If you are creating a simulator of the existing system then should you present the details about the system or your simulator? or both? How technical you should go in your defense presentation? I have so much stuff in my report that I don't know what to put in my defense and what to leave out. I wanted to show my slides to my supervisor but he is very busy this week and I doubt he will have time for me.

I am doing a post-Masters degree known as a Doctorate of Engineering or professional doctorate and I will have 45 minutes for the presentation and 15 minutes for question. Then I will have one more hour for my defense.

  • 1
    Which kind of thesis? Bachelor's, Master's or PhD? How much time do you have? 15 min, 20 min, 30 min or more? Sep 16, 2016 at 8:57
  • Its a post Masters degree and I have 45 minutes to defend and 15 minutes for questions.
    – statboy
    Sep 16, 2016 at 8:58
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    Are you assessed, at least in part, on the presentation, or is it just a formality that you have to do before the defense? I'm assuming the latter, but just to be clear
    – Ian_Fin
    Sep 16, 2016 at 9:03
  • 1
    Include your name, spelled correctly. Sep 16, 2016 at 10:18
  • 2
    Go to another student's presentation. Now!
    – Bob Brown
    Oct 30, 2016 at 13:11

2 Answers 2


Tailor the presentation to those who assess it. You say that will be your supervisors. If that means they are people closely familiar with your subject matter, you can devote more time to project details. That means 60-70% of your time. If they are non-experts (researchers from a different department/specialization), spend less time on technical details. When in doubt, always focus more on

-What's the big question/motivation for this study

-how does your contribution tie into big question

-Why was it a difficult project to tackle (important for non-experts)

-how did you overcome those difficulties

-how can the big question be addressed now that you made your contribution?

The last ties back into the beginning and may feel repetitive to you. But it is important for people listening to the talk.


Your question is one to ask to your principal supervisor and your adjunct/secondary supervisor if you have one.

That's also what they are there for, regardless how much time they have. They get paid also for supervisory duties. Supervision is not an extra duty that comes on top of what is in their job description, unless your local setting is unusual.

Indeed attending other thesis defenses shall give you a good first-hand flavour of what you may expect.

Good luck!

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