Rules and Regulations ESST
The Association: European Inter-university Association on Society, Science, and Technology
University: a member of the ESST association
The ESST Programme: The teaching and research programme offered by the ESST association
Board of Directors: is made up of the representatives of all member universities
Director of study: Member of faculty of a university who is responsible for organisation and co-ordination of the ESST teaching programme offered by the university
1st Semester University: University admitting students to the programme and offering a teaching programme for the Autumn semester and Spring semester
2nd Semester University: University offering a specialisation course during the second semester
Title and degree
The Association can award the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree “Society, Science and Technology in Europe”, which confers to the holder the right to the equivalent title.
The Association issues the diploma for the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in “Society, Science and Technology in Europe”.
The diploma gives information about the Association and the basis for the award of the diploma.
On it should be written: the grade achieved, the title of the research paper (thesis), the name of the specialisation, the name(s) of the 1st and 2nd semester universities, and whether it is given in conjunction with another diploma issued by the 1st semester university.
The diploma is signed by the President of the Association, and the president’s name also appears in print.
Where the ESST MA is part of a separate national diploma the relation between the two diplomas must be specified in writing on the ESST diploma.
Students who leave the programme after the first semester will receive a certificate, specifying the courses (at least 30 ECTS) attended in the 1st semester and the grades achieved in tests, if any.
Duration and schedule
The degree consists of two parts. The first part is a taught course (30 ECTS). The second part includes a taught course of a minimum of four weeks (minimum 8 ECTS – maximum 12 ECTS) and a research project (22 ECTS), culminating in an independent, written research paper. The research project is to be completed by the first of July.
In order to be admitted to the ESST programme the applicant must have successfully completed an undergraduate degree or a minimum of four years of study at university level. In addition, the applicant must demonstrate proficiency in English.
The Board of Directors can set minimum and maximum numbers of students to be admitted to each 1st semester university.
Each university decides on methods of documenting the students’ relevant capacities for admission to the 1st semester.
The selection and admission of students is organised and administered by each 1st semester university.
Where applicable, students must be registered as full time or part time students before commencing the course.
Assessment of students
Each 1st semester university decides about its own method of assessing the students’ work during the 1st semester.
The methods and mechanisms of assessment are to be described in an “assessment plan” which each 1st semester university will submit to the Board of Directors for approval.
The assessment plans include at least:
− timing of all tests
− character of each test
− method of grading of each test
− consequences, if any, of failing a test
− procedure for additional tests, if any, when first was failed
− procedure for additional tests, if any, when first was not attended
− additional Regulations for each test
− possibilities for appeal
Admission to the 2nd semester
The Board of Directors can set a maximum number of students to be admitted to a 2nd semester university.
To be admitted to the 2nd semester each student must have passed the first semester and demonstrate proficiency in English by a test score of IELTS or TOEFL if the first semester is offered in another language than English.
Choice of specialisation
The Association does not have the obligation to offer the first choice of specialisation to a student.
To administer the process of choosing a specialisation the following steps are followed:
1. each student presents a final list of three specialisations, with order of preference, by the 23th of November; in addition a 3-4 page document is presented by each student outlining their motivation for these three choices.
2. the Board of Directors decides in its Fall meeting about the allocation of students to specialisations.
3. students and 2nd semester universities are informed about the specialisation choices of each student as soon as possible.
The master’s examination takes place at the end of the 2nd semester and consists of an assessment of the thesis.
A thesis consists of a research paper in English with a length of 20,000 words (+/- 10%), exclusive of notes, bibliography and figures. In cases where two students do a collaborative project, the research paper should be 40,000 words. The students’ work will be individually assessed. In exceptional circumstances the student may apply to write the thesis in another language. To get approval a formal application should be submitted.
Each candidate is assessed by at least two examiners from two different ESST universities. Normally one examiner is affiliated to the 1st semester university, a second examiner is affiliated to the 2nd semester university.
The Master’s examination is graded on the European ECTS scale:
− Pass with Distinction
− Pass very good
− Pass good
− Pass satisfactory
− Pass sufficient
Only ‘Pass with distinction’ is mentioned on the diploma. The difference between ‘good’ and ‘satisfactory’ is mentioned in the examiners’ report.
In the case of disagreement among the two examiners the thesis is sent to the International Coordinator, who will ask another ESST professor from a third university who then decides.
Extension of the thesis deadline
The student is aware be that there is no exception for getting extension for submitting thesis except in case of very serious circumstances (serious illness or death in the family).
A request for extension has to be submitted before the 1st of June.
Extension is granted on basis of consultation between the student, the supervisor and the director of studies of the home university. In some cases this also involves the examination board of the home university. The Director of Studies of the home university will send a request-form to the vice-president Educational Affairs for the purpose of diploma administration. The form can be uploaded from the dropbox folder ‘ESST Teaching’.
NB: Please be advised that an unapproved delay in submission of the Master’s thesis automatically means that the thesis at the best can receive the grade “Pass”.
In cases where students have complaints about the conduct of evaluation (not the grade), it is expected that students first appeal to the appropriate bodies of the home university, who will answer to the student.
In cases where the ESST thesis is no part of a local MA programme the student can lodge an appeal till four weeks after they s/he is informed about the grade by sending an complain to the Vice-president Educational Affairs.
-The appeal is made directly to the vice-president Educational Affairs, in writing.
-The letter of appeal must be made on procedural grounds — i.e., it must be justified by referring to flaws or mistakes in the process that was followed in the assessment process.
-If the International Curriculum Co-ordinator accepts the appeal, s/he will oversee the appointment of a third examiner.
– The third examiner will read only the thesis, and not the examiners’
report that is being contested, or any of the documents pertaining thereto.
– The third examiner is free to assign whatever grade he or she deems
appropriate. (There is no requirement for the third examiner to agree with
or ‘improve’ the grade that was agreed upon by the examiners at stage one.)
– The third examiner’s judgement will be final and not subject to any
further argument or appeal.
Each 2nd semester university issues a “learning agreement” which specifies the duties, expectations and responsibilities of both the university and the student. The learning agreements have to be accepted by the Board of Directors.
The learning agreement includes at least:
− the minimum amount of supervision
− the minimum length of the stay in the 2nd semester university
− expectations of students’ activities and responsibilities
− relevant local Regulations
This information should be available to all students by 1st September.
New specialisations have to be proposed to the Board of Directors, which decides about its acceptability.
The Board of Directors decides in matters of exemption from the above.
General exemptions are to be written in a revised issue of these Regulations.