Master Thesis in Computer Science and Software Engineering



Activity Deadline
Kickoff meeting 2024-02-05 (Monday)
Supervisor and topic selection 2024-02-15 (Thursday)
Presentations 2024-05-13 (Monday)
Presentations 2024-05-14 (Tuesday)
Presentations 2024-05-15 (Wednesday)
Thesis submission 2024-05-20 (Monday)

We expect students to take the initiative and to drive the process. How self-organized students work is part of the assessment. In terms of effort, please note that 1 CP equals ~25 hours, i.e., the module has an average workload of 750 hours.


Doing research in computer science usually starts with a lot of reading. In order to do research that is significant, it is crucial to pick a tractable topic and it is essential to understand the state of the art as well as any algorithms and tools that are relevant. While the details differ depending on the area of computer science, reading about the state of the art is essential for all of them. To find relevant literature, it is good to be aware of systems such as:

The first phase is essentially a deep dive into the state of the art of your topic. During this phase, you should pick up and deepen the necessary knowledge, you should develop a good understanding of the state of the art, and you should get familiar with any programs or tools or datasets that are essential for carrying out a little research project during the master thesis project.

LaTeX is widely used as the typesetting system for research papers in computer science. Hence, we expect that project and thesis reports are written in LaTeX. Below are some LaTeX templates that you are expected to use for typesetting the project report and later the thesis. Please do not change or improve the format, it is usually far better to spend your brain cycles on the content instead of the format (and we really appreciate a common format).

Reading Material

Master Thesis

Experience has shown that it is crucial to start work on the master thesis as soon as possible. It may be very useful to use time before the start of the semester, in particular if still a number of credits need to be earned during the last semester.

The master thesis should have (according to the handbook) a length of 30-60 pages. It must be submitted electronically via Moodle and will go through Turnitin (a plagiarism checker). The submission deadline is a hard deadline. Failure to submit the thesis in time will lead to an incomplete grade or to a fail. Note that faculty availability for thesis supervision during the summer break may be limited.

The grade of the master thesis will be determined using the following criteria:

Technical Work (weight 60%)

  • understanding of the subject
  • technical correctness
  • completeness (topic fully addressed)
  • originality and independence
  • work organization (sustained work pace, regular progress reporting)

Writing and Thesis (weight 40%)

  • proper and concise abstract
  • "research" questions clearly formulated and motivated
  • survey of the state of the art
  • clear methodology (e.g., experiment design, algorithm design…)
  • presentation and interpretation of results
  • reflection about limitations of the work
  • proper references and citations
  • proper scientific writing


The colloquium consists of the thesis defense. The presentations are 15 minutes + 5 minutes discussion. The schedule has 20 minutes for each presentation, hence it is important to be efficient with changing laptops (make sure you have tested all necessary equipment before the actual presentation time). We have scheduled breaks to recover our minds and to makeup any schedule quirks should they arise (we hope not). Presentations are graded using the following criteria:

  • clarity of the slides
  • clarity of the presentation
  • motivation and flow of the presentation
  • technical clarity (proper use of notations etc., demo where feasible)
  • technical contribution and originality
  • time management
  • answers to questions

Time slots are assigned on a first-come-first-served basis.

Generative Artificial Intelligence

This policy covers generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as ChatGPT. This includes tools that generate artwork, graphics, videos, audio, program code and other artifacts.

  1. You are discouraged from using AI tools UNLESS under direct instruction from your supervisor to do so.
  2. If AI is permitted to be used, you must clearly state how AI was used in completing the assignments. No more than 25% of an assignment should be created with AI if the supervisor gives permission for its use.
  3. Note that the material generated by these programs may be inaccurate, incomplete, or otherwise problematic. Their use may also stifle your own independent thinking and creativity. Accordingly, reduction in the grade is likely when using AI. Rather use your own brain.

Submitted thesis documents will be checked by tools for plagiarism and the use of AI tools.