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The Research Dissertation

Download the aplication form for the Dissertation
The Research Dissertation is a compulsory part of the Master Research Itinarary in Civil Engineering Systems. It has allocated a total of 15 ECTS, which is a workload for students between 375 and 400 hours, spread over a half at least.
The dissertation is an  original researcher oriented work, developed by the student in a personal and individual way, under the guidance of a tutor who belongs to one of the research groups involved in the UPM MUSIC. Therefore, the student must choose the research line offered by a one of these R&D groups linked to MUSIC.
The research line proposed by the student must be in line with the rest of the subjects the he is studying in the Masters, and this will be checked by the Academic Committee, which is the body that ultimately will sign the dissertation proposal.
Having defined the line that will run the project and the tutor has been assigned, the student must agree with the title of the Thesis (both,  in Spanish and English language), setting its scope and the specific conditions which must be developed. Although, as noted, the work must be developed by the student on a personal and individual way, the tutor must continuously monitor the progress achieved so it is recommended that regular meetings be kept for that purpose, at least every two or three weeks.
Each research group will set the maximum number of dissertations, taking into account the Master's Thesis research training and assigned work, so as not to exceed the number of 3 per teacher.
The dissertation should be translated into a document or set of documents to collect at least the following aspects:

  • Purpose of research
  • State of art based on references.
  • Starting data and information conveniently structured.
  • Detailed proposal of the research methodology.
  • Analysis carried out. Results of the investigation.
  • Summary of results and conclusions.
  • Contributions of research.
  • References

The dissertation can be written in Spanish or English language. Compuslory is to write, the title and the abstract (with a 300 to 500 words)  in both languages.

Dissertation's content and structure
The dissertation must be capable to be accepted in a scientific congress or as an article in a research journal. To achieve this objective, the dissertation's structure should be the same as an scientific article, including followings:
Part A - State of the art: it's a bibliographic and scientif experiences analysis. It will end  with the identification of the theme and the proposal of the research objectives. Papers may be of a lenght between 20 and 25 pages.
Part B - The finnished article text to be submited to a specialized journal of congress. The first page must include information about where it has been sent or it will be sended, justifying the scientic reasons of that election. It should be presented in the same format as the indicated by the journal or congress.
The work will be considered as finnished when the teacher-tutor agrees with it by sending a reasoned report to the Academical Commission of the Master, handing a hard copy of the work and also a copy on CD.
The work will be considered as finished with the tutor's approval, who should be send to the Master Academic Commission a reasoned individual report , along with a digital copy in Adobe Acrobat format. The Academic Committee will then appoint a tribunal for the evaluation of the theses, to which the student will do an oral defense of his/her research work. This defense can only be carried out once the student has get through the rest of his/her researcher itinerary subjects. The Tribunal shall consist of the tutor, as rapporteur, and two other professors appointed from among those who are part of the faculty of the Master, at least one specialist in the subject of the project. Between the two professors appointed by the Academic Committee will designated the acting president and the other will do as the court clerk.
The Master Academic Commission will set at the start of each academic year the periods in which the dissertation presentations will be  focused. In each case, day, date and place of the presentation will be determined by the presiding judge and communicated to the other two members, students and the Academic Committee at least fifteen days in advance
The Academic Committee will publish the call for submission of dissertations and the event is free and public. The Student has 20 minutes to carry out his presentation. Following during around 30 minutes, members of the court may ask the student how many clarifications and questions they wish. At not given time the people attending the event can take part during the whole event..
The rating should be disclosed within 24 hours from the end of the act, and be referred literally and numerically, according to the following scale

  • Failed(< 5,0)
  • Passed (5,0 – 6,9)
  • Outstanding (grade of B) (7,0 – 8,9)
  • Excellent (grade of A) (9,0 – 9,9)
  • Honors qualification (10)
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