Time and again throughout this master’s program, we have been told that it is never too early to start the process of writing our master’s thesis. As mentioned in this post, some of my classmates already spent this past summer exploring potential thesis topics. Thus, although we won’t officially start our master’s thesis until next semester, preparations for it have already begun.
Based on conversations I’ve had with students in other master’s programs, I feel like we Public Health Sciences students in the epidemiology track are incredibly lucky when it comes to our thesis. First of all, our program is longer than one year, so we have plenty of time to explore our interests and meet potential supervisors. Secondly and importantly, we have dedicated course leaders guiding us in this thesis process. Already on the last day of our second semester, they met with us, and we were able to ask any questions we had at that point. This semester, they have reached out to colleagues at KI to ask if they have any interesting projects and would be willing to supervise a master’s thesis. In short, there is both freedom and flexibility (including the possibility of going abroad) as well as guidance and structure when it comes to our thesis, so I feel that every student’s individual needs are well served.
Last week, we received a helpful e-mail from the course leaders responsible for our degree project. It contained both a timeline for the upcoming semester and guidelines for our first deadline on December 1st – our tentative project plan. They also wanted to assess how many people had already found a topic and how many were still looking. To me, this was another signal that they will ensure that this process will run as smoothly as possible. Although some people have found supervisors and finalized topics, others have not, and that is still okay at this stage. In fact, we were advised to use this third semester of applied epidemiology classes to speak with guest lecturers who work in our areas of interest. Our current course director actually said that we shouldn’t rush into a topic because there are still so many presentations yet to see. With all of this support, I’m sure that everybody will be on track when it comes time to actually begin the data collection and writing process in the spring.