School of Arts

Master Thesis (preparation)

This course is part of the programme:
Master's programme in Media Arts and Practices

Objectives and competences

MASTER THESIS PREPARATION objectives:

The student develops a proactive and methodical approach towards the conception and the design of a complex academic paper as linked to a complex practical (thesis) project, such that guarantees an efficient (self)monitoring and finalisation of the Master Thesis course

MASTER THESIS objectives:

In the scope of this module’s objectives the student develops an analytical and methodical approach as well as learns to autonomously plan and organise own research-based production work, sustaining lines of argument in a research and/or development-based production project. The topic of this module is based on extending the student work, as gradually debveloped thourghout previous modules, with further reflection, research and development activities in the selected area, and within the chosen topic.

By successfully completing this module, the student confirms the competence to:

(within MASTER THESIS PREPARATION)

- Autonomously develop and utilize the methodology of conceiving and designing complete academic research and development work in the field of theory (incl. history and criticism)

- Master work with and integrate different (primary and secondary) resources across locally relevant and international discourses in the realm of media arts and practices

- Apply standard research and development processes in the realm of theory (incl. history and criticism) onto own practical work, and vice versa

- Exercise self-scrutiny and -reflection in the realm of academic thought and discourse, both written and oral

- Grow autonomously as independent learner, artist,

researcher, producer and/or developer in active exchange with mentors and peers

(within MASTER THESIS)

- Develop and utilize a variety of research and/or development methods to achieve unique paradigms, contents, forms or solutions in a specialized professional area of media arts and related practices;

- Grow autonomously as independent learners, researchers and producers or developers in active exchange with mentors and peers, as possible professional colleagues in future;

- Consistently consolidate skills of (developing a creative idea as) project definition, design and implementation as well as topical research organization and development, resources management, written and visual analysis and the presentation of a critical argument or thesis in the form of a written dissertation;

The Master Thesis module and thus the viva as its final event proves the ultimate competence of the student’s integration of skills and knowledge within the practical and theoretical part of a finished and evaluated work, in their counterdependence.

Prerequisites

The Master Thesis Module consists of two parts:

- Master Thesis Preparation (6 ECTS)

- and Master Thesis (22 ECTS)

Prerequisites for Master Thesis preparation:

- Progress Track /1 and /2 (/2 possibly incomplete)

- Carrier Module /1 and /2 (/2 possibly incomplete)

- Studio module /1 and /2 (/2 possibly incomplete)

- TIP, DIP, SIP accumulated accordingly (possibly incomplete)

Prerequisites for Master Thesis:

- Progress Track module complete.

- Carrier Module complete.

- Studio module complete.

- Master Thesis Preparation course complete (possibly incomplete).

- TIP, DIP, SIP supportive modules credit accumulated accordingly (TIP, DIP possibly incomplete).

Content (Syllabus outline)

The Master Thesis Module consists of two parts:

- Master Thesis Preparation (6 ECTS)

- and Master Thesis (22 ECTS)

MASTER THESIS PREPARATION:

The course reflects on the methodology of the master project production that leads to the research-based concept for the written part of the master thesis. The course is thus a methodological prerequisite for the Master Thesis course, even though incomplete progress is allowed (see note below). In this course the student gradually assembles his/her (1) master thesis design as a coherent research (and practice-applied) plan, encompassing all the stages and elements of an academic a complex academic output:

- Title of master thesis

- Brief description of the problem, issue or question — defining the existing situation, present data, prior research or practice that make the chosen problem, issue or question significant and worth dealing with)

- Purpose, aims and users — defining the overall project-cum-thesis purpose that makes the process meaningful and relevant; stating specific and measurable aims; defining potential target audience or users as well as how the project will reach and affect them)

- Methods — describing in what way, with which tools and from which perspectives the data of the thesis was or will be gathered and processed; how will the primary data (surveys, interviews, measurements, analyses, reflection papers, own blogs etc.) be combined with secondary materials (books, articles, blogs, videos etc.), and why so;

