General Regulation for Preparing Graduate Dissertations in PC with a six-month Module Correspondence

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The regulation specifies the regulatory framework concerning the Graduate Dissertations (GD) of Postgraduate Courses at the Hellenic Open University, with a six-month module correspondence, as follows:

1. The General Regulation is applied unchanged by the Postgraduate Specialisation Courses (PSC) of the HOU with a six-month module correspondence.

2. Any changes or improvements to the General Regulation of GD will be applied one Academic Year after they have been approved by the Senate, in order for the candidate postgraduate students to be informed promptly.

3. Aim and expected outcomes of successful completion. The elaboration of a GD provides the opportunity to compose and use the knowledge acquired in specific applications.

4. GD Topics. The general subject categories of GDs are determined by the Postgraduate Course Director in consultation with the Module Coordinators and are posted on the HOU’s website by 31/10.

5. Format and length of dissertation. The dissertation – theoretical, applied, or experimental - may be presented as a written report including the necessary figures, diagrams, photographs and images. This report should include a brief description of the dissertation subject, a description of the findings-results of the dissertation, the methodology, assumptions, literature and any other necessary supporting or explanatory information, as Annexes. Each GD should be accompanied by a brief abstract of 300 words in Greek and in one other official language of the European Union. In some Postgraduate Courses, dissertations may be in a different form, such as plans (in a physical or digital form) or in the form of multimedia that combine text, drawings, sound and animations. In these cases, they must be accompanied by a brief but detailed report.

6. Submission of proposals. The students, in accordance with the School’s applicable decisions for the structure of the Programme they are taking, submit a proposal with their topic of interest (title, purpose and expected results) electronically, via the special educational platform. Joint dissertations may be allowed, with specified requirements on these and distinct responsibilities for each member of the group.

7. Proposal submission time. The submission period for students who prepare their dissertation proposals during the spring semester is throughout January, while for students who prepare their dissertation during the winter semester, the submission period is throughout June.

8. GD and Programme Module correspondence. The grade significance of the GD is determined on the basis of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) and takes into account the significance of the GD depending on the corresponding ECTS.

9. GD start date. The Director composes groups of related issues and appoints a Supervising ATF member for each of these. The Director and the Supervising ATF member propose the member of the Evaluation Committee. In cooperation with the candidates, the Supervising ATF member then finalizes the GD topic and provides the final approval. The student submits (see article 15) the final statement of dissertation title to the Registry Department electronically, via a special educational platform by the 10th of February and 10th of July respectively. Candidates having passed the Modules required by the Programme structure should fulfil their financial obligations to the HOU as regards the GD prior to preparing it.

10. GD submission date. The duration of the dissertation is one academic semester.

11. GD Completion and Evaluation Procedure. The preparation of the GD starts officially on the 1st of October for students who prepare their dissertation in the winter semester of the year, while for students who prepare their dissertation in the spring semester of the year it starts on the 1st of March.

The duration of the GD preparation along with the oral examination is twenty weeks per academic semester. The student must submit the dissertation to the evaluation committee by the 20th of January – for students who prepare the GD during the winter semester- and the 20th of June - for students who prepare the GD during the spring semester respectively. Following the necessary corrections, according to the Committee's observations, he/she must submit the final text via the special educational platform by the 31st of January (for students who prepare the GD during the winter semester) or the 30th of June (for students who prepare the GD during the spring semester) and, if he/she receives a positive evaluation, the examination-presentation of the GD will take place in February or July after the end of repeat examinations. If the evaluation is negative (or in the case of failure in the oral examination) students repeat the procedure of elaborating the GD in the following academic semester (unless they have deferred their studies) either with the same topic or a new one by the end of February/end of July and pay again the tuition fees that correspond to the GD.

12. Evaluation Committees. The Evaluation Committees consist of at least a) the Supervising ATF member, b) one additional ATF member (who is a member of the Academic Research Staff of the HOU or another university, or, in special cases, only of an ATF member) specialised in a field relative to those of the Evaluation Committee (appointed according to article 10), and c) the Director or a Coordinator appointed by the Director only for the oral examination, who shall participate only in the oral evaluation procedure and the determination of the final grade if and where necessary. The Committee may ask other ATF members of the Postgraduate Course or scientific experts to attend the oral presentation as external evaluators only to express their opinion.

