This course is discontinued

EAST4590 – Master's Thesis in East Asian Studies

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The Master’s thesis should be a scientific investigation of a theoretical or empirical kind; it represents an independent piece of research, carried out under supervision. The research question should be precisely defined, the method well founded and the argumentation systematically presented. The subject and research topic for the thesis may be chosen from a wide range of topics associated with East Asian culture and society, and are chosen in cooperation with the supervisor. Supervision is compulsory. The students are expected to put their research into the regional perspective, even if they focus primarily on one country. The thesis should be about 70 to 100 pages (2300 characters per page, including space), and is normally written in English.

In addition to supervision, students must attend a monthly thesis seminar (3 meetings per semester) led by members of the academic staff. The seminar gives the students opportunities to present and discuss drafts and sketches, as well as training in commenting on the drafts and sketches of other students.

Learning outcome

The writing of the thesis provides students with training in developing research projects from original idea to fully completed research report in the form of a Master’s thesis. An aim of the thesis work is also to develop the students’ ability to critically and independently assess source material in accordance with relevant theories.


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

Admission to the MA programme option East Asian Studies under the Programme for Asian and African Studies.

KOS4000 - Project Description for Asian and African Studies


Academic supervision of the Master’s thesis is compulsory. Up to 15 hours of individual supervision will be given. Supervisors will be assigned by the department. Supervision commences when the Supervision Agreement is signed.

Participation in the monthly thesis seminars led by members of the academic staff is compulsory. Students who spend part of their study time abroad may apply for partial exemption.


The Master's thesis is to be handed in by 1 December in the Autumn semester and 1 June in the Spring semester.

Guidelines for submission of a Master's thesis at IKOS.

Language of examination

You can write your thesis in English (recommended) or a Scandinavian language.

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 which has received a failing grade (F) can only be submitted one more time, by a stipulated deadline and in revised form. If a Master's thesis receives a passing exam result (A-E) in the first attempt, it may not be submitted again in a revised form, see Regulations for studies and examinations at the University of Oslo, § 5.6 (5).

Facts about this course






Spring and autumn


Spring and autumn

Teaching language