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GUIDES TO THE UNIVERSITY

2019-2020 A.Y.
Integrated Master of Arts in Giurisprudenza (5-y; Law)



7.
THESIS AND GRADUATION SESSION

     
Last change 01/04/2019 08:00

7.1.
Thesis

To be admitted to the graduation session students must earn all the credit points provided for in the program structure except for those credits of the thesis.
Students are awarded the degree after passing the Degree Final exam and after earning at least 300 credit points.
The thesis is worth 12 credit points.
The thesis preparation is divided into the following phases:

  • completion of the whole Graduation application procedures
  • admission to the graduation session
  • thesis oral presentation and awarding of the graduation grade.
Last change 01/04/2019 08:00

7.1.1.
Content

In order to obtain the Integrated Master of Arts in Law degree, a final exam is required. The exam requires students to present and defend their written thesis to the Degree Board.

The thesis shapes the student's educational experience in a significant way. It is the result of research carried out under the supervision of the thesis advisor on a topic connected to the main subject area of the graduating student's curriculum. The topic of the thesis does not necessarily need to be associated with a course in the student's study plan. It can be based on work experience (internship) or a period of study in Italy or abroad.

The thesis must demonstrate the student's command of the basic methodologies of the subject areas he/she has studied. Students must also prepare an in-depth analysis of a specific topic addressing the theoretical, practical and empirical aspects in a critical and original way.

The thesis requires approximately 4 months of full-time preparation.

Students can opt to write the thesis in either Italian or English. The defense language is the same as the language in which the thesis is written.

Theses associated with the Angelo Sraffa Department of Legal Studies and the historical-economic area of the Department of Social and Political Sciences generally consist of 150-200 pages (around 50,000-70,000 words). Theses associated with other Departments generally consist of 50 pages (about 18,000 words).

The thesis also has an abstract which concisely summarizes the main topic of the thesis.
 

The "Guide to writing a degree thesis for the Integrated Master of Arts Program" (Italian version) can be downloaded from the website, designed to aid students in writing their theses.

 

Any additional information will be given by the Integrated Master of Arts in Law Program Director and will come out when writing the thesis from the contact between Advisor and student.

We encourage you to carefully check the correct procedures for the use of citations in the above guide.

The University pays particular attention to the originality of the students’ thesis. It must be the result of a personal contribution, it must not be carried out with the aid of outside consulting firms, special attention must be paid to citations and it must not contain texts taken from other sources. To this end, the University has adopted ad-hoc software in order to verify the originality of the work.

Should copying of work be discovered, the student will be referred to the Disciplinary Board and appropriate measures will be taken.

Last change 06/02/2020 18:05

7.2.
Graduation application procedures

The graduation application procedures process is divided into the following compulsory phases:

 

  1. assignment of the thesis title
  2. graduation reservation
  3. entering the information relating to the thesis title completion and uploading the definitive file of the thesis
  4. request for the approval from the Advisor professor.

 

Students who do not complete all the phases of the graduation application procedure will not be admitted in the graduation session.

 

Bocconi University offers assistance at the Secretary’s Office of the School of Law (Location Table).

Last change 22/07/2019 17:29

7.2.1.
Assigning thesis title

The thesis is formally assigned by the thesis advisor, who will supervise the progress of the work.

The advisor may nominate a second advisor if:

 

  • the thesis covers more than one field of study; the second advisor is chosen from a Department which is different from the advisor's, and collaborates in supervising the work;
  • in case of a long term Visiting Professor.

 

In case of selection of a Second Advisor, just after entering the title into the IT procedure, students must fill the appropriate form (Second Advisor form - PDF file) which must be signed by the Advisor Professor and returned to the Secretary's Office of the School of Law. Once the thesis has been assigned, the thesis advisor will nominate a discussant to act as the interlocutor during the presentation (defense) of the thesis. There is only one discussant.

The discussant is chosen from among the professors who can assume the role of thesis discussant according to rank and qualifications, as defined by the University.

