Final Reports

To complete your Master's degree, you will have to produce a final report. In most cases, this will mean a Master's Project; however, some students in the MADR or MPA programs may elect instead to complete a Thesis. Whether you choose a Master's Project or Thesis, you will defend your final report before a supervisory committee. Please read the information below that pertains to your program of studies.

The last day in each term to defend a Project or Thesis is provided below:

Summer term Fall term Spring term
last business day in July last business day in November last business day in March

Responsibilities of the Student and the Supervising Committee

For more information on what you can expect from your Supervisor and the supervising committee, please consult the Graduate Calendar - Examinations.

In addition, some faculty members have developed their own set of guidelines regarding what students should expect from them as supervisors and what they expect of students working with them.

Administrative Matters

It is the student's responsibility to be aware of all administrative deadlines. Contact the graduate administrative assistant in the School of Public Administration for defence deadlines and procedures.

Guidelines for completing a Master's Project are available here.

Policies and procedures for completing a thesis are outlined by the Faculty of Graduate Studies under Student Resources. Please note that the School will require an electronic (PDF format) copy of your final thesis. Please submit this copy to the graduate administrative assistant.

Students in the Master of Arts in Community Development (MACD) program may choose to complete either a group Master's Project (CD 596) or an individual Master's Project (CD 598) to conclude their program.

Group Master's Project
The MACD Group Master's Project (CD 596) requires students to work in small groups. This project is a substantial analysis of a management, policy or program problem for a client in the community development sector. This project must be both practical and academically rigorous and is prepared, throughout the program, in consultation with the client and a supervisor from regular faculty within our school.

Individual Master's Project
The MACD Individual Master's Project (CD 598) is a substantial analysis of a management, policy or program problem for a client in the community development sector. This project must be both practical and academically rigorous and is prepared in consultation with the client and a supervisor from regular faculty within our school.

Master's Project Guide
The purpose of this guide is to provide a resource document for our students. It may be consulted at any time by individuals who are either considering applying for the Master's Program or are current students. The guide can be used as a companion document to your work in the MACD program and will assist you with the conceptualization of a research project, development of the project’s research design, execution of the research, and the production of a written report to be presented at the defence. View the Master's Project Guide here:

Master's Project Resources

Responsibilities of the Student and the Supervising Committee
Students must complete the Master's Project Title and Supervisor form and submit it to Tara Da Silva, the Graduate Administrative Assistant, macd@uvic.ca.

For more information on what you can expect from your Supervisor and the supervising committee, please consult the Faculty of Graduate Studies website or the Graduate Calendar.

Students in the Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution (MADR) program may choose to complete either a Master's Project (DR 598) or a Master's Thesis (DR 599) to conclude their program. Completing a Master's Thesis requires the prior approval of the Director.

Master's Project (4.5 units): DR 598

The MADR Master's Project (DR 598) requires students to complete a major project for a client in consultation with an academic supervisor and Graduate Advisor. The project is expected to be a substantial analysis of a conflict situation or process, policy issue, or other relevant topic approved by the Graduate Advisor. The Project must provide evidence of independent research by the student and otherwise meet the regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. It will have a practical application and is generally prepared in consultation with a client, as well as the supervisor. A written report will be prepared and submitted to an oral examination committee.

Before starting the project, students must complete MADR core courses (DR 501, 502, 503, 505, 589, 506, 512, 515, 520 (or 511)) and any electives relevant to the DR 598 project. Students choosing this option will complete a program of 19.5 units.

Master's Project Resources

Master's Thesis (6.0 units): DR 599

Advanced approval of the School of Public Administration Director required.

A Master's Thesis (DR 599) is a substantial contribution to the knowledge in the field of Dispute Resolution. The thesis demonstrates a student's mastery of a substantive body of scholarly or practice literature as well as using appropriate and academically defensible methodologies to analyze research questions, test hypotheses or contribute new theoretical knowledge. The thesis is defended in an oral examination. The Master's Thesis requires original research on a topic chosen in consultation with the student's academic supervisor and the Graduate Advisor, and otherwise meet the regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the department. Before starting the thesis, students must complete MADR core courses (DR 501, 502, 503, 505, 506, 512, 515, 520 (or 511)) and any electives relevant to the DR 599 Thesis. All course requirements must be completed before proceeding to the oral examination.

Students undertaking the DR 599 thesis option will complete a program of 21 units.

