The 20 ECTS Master Thesis (or Final Research Paper) should be either a normative or analytical (or both) paper, innovative and always research oriented, as it is thought to be an initiation to research that may continue with a PhD. The paper may include up to 10,000 words (references and notes included).
The Master Thesis should be presented in an "article" format, i.e., developed and presented as if it were to be sent to a professional journal for publication.
Different approaches and methods may be used in your thesis. However, whether you use text interpretation, discourse analysis, interview techniques, published or gathered statistical information, or any other materials or data, or any combination of them, you should always have a clear question or hypothesis guiding your paper, review the state of the art, provide the relevant theoretical (normative and/or analytical) background, choose the methods in agreement with your question/hypothesis, analyse some data, texts or informations with the help of the methodological tools you have chosen, and present the results of your analysis, extracting from the material some valid conclusion regarding the question and/or hypothesis.
The language of the thesis is English; Catalan and Spanish may only be acceptable by agreement of the assigned supervisor.
Please remember: The Department of Social and Political Sciences will not tolerate plagiarism, copy or active or passive collaboration in papers written by our students. The sanction for plagiarism will be the immediate fail in the thesis. Additionally, the University will initiate proceedings against the student that could lead to his/her expulsion of the Master. We will consider plagiarism using someone's words without referencing the source or including the information in quotation marks or a block quote; using someone's ideas without referencing the source or copying papers written by other students.
Students can propose a member of the Political and Social Department as supervisor (a list will be sent to all students). Students may also propose a second supervisor in case the first is not available. We will try as hard as possible to accommodate preferences but Faculty members cannot supervise more than four students. Students who have not proposed any supervisor will be assigned to a "free" Faculty member and this may also happen in case too many students propose the same professor. Supervision by guest professors is generally not foreseen to take place. However, if in particular cases a visiting professor accepts to be proposed by a particular student for a particular topic, we may accept such a proposal. The visiting professor will not receive any compensation for this additional dedication, so please only propose such a colleague if he or she has agreed beforehand to this scheme.
Students and tutors will be informed about the final choice by the Committee. After having received this information, the supervising process will start. Students have to contact their supervisors to plan the schedule.
About the grading process
80% of the mark comes from the supervisor's assessment. See the marking criteria. The remaining 20% comes from the assessment of the two members of the Master Committee based on students' defence.
The defence consists of a short presentation (10 minutes), including the research question, hypotheses and main results. Students are allowed to use a powerpoint. The Committee will discuss the presentation for 5 minutes and then the candidate will have the possibility to respond to the comments. The defence is public. All participants should present in English.
Master Thesis Calendar
Students are requested to send by e-mail to the coordinator, as well as upload to the Aula Global, the topic of the thesis (a tentative title would suffice) and two potential supervisors in order of preference. The department will provide a form to fill out and a list of potential supervisors. Before you make your choice, you may speak to your potential supervisor to check for her/his availability and disposition towards the topic.
The direction of the Master programme will make the final allocation of supervisors. Students may then contact their supervisor to start working on the thesis.
The thesis has to be uploaded to the Aula Global. The public defence will take place approximately one week after thesis submission.