Title entering procedures
Thesis title assignment can be made only if the student is enrolled in the fifth year of studies.

After having agreed upon the thesis title with the Advisor professor, the graduating student must:

  • access the Punto Blu function "Graduation - Application Procedures" and fill out the section "Enter Thesis Title” online by specifying:
    • type of thesis: theoretical, empirical, compilative. The student can also choose to select the item ‘not specified’;
    • thesis title* (SEE NOTE)
    • thesis language;
    • the authorization or non-authorization for the thesis consultation
  • and, on the following screen
    • the name of the advisor and Discussant professor.


In case of a Second Advisor, the name must not be entered in the Graduation Application Procedure online but communicated in accordance with the procedure described above.

The information entered in Graduation>Application procedures is immediately made available to the Advisor Professor who continues online with the assignment of the thesis and any change of the Discussant professor.

Upon title assignment, the student will receive a notification via yoU@B Diary (To Do and Notices widget) and can continue with the following phases of the Graduation Application procedures.

NOTE: Title approval by the Advisor professor is a compulsory requirement to make the graduation reservation. Therefore, please enter the title before the deadline scheduled for the graduation reservation (for deadlines, see: www.unibocconi.eu/graduationcalendar).

Modifying the title of the thesis
If the student wishes to modify the data relating to the title entered only, he/she must use the function Graduation Application procedure>Change title: in this case, if already assigned, the final paper title assignment by the Advisor professor is still valid.

The student can change the title entered at Punto Blu until requesting approval from the Advisor professor: once he/she has forwarded the approval request, the function ‘Change title’ will no longer be available on Punto Blu.

Cancelling the title entered
If the student wishes to change the Advisor professor and enter a new title, he/she must use the function Graduation application procedures>Cancel title: in this case, he/she must repeat the whole procedure of title entering and must wait for the title assignment from the new Advisor professor.

IMPORTANT: Students who continue with the cancelation of the title must also cancel any graduation reservation that may have been submitted. They must make a new graduation reservation after receiving the title from the new Advisor professor, within the deadlines.

Uploading non-definitive thesis attachments
Only upon approval of the Advisor Professor after a specific request, can the student forward NON-DEFINITIVE files of his/her work (e.g. single chapters of temporary sections) by using the appropriate function ‘Thesis attachments’ available in Punto Blu.
The attached files in progress are made available to the professor.
IMPORTANT: uploading the files in the ‘Thesis attachment non-definitive files’ function DOES NOT replace the upload of the one definitive file which MUST be made in any case by using the function ‘Thesis title Information completion’>Thesis final attachment.

 

Once the title has been assigned by the tutor professor, the student can:

 

  • make the graduation reservation
  • enter the information to complete the thesis title and continue with the upload of the definitive file of the thesis;
  • request approval.
Last change 04/02/2020 11:47

7.2.2.
Graduation reservation

The first graduation session available for fifth year Integrated MA students duly enrolled in the 2019-2020 academic year will be held in July 2020.
Graduating students make the graduation reservation via Punto Blu, by selecting the "Graduation Reservation" option. Students must meet the deadlines and timelines indicated on the Graduation Calendar that will be available later in year.
Students do not need to have passed all the exams in the program structure in order to make the graduation reservation. In fact, it is advisable to make the graduation reservation before the submission of the thesis.

When making the "Graduation Reservation" the procedure checks the regular administrative and financial status* of the student and that:

  • the thesis title has been assigned by the Advisor;
  • students have paid all fees due, including the graduation fee* (through the MAV available on the Punto Blu in Financial status>payments).


* Students are advised to complete the payment about one month before making the graduation reservation (for details on the graduation fee, see chapter 9.1 Costs).
Students' regular administrative status implies:

  • enrollment in the 2018-2019 a.y. for those students enrolled in the fifth year who intend to graduate within the first session of 2020. They do not have to enroll in the 2019-2020 academic year;
  • Fifth year students enrolled in the 2019-2020 academic year who intend to graduate after the first session of 2020 must enroll in the 2019-2020 a.y.