Master's Thesis Resources

Thesis Option Admissibility

A student may elect to proceed with the preparation of a Master's thesis proposal provided the student meets the following requirements at the time of election:

  • The student has completed all DR core courses;
  • The student has a GPA of no less than 7.5 in the DR program;
  • The student has no grade below a B+ at the time of election;
  • The student has superior writing ability as evidenced by receiving a grade of A or better on a major writing assignment completed as part of the DR core courses.
  • Depending on their methodological background, students should consider taking an additional methods course should the subject matter of their 599 thesis make that desirable. The methods course:
    • can be taken as an elective or in addition to your regular and elective courses
    • should be selected in coordination with the student's thesis supervisor
    • should complement the student's area of study
    • should be substantially different from either PADR 502A or PADR 502B
  • The student's proposed thesis topic area is one that is supported by a member of the SPA faculty and is in their field of expertise, and that faculty member has agreed to become the student's (thesis option) Academic Supervisor. The student and faculty member have also identified one additional School of Public Administration faculty member who is a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, is appropriate for the supervision of the student's research, and is willing to undertake that supervision.
  • The student agrees to prepare a thesis proposal. The thesis proposal should be 2000 to 3000 words in length, and contain the following:
    • title page;
    • table of contents;
    • "election to proceed" form (available by clicking on the link above);
    • statement of problem, question or hypothesis;
    • background/context;
    • literature and research resources material review (completed to level which supports legitimacy of proposal);
    • research methodology (includes literature to be examined, data to be gathered and how, and assessment of need for ethics review);
    • tasks to be completed, plan and time frame for completion; and,
    • bibliography.
Students in the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program may choose to complete either a Master's Project (ADMN 598) or a Master's Thesis (ADMN 599) to conclude their program. Completing a Master's Thesis requires the prior approval of the Director.

Master's Project (4.5 units): ADMN 598

The Master's Project (ADMN 598) is a substantial analysis of a management, policy or program problem for a client in the non-profit or public sector. The Master's Project is prepared in consultation with a client and an academic supervisor in the School of Public Administration and must be both practical and academically rigorous. The Master's Project is defended in an oral examination.

Students have the choice of working individually or with a partner. Team-based reports must be designed and written so that each team member's contributions are clearly indicated.

Master's Project Resources

Upcoming Defense Deadlines

Last day for Master's Project Oral defence in Spring: final business day in March.
Last day for Master's Project Oral defence in Summer: final business day in July.
Last day for Master's Project Oral defence in Fall: final business day in November.

Master's Thesis (6.0 units): ADMN 599

Advanced approval of the School of Public Administration Director required.

A Master's Thesis (ADMN 599) is a substantial contribution to the knowledge in the field of Public Administration. The thesis demonstrates a student's mastery of a substantive body of scholarly or practice literature as well as using appropriate and academically defensible methodologies to analyze research questions, test hypotheses or contribute new theoretical knowledge. The thesis is defended in an oral examination. Completing a thesis rather than a Master's Project will increase the number of units assigned to an MPA program from 19.5 to 21.

Individual students will work with an academic supervisor in the School.

Master's Thesis Resources
Thesis Option Admissibility

A student may elect to proceed with the preparation of a Master's thesis proposal provided the student meets the following requirements at the time of election:

  • The student has completed all MPA core courses;
  • The student has a GPA of no less than 7.5 in the MPA program;
  • The student has obtained grades of no less than A- in ADMN 502A and ADMN 502B;
  • The student has no grade below a B+ at the time of election;
  • The student has superior writing ability as evidenced by receiving a grade of A or better on a major writing assignment completed as part of the MPA core courses.
  • Depending on their methodological background, students should consider taking an additional methods course should the subject matter of their 599 thesis make that desirable. The methods course:
    • can be taken as an elective or in addition to your regular and elective courses
    • should be selected in coordination with the student's thesis supervisor
    • should complement the student's area of study
    • should be substantially different from either ADMN 502A or ADMN 502B
  • The student's proposed thesis topic area is one that is supported by a member of the SPA faculty and is in their field of expertise, and that faculty member has agreed to become the student's (thesis option) Academic Supervisor. The student and faculty member have also identified one additional School of Public Administration faculty member who is a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, is appropriate for the supervision of the student's research, and is willing to undertake that supervision.
  • The student agrees to prepare a thesis proposal. The thesis proposal should be 2000 to 3000 words in length, and contain the following:
    • title page;
    • table of contents;
    • "election to proceed" form (available by clicking on the link above);
    • statement of problem, question or hypothesis;
    • background/context;
    • literature and research resources material review (completed to level which supports legitimacy of proposal);
    • research methodology (includes literature to be examined, data to be gathered and how, and assessment of need for ethics review);
    • tasks to be completed, plan and time frame for completion; and,
    • bibliography.