Diploma Seminar

This course is part of the programme
Bachelor's programme in Environment (first cycle)

Objectives and competences

The goal of the course is to teach students how to, on the basis of their own findings, obtained through their practical work, as well as on the basis of their knowledge of theory, acquired during their studies and through searching for relevant literature sources, under the supervision of the assigned mentor deliver a diploma seminar in written form, in which they present a professional problem faced in practice and suggest appropriate solutions, formed during their practical placement. Students present their diploma seminar paper in the form of an oral defence taking place on a date agreed in advance. By the successful defending of the diploma seminar paper the students successfully complete their studies.

A further goal of the course is also to enable students to perform public presentation of their results in the form of the oral defense of their diploma seminar paper and prepare and thus train them to tackle similar experiences in their future professional careers.

The knowledge obtained and the newly acquired competences shall contribute to the increase of the number of employment opportunities of future graduates of the School of Environmental Sciences of the University of Nova Gorica. Moreover, the companies and organizations offering students practical placements thus gain a possibility to find and select their prospective human resources.

Competences acquired:

• the ability to use the findings obtained in practice to present one's own solutions to a particular problem,
• analytical thinking skills, which enable students to successfully study and solve a particular problem,
• the ability to solve professional problems by searching for the sources (including those in foreign languages) and using the research methods in the field of environmental studies,
• the ability to provide a critical evaluation of the results obtained,
• developing writing skills (producing a study taking into account scientific and professional guidelines),
• developing oral communication skills, especially in expression oneself in appropriate technical language,
• developing public presentation skills,
• the ability to adapt to different working styles (autonomous work and working under supervision).


The prerequisites for the oral defence of the diploma seminar paper are passing all other examinations at the study programme Environment (Level 1), that is 177 ECTS accumulated within the above-mentioned study programme.


The topic of the diploma seminar matches the topic of the student's successfully completed practical placement research. The topic is related to the student's study field, it is contemporary, it reflects the interests of the company or organization and is of practical value.

In the diploma seminar paper, the students present their professional findings and their own suggested professional solutions to a particular problem studied during practical placement in a company/organization. The diploma seminar is successfully completed by delivering its oral defense in front of the committee on the pre-set oral defense date. Oral defenses are open to public and other students of the study programme Environment are invited to attend them, for the purpose of acquainting them with the latest findings and achievements in the fields studied within diploma seminars.

The course is designed in a manner requiring the students to work autonomously under the supervision of a mentor within the school, as well as under the supervision of a mentor in the company/organization. In addition of the students’ undertaking a practical placement, the course requires the students to study various sources of literature.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
While working of the diploma seminar, students:
• learn to apply their theoretical knowledge and findings, obtained during practical placements, to an actual problem in practice and learn how to appropriately express their solutions suggested,
• learn how to search for various literature sources in the Slovene and English languages with the aim to find solutions for a problem in practice,
• get to know how to make a critical selection of information in the field studied and how to establish links between the pieces of information from various sources,
• are able to appropriately structure and compose the text of their written diploma seminar in adequate technical Slovene,
• become familiar with the importance of citing sources and source citing rules and are able to appropriately cite sources.
• learn about the harmful effects of using plagiarisms,
• are able to prepare a public oral presentation on a selected topic in their professional field,
• gains experience in public performance and in presenting results,
• learn the advantages of working autonomously within a company/organisation and, on the other hand, under supervision and capable of both methods of work,
• learn the advantages of a practically-oriented conclusion of studies and the advantages of establishing links with companies and organisations (more employment opportunities in the labour market on a wider scale).


Due to the contemporary nature of the selected topics and the fact that the selected topics are linked to an actual study case of an ongoing practice problem within the selected company or organisation, the literature survey does not only consist of a review of a single textbook or scientific publication. It is rather based on data obtained from scientific and technical papers, internet releases, from reports etc., Readings are based on gathering and linking the information from various sources.


Submission of the diploma seminar paper in written form and its oral defence (grade: »pass« or »fail«). The diploma seminar paper, as well as its oral defence shall be assessed in accordance with the existing rules concerning the diploma seminar paper and is oral defence.

Lecturer's references

Full Professor of Materials at the University of Nova Gorica

  • PITCHER, Michael W., EMIN, Saim, VALANT, Matjaž. A simple demonstration of photocatalysis using sunlight. Journal of chemical education, ISSN 0021-9584, 2012, vol. 89, no. 11, str. 1439-1441. [COBISS.SI-ID 2588155]

  • VALANT, Matjaž, AXELSSON, Anna-Karin, LE GOUPIL, Florian, ALFORD, Neil McN. Electrocaloric temperature change constrained by the dielectric strength. Materials chemistry and physics, ISSN 0254-0584. [Print ed.], 2012, vol. 136, no. 2/3, str. 277-280. [COBISS.SI-ID 2587899]

  • VALANT, Matjaž, ARČON, Iztok, MIKULSKA, Iuliia, LISJAK, Darja. Cation order-disorder transition in Fe-doped 6H-BaTiO[sub]3 for dilute room-temperature ferromagnetism. Chemistry of materials, ISSN 0897-4756. [Print ed.], 2013, vol. 25, no. 17, str. 3544-3550, doi: 10.1021/cm402353t. [COBISS.SI-ID 26970151]

  • VALANT, Matjaž. Electrocaloric materials for future solid-state refrigeration technologies. Progress in Materials Science, ISSN 0079-6425. [Print ed.], 2012, vol. 57, no. 6, str. 980-1009. [COBISS.SI-ID 2210043]

  • AXELSSON, Anna-Karin, VALANT, Matjaž, LE GOUPIL, Florian, BERENOV, Andrey, ALFORD, Neil McN. Lead-free and “exotic” electrocaloric materials. V: CORREIA, Tatiana (ur.).Electrocaloric materials : new generation of coolers, (Engineering materials, ISSN 1612-1317, vol. 34). Heidelberg; Berlin: Springer, cop. 2014, str. 125-146. [COBISS.SI-ID 3245563]