For information regarding the financial status and installments, students are advised to check with the Fees Funding and Housing Office www.unibocconi.eu/fees
Once registration has been completed, students are suggested to print, the receipt of the graduation reservation made through Punto Blu.

In the days after the graduation reservation, students are:

  • encouraged to enter Cv@B in the "CAREER SERVICE" section of yoU@B and to upgrade their Profile and Default CV. The updated Profile and curriculum vitae will be used to create the Graduants CV Book and, after graduation, the Graduate CV Book. Both CV Books will be shared with Bocconi contacts, which include companies, public and private organizations as well as professional firms, with the aim of enhancing recruitment opportunities. The completion of Cv@B procedure does not affect the admission to the Graduation Session;
  • asked to fill out the evaluation of university experience questionnaire on the yoU@B Diary, which forms part of a nation-wide survey aimed at gathering feedback on university study from graduating students.


After reserving a graduation session, students can no longer enroll in the new academic year unless they cancel the graduation session that they have reserved.

Students who no longer wish to graduate during the chosen graduation session should:

  • if before the deadlines set in the graduation sessions calendar, cancel their graduation application by selecting the function “Graduation>Application Procedure>Cancel Reservation”;
  • if after the deadlines in the graduation sessions calendar have expired, the reservation must be refused in writing, submitted to the Academic Affairs Desk.

If the reservation is refused for the last graduation session available in the academic year (April session), the student must enroll in the new year.
After enrolling in the academic year and duly paying the fees and tuition due, a new graduation reservation can be completed through the student diary.

Last change 21/10/2019 10:45

7.2.3.
Title information completion - uploading the final attachment

After completing the first phases of the graduation application procedure, the graduating student must enter online all information still missing to complete the title of the thesis.

Through the function Graduation>Application procedure>’Thesis title information completion’ the student can:

  • make any changes to the title he/she was assigned;
  • enter an abstract summarizing the thesis topic with a maximum of 4,000 characters - see IMPORTANT NOTE;
  • confirm the thesis language;
  • confirm the authorization/non authorization for thesis consultation;
  • authorize to use the thesis attachment by the University.

In addition, after the data entered have been confirmed, the student can

  • continue with the upload of the Definitive file of the attachment, i.e. a single file in the definitive version and PDF format of his/her thesis.

The student must upload the definitive file of the thesis by the deadlines specified in the graduation calendar published on the website at www.unibocconi.eu/graduationcalendar.


Uploading the definitive thesis file
The upload of the definitive file must be EXCLUSIVELY carried out through the function Thesis title information completion>Thesis definitive attachment. The function Thesis Attachments-non-definitive files is therefore not the function used to upload the definitive file of the thesis.

In addition, after the definitive version of the thesis has been uploaded and approval has been requested on Punto Blu, no changes will be accepted.

The information entered and the definitive thesis attachment uploaded by the student online will be made available immediately to be viewed by the Advisor Professor.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

  1. the text of the abstract MUST BE entered in the box of the procedure or copied and pasted from a file in txt format;
  2. the definitive file, in PDF format (max 10 MB), must include 4 sheets as its first pages (see paragraph 7.3. Format specifications).

 

Last change 22/07/2019 12:50

7.2.4.
Approval request

Approval is a declaration of approval released by the professor regarding the thesis written by the student and it represents the final phase of the graduation application procedures.
The student may request approval after:
 

  • He/she has a title assigned
  • He/she has completed the graduation reservation
  • He/she has uploaded the definitive file of the thesis and the abstract.


The approval request must be carried out via the yoU@B Diary upon selecting the function ‘Graduation>Application procedure>Request approval' by the dates specified in the graduation calendar published on the website at www.unibocconi.eu/graduationcalendar.

Upon approval released by the advisor professor, the student will receive a message on the yoU@B Diary and can consider the graduation application procedure correctly completed.

