professional skills and attitudes required to be able to critically and systematically integrate knowledge and to analyze and evaluate complex issues even with limited information. The graduates can also take responsibility at work or during post graduate studies concerning work ethics, reliability and respect for the expertise of other professionals. Students from the programme can make relevant judgements regarding scientific, social and ethical aspects.
Interpersonal skills: Teamwork and communication
Students having graduated from the Master's programme in Ecology and the Environment can collaborate with other people. This requires the ability to actively participate in a project with designated roles, tasks and responsibilities. The graduates can also initiate, plan, lead and evaluate larger projects. Students graduated from the programme are skilled in written and oral communication. The students can present information, problems and solutions in a structured way with relevant techniques, in English or in their native language, to different target groups.
Planning, execution, and presentation of research or development projects with respect to scientific and societal needs and requirements
Students graduated from the Master's programme in Ecology and the Environment shall have knowledge about the natural scientist and the role of natural science in society. The graduates also understand the social and economic conditions in the field and in the related research area. They can initiate, conduct and present advanced development projects with established methods.
The introductory courses on the program concern ecological method and theory as well as modeling and analysis of ecological systems. In later courses, ecological knowledge and systems thinking are linked to societal and economic requirements for a sustainable development. The content ranges from developing innovative, ecologically sustainable production systems to deciding how a tropical ecosystem can be preserved (with the opportunity to, at the student’s own expense, study parts of a course in a tropical country).
The Master thesis can be carried out at the university or in cooperation with companies or local authorities and is regarded as a good introduction to further studies at postgraduate level.
The programme ends with the course Communicating Science where the students use their master thesis to develop their skills in oral and written communication to different target groups.
The curriculum specifies which courses are given and when they are given, and during which semester the course is recommended to be taken. Each course is presented in a syllabus, where the course's objectives and content and the special prerequisites required to qualify for the course are described.
Teaching and working methods
The programme comprises four semesters of full-time studies and leads to a Master of Science (120 credits) in Biology. The teaching language is English. The included courses are found in the curriculum. Courses are mainly organized around case studies that are solved individually or in groups. This often involves independent planning of a more or less extensive task that is to be reported orally or in writing. This achievement is supplemented with compulsory laboratory work, seminars and field studies.
The Master thesis work is mainly performed during the second year and comprises 30, 45 or 60 högskolepoäng (equivalent to ECTS credits). This means that the student may choose a less extensive master thesis and combine this with further course studies in other related areas, or more in-depth courses in the same field.
In the curriculum, it is specifed which courses are mandatory (m), elective (e) or voluntary (v). Also the notation m/e could be found, which means that one of a group of courses should be selected. Courses not included in the curriculum must be approved by the programme board after consultation with the study counselor. The courses should be relevant for the programme.
Courses may contain compulsory elements associated with extra costs for the student.
- Bachelor's degree with a major in the field of biology. The Bachelor's degree (equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen) shall be from an internationally recognised university.
- 5 ECTS credits in the field of ecology
- English corresponding to the level of English in Swedish upper secondary education (English 6/B). This is normally attested by means of an internationally recognised test.
(Exemption from Swedish)
Selection for the January application round is based on merit rating (grade tariff) at three levels. If necessary, applicants within the same merit group will be selected by lot.
- Group 1: High
- Group 2: Good
- Group 3: Low
The thesis work should be of scientifically high quality and be carried out in close connection with ongoing research in the main field of study. The thesis must be written and presented in English. If possible, the work should be presented orally at the minisymposium arranged by the Division of Biology and all students are supposed to be present. In this case, the requirement of prior attendance at final thesis seminars is disregarded.
To be qualified to conduct a degree project of 60 ECTS credits, the student must be admitted to the master’s programme and have completed at least 30 ECTS credits from courses within the programme, of which 24 ECTS credits must be at the advanced (graduate) level within the main field of study.
To be qualified to conduct a degree project of 45 ECTS credits, the student must be admitted to the master’s programme and have completed at least 35 ECTS credits from courses within the programme, of which 24 ECTS credits must be at the advanced (graduate) level within the main field of study.
To be qualified to conduct a degree project of 30 ECTS credits, the student must be admitted to the master’s programme and have completed at least 60 ECTS credits from courses within the programme, of which 30 ECTS credits must be at the advanced (graduate) level within the main field of study.
The programme leads to a "Master of Science (120 credits) in Biology", in Swedish "Naturvetenskaplig masterexamen Biologi".
The requirements are the following:
- a Bachelor's degree as specified in the entrance requirements.
