Text

Thesis and degree project - Let a student do the work!

More and more companies, municipalities, regions and organisations recognise the benefits of involving students in their organisation. A student has fresh, research-based knowledge and can often come up with new approaches, solve problems and develop the organisation.

All students carry out an independent project at the end of their education. This is called a degree project or a thesis or academic paper depending on the subject's specialisation and tradition.

The degree project can be based on a proposal from an employer but can also be a study based on the student's own initiative. For the student, the degree project is an opportunity to test their knowledge under supervision.

There are several advantages in allowing a student to complete their degree project at your company

  • You will gain valuable knowledge and the student will be better equipped for working life.
  • A student with recent research-based knowledge can often come up with new ways of looking at a problem or an issue.
  • The student is used to taking the initiative, working independently and critically reviewing information.
format_quote

”Students help us to develop new technologies and ideas”

Mei Hong Bjerstedt

Product Developer Engineer at Volvo Construction Equipment in Eskilstuna.

Read more

Information about degree projects

  • For degree projects, there must be a supervisor from the University and one from the company.

  • When the student and the company have agreed on the degree project, the supervisor from the University must give their approval so that the work can start.

  • For thesis work, just a supervisor from the University is needed.

  • The degree project comprises 10 or 20 weeks of full-time study.

  • The project must be carried out on a scientific basis, which in brief means that there are scientific sources on which the work is based, that there is a theoretical model as a basis for analysis and that information is collected and analysed systematically.

  • The project will lead to a report or thesis which is then discussed during a seminar that’s open for anyone to listen to. At this seminar, an examiner assesses the quality of the project.

  • The student must work independently and without influence.

  • The student needs good conditions to be able to collect information and material for their project. This means, for example, that the employees involved can participate in interviews and are allowed to leave their duties during that time.

  • It may also mean that the student participates in meetings or other activities and gets access to material related to the realisation of the degree project.

  • In certain cases, the student may need their own workplace or location to perform tests or experiments.

  • It’s important that the supervisor at the company has a genuine interest in helping the student.

  • A thorough review with the supervisor is necessary before the student arrives.

  • Some of the supervisor's most important tasks is to guide the student and be available when the student asks for help.

  • As a client, you are the one who initiates the assignment.

  • You will get better results if you, together with the student, formulate the issues, identify the problem and go through needs and expectations. This is done to avoid unrealistic expectations.

  • The student must adhere to the academic requirements that apply to the independent project work and, in discussions with you as a client and with their supervisor, define the scope of the work.

  • Tell the student what you at the company already know about the problem, what solutions you have tried before and what you think would be possible.

  • If you spend time on this at the start, the student will gain a deeper insight into the area and thus have better conditions to achieve a good result.

A degree project is part of the education and can be compared with a crucial test that must be carried out and approved. Therefore, the degree project must be presented to the University in a proper formal way, usually as a written report.

The report or the thesis that the student produces will be available at the University. Anyone who is interested can read it there.

The principle of public access to official documents
The University has limited possibilities to keep degree projects confidential because they are subject to the principle of public access to official documents. Therefore, it is important that the student and the client determine whether the thesis will contain sensitive information that the company wants to keep confidential. Often it can be solved, for example, where the information that the company does not want to be published can be blackmarked in the report or be placed in a separate Appendix which is not attached to the copy submitted to the University for archiving. One option is to write two different versions of the degree project and submit one to the University and one to the company.

Before the degree project starts, the client and the student should decide how the results of the degree project will be presented. One suggestion is that the student gives a presentation to the company. It is positive for the student if the result is given some attention in the organisation.

If you want to know more about confidential degree projects and theses, please contact karriartorget@mdu.se


Most higher education institutions have a policy that the student will not receive a salary while the degree project is in progress. But sometimes students may ask for a salary on their own initiative, then this is a matter between the client and the student. However, it is usual for the company to cover costs such as any mailings and travel.

The more the client involves the student in the company, the greater the possibility that the student will remember you as a positive workplace. Some companies give students the opportunity to participate in trade fairs, customer visits and other activities that can be perceived as an extra “bonus”.

Get in contact with students

Ad portal

In the Ad Portal, you as a client can submit suggestions for degree projects yourself. Another way is to attend one of the University's degree project days where you can look for students directly on site.

Degree project days

Every autumn, MDU organises two separate degree project days, one in Eskilstuna and one in Västerås. They are aimed at employers in the private and public sectors who are looking for students who can complete an assignment or write a thesis as a degree project.

If you have suggestions for a degree project or for a thesis and if you want to participate in the degree project days, please contact: tiina.kikerpuu@mdu.se

Contact

Do you want to know more about tha Ad Portal? Please contact Susanne.