SUM4091 – Master's Thesis in Development, Environment and Cultural Change

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The master’s thesis is an independent scientific product. Through the work on the master’s thesis, the student should demonstrate the ability to analyse a specific topic in an original and meaningful fashion. The student should demonstrate a mastry of relevant theory and/or literature, carry out empirical research and write a scholarly treatise that encapsulates the approach and the results.

Learning outcome

After completing the course, you will have:

  • learned how to plan and complete an extensive research project
  • learned how to gather and critically systematize and analyse a substantial amount of information on your selected topic
  • increased knowledge of relevant interdisciplinary theory and research methods
  • gained academic writing skills in English


This course is only for students who are admitted to the Master Programme Development, Environment and Cultural Change (master's two years). Students must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in StudentWeb, including the semesters they are working on the Master's thesis.


Mainly individual supervision (or supervision in groups). The students are assigned a supervisor after the completion of SUM4100 – Research Methods and Project Design. Here is an overvirew over Supervisors at SUM. As a general rule, the scope of the supervision relationship should encompass from 10 – 15 hours, beginning with an initial meeting in the student’s second semester and ending with the thesis submission. Meetings between advisor and student are more effective when both agree beforehand on the subject of the meeting and the issues/questions to be discussed. In the final writing phase, the subject will usually be drafts of sections of the thesis, which should be submitted to the advisor in advance of meetings.

Beginning autumn 2020, the course will encompass not only the thesis itself, but also participation in at least six of in total eight Text Lab sessions, where you present draft texts from your thesis and read and comment on your classmates' ditto. The eight sessions will be divided unequally between the autumn and the spring semester, with three sessions in autumn semester and five sessions in spring semester. Read more about regulations regarding compulsory activities

Practical information about master's thsis template, layout, fieldwork and grant, sensitive data reading room seat, etc.


The final Master's degree exam consists of an individual Master's thesis (90-130 pages, front page, index, appendix and bibliography not included) and an oral examination.  A commission consisting of one internal and one external examiner assesses the thesis, and the oral examination may adjust the final grade. The oral examination will only be arranged if the Master's thesis is given a passing grade.

For practical information, please read more about Submitting the Masters Thesis at SUM.

Assesment guide

Language of examination


Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Withdrawal from an examination

A master’s thesis that is not passed may be resubmitted only once, and then within the agreed time and in revised form. A master’s thesis that is passed may not be resubmitted in revised form.

If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Facts about this course






Spring and autumn


Spring and autumn

Teaching language