- course requirements for a total of 120 ECTS credits from courses from the curriculum of the programme (including thesis work).
- passed the requirements for all compulsory courses.
- courses on advancement level A (advanced) 90 ECTS credits including:
- at least 30 ECTS credits courses from the main field of study Biology.
- at least 30 ECTS credits Master's Thesis in the main field of study Biology.
- a Master's thesis of at least 30 ECTS on advanced level presented and passed according to the degree regulations stipulated by the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Linköping University, or equivalent.
Courses overlapping each other regarding contents are not both allowed to be included in the degree. In the case courses partly overlap, part of a course could be included in the degree after decision from the programme board.
Courses used for the Bachelor's degree can never be included in the Master's degree.
Degree in Swedish
Naturvetenskaplig masterexamen i Biologi, 120 hp
Degree in English
Master of Science in Biology, 120 credits
See the Common rules tab regarding eligibility, admission, leave, postponement, study break or admission to latter part of the programme.
Structure and organisation of study programmes
The contents and design of the programmes are to be continuously revised such that new knowledge is integrated into courses and specialisations. Within one programme, several study specialisations or profiles may be available. The identities of the study specialisations or profiles and the regulations governing how these may be selected are given in the syllabus and curriculum for the particular field of study and programmes.
The structure and organisation of the programmes are to follow specified criteria that are summarised in the syllabus for each programme.
- The syllabus defines the aims of the study programme.
- The curriculum, which constitutes one part of the syllabus for the field of study, gives details of the terms in which the various courses have been timetabled, and their scheduling through the academic year.
- The course syllabus specifies, among other things, the aim and contents of the course, and the prior knowledge that a student must have, in addition to the admission requirements for the programme, in order to be able to benefit from the course.
The qualification requirements specified in the Higher Education Ordinance 2007 apply to students admitted after 1 July 2007. A student who has completed components of a programme after 1 July 2007 has the right to be assessed with respect to the qualification requirements specified by the Higher Education Ordinance 2007. In addition, local regulations laid down by the faculty boards and university board apply, see http://styrdokument.liu.se/Regelsamling/Innehall/Utbildning_pa_grund-_och_avancerad_niva/Examina.
Higher Education Act Chapter 1, Section 8:
First-cycle courses and study programmes are to develop:
- the ability to make independent and critical assessments
- the ability to identify, formulate and solve problems autonomously, and
- the preparedness to deal with changes in working life.
In addition to knowledge and skills in their field of study, students shall develop the ability to:
- gather and interpret information at a scholarly level
- stay abreast of the development of knowledge, and
- communicate their knowledge to others, including those who lack specialist knowledge in the field.
Qualifications within a study programme
Qualification requirements that are specific to a study programme are given in the syllabus for that programme.
Admission requirements and matriculation and postponement of matriculation
A person who has been accepted for a study programme is to start their studies (matriculate) in the term that is specified in the decision about admission. The date and location of the compulsory matriculation procedure will be communicated to those admitted to the first term of the programme.
Regulations concerning admission requirements, matriculation and postponement of matriculation have been laid down in the admission regulations for Linköping University, http://styrdokument.liu.se/Regelsamling/VisaBeslut/622645.
Admission to a later part of a programme
Admission to a part of a study programme is used here to refer to admission with the purpose of completing the programme and taking a degree. Admission to a later part of a programme may take place only if sufficient resources and space on the programme are available. Furthermore, the applicant must satisfy the entry requirements for the relevant term of the programme, as specified in http://styrdokument.liu.se/Regelsamling/Innehall/Utbildning_pa_grund-_och_avancerad_niva/Tekniska_fakulteten.
Interruption in studies
Notification of an interruption in studies is to be made through a web form, https://www.lith.liu.se/for-studenter/anmalan-studieuppehall?l=en. If such a notification is not made and if the student does not do a course registration during the first term during which the interruption is to take place, the interruption will be considered to be a withdrawal. An interruption in studies must cover a complete term, and notification of interruptions can be given for a maximum of two consecutive terms. Notification of resumption of studies is to take place at the course registration for the term that follows the interruption.
A student who is taking an interruption in studies may during this period retake examinations. The student is responsible that registration for courses is carried out at the correct times in preparation for the resumption of studies.
Withdrawal from a study programme
A student who wishes to withdraw from a study programme must notify the study guidance counsellor. A student who leaves the studies without giving notification of an interruption in study and who fails to register on a course for the immediately subsequent term is considered to have withdrawn. A student who has withdrawn may return to the study programme if a vacancy is available that is not required for students returning after an interruption in study, and not required for students who are changing their location of study and/or study programme.
