TU Delft
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2017/2018 Technology, Policy and Management Master Complex Systems Engineering and Management
CoSEM Master Thesis
ECTS: 30
Module Manager
Name E-mail
Drs. J. Ubacht    J.Ubacht@tudelft.nl
Name E-mail
Drs. J. Ubacht    J.Ubacht@tudelft.nl
Responsible for assignments
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. C. van Daalen    C.vanDaalen@tudelft.nl
Dr. F.W. Guldenmund    F.W.Guldenmund@tudelft.nl
Dr. H.H. Hansen    H.H.Hansen@tudelft.nl
Dr. S.G. Lukosch    S.G.Lukosch@tudelft.nl
Dr.ir. U. Pesch    U.Pesch@tudelft.nl
Ir. H.W. de Wolff    H.W.deWolff@tudelft.nl
Co-responsible for assignments
Name E-mail
Dr.ir. I. Bouwmans    I.Bouwmans@tudelft.nl
Contact Hours / Week x/x/x/x
Education Period
Start Education
Exam Period
Course Language
The Master's Thesis Project takes place at the end of the second year and covers a period of approximately half a year, 21 weeks. Students have to carry out an individual project to round off the CoSEM programme.
Course Contents
Within this project, students must demonstrate their capacity for academic analysis, synthesis, design, reflection and written communication on a particular issue in the field of complex systems engineering and management.
The student can start the Master's Thesis Project after approval of the (draft) project proposal by the thesis committee.

The student starts with an orientation phase that will lead to a detailed Master Thesis Project Proposal. After 3 and before 5 weeks of orientation the student presents this Thesis Project Proposal to the graduation committee during a kick-off meeting. The Master Thesis Project Proposal should give information on the goal of the project, the main research/design question, a set of derived sub questions/goals that give meaning to the project, data to use/collect, methods planned to be used, and a detailed project planning. After a successful kick-off meeting the student may start with the actual execution of the Thesis Project. Based on the discussion during the kick-off meeting, the kick-off form has to be filled in, signed by the members of the graduation committee and handed in at the service desk.

During the project the student will work towards documenting the results of the thesis project in a master thesis report. The graduation committee or the student may organize a mid-term meeting to guide the progress of the project.

When the project is almost finished a green-light meeting is held. During this meeting the student can get a green light to organize the final thesis project defence. This requires a formal approval from the administration office for graduation (100% of the courses completed except for the graduation project) and approval by the graduation committee with respect to the contents of the complete master thesis report, including the academic article based on the research project. The master thesis report should at least be sufficient to pass without any adjustment, but of course expected improvements on both the thesis project results and the master thesis report as suggested by the thesis committee should be considered to be incorporated into the final version.

Students are required to make the final thesis report available in digital format for the administration as well as the TU Delft repository (two weeks in advance of the defence).

During the final defence meeting the student gives a presentation of the master thesis project and defends the final project results in discussion with the committee members. If all results, including the defence and presentation, are sufficient, the diploma and final grade for the thesis project as a whole will be handed out. A standard master thesis assessment matrix is used by the committee members to determine the final grade.

More detailed and essential information about the Master's Thesis Project can be found in the TPM Graduation Portal, where all administrative procedures, requirements and forms for the master thesis project are available.
Study Goals
The aim of the CoSEM master thesis project is to design solutions for large and complex contemporary socio-technical problems. This requires the consideration of technical, institutional, economic and social aspects.

CoSEM students employ methods and tools for creatively designing technical solutions in organisations and assessing their impact. The solutions contain system engineering approaches as well as effective management strategies to deal with the technological complexity and stakeholders with widely diverging interests. Thesis projects take into account both public and business values and look at the physical system as well as the actor network, confronting not only technical challenges, but also management and ethical choices.