Last change 17/06/2019 15:51

7.3.
Format specifications

 
Last change 01/04/2019 08:00

7.3.1.
Thesis format specifications

The thesis must be uploaded in a single file, PDF format created with the program Adobe Acrobat. The name of the file must be TS, followed by the student ID number, e.g., if the student ID number is 1234567, the name of the file will be TS1234567.pdf.
No reference to personal details must be entered in the thesis content.
The definitive file must include the following pages as the first 4 pages:

  • first page: a blank page
  • second page: a blank page
  • third page: dedication or acknowledgements (or a blank page)
  • fourth page: a blank page


The text (table of contents, introduction, body, etc.) MUST start AFTER the 4 pages described above, page numbering included. In addition, the body of the thesis must not include a title page or abstract, which will be automatically printed and it will include the information on the title entered by the student via Punto Blu.

In addition, the following parameters must be respected:

 

  • Maximum size: 10 MB;
  • Paper size: cm 29X21 (A4);
  • Right and left margin: 2.5 cm;
  • Lines per page: from 26 to 30 lines;
  • Recommended font: Arial/Tahoma/Verdana;
  • Front size (body): 12 points;
  • Numbered pages

The thesis must start on the right page (odd), because it will be printed on both sides.

The Bocconi University seal may not be used on the cover sheet or within the thesis.

Last change 17/06/2019 15:37

7.3.2.
Format specifications for any materials supporting the thesis oral defense

If the student wishes to prepare any support materials for the thesis oral defense (e.g. any paper presentation brought to the graduation session) he/she is encouraged to follow the indications below in line with the principles of environmental sustainability applied by the University:

  • print two-sided sheets;
  • print with two slides per each side sheet, where possible;
  • use recycled paper, if possible;
  • collate presentation slides using stapling and do not use covers, spirals or other parts in plastic or other non-recyclable materials;
  • print copies at most equal to the number of Degree Assessment Board members.
Last change 01/04/2019 08:00

7.4.
Graduation Acceptance

After the period for completing the graduation applications procedure, the Study Planning office will determine whether or not the student meets all the criteria to graduate.
In particular, the following checks are carried out:

 

  • that the graduation reservation has been made;
  • that the procedure contains the abstract and the definitive file of the thesis;
  • that approval has been requested and obtained
  • that all educational activities included in the study plan are registered (except for the credit points for the thesis) - the appropriate offices periodically check the grades recorded in the academic career of all students;
  • that there are no pending obligations with the Fees Funding and Housing Office;
  • that there are no outstanding obligations with the Library.

Students will receive notification about acceptance to graduation via an online message sent to their yoU@B student Diaries, only if the above conditions are respected and all the criteria to graduate have been fulfilled. The thesis presentation agenda (day, time, room and Degree Assessment Board) can be checked in the yoU@B student Diary around 10 days prior to the presentation.

 

Last change 21/06/2019 17:48

7.5.
Degree Assessment Boards

The thesis is evaluated by the Degree Assessment Board of which the advisor is a member.
The Boards are appointed by the Rector or by one of his/her delegates, and are presided by a tenured Professor (1st or 2nd level) who can also take on the role of thesis advisor, and a second advisor and/or discussant of one or more theses which are subject to assessment.

The Boards are made up of professors, researchers and professionals who are experts on the thesis topic and on the other educational activities included in the student's academic career.
The Boards consist of at least 5 members including:

  • the thesis advisor;
  • a second thesis advisor, only if appointed;
  • the discussant;
  • at least 3 other professors (2 if a second advisor is present).

Last change 01/04/2019 08:00

7.6.
Graduation and awarding of the graduation grade

THESE RULES ARE VALID UNTIL THE APRIL 2020 GRADUATION SESSION (INCLUDED)

NOTICE: Students who would like to graduate after the April 2020 Graduation Session must refer to the new rules below.
The new rules will go into effect starting in the July 2020 graduation session and will be applied to all students regardless of their first year of enrolment.

