lrom2892  2019-2020  Louvain-la-Neuve

Note from June 29, 2020
Although we do not yet know how long the social distancing related to the Covid-19 pandemic will last, and regardless of the changes that had to be made in the evaluation of the June 2020 session in relation to what is provided for in this learning unit description, new learnig unit evaluation methods may still be adopted by the teachers; details of these methods have been - or will be - communicated to the students by the teachers, as soon as possible.
30 credits
Q1 and Q2
Main themes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :


The dissertation must demonstrate the author's ability to describe correctly the results of a personal, objective and methodical work. The length of the dissertation is not a criteria in evaluating its quality.

Similar to the other forms of learning, the dissertation is an essential component of the programme to which it belongs. It consists of research work which students should consider as a first step in research in their particular field.

The dissertation is a research work :

- specific, as regards the other teaching activities ;

- methodical, the underlying methodology has already been acquired in the bachelor and masters programme ;

- integrated in the programme and limited to the scope of the subject.

Guidelines regarding the dissertation can be found on





The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
The masters dissertation, irrespective of the subject, allows a student to :

- carry out a critical analysis and summarise a given scientific topic,

- put a specific issue/statement in context drawing on existing information,

- present the results of the dissertation by justifying the methodological choices, explaining the hypotheses and scientifically stating the results obtained.

A dissertation must contain at least 80 pages (200.000 caracters long) , a length deemed necessary to make a detailed presentation of a research hypothesis, a proof or of a well-argued account supported by quotations, references, sources and demonstrating familiarity with the subject bibliography. The dissertation includes an introduction relating in particular to methodology, a development displaying the analysis and synthesis of the argument, a conclusion and a bibliography.
Teaching methods
Students must have at least two meetings with their supervisors during the first year. By the first day of the final session of their first year at the latest, students must send their supervisor a file summarising the work carried out over the year. This file will comprise at least: a title, a description of the question (one page), a plan and a structured bibliography.
Evaluation methods
The dissertation will be monitored by a supervisor. If the subject of the dissertation so requires, a co-supervisor may be requested by the supervisor with the agreement of the chair of the committee. Students must submit their subjects for their supervisor's approval. The dissertation committee comprises the supervisor and another reader, appointed by the masters committee.
The dissertation is assessed on the basis of:
- achievement of its objectives
- an appropriate and well-documented review
- the student's personal investment and the ability to discuss methodological choices
- the consistency of the work carried out
- the grade, quality and appropriateness of the writing.
The supervisor will also take the student's involvement and the consistency of the work he or she has provided during the master, in relation to the dissertation, into account (in particular, the timeliness and quality of the file submitted at the end of the first year).
Other information
In case a student registers for two masters with two different focuses in the same academic year, the second dissertation will be assessed against the following criteria:
  1. The second dissertation topic may be different than the first dissertation. The expectations will be identitical except for the length: the second dissertation may be only 100 000 caracters long (excluding bibliography and annexes).
  2. The second dissertation topic may be the same as the first dissertation, and may constitute the development of a second fold, which could not be studied in the first dissertation. The extension of the topic may be done either by extending the corpus, or by studying new issues on the same corpus. It should be at least 100 000 caracters long of which a maximum of 30 000 caracters could be devoted to sum up the first dissertation. Part of the first dissertation bibliography may also be included. 
  3. The dissertation will be assessed by two academic readers
  4. The correctness of language will taken into account in the final grade.
Document de référence "Harmonisation des références bibliographiques" en FIAL :

Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [120] in French and Romance Languages and Literatures : General