Courses within a study programme
The curriculum for the various years of a study programme specify which courses are mandatory (m), elective (e) and voluntary (v). If a student wishes to study a different combination than the one specified in the curriculum, an application must be made to the board of studies.
The course specified as voluntary (labelled with “v”) in the programme syllabus are assessed solely as voluntary courses, and credits from these may not contribute to the requirements for a degree.
Courses from another study programme or third-cycle courses
To include courses in a degree from another study programme or third-cycle courses, the student need to apply to and be granted this from the board of studies. If such a decision is not taken, such courses are regarded as voluntary courses.
When selecting a course from another programme, the admission requirements specified in the course syllabus must be satisfied.
Admission is granted to the extent that resources allow, provided that places are available on the course.
Admission to third-cycle courses requires studies at Master's level, i.e. year 4-5 or admitted to a Master's programme. Information can be obtained from the relevant director of advanced studies.
Students taking a master’s programme in engineering
Students taking a master’s programme in engineering can apply to take courses given in Term 7 and later terms of the programme from all engineering master’s programmes. Admission to courses at Term 7 or higher requires the possession of at least 150 credits within the programme to which the student has been admitted.
Students taking a Bachelor of Science (Engineering)
Students taking Bachelor of Science (Engineering) degrees may apply to take courses specified in the programme syllabuses of all Bachelor of Science (Engineering) programmes.
Students taking a Bachelor of Science
Students taking Bachelor of Science degrees may apply to take courses specified in the programme syllabuses of all Bachelor of Science programmes.
Single-subject courses, courses from other faculties, or other Higher Education Institutions
To include single-subject courses, courses from another faculty, or courses from other Higher Education Institutions in a degree, the student need to apply to and be granted this from the board of studies.
Registration for programme courses
Registration for courses that are given as part of a study programme must be made during the specified period, which has been preliminarily set to 1-10 April for the autumn term, and 1-10 October for the spring term. Information about course registration is published on the Study councellors webpages or in programme rooms, sent to students by email, and disseminated at scheduled information meetings.
Registration for programme courses as single-subject courses
Admission to a programme course as a single-subject subject course may take place only if sufficient resources and space on the course are available. Furthermore, the applicant must satisfy the entry requirements for the relevant course.
In the event of a scarcity of resources, the board of LiTH can decide to limit the possibilities of taking courses that are part of a programme as freestanding courses.
Students who require support in planning their continued studies can contact the study guidance counsellor of the programme. Study planning involves the student and the study guidance counsellor together drawing up an individual plan for studies during the subsequent term. The individual plan may allow the student to deviate from the general curriculum.
Completed first-cycle courses are a precondition for successful studies at more advanced levels. For this reason, study planning is based on giving priority to courses from earlier years of study that have not been completed. If further capacity is available, new courses may be taken.
Study planning takes place on a regular basis if the student:
- does not satisfy the requirements for progression to later terms. In order for a student to be able to participate in courses from later years in such cases, a decision of exemption is required.
- does not satisfy the requirements for starting a degree project.
Other situations in which study planning may be required:
- A student has fallen behind during the early part of a study programme and has failed to complete several courses.
- A student has not satisfied the entry requirements for a degree project before term 6 of an engineering degree.
- A student has applied for admission to a later part of a programme.
- Studies have been carried out abroad.
- A study programme is to be resumed after an interruption.
In these cases the study guidance counsellor supports the student in planning the continued studies, also in situations in which the student can register for the relevant courses without the need for a special decision for the continued studies.
Part of education abroad
Students can exchange study at LiTH for study at an institute of higher education abroad, and/or work on a degree project abroad.
In the event that study (courses) at LiTH are exchanged for study abroad, the faculty programme director is responsible for a decision about a preliminary individual study plan, which is to be drawn up in advance. After the exchange, the student apply to credit completed courses from the exchange into their degree. The guideline for credit assessment in an exchange is that the courses should be in line with the program's orientation.
Regulations for entry requirements, ranking and nomination for study abroad through LiTH’s exchange agreements and for the compulsory study abroad period within Ii (Industrial Engineering and Management – International) and Yi (Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering – International) can be found at: http://styrdokument.liu.se/Regelsamling/Innehall/Utbildning_pa_grund-_och_avancerad_niva/Tekniska_fakulteten.
A syllabus must be established for each course. The syllabus specifies the aim and contents of the course, and the prior knowledge that a student must have in order to be able to benefit from the course.
