Thesis (54 ECTS)

Semesters: 1st and 2nd

Code: 14331061

Coordinator: Rita Domingues (fctdirmbm@ualg.pt)


In the unit Thesis, students are expected to develop the skills necessary to independently carry out a relevant original, high-quality research work in the field of Marine Biology. After completion of this unit, the students should be able to:

  1. formulate a theoretically relevant research question;
  2. acquire a thorough knowledge of the literature on the research area;
  3. select and use relevant methods to explore the research question;
  4. analyse and interpret the results obtained during their research work;
  5. discuss the results obtained, based on state-of-the-art knowledge;
  6. develop critical thinking, synthetic and reasoning skills; and
  7. develop writing and oral communication skills.

This unit also promotes the quality and rigor, and the need to follow unquestionable ethical standards in scientific research.


Workload

1 h for the presentation and public discussion + 10 h of supervised work + 829 h of independent work.

The student will use the time assigned as "independent work" to carry out the thesis plan as agreed with the supervisors. 


Supervisors

A student can only have up to two supervisors per Portuguese law. Both of them must have a PhD degree and one of them must be a UALG professor or researcher.

Thesis submission

Please be aware that you will only be able to submit and defend your thesis if you have a passing grade for all curricular units.

Please see the deadline to submit your thesis in the evaluation section. Under the new tuition fee rules approved in September, 2018 by the Rector, students will be requested to pay additional fees if they fail to submit their thesis upon the deadline. The fees will only be waived in case of pregnancy or serious illness.


Evaluation

Your Thesis work will be evaluated by the submission of a written dissertation to the Academic Services not later than the last weekday of September. Submission of the thesis after this date will result in the payment of additional tuition fees of up to a full semester. The academic services will check whether your thesis follows the rules of an MSc thesis, and if it does not, you will be asked to resubmit a corrected version. Thus, pay close attention to the guidelines given below concerning the layout you must give to your thesis.

After the submission of your thesis, a jury composed of 3 to 5 elements will decide whether your thesis can be defended immediately or should be rewritten (in that case a time period of 60 working days will be given to the student to resubmit an improved version of it).

After this step, a date will be set for you to defend your thesis before the jury. Usually, students should keep in touch with their supervisors to set a date that is suitable for all members of the jury and the student.

The public defence of the thesis is divided into two parts: i) a 20-minute presentation made by the candidate; and ii) 1-hour discussion between the jury and the candidate.


Thesis Layout and Submission


What and how to submit:

To submit your thesis in DIGITAL form, you must send by email to mnrodrig@ualg.pt the following documents:

  1. One digital copy of thesis in PDF format. Please pay attention to the MSc Evaluation Rules (in Portuguese), including their annexes I and II. For an English translation of the official rules please find it here. However, be advised that this document in English does not contain the figures of annex II, which you should check in the Portuguese version in order to know how to lay out the thesis cover. To help you, we provide below a brief explanation of how you should lay out and produce your thesis, but you should always refer to the official documents as well.
  2. One digital copy of your curriculum vitae in PDF format.
  3. Submission form filled in one of the available languages. NOTE - An English version of this form can be found after the Portuguese version in this document. So, just scroll down and fill in the version you prefer. NOTE - In the Filiation field, please write the name of your parents.
  4. The following statements:
    1. Statement written and signed by your supervisor and co-supervisor (if you have one) declaring that the thesis is ready to be evaluated;
    2. Statement of authorship. This page must include the title of the thesis, and with the header "Declaração de autoria de trabalho" followed by the following text "Declaro ser o(a) autor(a) deste trabalho, que é original e inédito. Autores e trabalhos consultados estão devidamente citados no texto e constam da listagem de referências incluída," followed by your signature. Basically, you are declaring that you are the author of the work and all references to the text written by others are properly cited;
    3. On the back of this page, a signed copyright statement must be included containing the following text: "A Universidade do Algarve reserva para si o direito, em conformidade com o disposto no Código do Direito de Autor e dos Direitos Conexos, de arquivar, reproduzir e publicar a obra, independentemente do meio utilizado, bem como de a divulgar através de repositórios científicos e de admitir a sua cópia e distribuição para fins meramente educacionais ou de investigação e não comerciais, conquanto seja dado o devido crédito ao autor e editor respetivos”. In this notice, you allow the University to store and disseminate your work for non-commercial use.

