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Graduation Research Project - Computational Science

Graduation Research Project - Computational Science

Graduation Research Project

The Graduation Research Project - Computational Science is a mandatory part of the master programme (42 EC). The student is expected to carry out an independent research at a senior level.

  • Graduation Research Project- Computational Science

    The Graduation Research Project (also known as master thesis) begins with students finding a suitable topic, a daily supervisor and an examiner (eventually a second reviewer is also required – see section Defending your Graduation Research here). Help in finding a project topic is given in the course Seminars Computational Science and on this website. The student should begin working on their master thesis part time in November-December of the second year, this is the period in which they should conduct a literature study. This means students should have a confirmed topic, daily supervisor and examiner by October at the latest. 

    The graduation research project can be done within the Computational Science research group, another research centre at UvA, or at an external research institute. For projects external to the UvA, students are also required to find an examiner who is one of the appointed UvA staff examiners (see here for the official list of examiners).

    Information about lecturers and their field of expertise,  in order to help students find a supervisor and/or examiner, can be found here.

    Or browse the study guide to check all courses per examiner.

    Most important to keep in mind when a student starts the graduation research project: suitable arrangements have to be made with the daily supervisor and examiner, a timeline should be set up and the student and supervisor have to write a brief project description. All this information is submitted on DataNose by the student, prior to starting the thesis.

  • Before starting with your Graduation Research

    Before starting your Graduation Research project - Computational Science:
    1.    You need to obtain permission from the Examinations Board. 
    2.    You need to submit your thesis topic on the DataNose site.

    1. Obtaining permission from Examinations Board

    In order to start your Graduation Research Project you are required to have completed all core and constrained choice courses of the programme. Furthermore, you need to have a planning for the rest of your (elective) courses and your daily supervisor and examiner should agree with your course list.

    You need to fill in the Study Plan Application (SPA), which can be found in Datanose on your personal page under the heading PROGRESS (NL: voortgang) or login at

    You can use the SPA to:

    • check your study progress
    • indicate your study plan
    • send a request to the Examinations Board concerning your personal study programme
    • ask the examinations Board for approval of your personal curriculum in order to graduate.

    When you are logged in you can:
    •             see which courses you already passed
    •             indicate which courses you still intend to do
    •             tick the courses you intend to do to include them in the study plan
    •             submit a request to replace a course or to request an exemption, by means of the arrow on the right side next to the course. This request will automatically be sent to the Examinations Board.

    If you have questions about the SPA please send an email to: .

    Please note: you will not be granted a diploma if you have not asked the Examinations Board for formal approval of your personal curriculum.

    .    Submitting Your Thesis on DataNose

    Once you have found a topic, a daily supervisor and an examiner you can submit your thesis proposal on DataNose. A committee will look at each thesis proposal and approve its suitability for Computational Science.

    In order to submit the proposal on DataNose you need to have the following information.

    1. Who is your examiner?
    2. Who is your daily supervisor?
    3. Who is your second assessor?
    4.  A title
    5. An abstract/outline
    6. A start date and estimated end date (should be 6 months minimum)

    Every master thesis needs an examiner, a person who is officially appointed and able/allowed to give a grade in the programme. The examiner should typically be involved throughout the duration of the thesis, but the minimum requirement for an examiner is reading the thesis and ultimately deciding on the final grade of the thesis. The formal list of examiners MSc Computational Science can be viewed here.

    Note that the role of daily supervisor involves the day-to-day supervision and scientific guidance of the project. In some cases the daily supervisor may be the same person as the examiner. Other suitable supervisors include a PhD student, a company employee, etc. The only official restriction concerning the role of daily supervisor entails that it should be someone with sufficient expertise to perform the scientific guidance.

    The second assessor is the person who will help grade the thesis, they may or may not be involved in the thesis day-to-day. This role (at a minimum) involves reading the thesis and suggesting a grade.

