In second of the posts writing about their master thesis defense experiences, Gordon Musiige writes about his experience with defending his thesis at the University of Oslo.
I am taking this opportunity to share with you my thesis defense experience, which is still vivid in my mind and I hope that prospective candidates will pick a few lessons from it.
On December 15th 2014, I defended my masters thesis. The defense was hold with a panel that composed of two examiners and my supervisor. My supervisor would have nothing to say all through the defence save for introducing the other examiners and reading out to me the rules and regulations of the defence process. After which, I and the other examiners would begin tussling it out until the very end. However, before I describe the actual defence process, I would like to state that before one thinks of the actual thesis defense, it is vital to put in mind that your level of preparation will contribute highly to your overall delivery and confidence at that defense table.
As a higher education master student, I was not required to prepare any form of power-point presentation apart from availing myself to the panelists on time and well-prepared to answer their questions. At this point, you need to ask yourself the following questions: What do I then prepare for? How much is expected of me in the defense? What is my role in the thesis defense process?
First and foremost, endeavour to read and reread your thesis and least twice, paying close attention to all the content in your thesis, bearing in mind that the examiners have closely read your thesis. Having all your thesis content on your fingertips exudes your authenticity as an author; you do not want to be caught off-guard in a position where you can not answer obvious questions about your own work especially to do with: why you selected certain methods or references. Despite the fact that the overall writing process can be a daunting and exhausting, one should reserve some energy and time for this last fight. If you while rereading your thesis you happen to find some concept that you think you can not explain comprehensively, it is worthwhile to consult your supervisor for guidance weeks before the defense.