The thesis defense language will be the same of the thesis language. The graduation session (thesis presentation) includes:

  • the student's oral presentation (approximately 20 minutes);
  • the defense, which includes answering questions and discussing issues raised by the members of the Degree Assessment Board. Any theses considered to be excellent will involve the participation of the discussant.

Upon completion of the presentation, the candidate exits and the Board determines the student's graduation grade. Then, in the student's presence, the Board will proclaim that the student has graduated and announce the graduation grade.

The overall classification is expressed out of 110.
Students pass the final exam if they obtain a grade of at least 66.
The graduation grade takes into account all the educational activities included in the graduating student's academic career. The grade point average (GPA) is calculated by the weighted mathematical average on the credit point values of all marks expressed out of 30 and converted into a mark out of 110. Up to 6 points (out of 110) may be added to this score based on evaluation of the thesis and the student's overall curriculum.

With reference to the "GPA" it should be noted that:

  • a mark of 30 "cum laude" is expressed as 31;
  • a maximum of 2 additional exams are taken into consideration (in cases where students have passed more than 2 additional exams, the 2 best results will be used);
  • for exams passed at other Italian or foreign universities with a mark that is not expressed out of 30, the marks are converted to a mark out of 30 on the basis of a specific conversion table.


The thesis is evaluated on its content, presentation and defense.

The content of the thesis is evaluated on the clarity and accuracy of the written work as well as the student's ability to summarize. The points awarded are based on the complexity of the topics covered, the thoroughness and depth of analysis, literature cited, methodology applied and quality and accuracy of empirical analysis. Originality and degree of innovation are also important factors. In addition, the adequacy of the conclusions reached is also assessed.

The presentation is evaluated on the ability to express oneself clearly, plan and organize a well- structured presentation, apply critical reasoning and analytical skills, and respond appropriately to the questions and issues raised by the Board.

A high GPA does not guarantee that the student will receive a high score for the thesis. On the other hand, a comprehensive and original thesis can be awarded a high score regardless of the student's GPA.

The minimum graduation grade is 66 and the maximum grade is 110; if the decimal is equal to or higher than 5, then the graduation grade is rounded up, if the decimal is lower than 5 it is rounded down.
 

The Board can unanimously award "lode"(cum laude) to students who meet the following conditions:

  • the Degree Board evaluates the thesis with 6 points;
  • students have a curriculum that is considered excellent, i.e. students who have passed at least two exams with a grade equal to 30 cum laude (some particular international experiences such as participation in the Themis or Moot programs or long study programs abroad organized by the University such as Exchange can be compared to a 30 cum laude);
  • graduation grade of at least 111;
  • lack of any disciplinary action with a sanction of more than 6 months.

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NEW RULES FOR DETERMINING THE GRADUATION GRADE (INTO EFFECT STARTING IN THE JULY  2020 GRADUATION SESSION)

NOTICE: the following rules will go into effect starting in the July 2020 graduation session and will be applied to all students regardless of their first year of enrolment.

The thesis defense language will be the same as the thesis language.
The graduation session (thesis presentation) includes:

  • the student's oral presentation (approximately 20 minutes);
  • the defense, which includes answering questions and discussing issues raised by the members of the Degree Assessment Board. Any theses considered to be excellent will involve the participation of the discussant.

Upon completion of the presentation, the candidate exits and the Board determines the student's graduation grade. Then, in the student's presence, the Board will proclaim that the student has graduated and announce the graduation grade.
The overall classification is expressed out of 110.

Specifically, the graduation grade is determined as follows:

  • weighted mathematical average on the credit point values of all “educational activities with marks expressed out of 30” on the study plan and converted into a mark out of 110,

added to:

  • between 0 and 6 points (out of 110) for the thesis (evaluation of the quality of the written paper and dissertation)
  • 1 point (out of 110) in the case of an outstanding curriculum, i.e.:
    • curricular activities (recorded in the academic career with “pass”) aimed at promoting learning by doing: curricular internship (in Italy or abroad); moot competitions; legal clinics;
    • study abroad activities related to long programs organized by the university (Double Degree, Exchange, Themis) on the condition that at least one exam passed abroad has been recorded in the academic career.