- Expectations and hypotheses — What results are to be expected, based on the existing data or prior research and practice; possible predictions of probability as to the outcomes of the research/development/creation process

- Limitations and disturbances — Which are the limits that the process will probably reach, but not transgress; What are the (seemingly same or similar) problems, issues or questions, aims or users that the project will specifically not deal with, and why not; What factors may disturb or threaten the research/development process

- Structure of contents as foreseen — stating the foreseeable major chapters of the dissertation structure and possibly subdividing them into subchapters; estimating roughly the number of pages for each chapter; estimating appendix format(s), size and structure

- References/Sources covered or foreseen — books, articles (paper or electronic), internet resources, existing research results, observations or other documentation, closely defined parts of thesis project documentation that will directly influence the written thesis paper as references/sources (and how will they do so)

- Time plan — drafting the entire plan of activities, subsequent or parallel, of producing the final work, including all necessary (sub)steps (e.g. research, literature review, drafting, structuring, writing, final editing as well as preparation for presentation, i.e. oral defense), possibly as a Gantt chant or related graphic representation.

Student also develops an extended (2) master thesis abstract (in collaboration with the chosen expert mentor of theoretical part of thesis) as a coherent academic (structured, argumentative and theory-backed) text to later preface the entire thesis.

Students regularly attend group seminars as well as regularly meet with the Master Thesis Preparation mentor for the methodological part, and with the chosen expert/theory mentors regarding the chosen topic.

MASTER THESIS

Student accomplishes the master thesis as gradually designed within the Progress Track module and defined within the Master Thesis Preparation course, both in terms of theory (written paper, including project documentation elements) and practice (practical project), drawing also from the competences acquired in Carrier-Module based sequence of Studios and the selections within the TIP, DIP, SIP supportive modules.

In this module the student finishes and evaluates the master project and accomplishes the written part of the master thesis.

In terms of outputs, the Master Thesis module ends with:

1) completion and delivery of a practical master project (project documentation is included into or clearly linked within the written master thesis paper document, c.f. below);

2) writing and submission of a written part of the master thesis (an extensive academic paper containing clear methodology, historical, theoretical and/or critical emphases in the references as well as research and production backgrounds of the master project, including a substantial part on its planning, implementation and finalization/evaluation; appended by an obligatory Artist Statement and a final master project documentation, c.f. above)

3) thesis defence (viva) in front of a Master Thesis Committee that assesses the submitted academic paper and project documentation, listens to the student’s presentation of the master thesis, and confronts the student in a viva exam with thesis-topic relevant inquiries (assessing both), as well as provides student with immediate feedback of her/his work presented.

Note-1:

Master Thesis Preparation seminar is conducted by a team of theoretically (incl. history and criticism) referenced teachers, head coordinated by the course leader, in close connection with the Master Thesis mentors – who might be, in case of an individual student, the topic relevant expert mentor or the progress mentor.

Note-2:

Master Thesis mentorship is taken over by either the relevant expert mentor or the progress mentor, which is left to student’s free choice, but already negotiated along the Progress Track process. The student can choose an additional mentor (e.g, a “theoretical” mentor) if her/his master thesis design should evidently require so.

Note-3:

Incomplete progress: If student has not passed the Master Thesis Preparation course within two regular exam terms at the end of semester 3, s/he can start with the Master Thesis course in semester 4 based on his/her “incomplete” (conditional) enrolment.