Courses are timetabled after a decision has been made for this course concerning its assignment to a timetable module.
Interrupting a course
The vice-chancellor’s decision concerning regulations for registration, deregistration and reporting results (Dnr LiU-2015-01241) states that interruptions in study are to be recorded in Ladok. Thus, all students who do not participate in a course for which they have registered must record the interruption, such that the registration on the course can be removed. Deregistration from a course is carried out using a web-based form: https://www.lith.liu.se/for-studenter/kurskomplettering?l=en.
Courses with few participants (fewer than 10) may be cancelled or organised in a manner that differs from that stated in the course syllabus. The Dean is to deliberate and decide whether a course is to be cancelled or changed from the course syllabus.
Guidelines relating to examinations and examiners
For details, see Guidelines for education and examination for first-cycle and second-cycle education at Linköping University, Dnr LiU-2019-00920 (http://styrdokument.liu.se/Regelsamling/VisaBeslut/917592).
An examiner must be employed as a teacher at LiU according to the LiU Regulations for Appointments, Dnr LiU-2017-03931 (https://styrdokument.liu.se/Regelsamling/VisaBeslut/622784). For courses in second-cycle, the following teachers can be appointed as examiner: Professor (including Adjunct and Visiting Professor), Associate Professor (including Adjunct), Senior Lecturer (including Adjunct and Visiting Senior Lecturer), Research Fellow, or Postdoc. For courses in first-cycle, Assistant Lecturer (including Adjunct and Visiting Assistant Lecturer) can also be appointed as examiner in addition to those listed for second-cycle courses. In exceptional cases, a Part-time Lecturer can also be appointed as an examiner at both first- and second cycle, see Delegation of authority for the Board of Faculty of Science and Engineering.
Forms of examination
Principles for examination
Written and oral examinations and digital and computer-based examinations are held at least three times a year: once immediately after the end of the course, once in August, and once (usually) in one of the re-examination periods. Examinations held at other times are to follow a decision of the board of studies.
Principles for examination scheduling for courses that follow the study periods:
- courses given in VT1 are examined for the first time in March, with re-examination in June and August
- courses given in VT2 are examined for the first time in May, with re-examination in August and October
- courses given in HT1 are examined for the first time in October, with re-examination in January and August
- courses given in HT2 are examined for the first time in January, with re-examination in March and in August.
The examination schedule is based on the structure of timetable modules, but there may be deviations from this, mainly in the case of courses that are studied and examined for several programmes and in lower grades (i.e. 1 and 2).
Examinations for courses that the board of studies has decided are to be held in alternate years are held three times during the school year in which the course is given according to the principles stated above.
Examinations for courses that are cancelled or rescheduled such that they are not given in one or several years are held three times during the year that immediately follows the course, with examination scheduling that corresponds to the scheduling that was in force before the course was cancelled or rescheduled.
When a course is given for the last time, the regular examination and two re-examinations will be offered. Thereafter, examinations are phased out by offering three examinations during the following academic year at the same times as the examinations in any substitute course. If there is no substitute course, three examinations will be offered during re-examination periods during the following academic year. Other examination times are decided by the board of studies. In all cases above, the examination is also offered one more time during the academic year after the following, unless the board of studies decides otherwise.
If a course is given during several periods of the year (for programmes, or on different occasions for different programmes) the board or boards of studies determine together the scheduling and frequency of re-examination occasions.
Retakes of other forms of examination
Regulations concerning retakes of other forms of examination than written examinations and digital and computer-based examinations are given in the LiU guidelines for examinations and examiners, http://styrdokument.liu.se/Regelsamling/VisaBeslut/917592.
Registration for examination
Until January 31 2021, the following applies according to previous guidelines: In order to take an written, digital or computer-based examination student must register in advance at the Student Portal during the registration period, which opens 30 days before the date of the examination and closes 10 days before it. Candidates are informed of the location of the examination by email, four days in advance. Students who have not registered for an examination run the risk of being refused admittance to the examination, if space is not available.
From February 1 2021, new guidelines applies for registration for written, digital or computer-based examination, Dnr LiU-2020-02033 (https://styrdokument.liu.se/Regelsamling/VisaBeslut/622682).
Symbols used in the examination registration system:
** denotes that the examination is being given for the penultimate time.
* denotes that the examination is being given for the last time.
Code of conduct for students during examinations
Details are given in a decision in the university’s rule book: http://styrdokument.liu.se/Regelsamling/VisaBeslut/622682.
