Degree projects/Independent projects

Last changed: 03 October 2023

The degree project (independent project) represents an important part of your study programme. On this and the following pages, you will find information that you may find useful both before and during your degree project.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Independent project or degree project?

An independent project is a project where you apply your specialist knowledge, abilities and approach to an issue within the area of your study programme. An independent project can lead to a degree, but it does not have to. In other words, a degree project is always an independent project, but an independent project does not need to be a degree project, although it can have the same scope and be at the same level.

All degrees now require an independent project to be carried out. For SLU’s long professional programmes (4.5 to 5.5 years) a project of this kind is required at both basic and advanced level.

Which project course should I apply for? 

There is a course syllabus for all independent projects. There are usually one or more courses each year where you can do an independent project. You apply in the same way as for other courses. On some degree programmes there are options in terms of the main field of study or specialised study, for example. The programme syllabus for your study programme will indicate what applies for your programme.

The main field of study you can select depends on what prior knowledge you have. Your choice will also affect your options for fulfilling various degree requirements. Find out more about levels, specialised study, entry requirements and degree requirements under Guidelines for degree projects (independent projects).

Why am I admitted with conditions to an independent project course

All students are always accepted with conditions. This is so that the course leader can make sure that you have the right prior knowledge for the specific work ("at least one course relevant to the subject of the work"). Some faculties also require that you have made an agreement with the supervising department regarding supervisors and subject selection.

How do I find a supervisor? Do I have to find a supervisor myself?

It is a good idea to think about what you want to write about (essay subject) well in advance. We recommend speaking to a teacher or your director of studies about a suitable supervisor and essay subject ahead of time. Some faculties stipulate this as a requirement – so that you are quickly able to get your project underway. On some courses, you are instead allocated a supervisor when the course begins.

What is the difference between an examiner and a supervisor?

You will have a supervisor for your independent project. The supervisor is employed by SLU and will act as your sounding board with regard to the formulation of the problem, the choice of method, the analysis of materials and the structure of the report. To facilitate planning and implementation you must write a work plan as soon as possible, following consultation with your supervisor. Here you find a template for the Independent project work plan.

The supervisor and the examiner cannot be the same person. The supervisor submits the basis of assessment to the examiner, but it is the examiner who decides the grade. All independent projects will be checked for plagiarism (in Ouriginal) before being approved.

How should the report be structured? What are the rules on the publication of my degree project?

As a student, you are responsible for the layout of your work, in accordance with the templates and writing instructions for independent projects. The SLU University Library has guides in Canvas and a template to help you with your independent project:

In order for your work to be published at SLU, you need to approve it according to SLU's Agreement regarding transfer of the right to publish a work. From 1 March 2021, the approval must be documented and archived by the department responsible for the course. The approval can take place in one of the following ways:

  1. You can approve or refrain from publishing by signing an appendix to the work plan for student projects.
  2. You can approve publishing when handing in the project. In the library's template for student projects, for example, it is possible to select via checkbox whether the work is to be published or not.

If you chooses to publish the work in full text, the pdf file and metadata will be openly visible, searchable and possible to read and download.

If you does not approve publishing, the work must still be uploaded to Epsilon for archiving purposes, but only metadata and summary will then be visible and searchable.

The grading of your work should not be affected by whether it will be published or not.

The departmental administrators are responsible for actually depositing the work in Epsilon. When the work is deposited, it is also archived electronically, in accordance with the Swedish archival law.