    Note that the examiner, daily supervisor and second assessor are roles and not people. This means the same person can assume two roles. However, this possibility is restricted by certain rules. Namely, the examiner cannot be the same person as the second assessor, but the examiner can be the daily supervisor and the second assessor can be the daily supervisor. In other words: you need a minimum of two people to fulfil the roles.

    Approval of topic

    Once you have completed the form on DataNose an e-mail will go the committee, the examiner, daily supervisor and second assessor. They all have to approve your proposed topic and agree with their roles appointed by you. Completing this form is important for all students as the thesis grading will be done via DataNose.

    Thesis Timeline and Suspension

    The Graduation thesis is a 42 EC course, which means 7 months’ full time work. More typically this will run as 2 months’ part time (literature study Nov-Dec) work and 6 months’ full time work (thesis work Jan-Jun). The exact timelines may differ, but all students should aim to work along the normal schedule. This will ensure completing the programme within 2 years and prevent the necessity for further tuition payment.

    If completing a thesis project takes a student longer than the standard amount of time (7 months) a penalty could be applied to the final grading. Please read the information about the project penalty system in the next paragraph.

  • Project penalty system

    The Master Thesis computational science is a 42 EC course that runs part time Nov-Dec and full time Jan-Jun. One ECTS officially stands for 28 hours of work. So 42 ECTS is approximately 30 weeks full time work (40 hour week), which is approximately 7 months full time. The exact timelines may differ, but all students should aim to work along  the normal schedule – this will ensure you complete within 2 years and prevent the need for further tuition payment.

    Without a penalty students have no consequence (except financial) for taking more than 7 months to complete their thesis. If two students receive an overall 8 grade, but one completes in 7 months and the other in 12 months they are considered to have delivered the same standard of work.  Other programmes in UvA currently have regulations in place to apply a penalty if the thesis takes longer than a specified period. In order to encourage students to finish their master thesis research project within the ‘normal’ time limit of 7 months (42 ETCS), the master programme Computational Science has instated a penalty system on 1 September 2017.

    Students are expected to finish their master thesis research project within the ‘normal’ time limit of 7 months plus a 2 month grace period (a total of 9 months). The final grade of a student who takes longer than these 9 months to finish his or her project will be subjected to a penalty. Any student who takes longer than 9 months receives a half-point deduction for every extra month take, up to a maximum of 4 months. This means, for example, a student who receives a 8.5 in month 10-11, would have their grade reduced by 2 times 0.5, so 7.5. A student who receives 9 in month 15, would receive half a point for each extra month (but to a maximum of 4) so receive a 7.

    Of course there are circumstances where students will need to suspend or have good reasons for extending their thesis. Students are allowed to (formally) ask for an extension or suspension of their master thesis research project.


    Students are allowed to formally ask for an extension or suspension of their master thesis research project in case of good reasons for extension or suspension. These requests (and motivations) must be approved by the Examinations Board and the student in question must have discussed the reasons with the study advisor before asking for an extension. Students should also inform their daily supervisor and examiner about the delay and the request for an extension.

    In cases where planned suspension is not possible (e.g., personal/health issues) it is advisable to contact the study advisor.

    In cases where the requests are of a personal nature the study advisor will collate advice from all parties and make the final decision. The study advisor may also ask the opinion of the programme director and the Examinations Board where necessary. In most cases if both the daily supervisor and examiner approve the suspension then the student will be permitted to delay.

    As soon as the student expects/plans or knows of a suspension during the thesis it is advised to discuss and plan this as soon as possible with the supervisor and examiner.

    The penalty system has come into force on 1 September 2017 and is applicable to all master thesis research projects started at 1 September 2017 or later. 

  • Defending your Graduation Research

    The defense of your Research Project can be organised when the examiner and daily supervisor indicate that the work and the report are to an acceptable standard. The final assessment takes place after the report (thesis) has been submitted and the project has been presented and defended.

    For more information follow:

    Defending your Graduation Research