In all programmes students carry out a diploma project amounting to 100 credits.56 The 100 credits show the scope of students’ work. In the diploma project, students can demonstrate their capabilities based on what they have learnt earlier in the education. For this reason, it is appropriate for the diploma project to be carried out towards the end of the education. The diploma project can be carried out parallel with and also in conjunction with courses towards the end of the education. However, the project is independent work and not to be carried out within the framework of one or a number of different courses.
The goals of the diploma project are included as a part of the diploma goals in order to emphasise that students’ work on this should be aligned with the nature of the programme. Based on the goals of the diploma project, the teacher determines whether the student’s diploma project is approved or not. There is no specific syllabus for the diploma project.
There are no rules governing whether a diploma project should be carried out in a group or on an individual basis. However, each student should be assessed and graded individually. If some students carry out their diploma project in a group, the teacher must be able to monitor the work of individual students in order to be able to assess each individual student for grading purposes.
THE DIPLOMA PROJECT IN PROGRAMMES PREPARATORY FOR HIGHER EDUCATION
The goals of the diploma project in higher education preparatory programmes state that the project should demonstrate that students are prepared for higher education studies, in the first instance in the area for which the education is being provided. It should be carried out in such a way that students formulate questions to be addressed and also plan, carry out and assess a larger work component based on the core knowledge areas of the programme. The diploma project should be reported in a way that resembles the reporting forms used in similar higher education programmes with a short summary or description of the work in English. Students should present and discuss their work and also give responses to the diploma projects of others.
The goals of the diploma project differ to some extent between the six higher education preparatory programmes as regards how the work is to be reported. The programme specific commentaries indicate the reporting forms to be used for different higher education preparatory programmes.
Students in all higher education preparatory programmes should always summarise or describe their diploma project in English. This involves students in being able to communicate their subject knowledge in English; but this is not a language exercise to be assessed in linguistic terms. The English summary (abstract) should function as an independent text, and provide a brief summary of aims, methods, results and conclusions in running text.
In addition, students in all higher education preparatory programmes should present and discuss their diploma project and give responses to the work of others. Presentations, discussions and responses can take different forms. Responses, for instance, can be given through an oral opposition process and also in writing. In connection with discussions concerning the diploma project, students can demonstrate that they have acquired a critical approach to their chosen methods and results.
GRADES FOR THE DIPLOMA PROJECT
In assessing the diploma project, teachers should use the grades, E or F. A student who has achieved the goals of the diploma project should receive grade E. In other cases, grade F should be used. The diploma project uses a 2 level grading scale instead of the 6 levels used for courses in the upper secondary school.
THE DIPLOMA PROJECT DEMONSTRATES THAT STUDENTS ARE WELL PREPARED
The diploma project should demonstrate that students are prepared for work or higher education studies. For this reason, it is natural that students carry out their diploma project towards the end of the education. The school should as far as possible provide information for the diploma project together with the stakeholders. Schools with vocational programmes can do this in conjunction with the local programme councils. The linkage between the diploma project and the goals of the diploma are intended to strengthen the overall view of the education; all subjects and courses included in the education should contribute to the knowledge specified in the diploma goals. It is the overall content of the education as a whole that determines if a student receives an upper secondary diploma.