Master Thesis Opponent

Master Thesis Opponent-34
I to know the thesis inside out and backwards, because I had to present it!

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The day before the defence, I gave a seminar in the host department (as one does).

More importantly, the candidate and I went for lunch, along with his supervisors and the Chair of the defence.

About two months before the defence, I received the candidate’s thesis.

That seems like a long time, but I needed to work harder on this than on a typical North American defence, so I was grateful for the time. Although I didn’t participate in this part, about three weeks before the defence, the candidate had a “nailing” ceremony – in which the Abstract of the thesis was (literally) nailed to a plank in a department common room.

To get your opposition registered in Ladok you need to be registered on the course TQxx30.

If the course code is not visible for registration in the Student portal, you have to apply for the course by using the form Change of courses (Master students).The nailing symbolizes the public release of the thesis, which cannot be defended until it has been public for three weeks.(The whole thesis, of course, is made available electronically at the time of the nailing.) At defence time, I flew to Sweden to spend two days in the host department.Finally, the opponent system disentangles two different function of the examination: on the one hand, that work and understanding.This means, for instance, that the opponent can disagree fervently with the thesis, but the examining committee can judge the candidate’s response without having a direct stake in the disagreement.(I rush to assure you that when I’m an external examiner in the North American system, I take the job seriously; but I won’t try to argue that I absorb every thesis in the detail I absorbed this Swedish one.And, of course, not every external examiner is as conscientious as I claim to be.) Another strength is that the opponent’s presentation of the work (rather than the student’s) gives the examining committee two different perspectives on the interpretation and importance of the research.Please notice that there are other regulations for ERASMUS-students. You can find the departments student office in the B-building close to Caf Java, D-corridor, entrance 27.Opening hours: Closed for summer holidays 20/6 - 13/8 2019. I recently returned from a trip to Stockholm, where I went to be the “opponent” (in North America, we would say “external examiner”) for a Ph D defence. It’s no surprise that academic systems vary – but the “opponent” system used in a number of European countries is an interesting variant, and one not well known (I think) in North America.Get this: at the defence, the Ph D candidate didn’t present his work – I did. My sample size is very small, of course, involving one defence at one university in one country*, but I was impressed.


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