Assessing 4th Year Theses


The current system of awarding a single final mark for Thesis B, based on five criteria, which may or may not be applied, is tenuous on several grounds:

We propose a simplified system, based on grading with respect to a new set of criteria, to try to improve the reliability of assessment. Markers award grades, not marks, for each criterion. The final mark is computed by the system by mapping each grade to a mark and comouting a weighted-sum of the individual criterion marks


Evaluation of own work


Overall Presentation
  • quality of written english
  • structure of thesis (chapters/sections)
  • logical flow of arguments
  • effective citation and referencing
  • comprehensive description of problem space
  • reference to and analysis of other work
Original Contributions
  • originality of approach to the problem
  • quality of the final results or system
  • used appropriate analystical instruments
  • carried out analysis effectively
  • analysed results appropriately
  • realistic appraisal of achievements/limitations

Grade-to-Mark Mapping

  • absolutely top-quality work, best I've seen
  • publishable in good conference with little change
  • excellent work, does everything required
  • results are good, could be published with some re-working
  • good quality work, but with some deficiencies
  • would need substantially more work to be publishable
  • adequate
  • the topic could have been treated much better
  • just satisfactory, minimal standard for a CSE thesis
  • not up to standard required of CSE thesis

Criteria Weightings

The weights of the individual criteria towards the final mark could be determined in several ways:

A+95% of the mark for that component
A88% of the mark for that component
B77% of the mark for that compnent
C66% of the mark for that component
D55% of the mark for that component
E40% of the mark for that component
R 1 = 20%, 2 = 20%, 3 = 35%, 4 = 25%
R+D 1 = 20%, 2 = 20%, 3 = 40%, 4 = 20%
D 1 = 20%, 2 = 15%, 3 = 45%, 4 = 20%

John Shepherd, March 2008