MES4590 – Master Thesis in Middle East 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 Middle East soicety and politics, language or literature, and is chosen in cooperation with the supervisor. Supervision is compulsory.

This course is combined with one of the following options:

  1. AAS4900 – International Project Term in Asia and Africa (continued), or
  2. MES4610 – Voices from the Middle East: How to Communicate Research Results and MES4020 – Field Work in the Middle East, or
  3. Semester abroad.

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 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.

Admission to the programme option Middle East Studies under the programme for Asia and Middle East Studies.


Academic supervision of the master’s thesis is compulsory. Up to 8 hours of individual supervision will be given. Supervisors will be assigned by the department.

Participation in thesis seminars per semester, led by members of the academic staff, is compulsory. To hand in the Master's thesis, all students must at some point in the course of the Master's program have presented their thesis in these seminars, and have served as discussant for a students who is presenting. Students who spend part of their study time abroad may apply for partial exemption.


To hand in the master's thesis you must have participated in the master's seminars and present you project at least once during your studies and been an discussant.

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.

The thesis should be about 35 to 50 pages (2300 characters per page, excluding spaces, excluding list of references). The thesis is normally written in English, alternatively in a Scandinavian language.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

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

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Spring and autumn


Spring and autumn

Teaching language