The “incomplete” enrolment requires that student passes the Master Thesis Preparation course at the third exam term, which is offered within one month after the start of the following semester (semester 4). If the student has failed to do so, s/he is required to abort the Master Thesis attendance, formally terminate mentorship and re-enrol the Master Thesis Preparation course, as offered in the upcoming semester. Mentorship is formally re-established upon student’s request to the BOS (Board of Studies) during first week of Master Thesis Preparation course.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

(At the end of this module the Student…)

(within MASTER THESIS PREPARATION)

- Has knowledge and profound understanding of appropriate thesis design methodologies, especially as applied to a complex practical project

- Understands the importance of autonomously designing a complex academic paper

- Has an overview of relevant research methodologies as applied onto the area of media arts and practices

(within MASTER THESIS)

- Has critical knowledge and understanding of appropriate research methodologies and the importance of correct and autonomous research work

- Understands the importance of autonomously collecting and integrating selected knowledge and information from various areas and topics onto own project and paper

- Has a thorough overview of specialist theoretical perspectives framing the selected area and chosen topic

Skills:

(The Student…)

(within MASTER THESIS PREPARATION)

- Critically reviews, filters, concentrates and evaluates (secondary) historical, theoretical and criticism discourses, integrating them with own (primary) data and experience, to apply both to the chosen topic and area

- Identifies and plans all activities for autonomously designing and later accomplishing a complex academic paper

- Writes and argumentatively presents as well as defends a thesis design and an extended thesis abstract

(within MASTER THESIS)

- Critically evaluates historical, theorietical and criticism discourses in the field, applying them to the chosen topic and area of study and develops high level autonomous learning skills appropriate for progression to postgraduate work and/or entry into professional workspace

- Identifies, plans and organizes research, demonstrating the ability to function effectively as an autonomous learner

- Writes and visually presents a thesis or argument, and defends it publicly

- Produces a sustained piece of work, presented according to academic conventions and demonstrates significant self-reflection and a broad awareness of the manifold contexts of own work

Readings

Obligatory:

Purg, Peter; Mustapić, Nadija; Rusjan, Rene (2012). Guidelines and Sidelines on Creating Your Master Thesis Project in Media Arts and Practices. Nova Gorica: UNG Press. (to be published 2013, predvidena objava 2013)

Additional Readings will be assigned based on chosen Master Thesis topic.

Recommended:

Allison, Brian (2004): The Student’s Guide to Preparing Dissertations and Theses. London: Routledge Farmer. 2nd Revised Edition.

Levin, Peter (2005): Excellent Dissertations! Milton Keynes: Open University Press.

Swetnam, Derek (2004): Writing Your Dissertation: The Bestselling Guide to Planning, Preparing and Presenting First-Class Work (The How to Series). Revised 3rd Edition. Oxford: How to Books, Ltd.

Walliman, Nicholas S. R. (2004): Your Undergraduate Dissertation: The Essential Guide for Success. London: Sage Publications Ltd.

- Additional Readings will be assigned based on chosen Master Thesis topic.

Assessment

MASTER THESIS PREPARATION Type : 1) master thesis design (an academic paper of 1000-2000 words, structured in chapters according to template), in Croatian/Slovenian or English languages 2) extended master thesis abstract (a paper of 1000-2000 words as a coherent theory-grounded academic text), both in Croatian/Slovenian and English languages. 3) short abstract (summary, key words, findings and conclusion) are assembled in all three languages: Slovenian, Croatian and English. Grading scheme: All elements are graded with pass/fail. Both must be awarded a “pass” in order for the course to be successfully completed. MASTER THESIS Type : 1) practical master project (project documentation is included into or clearly linked within the written master thesis paper document, c.f. below); 2) writing and submission of a written part of the master thesis (an extensive academic paper containing clear methodology, historical, theoretical and/or critical emphases in the references as well as research and production backgrounds of the master project, including a substantial part on its planning, implementation and finalization/evaluation; appended by an obligatory Artist Statement and a final master project documentation, c.f. above) 3) thesis defense (viva examination) in front of a Master Thesis Committee that assesses the submitted academic paper and project documentation, listens to the student’s presentation of the master thesis, and confronts the student in a viva exam with thesis-topic relevant inquiries (assessing both), as well as provides student with immediate feedback of her/his work presented. Grading scheme: Each Master Thesis Committee member poses minimum one structured question to the student, within the viva master thesis defense. The grade consists of 5. the student’s practical part of the thesis (master project) and its presentation delivery (graded 1-10), 6. the written part of the thesis (graded 1-5, 5=maximum), 7. the viva defense of the written part of the thesis (graded 1-5), 8. the student’s answers to the posed questions (graded 1-5), Each Master Thesis Committee member thus disposes of a total of 25%, and appoints a partial grade for each of the four thesis defense segments. The final master thesis grade constitutes a cumulative GPA (Grade Point Average) of four appointed grades, expressed as a percentual grade and translated into the local (numerical) grade.

