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As part of a reform to the European Affairs Master’s programme (MAE), students are now given the opportunity to complete a master’s dissertation towards the end of their studies. This option is provided in addition to that of a semester of study abroad or an internship. With express permission by the director of studies, it will be possible to undertake the dissertation at the same time as a semester of study abroad or an internship. The option must also be accepted by the steering committee of the MAE.
Objectives of the Dissertation
The main objective is to allow students to deepen their understanding and knowledge and enhance their expertise in a particular domain that they aim to develop with regard to their professional career. Consequently, the opportunity to proceed will be conditional upon acceptance by the steering committee, which will evaluate the coherence and suitability of the proposal in relation to the student’s planned career path.
Generally, with the exception of the field of economics and Business, it is possible to complete the dissertation as a research paper intended to be part of a student’s candidacy for a Phd application to Sciences Po or elsewhere. The exact form should be discussed with those in charge of each respective discipline.
Conditions and Organisation
The composition of the dissertation is subject to the express approval of the steering committee. With this in mind, it is essential to indicate one’s intention to write a dissertation to the director of the relevant discipline or master’s programme as soon as possible, optimally at the beginning of the second semester. At the very latest, notice must be given at the beginning of the third semester.
Students must commit themselves to the proposal accepted by the steering committee. In addition, they must meet regularly with their dissertation supervisor and keep them up to date with the progress of the paper. Students commit to producing an original piece of research and must respect the rules concerning intellectual property in force at Sciences Po carrying the penalty of failure.
Monitoring Students’ Progress
After discussion with the candidate, the director of the chosen field will choose a dissertation supervisor. The regularity of the meetings between the supervisor and student may vary according the particular project at hand and the form of field-work being carried out. However, as a general rule, at least one meeting should be arranged each month. Regularly correspondence by email can ensure that progress is monitored during the field-work stage or whilst a student is studying abroad.
No grades are given by the supervisor during the course of writing. Nevertheless, it is suggested that reports be made at regular intervals in order to keep the dissertation on course and avoid issues arising in the later stages of the dissertation project. Dissertation supervisors are asked to inform the director of the relevant discipline immediately in the case of any serious issues arising during the course of the dissertation’s composition.
Moreover, to ensure planning and research is structured in a satisfactory manner, students are required to send a monthly report on their work to the MAE secretary.
Candidates will also be monitored by the directors of each main discipline according to the methods of each discipline.
Calendar and Validation
- Students interested in the option of writing a master’s dissertation must indicate their intentions as early as possible to the director of the relevant discipline or master’s programme. This must occur before the end of October of the third semester. The option will not be available after this point.
- Students must prepare a research proposal for the dissertation, which specifies the subject of the dissertation, its importance and purpose as well as a calendar planning the completion of each stage. The student should also justify the coherence of the project with their career plans. The proposal must be no longer than two pages and be submitted before 30 November of the third semester.
- The steering committee of the MAE is charged with approving the dissertation proposals and will notify students of approval in writing. In the case that a proposal is rejected, students must choose one of the other options for the fourth semester. All subsequent changes to the subject must also be approved by the dissertation supervisor after consultation with the director of the relevant discipline.
- The dissertation defence will take place before 15 June of the fourth semester in time for graduation in July. Students must send the final version of their dissertation to the members of the dissertation review panel at least seven days before the defence date. The dissertation defence will be organised by the dissertation supervisor in coordination with both the secretary of the MAE and the director of the relevant discipline. The defence itself will be judged by the dissertation supervisor as well as an external adjudicator, who may be the director of the chosen discipline or someone appointed by them.
Contacts and supplementary information
For all further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the director of the relevant field of study.
- Political Analysis: Emiliano Grossman
- Economics and Business: Francesco Saraceno
- Law: Imola Streho
- Europe in the World : Jacques Rupnik
Download this document in PDF : Undertaking a Dissertation in the 4th Semester of the European Affairs Master (PDF, 632 Ko)
Example of master's thesis
- "A Comparative analysis of the Livre Vert de la Défense and the relation between climate change and systemic crisis", Arnault Barichella, 2014 (PDF, 944 Ko)
- "Can Europe save the Centre? The British Liberal Democrats and Europe, 1988-2014", Claire DARMÉ, 2014 (PDF, 2,15 Mo)
- "Women and the Far-Right, The case of the National Democratic Party of Germany", Sarah Dingler, 2014 (PDF, 1,15 Ko)