TU Delft
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2012/2013 Technology, Policy and Management Master Complex Systems Engineering and Management
CoSEM Thesis Project Definition
Module Manager
Name E-mail
Drs. J. Ubacht    J.Ubacht@tudelft.nl
Name E-mail
Dr. J.A. Annema    J.A.Annema@tudelft.nl
Dr.ir. B. Broekhans    B.Broekhans@tudelft.nl
Dr. A.F. Correlje    A.F.Correlje@tudelft.nl
Dr.ir. Z. Lukszo    Z.Lukszo@tudelft.nl
Dr. M.E. Warnier    M.E.Warnier@tudelft.nl
Contact Hours / Week x/x/x/x
Education Period
Start Education
Exam Period
Course Language
Required for
SPM5910 SEPAM Master Thesis Project.
Expected prior knowledge
Preferably the student is in the second year of his/her master programme. We strongly recommend you to have finished your BSc project!
This course prepares students for their thesis project; the intended output is a concrete master thesis research proposal. In this course students particiate in training excercises that focus at writing (a) a research proposal and (b) a scientific paper. Additional skills training in professional networking is offered (see SPM7070).
Course Contents
Students will orient themselves on a (thesis) subject; do literature research, will critically review scientific papers and write a scientific review paper.

On the basis of this, they will write a research proposal, formulate research questions or design steps, select research and/or modelling techniques and or a design approach, design a plan of action, and make a project planning. During the course the student wil read and analyse at least eight scientific articles, and peer-review two draft articles and two draft research proposals. The peer reviews result in a two pages review report containing critical constructive comments on the reviewed articles and research proposal. Also the students write a report on what they have done with the peer reviews they recieved.

Skills training offered: professional networking (see SPM7070).

Final deliverables: a project plan and a scientific article of at least 6 pages in a common format. In order to get access to the Master Thesis Project both deliverables need to be graded as sufficient (>= 6.0). All final deliverables will be graded according to a fixed list of criteria, available on blackboard. All other assignments during the module have to be handed in and have to comply with the assessment criteria.
Study Goals
After concluding this course students will be able to:
* write their master thesis proposal
* write a scientific paper
In order to reach these main objectives, after the course students are:
* skilled in literature research
* can read and review scientific articles critically and constructively
* can write a scientific text
* can formulate research(able)questions
* can draft a do-able research plan including a conscious and justifiable choice of research methods and an accompanying time schedule
* have acquired additional skills in professional networking (see SPM7070)
Education Method
Selft study with intensive, interactive workshops; attendence and active participation will be required. Peer review is an important learning activity in this course.
Computer Use
The use of reference manager software as a database for your references is advised. All final products are checked on correct use of literature and originality with a scanner for plagiarism.
Literature and Study Materials
Except for the book by Verschuren & Doorewaard most of the materials will be available on blakcboard and handed out during meetings.
Required: Piet Verschuren and Hans Doorewaard, 2012, Designing a Research Project. Boom Lemma Uitgevers | 2nd Revised edition, July 2012.
Students are expected to be familiar with the use of search engines like Scopus and Web of Science, and familiar with programs for storing references (e.g. EndNote or Zotero).
You are also familiar with rules for correct referencing, citing and paraphrasing. See http://www.lib.tudelft.nl/tulib/index.htm
You are proficient in writing scientific English.
Students will hand in nine assignments in total. All assignments need to be fulfilled.

The grade will be based on the final versions of:
- a scientific paper of 2500-3500 words in a scientific format (50%)
- a project plan of 2000 - 3000 words (50%)

Both assignments should be graded at least 6.
Enrolment / Application
The course is scheduled four times a year, every study quarter. This is a demanding course. Because of it's structure (peer-review process) hard deadlines are maintained; full commitment is expected!

For exchange and double degree students only, an adapted on-line verison of the course will be running from September till December, followed by three weeks of intensive preparation and workshops in January to allow these students to start their thesis project at the start of the 4th semester.
Please contact the module manager for further information.

As SPM5905 is prerequisite for starting your SPM5910 Master thesis project, you must fulfill the spm5905 requirements before you can start with your Master thesis project SPM5910.

The final products of SPM5905 are a project plan and a scientific article, which are written as an excercise during this module. Preferably (but not obligatory) you can continue working on the project plan towards a project plan for your master thesis project, with input from your graduation committee during your SPM5910 Master Thesis project.
2nd year SEPAM students preparing for their master thesis project.

All other Master students who take an interest in this course need to consult the module manager in advance to discuss participation in this course.

For students going abroad in their second year, an online version of this course is available. Please contact the module manager for further information.
Extra Skills Trained
During the course there will be training in professional networking skills (see SPM7070).