Guidelines Master s Degree Examination Health Sciences

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1 Guidelines Master s Degree Examination Health Sciences As of September 15, 2014 The Faculty, based on Article 5 of the study and examination regulations for the master s program «Master of Arts in Health Sciences» as of December 12, 2012* (updated August 1, 2013) outlines the following: I. Master s degree examination in general Article 1 Structure The master s degree examination in MA Health Sciences consists of a written master s thesis and an oral defense of the master s thesis. The individual parts of the procedure cannot be completed separately but only within the same examination period. Article 2 Organization 1 The organization and procedure of the oral defense is under the responsibility of the Examination Committee. 2 The Examination Committee may delegate specified tasks to the Dean s Office or the Department of Health Sciences and Health Policies (HealthSem). 3 The Examination Committee decides on request of the examiners as well as the reviewers on the overall graduation grade. Article 3 Registration 1 Registration for the master s degree examination takes place at the Department of Health Sciences and Health Policies at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Registration includes: a. Names of the for the master s thesis chosen primary and secondary reviewers, as well as, subject to consent of the primary reviewer, a proposal for the topic. b. Proof that the program requirements have been fulfilled.

2 c. A declaration whether the candidate has previously failed a master s degree examination within the same field of study or whether he/she is currently registered for an ongoing master s degree examination. 2 Registration for the master s degree examination is binding. In individual cases, the Examination Committee may, however, agree to a withdrawal of registration on the basis of a written request stating the reason for the withdrawal. The request for withdrawal must be submitted at the latest one month after the registration deadline. If the reasons are acknowledged (e.g. a doctor s statement has been provided), the withdrawal will be treated as if the candidate has never registered. Article 4 Admission procedure 1 The decision about the admission is taken by the Dean s Office in lieu of the Examination Committee. Due to the submitted registration forms, the HealthSem makes a recommendation whether the candidate should be admitted or not. 2 Admission may only be denied if: a. the candidate has failed a final university master s degree examination in the respective subjects in the same field of study or b. documentation according to Article 3 (1) is incomplete. Article 5 Dates For the master s degree examination, each year an examination period is stipulated and its exact time frame is determined by the HealthSem in agreement with the Dean s Office. The dates shall be published. Article 6 Performance records 1 The performance records of the in the guidelines of the study and examination regulations (StuPo) MA Health Sciences specified program requirements for the master s program must be submitted to the Dean s Office at the latest two weeks after the end of the lecture period of that semester in which the master s thesis is submitted and the master s defense is taking place. 2 If the performance records have not been handed in to the Dean s Office within the period stated in Article 6 (1), the master s degree will only be issued by the next possible date, i.e. within the following master s degree examination. page 2 6

3 II. Master s Thesis Article 7 Miscellaneous 1 The master s thesis is based on the obligatory research internship. The specific regulations for the research internship and the master s thesis are published in the Fact Sheet Research Internship and the Fact Sheet Master s Thesis on the HealthSem website. The topic of the master s thesis is determined by a professor or a habilitated (or equivalent degree) lecturer of the Faculty who is entitled to take examinations in agreement with the candidate. By determining the topic, the respective professor or lecturer also becomes reviewer of the master s thesis. 2 The deadline for accomplishing the master s thesis commences with the official registration deadline. 3 You have six months to accomplish your master s thesis. Topic and assignment of the thesis must be designed in a way that the deadline can be met. There are some exceptions, in which the Examination Committee can extend the original due date by a maximum of two months based on a reasonable cause request. The request for extension must be submitted to the Examination Committee at least two weeks before the original due date and requires consent of the primary and secondary reviewer. 4 Generally, the master s thesis has to be written in English. 5 The master s thesis must be submitted (post-stamped) threefold as well as in form of one digital copy to the Dean s Office. 6 When submitting the master s thesis, the candidate has to declare in written form that he/she has accomplished his/her thesis independently and that he/she has not used any sources or aids other than the ones he/she indicated and that the thesis has not been submitted elsewhere. Article 8 Assessment of the master s thesis 1 The primary and secondary reviewers are appointed with the submission of the registration. Reviewers for master s thesis can be professors who are entitled to take examinations as well as habilitated lecturers of the faculty or lecturers with a similar degree. If the primary reviewer agrees, other lecturers with a doctoral degree may be authorized to become secondary reviewers. The Examination Committee will decide upon request of the candidate whether the secondary review may be performed externally. 2 When agreeing to take over a review, the reviewers commit to provide a written review by the date determined by the Examination Committee. 3 The master s thesis is assessed in full or half grades. page 3 6

