The final exam consists in writing a Master's dissertation, in publicly presenting it and in discussing it with the members of the examining Commission. The Master's dissertation is expected to constitute an original piece of scientific work, it must focus on topics selected from those addressed by PPPA's courses and it must be prepared under the guidance of a supervisor. The main objective of the final exam is to strengthen students' familiarity with the peculiar requirements of scientific research and writing. The final exam is also intended to provide students with the opportunity to conduct autonomous research on themes and questions in line with their specific research interests.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding: By collecting and examining material for writing the Master's dissertation, students are expected to acquire a broad and clear understanding about the topic on which their dissertation focuses and to consolidate their knowledge concerning the selected topic and other related themes.
Applying knowledge and understanding: The process of writing the dissertation is expected to prompt students to apply methodological competences and substantive knowledge acquired during the Master's program in order to address the selected topic in properly scientific terms and to frame it with reference to a rich theoretical background.
Making judgements: The Master's dissertation is expected to be an original piece of scientific work. Accordingly, students are expected to improve their capacity to autonomously evaluate which sources of evidence or which references are authoritative and which are relevant with respect to the selected topic. Students are also expected to refine their ability to develop autonomous judgments about the scientific debate concerning their selected topic and to propose original interpretations, analyses and arguments.
Communication: By working on the Master's dissertation, students are expected to acquire high familiarity with the style of scientific writing and to improve their capacities to devise a linear argumentative strategy and a consistent research design apt to address the questions relevant to the selected topic. Students are also expected to strengthen their writing skills and their capacity to provide clear summaries of complex arguments, analyses or debates as well as the capacity to communicate in an effective and accessible way the outcomes of their research. By publicly discussing the Master's dissertation, students will have a further opportunity to exercise and reinforce their communication skills and their ability to persuasively present and convincingly defend their arguments and their analyses.