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Thesis information for (External) Supervisors

FPN students complete their bachelor period by writing a bachelor thesis. Thank you for considering to be a supervisor for this important part of the programme.
Students arrange their supervisor via the bachelor thesis matching system. The information of possible supervisors in the bachelor thesis matching system is based on information provided by staff members in the planning system Solver.
The thesis supervisor is required to have a UTQ certificate, or to have followed the Workshop “Supervision and assessment of research and writingassignments” (one of the workshops in the UTQ programme).

Students have two options for the bachelor thesis: a literature review based on a specific research question or a report on an empirical study that the student carried out under supervision.

Your role as a (external) supervisor

A first assessor functions as a supervisor and as a grader, which includes the following:
• You help a student with forming a research question.
• You supervise the potential empirical research.
• You provide ample feedback on the draft version of the thesis.
• You grade and provide concise feedback on the final version of the thesis.
For an empirical study, as a first supervisor you must obtain ethical approval from the institute where the bachelor thesis is supervised. A copy of this approval is then sent to the FPN education office (fpn-bachelorthesis@maastrichtuniversity.nl). If the study is part of a research line that was already approved, a notification of this earlier approval should be sent to the FPN education office.

As a supervisor you need to to have followed the UTQ workshop on "Supervision and assessment of research and writing assignments". 

Assessment of the thesis

•The page 'assessment thesis' and the linked handbook writing skills details writing principles and the structure and contents of scientific papers such as the bachelor thesis. As off year 2020-2021 we have added the APA Cookbook
For APA guidelines we suggest students to follow APA 7 (Cookbook) instead of APA 6 (Handbook Writing Skills). The handbook writing skills will be updated to APA 7. 
The manuals show APA differences, for example for line spacing, use of horizontal indent, and keyterms.
Students can follow the cookbook APA 7 guidelines, except for:
-use of keyterms. It is suggested to use keyterms in the abstract,
-the supervisor's name and academic title. For the bachelor thesis it is not allowed to provide the supervisor's name and academic title, because of the anonymous second assessor. MaRBLe students provide the supervisor's name and academic title on the title page.

•The page 'Timeline and deadlines' (strictly maintained) entails strict deadlines for students and supervisors.
•The bachelor thesis should contain around 6000 words. This average number of words exclude the title page, abstract, references list and possible appendices.

Responsibilities of the student

•Comply with the guidelines described in the Handbook Writing Skills.
•Keep track of and communicates the time lines for feedback and assessment. Includes the timely ethical approval where applicable. 
•Submit a first and a final version of the bachelor thesis.


For grading, we use the Dutch 10-point scale, with half point increments. A grade of 6.0 or higher is sufficient and means a pass, a grade of 5.5 or lower results in a fail.

4 or lower: Absolutely not satisfactory, gross violations of style, language, structure and/or contents, failure to incorporate earlier feedback, all in all not fulfilling the assignment.

5: Not sufficient, but with some further improvements it could become sufficient. Contents unclear or superficial. Multiple (gross) violations of APA style, many spelling mistakes or typing errors, failure to meet the structure or layout of the paper, failure to incorporate earlier feedback.

6: Sufficient; okay, but not more. Meeting the most important criteria of the assignment.

7: Satisfactory. Meeting most/all criteria, feedback handled, language okay; a well-readable paper. This grade represents an average performance, and consequently, is often the average grade of your group.

8: Good, more than average. Very clear structure, easy to read without losing the storyline. Good use of English language. Strong and clear arguments to support the research question.

9: Very good, outstanding. Research question of a high difficulty level, showing detailed expertise while remaining readable for a laymen audience. Using a very high level of English language. A grade of 9 is quite rare, but not impossible to achieve.

10: Exceptional, publishable (with minor improvements). Expert level of English language, high difficulty level, relevant and/or suitable research question, and extensively covers relevant literature. This grade is almost never given.

Last modified: Mon, 01/08/2022 - 15:51

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