Timeline Master Thesis

Preparation and topic selection

DISCLAIMER: Please note that the current content of the page applies only to HTI Master theses (graduation projects) starting before Q3 2021-2022. The HTI Master Thesis Project (MTP) system changes for students conducting their thesis from Q3 2021-2022 onwards. The new HTI MTP will have a limited duration corresponding to 30 ECTs, start in Q1 or Q3, and use allocation to pre-defined thesis topics according to student preferences and teacher capacity. You can find the study guide about the new HTI MTP here. Information about the new MTP will be given through the Osiris courses 0MAPHTI-B (MTP start in semester B) and 0MAPHTI-B (MTP start in semester A) and students will be asked by the CSA to register there in Osiris the semester before their MTP.

  • Consult your mentor
  • Consult Uwe Matzat who coordinates the graduation projects.
  • Talk to staff/PhDs/fellow master students about their research.
  • Attend to final/intermediate presentations of fellow master students.
  • Look at websites of companies for vacancies.
  • Ask HTI staff about possibilities for master thesis projects.
  • To get an impression about possible Master Projects, students are advised to have a look at a site of the TU/e library containing all IEISMaster theses of the last years.

Start master thesis form (M0)

Before you can begin you need a topic, supervisors and you need to meet the requirements i.e. no more than 10 ects open and the HTI research project 70% complete. Please note that you need an approved Form HTI Electives for this. Then download Form start Master thesis project and fill it out.

  • Submit the signed form start Master thesis project by uploading the document at EC IS sharepoint , at least ten working days before the actual start date.
  • You always need two supervisors from the HTI staff, one of them can be a (qualified) PhD student, or a qualified teacher from another faculty or university (Assistant/Associate/Full professor).
  • The graduation committee also has a third assessor from the HTI staff, but this can be decided later.
  • Projects at a company typically involve an additional daily supervisor from the company.

Notify the secretary office

of the start of your master thesis project by sending an email to hti@tue.nl 

Make a planning

with your supervisors about who needs to do what and when (the deliverables). For example, hand in dates of draft introduction, methods, results etc.; Deadlines for running experiment. Check out the Master thesis project timeline to see an example.

Submit research proposal to exam committee (M1-M2)

The exam committee independently judges whether the master thesis project meets the requirements of the HTI master programme. Here you can download the Research Proposal - Format and some good examples (Research Proposal - Good examples (1 MB) see downloads).

  • During the first month you plan and discuss the research question, method of approach and read relevant literature.
  • After that you can write and discuss your research proposal with your supervisors.
  • Hand in the research proposal about 6 weeks after start of the master thesis project.
  • Approval should be received by the end of M2.

Interim presentation (M2)

Get feedback from fellow researchers, practice your presentation skills, and organise your thoughts.

  • When the design of the experiment is (almost) complete, is a good time for giving an intermediate presentation.
  • It should last about 20 min.
  • The main purpose is to get feedback from staff and fellow students prior to the actual experiment.
  • It also helps to organise your mind (by preparing) and to practice your presentation skills.

Running an experiment (M3-M4)

with human participants involves many forms and procedures. The detailed procedure and all the forms can be found at https://htilabs.ieis.tue.nl/ (intranet only).

Get ethical approval

Experimental studies with human participants need to be approved by our ethical board.

Analyse data (M4-M5)

Making good graphs and doing proper statistical analyses takes a lot of time!

Upload data

To ensure reproducibility, your supervisor needs to upload raw data, informed consent forms, participant money receipt forms, scripts, source code etc. to http://archie.ieis.tue.nl. This needs to be done for external projects as well. You can read details at http://htilabs.ieis.tue.nl/procedures.html (intranet only).

End master thesis (M5-M6)

Before you can do your final presentation, you need to submit the End master thesis project (MTP) and declaration Code of conduct to the education administration  20 working days before an exam meeting. This form will also fix the graduation committee and the exam session.
Submit your final report and press release to the exam committee. Be aware that this needs to be done at least 5 working days before an exam meeting. You can check the graduation and examination dates here.

  • Around the time of your final draft report you initiate the formal end of your master thesis project.
  • Download the end master thesis form and look up the formal deadlines for submitting this form/final presentation/handing in a pdf copy of the master thesis/diploma session.
  • Arrange your final presentation date with the secretary office and your supervisors.
  • Register for the exam session via Osiris/Canvas. The deadline is typically 25 days before the exam committee meeting!
  • Submit the End MTP and declaration CoC including a signed declaration Code of Conduct, press release, and vertical picture/photo of yourself in high resolution.
  • Your supervisor will receive Assessment MTP.
  • Submit an electronic copy (pdf-format) of your master thesis to the education administration at least 5 working days before the exam committee meets.
  • Final defense (see below) should take place at least 5 working days before the exam committee meets.
  • Your supervisor submits Assessment MTP with your final grade.

Master thesis

The Title page format (28 KB) is fixed, and the remainder should be formatted using the American Psychological Association (APA) style formatting guidelines. You can find a tutorial and an example report at their website.

Final defense

The final defense starts with a 30 min. final presentation, followed by 15 min. public discussion. Then the graduation committee continues with a private interrogation of the candidate (30-45 min.), followed by a private deliberation on the mark (15-30 min.) using the Assessment MTP form. Finally, the final grade is announced publicly or privately, as desired (15 min.).

Press release

Writing a press release is also part of the master thesis project. Here you can download How to write a press release (24 KB) and the Format press release (131 KB).


Since 1 January 2007, all final reports of the Master Projects must be public. This is very important for external projects! You are strongly recommended to discuss this issue with the organization where the Master Project is carried out.  Most commercial companies will require that, before you start your work there, you sign a non-disclosure agreement and to relinquish your patent rights. You should only do so after consultation with your HTI supervisor. Details on the policy of IEIS can be found in Appendix 2 of the Manual Master Thesis HTI (38 KB). It is important that you may not make any promises concerning the confidentiality of your research by yourself. Only put your signature after approval by your main supervisor!

It sometimes happens that, in the course of the project, the company asks you not to include certain aspects of your work in the final report. If this is done in consultation with your supervisor, this is okay. In the few cases, that this significantly reduced the scope of the final report, the students involved agreed to do some additional experiments that could be included in the final report. If this is done in good consultation with the supervisors, this is okay.

The problem is that it remains possible that the company where the student carries out the Master Project decides that the project is so sensitive that they do not want to make your final report public. As the situation is now, this may mean that the Master Project cannot be graded and the student cannot graduate! Please be aware of this, especially, in case you cannot afford to study longer than a certain period or when you have a limited residence permit.

Directly to

More information

Want to know more? Contact dr. Uwe Matzat at +31 40 - 247 8392 or via the contact form below.