During and after the CoSEM thesis project a student can:
- Develop a relevant scientific contribution in the chosen domain of research;
- Determine the societal relevance of the thesis topic to which the master thesis will contribute;
- Apply (a thorough command of) the knowledge and skills learned during the CoSEM program;
- Analyze the complexities of the socio-technical system and its institutional and/or managerial aspects;

- Develop an integrated research design including research methods, tools and data requirements to design, evaluate or simulate an innovation in a (well delineated part of a) complex socio-technical system;
- Critically evaluate the consequences of a (proposed) intervention within a complex socio-technical system;
- Formulate informed recommendations and future research topics based on the master thesis project;
- Defend and justify the research outcomes;
- Independently manage, set up, carry out, report and present a research project.

During the Master thesis project, the student needs to demonstrate a thorough command of the knowledge and skills learned during the study programme and to show s/he is able to apply them to the master thesis project. This entails knowledge, insight and skills on an academic level for:
1. independently setting up and carrying out a research project;
2. project planning and management;
3. cooperating and communicating with others;
4. documenting, reporting and making a presentation;
5. the specific graduation subject.

General Criteria for graduation are:
- the work contains an analytical component
- the work is multidisciplinary in nature
- the work focuses on a technical domain or application
Education Method
Students carry out the project individually. The thesis project can be conducted as a part of a research/design project being carried out at the faculty, or during an internship at an external partner organisation in either the public or private sector.
Course Relations
The CoSEM master thesis preparation course prepares the student for this master thesis project in developing a research plan. This module is prerequisite for starting the master thesis project (see prerequisites).
Literature and Study Materials
The students are expected to consult their own information sources.
Practical Guide
The TPM Graduation Portal provides all information on the master thesis project requirements, procedures, forms etc.
Starting conditions for the master thesis project are formulated in the Teaching and Examination Regulations (TER), Appendix 2. Implementation Regulations:

Article 2 - Master Thesis Project
1. A student can start the Master Thesis Project when all other study units of the curriculum have been completed.
2. If the requirement in subsection 1 has not been met, the student can be admitted to the graduation work only with the permission of the Board of Examiners. The student can only apply for this permission when the Master Thesis Preparation module has been completed and less than 10 EC of the curriculum remain. The Board of Examiners requires a positive advice from the academic counsellor.
3. The formation of the student’s assessment committee is described in the Rules and Guidelines of the Board of Examiners, Article 27 (TPM website ->Student portal -> Rules and Guidelines TPM).
4. Thesis duration arrangement Thesis duration arrangement starting from academic year 2018-2019 for all students of all cohorts: when a student does not pass the first green-light meeting after 21 working weeks, the graduation committee may motivate to extend the graduation process of the student with a maximum time period of 3 months (13 weeks). The motivation for extension of the master thesis project has to be indicated on the green-light form, which has to be signed by the full professor, former or current director of studies, or an associate professor if he/she has ius promovendi. When a student does not pass the second green-light meeting, he/she has to start with a new graduation topic and new graduation committee.

Only for cohorts 2016-2017 and earlier:
• When the student worked on his/her master thesis project before 1 September, 2018, then: - these weeks are not taken into account when monitoring the thesis duration arrangement. - the monitoring and thesis duration arrangement will start from the 1 September, 2018 on.
• When the student starts his/her thesis in academic year 2018-2019 or later the thesis duration arrangement will be applicable.
The faculty of TPM uses a standard assessment matrix for the assessment of master thesis projects: the MSc Thesis Assessment Guide TPM. The core components of the assessment are:
A. Research Quality;
B. Research Skills;
C. Reporting Quality;
D. Quality of Oral Defence.

In addition, the Graduation Committee uses the Final Assessment Form to motivate the final grade.

Both the Assessment Guide and the Final Assessment form can be found on the TPM Graduation Portal: see the execution tab or the link to the forms on the left hand column of the portal.
Enrolment / Application
The ‘reponsibles for assignment’ listed above are the graduation coordinators for the sections in which you can graduate. They assist students in finding a master thesis project, getting approval of the list of electives, finding supervisors, etc. A full list with contact details and affiliations can be found on the TPM Graduation Portal.
All 2nd year CoSEM students.
MSc level