Retakes for higher grade
Students at the Institute of Technology at LiU have the right to retake written examinations and digital and computer-based examinations in an attempt to achieve a higher grade. This is valid for all examination components with code “TEN”, “DIT” and "DAT". The same right may not be exercised for other examination components, unless otherwise specified in the course syllabus.
A retake is not possible on courses that are included in an issued degree diploma.
The grades that are preferably to be used are Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass not without distinction (4) and Pass with distinction (5).
- Grades U, 3, 4, 5 are to be awarded for courses that have written or digital examinations.
- Grades Fail (U) and Pass (G) may be awarded for courses with a large degree of practical components such as laboratory work, project work and group work.
- Grades Fail (U) and Pass (G) are to be used for degree projects and other independent work.
The following examination components and associated module codes are used at the Faculty of Science and Engineering:
- Grades U, 3, 4, 5 are to be awarded for written examinations (TEN) and digital examinations (DIT).
- Examination components for which the grades Fail (U) and Pass (G) may be awarded are laboratory work (LAB), project work (PRA), preparatory written examination (KTR), digital preparatory written examination (DIK), oral examination (MUN), computer-based examination (DAT), home assignment (HEM), and assignment (UPG).
- Students receive grades either Fail (U) or Pass (G) for other examination components in which the examination criteria are satisfied principally through active attendance such as tutorial group (BAS) or examination item (MOM).
- Grades Fail (U) and Pass (G) are to be used for the examination components Opposition (OPPO) and Attendance at thesis presentation (AUSK) (i.e. part of the degree project).
In general, the following applies:
- Mandatory course components must be scored and given a module code.
- Examination components that are not scored, cannot be mandatory. Hence, it is voluntary to participate in these examinations, and the voluntariness must be clearly stated. Additionally, if there are any associated conditions to the examination component, these must be clearly stated as well.
- For courses with more than one examination component with grades U,3,4,5, it shall be clearly stated how the final grade is weighted.
For mandatory components, the following applies: If special circumstances prevail, and if it is possible with consideration of the nature of the compulsory component, the examiner may decide to replace the compulsory component with another equivalent component. (In accordance with the LiU Guidelines for education and examination for first-cycle and second-cycle education at Linköping University, http://styrdokument.liu.se/Regelsamling/VisaBeslut/917592).
For written examinations, the following applies: If the LiU coordinator for students with disabilities has granted a student the right to an adapted examination for a written examination in an examination hall, the student has the right to it. If the coordinator has instead recommended for the student an adapted examination or alternative form of examination, the examiner may grant this if the examiner assesses that it is possible, based on consideration of the course objectives. (In accordance with the LiU Guidelines for education and examination for first-cycle and second-cycle education at Linköping University, http://styrdokument.liu.se/Regelsamling/VisaBeslut/917592).
Reporting of examination results
The examination results for a student are reported at the relevant department.
For examinations that involve the writing of reports, in cases in which it can be assumed that the student has had access to other sources (such as during project work, writing essays, etc.), the material submitted must be prepared in accordance with principles for acceptable practice when referring to sources (references or quotations for which the source is specified) when the text, images, ideas, data, etc. of other people are used. It is also to be made clear whether the author has reused his or her own text, images, ideas, data, etc. from previous examinations, such as degree projects, project reports, etc. (this is sometimes known as “self-plagiarism”).
A failure to specify such sources may be regarded as attempted deception during examination.
Attempts to cheat
In the event of a suspected attempt by a student to cheat during an examination, or when study performance is to be assessed as specified in Chapter 10 of the Higher Education Ordinance, the examiner is to report this to the disciplinary board of the university. Possible consequences for the student are suspension from study and a formal warning. More information is available at https://www.student.liu.se/studenttjanster/lagar-regler-rattigheter?l=en.
Regulations (apply to LiU in its entirety)
The university is a government agency whose operations are regulated by legislation and ordinances, which include the Higher Education Act and the Higher Education Ordinance. In addition to legislation and ordinances, operations are subject to several policy documents. The Linköping University rule book collects currently valid decisions of a regulatory nature taken by the university board, the vice-chancellor and faculty/department boards.
LiU’s rule book for education at first-cycle and second-cycle levels is available at http://styrdokument.liu.se/Regelsamling/Innehall/Utbildning_pa_grund-_och_avancerad_niva.
Degree project for Master’s Degree in Engineering 300 credits, Master of Science (Two years), Master of Philosophy (Two years), Master of Science (One year), and master’s degrees without prefix
General provisions for the degree project are given here. A specific board of studies may have supplementary regulations that are specific for a study programme. These are specified, where relevant, in the syllabus for the field of education and/or the degree project. Information and links to course syllabuses, registration, reflection documents, etc. can be found at https://www.lith.liu.se/examensarbete/examensarbete?l=en.
