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Information on writing a dissertation

Choosing the subject and the rules on preparing the dissertation for the final examination.

The final examination at TEaM (15 credits in the study plan) consists on the defense of a thesis/dissertation in front a Committee (composed by up to 5 professors of the School of Economics and Management). The dissertation should be prepared under the guidance of a supervisor and could be based on the project work/internship experience. The purpose of a thesis is to enable the student to develop deeper knowledge, understanding, capabilities and attitudes in the context of the programme of study. The thesis should be written at the end of the programme and offers the opportunity to delve more deeply into and synthesize knowledge acquired in previous studies.

The commission and the supervisor can give a maximum of 5 points to the dissertation, which are added to final GPA (plus a max of 2 points in case of controrelatore, see below). The final evaluation grade is out of 110 points (possibly cum laude/with honors).

How to choose the subject and the supervisor

The graduating student may choose to major in a teaching activity of the study plan, both from the first or second year, even if the student attended part of the second year abroad (Erasmus or Overseas). The student has to prove to be able to put together and summarize a bibliography on the subject and re-elaborate it based on the required editorial rules.

Students are suggested to ask the availability of the prospective supervisor as soon as possible (since he/she might not be available), and according to the internship experience and/or to the topic chosen for the dissertation (here, some past and available theses are listed).

N.B.: only full, associate and assistant professors and adjunct lecturers holding a teaching activity within the School of Economics and Management can act as supervisors. Visiting teachers and seminar speakers cannot be supervisors (unless provided by a specific agreement). However, they can act as "controrelatore".

The "controrelatore" is optional and must be suggested by the supervisor according to the relevance of the thesis, in order to get the 2 extra-points. The supervisor should submit the request of the controrelatore to the Director of the program (within the same deadline for uploading thesis online), to allow the Director of the program to confirm or change the controrelatore and to allow the student to provide him/her with a copy of the thesis at least 15 days before the graduation. The controrelatore may take part in the graduation session, if he/she is available. In case of absence he/she has to send the assessment of the thesis through a letter or email to the President of the Graduation Commission.

The title of the thesis has to be agreed with the supervisor and should be submitted with the application for graduation within the specified deadlines (see below).

Editorial rules

Basic editorial rules to write a dissertation:

  • Length: between 50-100 pages including notes, tables and attachments.
  • §  pages with 32-35 text lines, each containing 65-70 characters;
  • Line space: 1 or 1,5;
  • font: Times New Roman or Arial;font size: 12 or 13 (10 for footnotes);
  • Margins: 2-2-2-2;
  • The use of the Unibo logo is strictly forbidden in the title page. The Unibo will proceed legally against violators for counterfeiting the seal. (R.D. 21/6/1942, as amended by Legislative Decree No. 480 of 1992 issued in implementation of the EU Directive No. 10 of 1989 and further amended by Legislative Decree No. 198 of 1996).

Accurate referencing and bibliography is an important element of the thesis. Students should adopt a standard quotation system and bibliography format. Please note that besides these general guidelines, students will refer to each supervisor in order to use the appropriate referencing style.

However, the quality of the thesis depends on its content, not on its length. Graduating students are expected to know the literature sorrounding the topic under investigation, to master the methodology, and to advance the state of the art by submitting a piece of original research. The novelty can be in the theoretical / empirical approach, in the data used or collected, in the case-study analysed, or in the critical approach taken. Remember to precisely quote all the reference material that has been consulted and used and that plagiarism is strictly forbidden and is considered a serious offence.

The university takes plagiarism very seriously and has legal implications: concepts and statements taken from the literature should be appropriately reworded and referenced. For this purpose, the University of Bologna provides the specific service as Antiplagiarism  Compilatio (see attachments).

Final grade

The Board expresses its assessment with a grade out of one hundred and ten. The exam is deemed to be passed with a minimum grade of 66/110 and a maximum grade of 110/110. In the case of granting a maximum grade, the Board may also grant honours (lode) by unanimous decision.

The criteria to assess dissertations are:

  • originality of the subject,
  • correct methodology,
  • level of in-depth analysis,
  • adequate writing and editing,
  • ability to express and present the dissertation.

Students can calculate the weighted average score of their marks with respect to the credits of the exams.  

Additional points for students enrolled from academic year 2015/2016

Cum laude  0,33 for each L
Graduation in due time (within the end of second year)  +1 point (graduation within December)
Thesis abroad/Traineeship for thesis +1 point
Erasmus  No points
Final dissertation mark  0-5 point (+2 points for a maximum of 7 points) if a controrelatore has been assigned for the thesis defense. 
Final bonus points Additional points and final mark can not be more than 10 points
Thesis member committee (controrelatore) The request can be submitted with any GPA  

Rounding: The value resulting from previous calculations is rounded up to the nearest value.

IMPORTANT: The courses and activities that provide an assessment passed/failed (idoneità) such as laboratories, seminars or internships are not counted in the weighted average.
The averages will be published online a few days before the graduation. You can contact the Students Administrative Office (Segreteria studenti) to check it before your discussion.

For further information on the matriculation of the previous years, see the website page.

The Final Examination Board, having taken into consideration the dissertation discussion and your curriculum, will decide the final grade, which will be proclaimed after the discussion (or published on the last day of the Graduation Session on Studenti Online).

Graduation ceremony 

At the end of the discussion the Committee President will pronounce the student Dottore Magistrale "Master". Graduation certificate is available online under “autocertificazioni online” a few days after the declaration, while the parchment (pergamena - the original handwritten diploma) will be sent to the correspondence address (domicile or residence) registered on Studenti Online. All students are invited to carefully check the address used in the graduation application and, if necessary, amend it. Any errors could cause serious delays in delivery.

The certificates will be sent at the expense of the University, following notice to your university e-mail address, within four months from the final date of the graduation session in which the degree was obtained. In any case, it is possible to obtain a degree certificate even a few days after the final examination.