13. Examination - Presentation of Dissertation. In the event that the GD is positively evaluated by the evaluation committee, the date of the oral examination is set. For the procedure of the GD presentation, the candidates should send copies of the approved dissertation to each one of the evaluation committee members.

The extent and the depth of the oral examination depend on the form of presentation.

The examination-presentation of the GD takes place in two periods.

For students who prepare their GD during the winter semester, the examination takes place in February.

For students who prepare their GD during the spring semester, the examination takes place in July.

14. Copies of the GD. The GD is submitted in two copies for evaluation. At the end of the dissertation, the following should be stated and signed: “I hereby expressly declare that, according to the article 8 of Law 1599/1986, this dissertation is solely the product of my personal work, does not infringe any intellectual property, personality and personal data rights of third parties, does not contain works/contributions from third parties for which the permission of the authors/beneficiaries is required, is not the product of partial or total plagiarism, and that the sources used are limited to the literature references alone and meet the rules of scientific citations”.

Students are required - following the successful presentation/ examination of their dissertation - along with any corrections or supplements, even annexes, notes, articles, supporting material, etc. - to post it to the repository of the HOU (apothesis.eap.gr ).

Dissertations remain the intellectual property of students, but in the context of open access policy they grant to the HOU a non-exclusive license to use the right of reproduction, customization, public lending, presentation to an audience and digital dissemination thereof internationally, in electronic form and by any means for teaching and research purposes, for no fee and throughout the duration of intellectual property rights. Free access to the full text for studying and reading does not in any way mean that the author/creator shall allocate his/her intellectual property rights, nor shall he/she allow the reproduction, republication, copy, storage, sale, commercial use, transmission, distribution, publication, execution, downloading, uploading, translating, modifying in any way, of any part or summary of the dissertation, without the explicit prior written consent of the author/creator. Creators retain all their moral and property rights.

The HOU, as part of the open access policy for Graduate / Degree Dissertations, voluntarily proposes the management of intellectual property rights of dissertations with Creative Commons licenses (https://creativecommons.org/licenses). If students select this method, they should indicate at a distinct point in their dissertation the particular license they use to make it available. Applying Creative Commons licenses does not affect the free access of the full text of dissertations, but it defines the relationship between the dissertation, the submitting parties and the reading audience.

Students, further to their request to the Library Department, have the right to postpone the posting of their Dissertation to the Depository for up to 3 years when:

- They want to submit part of their dissertation to be posted in scientific publications (e.g. journals) or at a conference.

- They have submitted part of the dissertation to a patenting process, e.g. in case of patents.

- They negotiate the commercial exploitation of part of the dissertation.

- They have another serious reason, which they state in their request.

Until the expiration of this period, only the description details of the dissertation will be posted to the Depository, and the full text of the dissertation will be posted after the end of 3 years. Until the expiration of this period, only the description details of the dissertation will be posted to the Depository, and the full text of the dissertation will be posted after the end of 3 years.

15. Administrative issues

- Submission of proposals by students from the 1st of January to the 31st of January (preparation of a GD in the spring semester) and from the 1st of June to the 30th of June (preparation of a GD in the winter semester) each year.

- Proposals are sent to the Directors.

- Submission of the final statement of Dissertation title by 10/02 (preparation of a GD in the spring semester) and 10/07 (preparation of a GD in the winter semester) respectively.

For students who repeat the dissertation procedure, they should submit the final statement of dissertation title by 28/02 (preparation of Dissertation in the spring semester) and by 31/07 (preparation of Dissertation in the winter semester) respectively.

- Verification of students’ right to prepare a dissertation:

- 11/2 to 16/2 (preparation of Dissertation in the spring semester)

- 11/7 to 16/7 (preparation of Dissertation in the winter semester).

- Notification of final grade and copy of evaluation sheet.

Students have the right to repeat the dissertation procedure in the following academic semester either with the same topic, or a modified topic, or a new topic, provided upon the assent of the Dissertation Supervisor and the Director.