4 4 Should the assessment of the primary reviewer differ from the assessment of the secondary reviewer, the Examination Committee will determine the grade by calculating the arithmetic mean of the grades from the reviews. If the grades given by the primary and secondary reviewers differ by more than one grade from each other, a third review by a professor who is entitled to take examinations or a habilitated lecturer of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Lucerne has to take place. Lecturers with at least a doctoral degree may be appointed reviewers by the Examination Committee on the basis of a reasonable cause request. III. Defense of the Master s Thesis Article 9 Oral defense 1 In general, the oral defense is conducted by the primary reviewer. 2 The oral defense takes place in the presence of an assessor (usually the secondary reviewer) who has at least a master s, licentiate or similar degree in the Humanities or Social Sciences. 3 The primary reviewer decides on the examination grade. The assessor must be consulted before determining the grade. 4 The oral defense is assessed in full or half grades. 5 Generally, the examination takes place in English. 6 The essential topics and results as well as the beginning and end of an oral defense must be recorded in the minutes, which must be signed by the primary reviewer as well as the assessor. After each oral defense, a grade is determined and recorded in the minutes. The candidate is informed about the result of the oral defense directly afterwards. IV. Common Regulations Article 10 Master s thesis passing, failing and repeating 1 A master s thesis is considered passed if the grade is at least sufficient (4.0). 2 If the master s thesis has not been submitted by the deadline, it is considered insufficient. 3 If not all parts of the master s thesis have been accomplished independently and the candidate tries to give a false impression to his/her own advantage, the candidate is considered as having failed the thesis. 4 A failed master s thesis can be repeated once upon request. A new topic must be chosen. 5 The master s thesis can be repeated within the next possible examination period. If the candidate fails to register for this period, the candidate is considered as having failed all parts of the master s degree examination. The time limit for accomplishing the thesis is again six months. page 4 6

5 Article 11 Master s defense passing, failing and repeating 1 An oral defense is considered passed if the grade is at least sufficient (4.0). 2 The candidate is considered to have failed the oral defense if he/she does not show up on the date of defense without reasonable cause or if he/she withdraws from the defense after it has started without reasonable cause. Withdrawing from a defense is only permissible due to causes that are beyond the candidate s responsibility. 3 If a candidate tries to influence his/her defense result through fraud or the use of aids that are not permitted, the candidate is considered as having failed the defense. 4 A candidate who interrupts the proper course of the defense may be excluded by the respective examiner or the assessors from continuing the defense; in this case the candidate is considered as having failed the defense. 5 An oral defense that was not passed may be repeated once within two weeks after the first attempt. An oral examination that was passed cannot be repeated. Article 12 Master s degree examination passing, failing and repeating 1 The Master s degree examination was passed if the oral defense and the master s thesis were assessed with at least grade 4. 2 The master s degree examination is deemed as definitely not passed if: a. The master s thesis is repeatedly not passed, b. The oral defense after the second attempt is repeatedly not passed. Article 13 Cheating and invalidity 1 If the candidate cheated during the oral defense or when writing the master s thesis and the fact becomes known only after the master s certificate was handed over, the Examination Committee may accordingly adjust the assessed grades of those examination parts in which he was cheating and declare the examination as not passed. 2 If the preconditions for admission to the master s degree examination were not met and the candidate was not trying to cheat, but the fact becomes known only after handing over the certificate, this shortcoming is generally remedied when passing the examination. The Examination Committee may make decisions that differ from this rule. If the candidate has gained admission by intentionally deceitful means, the Examination Committee may declare the examination not passed. page 5 6

6 Article 14 Decisions when failing an examination 1 Was the master s thesis or master s defense not passed, the Examination Committee informs the candidate by issuing a written decision which informs also about the time frame within which the master s thesis and/or the master s defense may be repeated. The decision must specify the remedies available. 2 If the candidate failed all parts of the master s degree examination, on request, he or she will receive a written confirmation that outlines the examination results and grades as well as the missing examination performances; also, it needs to show that the examination was not passed. Article 15 Archiving of the examination files After the time limit for appeal has ended, the documentation of the master s degree examination as well as a copy of the master s thesis are being archived. Article 16 Viewing the examination files After the master s degree examination has been closed, upon request of the candidate, access is granted to the minutes of the oral defense within one year after the closing date. The candidate receives a copy of the reviews of the master s thesis together with the certificate. page 6 6

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