In alternative, you can send all the required documents in a flash drive or CD by POST to the folowing address:

University of Algarve
Faculty of Sciences and Technology - Bld. 2
Attn. Mrs. Natália Rodrigues
Campus de Gambelas
8005-139 Faro
Portugal

A third option is to submit the thesis IN PERSON. The same documents can be submitted in person to Mrs. Natália Rodrigues at Bld. 2, Office 1.32.

IMPORTANT NOTE - All digital signatures must be certified. If you do not have a certified signature, all documents containing a signature must be printed out and signed by hand and then send it by post or submitted in person as instructed above.


Thesis outline (journal manuscript-type)


This format has the advantage to allow the student to write his/her first paper, and therefore understand the ins and outs of scientific writing, and by the end of the MSc programme to have a manuscript (almost) ready for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.

The MSc coordination team encourages the students to follow the format of a manuscript to be submitted to a journal.

  1. Cover (see this image for a graphic model). A template for the cover and the cover page can be found here
  2. Statements of authorship and copyright
  3. Two abstracts, one written in Portuguese and another in English up to 300 words accompanied by 4-6 keywords below them. If the thesis is written in English, an abstract in Portuguese with more than 1000 words is mandatory.
  4. Acknowledgements of the thesis (optional)
  5. Table of contents
  6. List of abbreviations, acronyms and symbols — standard ones such as chemical symbols should be omitted, though.
  7. General Introduction (this should be a general in-depth state-of-the-art introductory section)
  8. References of the general introduction
  9. Manuscript
    1. Title page (Article title, author names, author affiliations,corresponding author information and keywords)
    2. Abstract (can be the same as presented in point 3)
    3. Introduction (this is a paper-type introduction, necessarily shorter then the general introduction)
    4. Material and Methods
    5. Results
    6. Discussion
    7. Acknowledgements (of the paper)
    8. References of the manuscript

Thesis outline (traditional report-like)


  1. Cover (see this image for a graphic model). A template for the cover and the cover page can be found here
  2. Statements of authorship and copyright
  3. Acknowledgements (optional)
  4. Two abstracts, one written in Portuguese and another in English up to 300 words accompanied by 4-6 keywords below them. If the thesis is written in English, an abstract in Portuguese with more than 1000 words is mandatory.
  5. Table of contents
  6. List of abbreviations, acronyms and symbols — standard ones such as chemical symbols should be omitted, though.
  7. Main text consisting of chapters. However, the exact layout should be discussed with your supervisor. The standard layout consists of:
    1. Introduction
    2. Material and Methods
    3. Results
    4. Discussion
    5. Conclusions
    6. References

Thesis Production


  1. Number of pages: there is no official limit, but MSc theses usually contain a maximum of 100 pages.;
  2. Font: Times New Roman, 12 pt, or equivalent
  3. Paper: White A4 paper
  4. Line spacing: at least 1.5 for the main text and 1.0 for footnotes, legends, and references.
  5. Pagination: All pages must be numbered in the footer, centred or with a right alignment. Use arabic numeration for the main text and Roman numeration for the sections preceeding it. In general, the cover pages, waivers and abstracts are not numbered, but there are no strict rules about it. If in doubt, talk to your supervisor.
  6. Figures: High quality photos, diagrams, and maps should be used. If need be, they can exceed the A4 size; however, they need to be properly folded in order to fit into the thesis body..
  7. Numbering of elements of the thesis: all graphics, figures, tables, diagrams and maps must be numbered and using a notation of numbers separated by dots (e.g., 1.1), in which the first and second numbers correspond to the chapter and the number of the element in that chapter, respectively. However, figures and tables should be numbered separately — for example, the first table of the first chapter of the thesis should be numbered Table 1.1, even if there are one or more figures before.
  8. References: References and citations in the text must be according to the rules used by most journals of the scientific area. In this case, use either a numeric or a Harvard-like scheme for citing references. However, do not mix and match citation styles. If in doubt, ask your supervisor which scheme you should adopt.