I received my master's thesis grade today, with comments "weak and insufficient analysis". My supervisor read it and checked it on multiple occasions (before submission) and said it is excellent, even though the topic is complex. He suggested to focuse on graphs, figures etc (visual presentation). I was also requesting additional resources to provide more thorough analysis, the request was declined due to: "it is only a master's thesis, so what I am doing is more than enough". I also know he is the only one on faculty to specialise on this topic, so that is definately his comments. Whom and how do I address these issues?

1 Answer 1


Presumably, your master's thesis was graded by academics other than your supervisor. Since your supervisor read it and checked it on multiple occasions and considered it excellent. In particular, your supervisor advised that your analysis is more than enough (as opposed to weak and insufficient, as remarked by your graders). (I don't understand what is meant by: that is definately his comments [since] he is the only one on faculty to specialise on this topic. Firstly, what comments? Secondly, non-specialists can evaluate your work.)

Whom and how do I address these issues?

It seems your supervisor is on your side. I suggest meeting with them and discussing your grade. Assuming your supervisor believes your grade is unfair, they may be willing to champion any appeal and guide you through the process.

Beyond your supervisor, you need to follow whatever appeals procedure your institute has in place. I strongly suggest seeking the advice and support of a friendly faculty member, preferably someone you know reasonably well and someone who either knows the procedure well or is well-connected enough to find someone who is.

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    @perenniallydisappointed Why would you presume this? For the reasons I give in sentences two and three, plus the OP seems to believe that they have their supervisor's support. That said, I cannot be sure, which is why my second paragraph - which follows the quote - suggests the OP should tease out a confirmation of the supervisor's belief.
    – user2768
    Feb 19, 2020 at 14:02
  • @perenniallydisappointed Also, I presume this to make my assumptions clear. My answer would be different if the supervisor doesn't believe the grade is unfair.
    – user2768
    Feb 19, 2020 at 14:05
  • @perenniallydisappointed, my first thought, also, was that the grading was by another person/group. Yes, misinterpretation is a possibility, but so is dishonesty by the advisor. But I think the "solution" of working through the advisor is the first step to any solution as the writer here suggests.
    – Buffy
    Feb 19, 2020 at 14:30
  • @buffy Assuming grading was by another person/group, gives the best starting point, IMO
    – user2768
    Feb 19, 2020 at 14:40
  • Asking for clarification is an even better starting point than answering questions on the basis of a tenuous assumption. Feb 19, 2020 at 16:36

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