Guidelines for students of the Faculty of Economics of the University of Opole concerning the preparation of Bachelor’s/Master’s theses and the diploma process
1. General information
Bachelor’s and master’s theses are written within the diploma seminar at the first and second cycle of studies. The student chooses a supervisor from the proposals submitted by the coordinator of study programmes within the limit set for the supervisor. If too many students are willing to work under the supervision of a particular supervisor, the selection of candidates is made by the supervisor, or – if they do not do it – the coordinator. The student may read about the research area of potential supervisors on the faculty website.
The student prepares the bachelor’s thesis under the supervision of an academic teacher holding at least a doctoral degree. In the second cycle studies, the student prepares the thesis under the supervision of an academic teacher holding at least the degree of a hablitated doctor. In exceptional cases, the Institute’s Council may authorise an academic teacher holding a doctoral degree to supervise a master’s thesis. Seminar instructors are thesis supervisors.
2. Basic requirements for the diploma paper
Diploma paper is an author’s study of a research problem, and in the case of engineering theses also a project problem, completed by a student under the scientific supervision of a supervisor. A research or project problem undertaken in the thesis must be appropriate for the discipline to which the study programme is assigned, and in particular appropriate for the study programme. In the case of engineering theses, it must implement the learning outcomes relevant to the PQF engineering competences.
The student of a general academic profile programme is obliged to write a diploma paper in the form of a dissertation on the basis of studies on the relevant literature and conducted research.
The main part of the Bachelor’s and Master’s thesis may include a review of literature presenting the theoretical/methodological context of the thesis and/or a presentation of the current state of research based on scientific sources, including the author’s commentary, as well as an analytical part presenting the results of conducted research (quantitative, qualitative, critical, etc.) with the use of methodology appropriate for the adopted research problem, and their interpretation. The Bachelor’s thesis may be based mainly on the results of research carried out by other authors, but the Master’s thesis must be based on the results of research carried out independently by the author, with other research as a reference.
The thesis must have a coherent and clear structure that reflects a logical course of argumentation.
3. Formal requirements of the thesis
3.1. Volume of text: minimum 40 pages for a Bachelor’s thesis and minimum 60 pages for a Master’s thesis.
3.2. Thesis composition:
- Title page according to the template valid at the University of Opole;
- table of contents/tables/figures;
- introduction – including the statement and explanation of the research or project problem, objectives and context of the study, thesis/ research question, research scope, sources, and methods, and work’s structure;
- main bod – 3-4 chapters in the case of a BA thesis, 3-5 chapters in the case of a MA thesis;
- conclusion – addressing the selected problem and indicating whether the research objective has been achieved, summarising the main research themes, conclusions resulting from the conducted research or prepared project, indicating barriers/deficiencies and prospects for further research bibliography – containing a minimum of 20 scientific sources in the case of a bachelor’s thesis, and 30 in the case of a master’s thesis;
- optional appendices (e.g. questionnaires, text or photo documentation);
- up-to-one-page-long summary in Polish and 4-5 keywords;
- up-to-one-page-long summary in English and 2-5 keywords;
- anti-plagiarism statement
3.3. Formatting – font (12 Times New Roman or 11 Arial), line spacing (1.5) and margin settings (2.5 cm without additional margin for binding), two-sided alignment; no additional gap space before/after a line and between paragraphs. Page numbers are situated at the bottom middle of each page; do not include pagination on title page, and pages with table of contents/figures/tables and anti-plagiarism statement. Do not leave blank pages (except for the reverse of the title page).
3.4. Style of quotations and bibliography – established system recommended by the supervisor. The use of footnotes is the most common in Economics and Finance, and Management and Quality Studies.
4. Verifying and assessing the thesis
A positive assessment of the thesis means that the student has acquired the ability to formulate and solve research or project problems through a proper selection of sources and information from them, as well as through evaluation, critical analysis and synthesis of this information. The assessment/review of the thesis takes into account, among others: compliance of the content with the subject of the work, order and logic of the argument, accuracy and completeness of the selection of research material, accuracy and comprehensiveness of the selection of the subject literature, ability to use the bibliographic material, language and stylistic correctness, and adequacy of illustrations in relation to the content.
The grade for the thesis (according to the grading scale at UO) is the result of two reviews of the thesis, prepared by the thesis supervisor and the assigned reviewer.
5. Submitting and archiving the thesis
5.1. After the thesis is accepted by the supervisor the student ought to put into the university Archive of Theses (APD) (apd.uni.opole.pl) the following:
- summary in Polish and English;
- key words in Polish and English;
- a file in PDF format containing the full version of the thesis (file name: surname_names.current_year), excluding appendices to the thesis and student’s declarations.
5.2. On receipt of information that the thesis is in the ADF system, the supervisor starts the process of approving the thesis, including subjecting the thesis to an anti-plagiarism check.
The superior places the declarations in the APD system
6. The course and documentation of diploma examination (BA/MA defence)
The course of the exam, the committee, the method of assessment during the graduation exam follow the Rules of Study at the UO:
6.1. The committee consists of at least three members, including:
1. Committee Chairperson: Dean or Vice-Dean, or an academic teacher appointed by the Dean, holding at least a doctoral degree.
6.2 In the course of the diploma examination for the first cycle studies, the student receives two questions concerning the diploma thesis (one question concerning the content and one question concerning the methodology and results of the research) and one question based on the programme of study and corresponding to the learning outcomes ascribed to level 6 of the PQF. In the course of the diploma examination for the second cycle studies, the student receives two questions concerning the thesis and one question based on the programme of study and corresponding to the learning outcomes ascribed to level 7 of the PQF.
6.3. The diploma examination grade (in accordance with the grading scale in force at the UO) is based on the average grade for the answers to the questions. The final diploma grade is calculated according to the guidelines included in the Rules of Study at the UO. The final grade for the studies – which is the basis for determining the grade on the diploma – is the sum of: 1/2 of the arithmetic mean of grades from examinations and credits entered in the USOS, 1/4 of the grade of the diploma thesis, and 1/4 of the grade of the diploma examination.
6.4 The student should submit the diploma thesis and pass the diploma examination not later than by the end of September of the final year of studies. For the studies ending in the winter semester, the deadline shall be the end of the winter make-up period.
7. After the defence
The student is obliged to settle all obligations indicated on the electronic clearance slip, and to deliver to the Dean’s Office the following:
- proof of payment for the diploma (it is necessary to check with the Dean’s Office the current amount of the payment for the diploma and the amount of the surcharge for the diploma in English);
- student identity card (in the case of second cycle students).