To be awarded a Master’s Degree in Engineering 300 credits, Master of Science (Two years), Master of Philosophy (Two years), Master of Science (One year), or master’s degree without prefix a student must carry out an approved degree project. The components of the degree project are described in the relevant course syllabus.
The aim of the degree project is described in the relevant course syllabus, https://www.lith.liu.se/examensarbete/examensarbete?l=en. Links to respective course syllabus can be found under the respective headings Master's programme, Civilingenjörsutbildning (only in Swedish), Högskoleingenjörsutbildning (only in Swedish), Kandidatutbildning (only in Swedish).
Requirements for the extent of the degree project for each type of degree are given in the syllabus of the study programme.
Locations for a degree project
The work is carried out in the form of:
- an internal degree project located at one of the participating departments at LiU
- an external degree project located at a company, government agency, or other organisation in Sweden or abroad, that an examiner has assessed is able to manage a degree project that satisfies the requirements, or
- a degree project within an exchange agreement in association with study abroad, whereby all study results are to be credited to the student by the relevant board of studies.
The main subject areas that are permitted within each study programme are described in the programme syllabus. Any individual subjects that may be relevant to the main subject area are to be determined by the relevant board of studies.
The examiner for a degree project within a certain subject area are determined by the board of studies that is responsible for general degrees within the main subject area. An up-to-date list is given at https://www.lith.liu.se/examensarbete/examensarbete?l=en.
Degree projects within agreements relating to study abroad
During study abroad that takes place within the framework of an agreement, the provisions of the host institute relating to degree projects are applied. The student is to consult the board of studies and together ensure that the proposed degree project is carried out in a main subject area that is permitted within the study programme. Approved main subject areas for degree projects are specified in the syllabus for the relevant programme.
A certificate confirming that the degree project has been approved and a copy of the degree project thesis (in PDF format) are to be submitted to the relevant board of studies.
Selection of degree project
A degree project is to be selected in consultation with an examiner, who is also responsible that the specialisation, extent and level of the project satisfy the requirements specified in the course syllabus.
In cases in which issues relating to work-related copyright, patenting or remuneration may arise, provisions governing these should be established in advance. A student working on a degree project may sign a confidentiality agreement in order to obtain access to confidential information necessary for the degree project. The supervisor and examiner, however, determine whether they are prepared to sign a confidentiality agreement, and thus the confidential information must not normally be of such nature that it is necessary to supervise or grade the work. The complete degree project thesis is to be published during the grading procedure, unless special circumstances prevent this. If any part of the thesis should not be published, this must be approved in advance by the examiner and the relevant head of department. Note that final decisions relating to confidentiality are taken by an administrative court.
Commencement of a degree project
Requirements that must be satisfied before a degree project can be started are given in the currently valid course syllabus, which can be obtained in the relevant programme syllabus at https://liu.se/studieinfo/en.
Notification of a degree project is to be carried out when the degree project starts, at https://www.lith.liu.se/for-studenter/anmalan-till-exjobb?l=en. Registration of the degree project is to take place before work commences.
Before the start of the degree project, the examiner is to ensure that the student satisfies the conditions for commencement of the degree project within the relevant main subject area. Support in this can be obtained from the study guidance counsellor, who checks the general requirements for starting the degree project.
The student is also to notify the relevant department of the start of the degree project.
Degree projects in collaboration with another student
In cases in which two students carry out a degree project together, the contribution of each student is to be specified. The extent of the work is to correspond to the extent of two individual projects. The examiner is to ensure that each student has contributed in a satisfactory manner to the work, and that each student satisfies the requirements for achieving a Pass grade for the degree project.
Degree projects carried out in collaboration between more than two students are not permitted.
The examiner must be employed as a teacher at LiU according to the LiU Regulations for Appointments (https://styrdokument.liu.se/Regelsamling/VisaBeslut/622784). The following teachers can be appointed as examiner: Professor (including Adjunct and Visiting Professor), Associate Professor (including Adjunct), Senior Lecturer (including Adjunct and Visiting Senior Lecturer), Research Fellow, or Postdoc. The examiner must also have the expertise required to examine degree projects within the relevant main subject area, and be appointed by the board of studies. The board of studies can also appoint emerita/emeritus as examiner for a single thesis work.