Please note that only 1 point (out of 110) can be assigned due to the evaluation of the curriculum, regardless of the number of activities recorded in the academic career.

In any case, the highest score for thesis + curriculum evaluation cannot be higher than 6 points (out of 110).

Regarding the weighted mathematical average, please note that:

  • a mark of 30 "cum laude" is expressed as 31;
  • a maximum of 2 additional exams (or equivalent educational activities) are taken into consideration; in cases where students have passed more than 2 additional exams, the 2 best results will be used;
  • for exams passed at other Italian or foreign universities with a mark that is not expressed out of 30, the marks are converted to a mark out of 30 on the basis of a specific conversion table.

Regarding the thesis, evaluation criteria focus on its content, presentation and defense.
In particular:

  • The content of the thesis is evaluated on the clarity and accuracy of the written work as well as the student's ability to summarize. The points awarded are based on the complexity of the topics covered, the thoroughness and depth of analysis, literature cited, methodology applied and quality and accuracy of empirical analysis. Originality and degree of innovation are also important factors. In addition, the adequacy of the conclusions reached is also assessed.
  • The presentation is evaluated on the ability to express oneself clearly, plan and organize a well-structured presentation, apply critical reasoning and analytical skills, and respond appropriately to the questions and issues raised by the Board.
  • A high GPA does not guarantee that the student will receive a high score for the thesis. On the other hand, a comprehensive and original thesis can be awarded a high score regardless of the student's GPA.

The minimum graduation grade is 66 and the maximum grade is 110; if the decimal is equal to or higher than 5, then the graduation grade is rounded up, if the decimal is lower than 5 it is rounded down.

The Board can unanimously award "lode"(cum laude) to students who meet the following conditions:

  • 6 points (out of 110) assigned to the thesis + overall curriculum;
  • graduation grade of at least 111;
  • no disciplinary action with a sanction of more than 6 months.
Last change 29/10/2019 12:44

7.7.
Graduation sessions

The graduation sessions calendar (which will be available during the year) can be consulted in the graduation session calendar’s section of the website. There, the following information is also available:
  • period for making the graduation reservation;
  • deadline for sitting for the last exam
  • deadline for uploading the thesis final attachment and requesting thesis approval.
Last change 01/04/2019 08:00

7.8.
Useful information

  • The thesis presentation agenda (day, time, room and Degree Assessment Board) can be checked in the yoU@B student diary. It is also posted on the bulletin boards located on the ground floor of the University building at via Sarfatti 25. It is released around 10 days prior to the presentation.
  • Students who select "CENTRO STAMPA" as the place for collecting thesis copies when making the graduation reservation can go to the CENTRO STAMPA, piazza Sraffa 11 ground floor during opening hours after receiving a message on their yoU@B informing them that the thesis is ready to be collected. (They can also provide a written signed delegating authorization to a third party along with the whole copy of their passport or other valid form of ID.)
  • After the presentation students can ask the Board to return the printed copy of the thesis. The Graduation, Diplomas and Certifications Office will not return any copies.
  • The degree diploma will be delivered by the President of the Degree Assessment Board at the same time as the graduation announcement.
  • As a general rule, the pictures taken during the degree defense will be available on the yoU@B student Diary 30 days after the graduation session. Please note that such pictures (no more than 15) are free of charge.
Last change 21/06/2019 17:49

7.9.
Self-declarations and degree certifications

As a general rule, on the days following the thesis oral defense, graduating students can:

  • print out the self-declaration sample demonstrating the award of the degree by accessing the function 'Print Self-declaration' available on the yoU@B Diary or through the Punto Blu terminals located at the University;
  • request certifications with a duty stamp only by using the cert@B available in the yoU@B student Diary.
Last change 01/04/2019 08:00