MPhil Thesis Requirement

Thesis and Thesis Defense Requirement

Each MPhil student is required to conduct research, submit a thesis and defend it before an MPhil thesis examination committee at a public oral defense.

An MPhil thesis examination committee, approved by the Head of the Department, should be set up at least six (6) weeks before the proposed date of the MPhil thesis oral defense. The committee shall consist of three (3) faculty members including at most one of the thesis supervisors. A majority of the members shall be from the Computer Science and Engineering Department. The thesis should be distributed to the committee members at least four (4) weeks prior to the oral defense. Two copies should also be given to the director of Postgraduate Studies.

To schedule an MPhil thesis defense, the form Request to Schedule an MPhil Thesis Defense should be completed and submitted to the Director of Postgraduate Studies.

Conduct of MPhil Thesis Examination

The Director of Postgraduate Studies shall appoint a Chair of the MPhil thesis examination committee who is a faculty member in the Department. The Chair:

  1. obtains the thesis examination report form and the candidate's file from the Departmental office and takes them to the thesis examination;
  2. ensures that the thesis examination is conducted according to University and Departmental rules and guidelines;
  3. confirms that examination committee members have adequate knowledge of the thesis in order to judge it, and that they will not abstain from voting on the thesis on the basis that they have insufficient knowledge of the thesis;
  4. reminds the examination committee members that the thesis examination consists of both the written thesis and the oral defence;
  5. ensures that the thesis examination report is completed; and
  6. informs the candidate orally of the examination committee's decision immediately after the examination.

The thesis examination takes place in a single session and comprises four parts, the first two of which are open to all members of the University and to Departmental guests. The third part is closed to all but the Chair, the committee and the candidate, and the fourth part is a closed session of the Chair and the examination committee in the absence of the candidate.

Part 1: Public oral presentation by the candidate

At the invitation of the Chair, the candidate will give a 30-45 minute presentation outlining the thesis research and its contribution. During the presentation, no public questions will be allowed.

Part 2: Public question and answer period

During this part of the examination, all questions are addressed through the Chair and any dialogue limited to the candidate and the individual questioner. The questioning shall proceed as follows:

  1. The thesis examination committee shall question the candidate in a round-robin fashion and in an order determined by the Chair except that the candidate's thesis supervisor(s) shall normally be last in the order. Each member of the thesis examination committee shall question the candidate until they are satisfied that they have enough information in order to make a decision.
    There shall be no time limit for this phase of the questioning.
  2. Anyone else in attendance may question the candidate.
    Depending on the circumstances and at the discretion of the Chair, a time limit may be imposed on this phase of the questioning.

Part 3: Closed discussion with the candidate

During this part of the examination, only the Chair, the thesis examination committee and the candidate are present. The examination committee may, as necessary, further clarify aspects of the thesis research and the oral presentation. At the end of the discussion, the candidate must leave the examination venue.

Part 4: Closed session of the thesis examination committee

During this part of the examination, only the Chair and the thesis examination committee are present. The examination committee assesses the thesis and the performance of the candidate. A motion, according to one of the possible outcomes of the thesis examination, is made by a member of the examination committee and a secret ballot (yes/no vote) on the motion, supervised by the Chair, is taken. A simple majority vote shall carry the motion. The Chair informs the examination committee of the outcome of the ballot and, together with members of the thesis examination committee, completes the report on the thesis examination.