FIL4090 – Master's Thesis in Philosophy

Course content

The Master's thesis is the major work in the alternative progression in the Master's programme that requires a thesis. The Master's thesis is expected to be based on the knowledge acquired through prior courses in philosophy or on a topic you have chosen in the first semester of the programme. You may freely choose your own thesis statement, given that competent supervision may be offered within the bounds of the programme’s available resources. The thesis should be of about 50-100 pages (each page of about 2300 characters).

Learning outcome

The Master's thesis is an idependent work where the student defines and presents a philosophical topic. More precisely the student will learn

  • to define a suitable topic for your thesis
  • to engage with this topic in an independent and creative manner
  • to find, understand and critically relate to prior relevant research
  • to analyze and argue in a clear and philosophical way
  • to become familiar with the methodological and theoretical framework that is relevant to the thesis


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

FIL4080 – Thesis seminar in philosophy (discontinued).
Your project description must be approved at least by the semester before you hand in your Master's thesis.


The teaching takes the form of individual supervision. You have the right to 18 hours of supervision. You will find more information about both rights and the duties of students and supervisors in the supervision agreement which can be downloaded on this page.

A supervisor will be assigned based on the description of what you wish to write about that you have submitted in FIL4081 - Philosophical method and practice, which you are advised to take during the first semester of the programme.

FIL4090 has the following compulsory tuition activities:


  • Around the middle of the spring semester, there will be a seminar where all students in their second semester present their project descriptions for their MA-thesis. A draft of the project description must be sent in before the seminar, while a final version is to be submitted afterwards. You work on your project description after you have been assigned a supervisor at the beginning of the second semester (from students with admission to the program from fall 2019 and later).
  • A progress report is to be submitted at the end of your second semester. (For students with admission to the programme fall 2014 and later). Spring 2019 the deadline for submitting the report will be June 17th by 02:00pm in Canvas. You will find more information about this here,
  • A one or two days seminar (depending on the number of students) in the third semester where all students must present a part of their thesis and will recieve comments from fellow students. (For students with admission to the programme fall 2013 and later). Fall 2021: the seminar will take place on October 25 and 26.


The exam consists of:

  • Master's thesis (50-100 pages à 2300 characters, not counting the bibliography)
  • Oral exam (30-45 minutes)

The oral exam usually takes place before the end of the semester. You will receive the summons to your oral exam through your e-mail account at UiO.

The deadlines for submitting your Master's thesis are:

  • 15. November in the autumn
  • 15. May in the spring

It is however possible to submit your thesis until 15. December/15. June, but if you choose to do so your oral examination will most likely take place in January/August.

The deadlines for withdrawal of registration of examination are 1. December/1 June

NB: How to submit your Master's thesis:
How to submit your Master's thesis at IFIKK

Please note that you are required to submit:

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

The Master's thesis is usually evaluated by an internal lecturer (not the supervisor) and an external examiner. In certain cases, two external examiners may be summoned.

Before the oral exam, the examination committee gives the thesis a preliminary grad. The candidate may ask for this preliminary grade on the day of the oral exam, before the exam begins. The oral exam may adjust the preliminary grade. A final grade is offered after an overall assessment and is announced to the candidate at the end of the exam.

Assessment guidelines.

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

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Spring and autumn


Spring and autumn

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)