Assessment

On this page we summarise the criteria for the assessment of theses in the MSc Logic.

Requirements

The thesis presented by the student serves as a demonstration of thorough knowledge of the selected topics and of a solid grasp of pertinent research methods. It should prove that the candidate possesses high-level independent learning, written communication, and information retrieval skills.

To be accepted as a Master's thesis (i.e., to be graded with 6.0 or above), the manuscript submitted needs to meet minimal standards regarding the following five criteria:

  1. Correctness
  2. Writing
  3. Difficulty
  4. Originality
  5. Independence
To get a cum laude grade (8.0 or above), a thesis must be evaluated as at least above the university average for a Master's thesis for all five criteria, and well beyond this level for at least one of them. As a rough guideline, a grade of 8.0 or above is intended to indicate a performance in the top 10% of the student population at the Master's level at the university as a whole.

Description of Criteria

  1. Correctness: The criterion of correctness judges whether the thesis contains mistakes, either of a mathematical or a scholarly nature. Mistakes can be mathematical or technical errors, historical mis-attributions, improper use of experimental or other empirical techniques, faulty arguments, improper bibliographical work, or, in general, any lack of skill that will be expected of a researcher in the field of the thesis. For a cum laude grade, only minor and easily fixable mistakes of this type may be contained in the thesis.
  2. Writing: The criterion of writing judges the level of academic writing of the candidate. This includes the technical jargon of the field of the thesis and the accepted writing style of papers in that research area as well as the communication to a wider academic audience, highlighting the achievements of the thesis for a non-specialist readership. For a cum laude grade, a thesis has to exhibit a firm command of both writing skills.
  3. Difficulty: The criterion of difficulty encompasses things such as the mathematical subtlety of the topic, its conceptual complexity, problems with the empirical experiments that were encountered, the amount of reading that was required, and in general any scholarly and scientific skills that were required for writing the thesis, depending on the area the thesis is written in.
  4. Originality: Originality is not an absolute requirement for a Master's thesis in general, but is one of the main discerning factors for the different cum laude grades. Originality is witnessed by results that go beyond the published literature, possibly even including results that are strong enough to be published in a good journal or a proceedings volume of a selective conference of the field. The cum laude grades require at least some level of originality.
  5. Independence: As with originality, independence is not a requirement for a Master's thesis in general, but is one of the main discerning factors for the different cum laude grades. The research in a Master's thesis was independent when some results were produced by the student without direct intervention of the supervisor. The cum laude grades require at least some level of independence.