The examiner is to:
- ensure before the start of the degree project that the student satisfies the conditions for commencement of the degree project within the relevant main subject area. The study guidance counsellor is to check whether the commencement criteria are satisfied and inform the examiner of this
- check whether special admission requirements (where relevant) are satisfied, for example that the student can demonstrate a certain degree of in-depth knowledge within the field relevant for the degree project
- determine the specialisation and principal work of the degree project, based on an assessment of whether the degree project will result in the learning outcomes of the course syllabus being satisfied
- pass/fail the planning report
- pass/fail the mid-way assessment
- be responsible that the supervisor or supervisors carry out their duties
- in conjunction with the planning report, check that the student has registered for the degree project
- approve the work for presentation
- before the presentation, check that the proposed opponent satisfies the conditions for commencement of the degree project and has attended three thesis presentations
- pass/fail the presentation and the opposition to it
- approve a concluding reflection document
- ensure that a degree project that has been passed satisfies the learning outcomes of the course syllabus and other requirements, and award a grade to the degree project (either G = Pass, or U = Fail).
In cases in which a degree project is carried out jointly by two students with different main subject areas, one examiner in each main subject area must be appointed, where this is necessary.
A student working on a degree project is to have access to an internal supervisor at the department at which the degree project has been registered. The internal supervisor is to have a degree that corresponds at least to the level of the degree project to be supervised. The internal supervisor may, in exceptional circumstances, be the same individual as the examiner. A decision of whether to allow this in a particular case is to be made by the relevant board of studies before the degree project is started.
The supervisor is to ensure that the student obtains help with:
- expert support in general questions related to methods, specialist knowledge of the subject, and writing the thesis
- problem formulation, and setting the limits of the work
- scheduling and planning work, and selection of appropriate methods.
If the degree project is being carried out outside of LiTH, an external supervisor from the commissioner is to be appointed.
During the first weeks of the degree project, the student is to draw up a planning report that contains:
- a preliminary title of the degree project
- a preliminary statement of the research question, against the background of a literature search
- a preliminary description of the approach to be taken
- planned literature foundation
- a schedule for the execution of the degree project, including suggested dates for the mid-way assessment and presentation.
Formulation of the research question is to be bounded, realistic and viewed from a perspective of societal or commercial benefit. The term “societal” is to be understood here to include universities and university colleges.
Approximately half-way through the degree project, the student is to describe to the examiner at a mid-way assessment how the work is progressing relative to the planning report. The supervisor should also participate. The form of the mid-way assessment may be anything from an oral presentation to a public seminar. The conclusion of the mid-way assessment may be one of three possibilities:
- The work has been carried out essentially as planned, and can continue as planned. The mid-way assessment has been passed.
- The work has been carried out with certain deviations from the planning report. It is, however, believed that it will be possible to complete the work with minor adjustments to the formulation of the research question, approach and/or schedule. The mid-way assessment has been passed.
- The work has deviated from the planning report in a significant manner, and there is a risk that a Pass grade cannot be given. The mid-way assessment has been failed. A new planning report must be drawn up and a new mid-way assessment carried out.
Both oral and written reports of the degree project are to be made, in Swedish or English. For the international Master's programmes, both the oral and written examination should be made in English. The board of studies can allow the reporting to be carried out in another language than Swedish or English.
The oral presentation is to take place in public, unless there are special grounds that this should not be done. The written report is to be in the form of a professionally produced degree project thesis. The presentation and thesis are to follow the instructions given below.
The oral presentation is to take place when the examiner considers that the work has been completed and is ready to be presented. The presentation is to take place at LiTH at a time when other students can attend. This means that the presentation can take place on a date that the student has agreed with the examiner, normally between the re-examination period in August and midsummer, and after the student has attended three thesis presentations.
The oral presentation is to describe the background to the problem that has been studied, describe the methods used, and present the results and conclusions. The presentation is to be at a level suitable for everyone present, not just for specialists. After the oral presentation, the student is to counter any criticism that the opponent may raise, and allow other participants to pose questions. The presentation and the opposition are to be approved by the examiner. When any required adjustments of the thesis have been made, the reflection document has been approved, and the student has functioned as an opponent for another degree project, the degree project is reported as a passed course and the credits can be used to satisfy the requirements for a qualification.
Degree project thesis
The written degree project report is to be professionally written and comprehensive, and it is to demonstrate a scientific approach. The report must be prepared in accordance with principles for acceptable practice when referring to sources (references or quotations for which the source is specified) when the text, images, ideas, data, etc., of other people are used. It is also to be made clear whether the author has reused his or her own text, images, ideas, data, etc. from previous examinations, such as undergraduate work, project reports, etc. (This is sometimes known as “self-plagiarism”.) A failure to specify such sources may be regarded as attempted deception during examination.
