The graduation examination

The written thesis will be submitted by the graduating student and discussed with a committee of at least five members, appointed by the Rector of the University of Parma in accordance with the University of Parma's Teaching Regulations (Art. 39, paragraph 2).

Members of the Degree Committee may be professors/instructors belonging to the courses of philosophical studies at affiliated universities, teaching assistants - the latter defined pursuant to Article 38, paragraph 11, of the University of Parma's Teaching Regulations - and professors/instructors belonging to other Faculties or other Universities (Italian and foreign). Professors/instructors from the philosophical studies courses of the partner universities must constitute the majority of the committee. The President is chosen from among the tenured professors, in accordance with Article 39, paragraph 5, of the University of Parma Teaching Regulations.

Characteristics of the final examination

The research work for the thesis will be relevant to a discipline that is part of the curriculum of the Interuniversity Second-Level Degree Course in Philosophy.
The topic of the thesis is agreed upon and carried out under the guidance of a supervisor, usually a professor/instructor from the second-cycle degree course or a professor/instructor/researcher in the philosophical area from affiliated universities.

The first supervisor designates, possibly in agreement with the student, the second supervisor. At least one of the two thesis supervisors must hold a teaching post in the second-cycle Degree Course that can be traced back to the academic disciplines included in the subject areas of the Course's teaching order called 'Institutions of Philosophy' and 'History of Philosophy' (= academic discipline M-FIL/01 to M-FIL/08). In special, duly justified cases, the Degree Council may assign the tasks of second supervisor and member of the Selection Board to external (Italian and foreign) experts. A professor/instructor or expert whose thoughts or works are the main subject of the thesis may not act as first or second supervisor.

The thesis may also be written in a foreign language, on the motivated proposal of the supervisor and subject to approval by the Degree Council. In this case, the thesis must in any case contain, written in Italian, a title page (with the title of the thesis and the names of the supervisor and any co-supervisors) and an abstract. The student is required to submit a request for the assignment of a thesis advisor at least six months before the scheduled thesis discussion.

The final examination for the degree consists of the presentation and discussion of an articulate and original written work, in Italian or foreign language. The candidate is expected to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the subject matter and related literature, to be able to examine and expound with clarity and critical awareness, in writing and orally, on their own and other authors' arguments. Any form of plagiarism leads to disciplinary action.

Study abroad for thesis writing

It is possible to recognise part of the ECTS credits of the final examination (up to 18 ECTS credits of the 24 envisaged) as ECTS credits acquired abroad in research and/or study stays carried out as part of international exchange programmes, in accordance with Art. 37 11 paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 of the University's Teaching Regulations.
Prior to departure, the student must agree with the thesis supervisor on the specific activity (bibliographical documentation, writing, etc.) that will be carried out abroad with the corresponding indication of the ECTS credits to be accrued.

Evaluation of the thesis

The Degree Committee will make an overall assessment of the candidate's preparation, taking into account the results of the examinations taken and whether he/she has completed the second-cycle Degree Course by the deadline.

The final grade is determined on the basis of the average of the marks obtained in the examinations, to which a maximum of 5 points may be added in the degree examination.
The evaluation will be carried out on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. clarity of exposition;
  2. rigour of argumentation;
  3. breadth and accuracy of documentation.