Lecturer's references

Module leader of Master Thesis Preparation course:

Peter Purg currently leads the New Media module in the B.A. Digital Arts and Practices programme at the School of Arts, University of Nova Gorica, where he acts as assistant professor and projects coordinator. He holds a PhD in media art, communication science and literature from the University of Erfurt (Germany), publishing and producing in and in-between the areas. His artistic interests range from intermedia performances and interactive installations to web, sound and body art, with a particular focus on public space. His scientific inquiries include media arts pedagogy, collective authorship, discourse poetics, media ecology and culture jamming as well as interaction design, e-learning, interdisciplinary and intercultural management. He currently leads two international academic projects, ADRIART (Advancing Digitally Renewed Interactions in Art Teaching) and HiLoVv (Hidden Lives of Venice on Video), and acts as programme leader of Media Production Management international study programme at IAM-CMPM (Slovenia) for Middlesex University (UK). He lead the interdisciplinary collective Bobnars United with over a hundred music events, research projects and intermedia productions between 2001 and 2006, as well as conceived anti-consumerism interventions within the Podgana PPP street performance group. In 2011 he was awarded “Prometheus of Science for Excellence in Communication” by The Slovenian Science Foundation; he is member of the “University-Business Cooperation” with the European Comission. Peter Purg also acts as independent consultant/advisor or project manager in several research and development projects for the public (schools, universities, ministries) and the private sector.

/selected publications/

(selected publications; English translations where applicable; all scientific and professional articles or monographs):

  • “Hypertext as Form and Place of Collective Creativity” 2010, PFAU, Kunst und Technik in medialen Räumen (Germany)
  • ”Bodies in Interactive Space” (scientific monograph) 2007, VDM (Germany)
  • ”The Art of Mixed Reality” 2010, Amfiteater (Slovenia)
  • “Performative disturbance of public space”, 2011 (2002), FDV/Memefest: “Demonstrating relevance: response-ability: theory, practice and imagination of socially responsive communication” (Slovenia)
  • ”An Intercultural Understanding of Man and Machine in Managing Interdisciplinary Cooperation” 2006, Faculty of Management Koper, University of Primorska (Slovenia)
  • »Media Performance of the Word Itself« 2008, Amfiteater (Slovenia)
  • “New Technologies for Sustainable Teaching and Learning” 2009, JTEFS, Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability, (Poland/Germany/Latvia)
  • ”Con-creativity among Local and Global Networks” 2006, Dichtung Digital (Germany/USA)
  • “Dialoguing Man and Machine” 2004, ART-E-FACT (Croatia)
  • “Envisioning New Post-Scientific Europe Through Culturally Balanced Use of Technology in Learning” 2010, IJMIE, International Journal of Management in Education (USA)
  • ”An e-Learning Curriculum for Europe 2.0” 2008, University Centre for Euro-Mediterranean Studies (Slovenia) and European Institute of the Mediterranean (Spain)

”Ecology of Web 2.0” 2008, Slovenian Informatics Society (Slovenia)

University course code: 3MU011

Year of study: 2

Semester: 3

Course principal:

Lecturer:

ECTS: 6

Learning and teaching methods:
forms: - autonomous student work - online work and communication - individual meetings - small group collaboration - seminar presentations - frontal lectures methods: - data analysis and synthesis onto media-rich text level - individual combination of relevant methods (inductive, deductive, analysis, synthesis, comparative, descriptive, compiling, statistical, data management,observation, inquiry,experiment/laboratory etc.) - verbal and written discussion - (media-rich) text development and editing - internal academic presentation - public presentation