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Studierende in den Seminarräumen des O-Gebäudes, Foto: Universität Paderborn, Fotografin: Judith Kraft Show image information

Studierende in den Seminarräumen des O-Gebäudes, Foto: Universität Paderborn, Fotografin: Judith Kraft

Rahmenrichtlinien für Bachelorarbeiten

1. Objectives

A bachelor's thesis involves working on a topic with written preparation together with an oral presentation of the results. The student should show that he/she is able to work on a Computer Science topic based on scientific methods within a given period of time. The task of a bachelor thesis can include, for example, the development of software, hardware and proof or a literature search. The bachelor thesis is included in the curriculum along with other courses in the 6th semester.

2. Implementation

2.1 Assignment of topics
Every professor, but also every PhD researcher of the Institute of Computer Science who has already taught independently (not only exercises), can assign a topic as a supervisor. Topic suggestions of the student can be taken into account. The student first searches for a supervisor (e.g. in the office hours of lecturers or before or after lectures) and then registers at the examination office before starting the work (without specifying a topic, but with the assignment of a supervisor). This countersigned registration identifies the student as someone who can begin a Bachelor thesis.

After an informal agreement on a topic, the student draws up a work plan in consultation with the supervisor. For this phase about 1 month of part-time work (3 ECTS points) is allocated. For the work plan, the topic should therefore have been already researched in adequate depth. Also, the subsequent work should have been carefully planned. The result ("proposal") should adequately represent this activity by the depth of content and completeness of the considered aspects. It should contain the following elements: Description of the task to be worked on, motivation of the work, explicit formulation of the objective, description of the work to be carried out in order to achieve the desired goals. Additionally, an appropriate timeframe plan, as well as an outline of a preliminary structure of the written work must be included. If the candidate and the supervisor agree on the work plan, the formal application can be made.

2.2 Supervision
The level of the bachelor thesis is aligned with the study contents up to the 5th semester. The required knowledge and its research methods should be clarified before the thesis is green lit.

The supervisor will ensure that the Bachelor thesis can be completed in the intended time. He or she will be available for consultation during the entire period of work and will check the progress of the thesis at regular intervals. If problems arise, he/she will intervene and act as a guide if it turns out that the topic cannot be completed in the intended form or if there is a risk that the completion time specified in the examination regulations will be exceeded.

The supervisor will provide assistance with the written work well in advance of the submission date. Any deficiencies related to the work will be pointed out.

The student is also entitled to support for the presentation. The supervisor advises on the selection of suitable presentation materials and will point out any frequently made mistakes. He/she should offer the possibility of a shortened practise presentation. It could be the case that this may turn out to be a suitably comprehensive presentation and therefore be the graded presentation (the evaluation of the presentation will be included in the evaluation of the Bachelor thesis).

2.3 Duration
The prepared work plan is a formal requirement for registration at the Examinations Office. It must be countersigned by the supervisor and submitted to the Examinations Office for approval together with the application for a Bachelor thesis supplemented by the chosen topic title and the start date of the timeframe. An estimated project time of five months is allocated and runs from the date entered on the application. When agreeing on the planned duration, the one-month working time on the work planning must be taken into account accordingly. The Bachelor thesis is scheduled with a workload of 9 weeks of full-time work, which corresponds approximately to 50% part-time work over 5 months. This is about half of the time required for a Master thesis. The date of submission and the determination of the start of the official working time are documented by the supervisor on the registration form and forwarded to the examination secretariat. After a short time, the candidate will receive written notification from the Examinations Office of the resulting responsibilities.

The topic can be changed once only and within the first month after the start date.

2.4 Written work
The written paper is the main representation of the work done. It documents the results of the work and the handling of problems that may have arisen. The Bachelor thesis is to be written in the style of a scientific paper. This includes in particular a summary, a structure and a list of the literature used in the thesis. If implemented in the framework of the thesis, the structure, working method and interfaces should be described precisely. Integration of software documents in the paper is not necessary. However, the software system including source code should be made available to the supervisor for review. In addition to the submission in paper form, the written paper should be made available to the supervisor in electronic form in a common format (PDF).

2.5 Oral presentation
In the oral presentation, the student should present the main content of the work in a session of about 20 to 30 minutes. The student should demonstrate the ability to work on technical topics and to present such topics in an understandable way.  After the presentation, the student will be informed about his or her strengths and weaknesses and will be given suggestions for improvement.

2.6 Archiving
The candidate commits to keeping a copy of the paper accessible at all times for at least 5 years after submission of the paper. The Computer Science Department or the University does not archive a submitted and accepted Bachelor thesis.

3. Performance Evaluation

The performance in a Bachelor thesis is evaluated internally. Individual sections are assessed separately to determine the overall grade. Essentially, the following parts can be classified. The list is sorted by descending weighting:

Written Report

The written composition should make up the largest part of the overall mark. Here it should be assessed how well the student has succeeded in presenting the topic in an understandable way, i.e. how well he or she has been able to separate the essential from the unimportant. External appearance, illustrations, language and style are also included in the assessment.

Results of the work

Results of the work can be of various kinds: small software projects, hardware products, empirically obtained statements, a demonstration of evidence, a literature review or a mixture of these. The quality of the result to be assessed includes the methodological approach.

Working methods

Working methods are analysed to assess how purposefully and independently the topic was dealt with.

Presentation

The following as taken into account when presentations are evaluated; the preparation of content, presentation with the help of visual aids (e.g. slides), rhetorical qualities as well as the ability to cope with critical questions.

Since this presentation may be the first in the course of study, the focus here is on the purpose of the exercise. For this reason, this evaluation should only have a minor influence on the sub-grade.

The Bachelor examination regulations provide for a second assessment by a second examiner. This second examiner is selected at random by the examination board; however, suggestions from the student are permitted.

4. External Work

In Computer Science, due to the nature of the subject, it is not uncommon for bachelor's theses to be written in cooperation with other institutes or external to university departments (industry). Ii is common for students to write their thesis with a topic in conjunction with a corresponding institute related to their minor subject. In both cases, the topic must be carefully examined and competent "on-site supervision" must be ensured. Even if the bachelor thesis is written in the minor subject and an examiner of the minor subject takes over the supervision, a university teacher of Computer Science in Paderborn must have checked the topic and supervise the work from the beginning. It is not enough that the Computer Science supervisor only appears as a second assessor when the thesis is submitted.

If the bachelor thesis is to be carried out outside the university, e.g. at a company, care should be taken that the candidate is not subject to internal company constraints (deadlines, financial dependency, keeping company secrets). To this end, "academic freedom" must be upheld. The companies must be informed that the work (i.e. the written work) is generally accessible to the public. In special cases (e.g. the application for patents) a reasonable period of time until publication (blocking notice) can be accepted. All results from work must be made available to the supervisor or assessor.

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