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MSc Project FAQ for Staff 2020/21


Q. What about COVID-19... ?
A. See the guide.


Q. When is the deadline for ... ?
A. See the timetable.

Professional duties

  1. Q. Which staff members have MSc supervision/marking duties?
    A. See the official record of current staff duties in Theon. If you think that your official record is incorrect then you need to take up the matter with the Head of School, respectively with the Director of Professional Services. Link.

  2. Q. How many MSc supervision/marking duties do University Teachers have?
    A. Unless explicitly specified otherwise on their Theon record, a University Teacher at 100% FTE has the same number of MSc supervision/marking duties as a full-time lecturer. At 50% FTE correspondingly less, rounded to the nearest integer (in case of a tie, up.)

  3. Q. What are my duties if I volunteer to supervise MSc projects?
    A. For all staff members who volunteer to supervise MSc projects, these projects thereby become their professional duty (regardless of whether they previously had MSc supervision duties or not). Their responsibilities for these projects are exactly the same as for all other staff who supervise MSc projects. In particular, this includes all rules and procedures for student supervision, marking, deadlines, etc.

Project proposals and supervision

  1. Q. How to supervise a student self-proposed project?
    A. See the guide.

  2. Q. How do I co-supervise an MSc project with an external supervisor?
    A. See this helpful page. In particular, the internal co-superviser (i.e., you) needs to register as supervisor for the project. (Green button "Register Interest" at the bottom of the page.)

  3. Q. What happens if students register interest in my project in DPMT, but never contact me? What happens if students register interest at the last minute?
    A. Their bid will remain unresolved until the end of the selection process. You can/should then mark them as "unsuitable".

  4. Q. How are MSc projects allocated?
    A. For details see here.

Co-Supervision and giving kudos to collaborators (externals, PhD students, TAs, etc.)

  1. Q. Under what circumstances does a project have a recorded co-supervisor in DPMT?
    A. Wrt. DPMT, the only purpose of co-superviors is to ensure that for each project there is a qualified 1st marker on record (who takes responsibility that the 1st mark is filed according to deadlines and procedures). A typical situation is where a UoE staff member co-supervises with an external partner. (Of course, both co-supervisors can discuss the mark.)

  2. Q. I want to give kudos to my collaborators/helpers, e.g., additional external contacts, PhD students, TAs, etc. Should these be added as co-supervisors in DPMT?
    A. No. DPMT is only a local system for project proposals, project allocation and marker allocation. The data is deleted every year. To give kudos to your extra contacts, PhD students, TAs, etc., write them a letter of reference (that they can mention in their CV).

Project marking procedure

  1. Q. How are MSc dissertations marked?
    A. See the section on Assessment in the course guide for details on marking procedure, moderation, webmark forms, links to theses, etc.

  2. Q. Where can I find the electronic copies of MSc dissertations?
    A. See here (also linked to from the course guide). (Access problems? Contact Computing support to give you access.)

  3. Q. Which MSc projects do I mark?
    A. You mark, as 1st marker, all the projects that you supervise (if you are an external supervisor, then consult with your internal co-superviser). Moreover, you are the 2nd marker for certain projects. See this DPMT page (section Marking) for the projects that you mark. In the first part you see the list of projects that you will 2nd mark. In the second part, you see the list of your projects (that you will 1st mark) and the staff member who will 2nd mark it (column Marker).

  4. Q. Problems to access the Webmark system?
    A. If you are UoE staff without an Informatics co-supervisor: Contact Computing support to give you access to Webmark. If you are an external (and thus have an Informatics co-supervisor): Consult with your co-supervisor. It is his/her responsibility to file the marking form.

  5. Q. Where can I record my MSc marking preferences?
    A. See here.

Project marking allocation

  1. Q. Is my 2nd marking allocation correct?
    A. Yes. The 2nd marking allocation follows the official policy decided by the Head of School and the Director of Teaching. In 2021, the default load is to mark a total of 12 projects (combined as 1st or 2nd marker) for full-time staff. Moreover, staff who supervise fewer projects than their load are assigned 2 extra marking duties for every one lacking project supervision. Staff who supervise more projects than their load are assigned 1 less marking duty per extra supervised project. Staff with n moderator duties mark n fewer MSc projects. The number of 2nd marking duties is the total number of marking duties minus the number of 1st marked projects (or zero, if that was negative). All this has been taken into account.

  2. Q. Do I have to mark MSc projects if I go on sabbatical in September (of the current year) ?
    A. Yes. You are fully responsible for all your teaching duties of this academic year, and this includes project marking. I.e., if you had MSc supervision duties in 2020/21 then you also have marking duties. However, you will not be asked to mark any projects when you are about to come back from a 1-year sabbatical in Sep. 2021 (i.e., if your sabbatical ends on 31. Aug. 2021), except for projects that you voluntarily supervised during your sabbatical.

  3. Q. Do I have to mark projects if I don't like the topic?
    A. Yes. Stated marking preferences are taken into account as far as possible, but there are hard constraints: All projects need to be marked, and the loads must follow the School policy on teaching load balancing (see above). You are qualified to assess every Informatics project at the MSc level.

  4. Q. How do I perform my marking/supervising/teaching duties when I go on conferences (or other travel/absence) ?
    A. Travelling does not grant relief from teaching/admin duties. In such cases, it is your responsibility to make arrangements. Either by working remotely (email, Skype, etc.) or by arranging work-swapping with a colleague. (In cases where relief from teaching duties has been officially granted by the School, this has to be recorded in the official record in Theon.) Note that all theses, marking forms, moderator forms, etc., are available electronically and thus remotely (see link above).

  5. Q. Does the project supervisor (or student) have any influence on who is the 2nd marker?
    A. No. The 2nd maker has to be independent. 2nd markers are assigned centrally. Supervisors and students have no influence on this at all.