Writing your degree project
The degree project, or thesis, is the major academic work you do at the end of your studies. Templates for degree projects and information about support on hand during the writing process are available, as too are details of what happens after it is registered.
Writing guidelines and templates for degree project cover sheets
To ensure a uniform look for all degree projects at Malmö University, there is a template in Word format that you can download and use as a cover sheet. You can add a picture or photo if you choose.
Health and Society
Culture and Society and Technology and Society
Personal data processing in thesis work
The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposes strict demands on all work involving personal data being carried out correctly. If you are planning to process personal information in your degree project there are many things to consider. This text provides a brief overview of the steps necessary for processing personal data. In addition to the rules governing personal data, there may be additional legislation to take into consideration depending on your thesis. We recommend having an overall discussion with your supervisor about what information is to be processed and plan accordingly.
Steps for processing personal data
What is personal data?
Personal data is any information that can be directly or indirectly attributed to a living person. Common forms of personal data include names, email addresses, telephone numbers, personal identification numbers, photos and audio recordings of people.
Personal data might also be a combination of information that on its own cannot be linked to a living person but can single out an individual when combined. Such a combination could, for example, be a person’s age and place of work.
The person you collect personal data about is referred to as the data subject.
1. Do you need to process the data?
The first question is whether it is really necessary to process personal data? If the work can be carried out without processing personal data, then this is preferable.
2. Define the purpose and extent of the processing
Before the practical work begins, it is important to identify what information is to be collected and why. It is important that you think this through and formulate the purpose of your thesis and the information necessary to achieve it.
3. Register the processing of personal data
Any processing of personal data must be recorded in the University’s personal data processing registry. You can find the registry at dsfregister.mau.se/en and fill in the purpose of processing, what type of information you intend to collect and process, your contact details, how long the data will be saved if any third parties will participate, and how the information will be protected.
When you log in to the registry, you will find guiding texts and explanations for all the information that needs to be entered. These records shouldn't contain any of the collected personal data, only a list of what is to be collected and processed so that the University has an overview of the data processing in progress. The University is the controller and, as such, formally responsible for personal data being processed throughout our institution; this also applies to degree projects.
4. Determine how the information will be safely stored and processed during work
The collected information must be processed safely. We recommend you use your home directory. The home directory has sufficient security for sensitive personal data. Sensitive data is any data concerning: ethnicity; political opinion; religious or philosophical beliefs; trade union membership; health; sex life and sexual orientation; genetic data; and/or biometric data.
The university also provides a number of additional services that may be useful, such as Box and Sunet Survey. These may be used for non-sensitive personal data. External services (tools not provided through the University) may not be used for any kind of personal data processing. This applies, for example, to Dropbox, Google docs and iCloud, as well as others.
5. Determine what parts of the information are to be erased or archived once processing is completed
Personal data may not be saved for longer than is necessary and should be erased when no longer needed. At the same time, there may be parts of the information that must be preserved to be able to substantiate the conclusions of the thesis work or because they are necessary for future processing. Therefore, before the practical work starts, it is important to decide what will happen to the collected personal data afterwards. What information is to be retained and what is to be erased?
During the course of your work, you may need to rethink your original approach. However, it is important that there is an initial plan, especially in order to answer any questions from the data subjects.
6. Obtain consent, inform the data subjects and collect the necessary personal data
You need consent from the data subject to process their personal data. Giving consent means that the data subject gives their active approval to the processing. In practice, this means that you need to inform them about:
- what personal data you are collecting;
- what it is to be used for and by whom;
- how long the data will be used;
- that they have the opportunity to request to see the collected the information;
- that the data subject can withdraw their consent at any time; and
- that it is possible to contact the Data Protection Officer or The Swedish Data Protection Authority with any complaints.
After the data subjects have read the information, they can give their consent and processing of the data is then permitted. It is important to know that consent must be registered and stored so that it can be presented upon request and that the data subject is entitled to withdraw their consent at any time. Consent must be given in writing (digital signing is accepted) and the University has created a consent form that can be used. If the data subject has agreed to the processing, sensitive data may also be recorded (note that sensitive data involves high-security requirements when processing).
7. Process the collected information
Provided that the previous steps have been taken, you can start processing personal data for your degree project.
8. After processing, delete or archive personal data as needed
The material that has been processed should now either be transferred for archiving or deleted as described in Step 5. Log in to the General Data Protection Regulation Register and mark the processing as completed.
Ethical review for ethically sensitive content
All students who carry out a study with ethically sensitive content must apply to the Ethics Council for review. In the application, the student/students provide information about their degree project: what it is about and how it will be carried out; how the participants provide their consent; and how the confidentiality requirement is met.
The University is responsible for ensuring that student work at all levels is conducted in an ethically sound and secure manner. The Ethics Council is therefore tasked with advising students on how to carry out the study. Please note that the Ethics Council's review is advisory only.
Step by step guide
As of January 1, 2018, Malmö University has been digitally archiving completed degree projects. The information below applies to all students.
Register your degree project in DiVA
You need to register mandatory information about your degree project, such as its title, programme you are studying and if you want the thesis to be published publicly or not. After your degree project has been approved, a study administrator ensures that the information about your work becomes public and visible in DiVA.
How to publish in Diva
The manual below describes how to register your degree project in DiVA. The fields you need to fill in are described in the manual. If the field is not described you can skip it.
It is important that you decide whether your entire work should be publicly available online, you choose this when registering.
When you have completed the registration, a notification email is sent to your study administrator who will make sure your degree project has passed. If you stated that you want the degree project to be visible in the database, the pdf file will be published and be searchable via various search engines.
Do you want to make edits to your thesis after registration? Contact the study administration at your institution for approval of changes.
Degree projects with non-written content
If your project consists of any non-written content, you must contact the course coordinator before the examination to receive information on how these parts of the project should be documented.
Submit an amended version
After receiving your grade, you may need to submit an amended version of your degree project if the examiner requires you to do so.
Submit your thesis on time
You must submit your degree project according to the procedures outlined by the course coordinator, and, if necessary, make printouts of the degree project document to be used by the examiner and external reviewer.
When your degree project has been approved
- the study administrator publishes the final degree project document in DiVA and, if necessary, adds any missing mandatory information;
- the student study administrator registers the student’s grade in Ladok; and
- the degree project document is archived in the University’s e-archive. Any non-written content is archived according to an agreement with the student.
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