SAS4020 – South Asian Fieldwork

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

The duration of the course is one full semester. The aim in this course is for you to identify and collection the material that will form the basis for your master’s thesis.

Your material can be of various kinds, depending on the topic you are researching for your thesis.

  • Literary, historical, political or other forms of written text
  • Interviews, participant observation or other forms of ethnographic material
  • Linguistic field material

All generation of material and in particular when dealing with people demands a critical and ethical approach. Your own reflection on the process will be a crucial part of the course.

Learning outcome


  • Deep knowledge of the topic you have chosen
  • Solid understanding of South Asian society
  • Experience in and understanding of research as a process
  • Experience in generating, processing and critically evaluating data


  • Practical experience of project management and generation of own material
  • Completion of a research project
  • Use of and refection over methodological and theoretical tools for the generation, processing and evaluation of data
  • Reworking field material into data, and data into text, in ethical ways

General competence:

  • Respect for academic values, such as openness, rationality and precision
  • The ability to distinguish between research-based knowledge, practical knowledge, and political opinions
  • Conscious understanding of ethical issues in research


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

Students must have completed their first year of studies before they can take this course.

Recommended previous knowledge


There is no teaching in this course. Your primary point of contact will be your supervisor, who will assist and guide your data collection and provide individualized advice. You are advised to communicate with your supervisor at least once a month throughout the semester.

Compulsory activities

  • A draft of the two field reports. The drafts must be sent to your supervisor before the submission (halfway and at the completion of the fieldwork) and on which you will receive feedback.

Valid absence

If you have valid absence from the compulsory activity, you must submit an application and hand in documentation. 

This is how you apply for a valid absence from compulsory activity.


The exam is a portfolio consisting of the two field reports (one halfway and one at the completion of the fieldwork).

The reports will detail your field experience, evaluate it in general and in particular its relevance to the project idea and the validity of the material as well as ethical aspects of your fieldwork. The reports should also explicitly address unexpected turns of event or discoveries.

You must fulfill the requirement of the compulsory activity in order to qualify for taking the exam.

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.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. 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






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language