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Project-Paper Regulations

Revised May 2016


The first step in undertaking the project option is the preparation of a Project Proposal.

Length: 5-6 pages (typed double space)

Contents must include:

  1. The objectives of the project and its relationship to the students overall academic
    Program. What learning objectives does it serve?
  2. A detailed description of the project, including the expected final product and the
    processes for making it.
  3. A discussion of the contribution of the project. How does it break new ground in
    professional practice?
  4. A discussion of how the paper will contextualize the project to relevant
    theoretical and professional / artistic literature and practice.
  5. Bibliography.

Proposal Approval

The Project Proposal must be approved by the student’s Supervisory Committee and the Graduate Program Director.  MA full-time students should submit a formal project proposal approved by the project supervisory committee before the end of the fourth term, and part-time students before the end of the fifth term or six months prior to intended completion. The proposal may be modified with the permission of the project supervisor after submission.

Program Type Due Dates for MA Project Proposals (after consultation, revision and approval by Supervisor and committee members)
MA Full-time students:
Approved MA Project proposal
30 September of the 4th term study
MA Part-time students:
Approved MA Project proposal
April of the second year in the program or six months
prior to intended completion.

Students unable to meet these timelines should speak to the program administrator or director.

Project Supervisory Committee

The Supervisory Committee must consist of a minimum of three faculty members (at least one from each of the universities), approved by the Graduate Program Director. Normally, the Chair of the Committee (Supervisor) will be a member of the Joint Graduate Program in Communication and Culture.

The Project and The Paper

The project must be in a form that can be reviewed by the Supervisory Committee and the Examining Committee. Each examiner should receive a copy of the final project and paper prior to the examination. If the project cannot be copied, photographs or other appropriate representation of the project may be submitted. In order to proceed to the Final Examination, the Project and the Project Paper must be approved by the Supervisory Committee.

The paper (approx 30 pages) must be a contextualization of the Project, reviewing the
objectives, relationship to the student’s academic Program, contribution to theory and/or professional practice, and relationship to the relevant literature. It must also set out in detail how the product was made, what was learned, and, if appropriate, how it has been received.

For example, a student might prepare a radio documentary on domestic violence. The paper could define the issues, explain the objectives of the work, discuss the substantive and technical decisions involved in its production, review problems that arose, examine its reception (in focus groups or by experts, for example), and contextualize the work within the larger literature, practice and/or research. The paper might include as an appendix excerpts from a journal kept during the making of the project. The paper must justify the project in terms of its contribution to the student’s learning and to theoretical knowledge and/or professional practice.

The student should ensure that each member of the Examining Committee receives a copy of the Project and a hard copy of the Project Paper four weeks before the date set for the oral examination.

Final Examination and the Examination Committee Report

The Final Examination will consist of an oral examination, normally of about one hour, of the student, focusing on the Project and the Project Paper. Questions may deal with any aspect of the student’s Program. The examination will be conducted by an Examining Committee will be made up of at least three Program Faculty approved by the Graduate Program Director, at least one of whom must be a member of the student’s Supervisory Committee. The Chair is appointed by the Graduate Program Director and must not be a member of the student’s Supervisory Committee.

Upon completion of the Final Examination, the Examining Committee will submit to the Program Office a report on the examination, including an assessment of the Project and the Project Paper and of the examination itself (please refer to the attached). The final report is only for the program use and not distributed to the student.

Final Project and Paper for Filing

The student must deposit a final copy with the appropriate program office upon completion of any minor revisions requested by the examining committee, with a note from the supervisor verifying that all required corrections have been included. Degree requirements are not considered to be completed until both a copy of the paper and a copy of the assessment are deposited with the program.