The contents are to be easy to understand, and the way in which material is presented is important. It must describe the background to the project and the formulation of the research question. The choice of approach is to be clearly explained, and the thesis should make clear the coupling between the results and the conclusions. Commonly accepted scientific methods are to be used for processing the results. The discussion is to be comprehensive, and demonstrate that the student masters analytical thought processes. The thesis is to demonstrate good mastery of the literature in the field, and include an abstract. Theses that are principally written in Swedish should contain a summary in English. A publication-ready manuscript and a reflection document covering the work undertaken are to be submitted to the examiner within 10 days after the oral presentation. The examiner may grant an exemption from this requirement. If final versions of the required documents are not submitted as stipulated, the examiner may determine that the presentation is to be rescheduled.
The Faculty of Science and Engineering (Institute of Technology) at Linköping University recommends that degree project theses be published.
An oral opposition is to be carried out either before or after the student presents his or her thesis. The opponent must satisfy the same requirements for the number and level of credits gained as those of the student’s degree project. The opponent must also have attended three thesis presentations as a member of the audience. Acting as an opponent during the thesis presentation of another student is subject to points-based assessment as described in the course syllabus.
The opponent is to:
- discuss and comment on the selection of methods, results and (where relevant) data processing, conclusions, possible alternative solutions and conclusions, and the management of literature
- comment on the general arrangement of the degree project thesis and related, formal aspects of style, and comment on the oral presentation technique
- illuminate the strengths and weaknesses of the thesis.
The duration of the opposition should be approximately the same as that of the presentation, and it is to include a discussion in which the student presenting the thesis replies to and comments on the criticism raised by the opponent.
Unless otherwise agreed, at least one week before the presentation the opponent is to present in writing to the examiner the important issues that will be discussed, and the structure of the opposition that will be taken. The opponent and the examiner discuss the structure that the opponent has drawn up.
In a normal case, the number of opponents will be the same as the number of respondents. In exceptional cases, the examiner may decide that this is not to be the case.
Attendance at presentations
A student is to attend presentations of degree project theses as described in the course syllabus. The presentations attended must be at the same level or a higher level than the degree project of the student.
It is advantageous that one of the presentations attended is a licenciate degree seminar or a doctoral disputation. The student is responsible for ensuring that a certification of attendance at the presentation is obtained and passed to the departmental administrator for registration in Ladok. Attendance at such presentations is a component of the degree work that is subject to points-based assessment.
The occasions on which a student attends presentations are to be completed before the student presents the degree project thesis. The course syllabus for the degree project describes the scheduling of the attendance at presentations.
A document reflecting on the work that has been carried out is to be submitted to the examiner within 10 working days of the oral presentation. Instructions for preparing a reflection document can be reached through https://www.lith.liu.se/examensarbete/reflektionsdokument?l=en.
The degree project is graded as either Pass or Fail. In order for a student to obtain a pass grade for the degree project, all components must be completed and be awarded a pass grade.
Right to obtain supervision
It is expected that the student complete and pass a degree project within specified time limits. The department is required to provide supervision for a maximum of 18 months after the student has registered the degree project in Ladok. The examiner may grant additional supervision after this period in special cases. If the examiner determines that supervision is to be ended, the degree project is to be awarded a Fail grade. The examiner does not have to fail the degree project if it is considered possible that the student can finish the thesis without further supervision.
If the degree project is awarded a Fail grade for the reason described above or for any other reason, the student is to be directed towards carrying out a further degree project.
The relevant board of studies has overall responsibility for the quality of study programmes. This responsibility covers also degree projects. Quality assurance is to be carried out as determined by the faculty board.
If special circumstances apply, a board of studies may grant exemptions from the regulations specified above. The oral opposition, for example, may be replaced by an extensive written opposition, if the board of studies approves this
- for international students for whom special circumstances apply
- for other students for whom all other components of the qualification have been satisfied, the degree project thesis has been submitted, and special circumstances apply.
Written opposition may be carried out in one of the following ways:
- The student presents a written opposition to a degree project thesis that has been written by another student, whose examiner subsequently examines the opposition.
- The student’s examiner requests that the student prepare a written opposition to a degree project thesis that has previously been examined by an examiner.
If written opposition is used, it is not necessary that the student prepare an introductory statement describing the structure.
The examiner applies to the board of studies for exemption regarding written opposition. The board of studies must approve that opposition may take place in written form, before it is carried out.