SAS4691 – Master's Thesis in South Asia Culture and Society

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The master’s thesis is a scientific investigation of a theoretical or empirical kind. It represents an independent piece of research, carried out under supervision, and is the final and most comprehensive assignment on the MA-programme. The subject and research topic for the thesis may be chosen from a wide range of topics within the broad field of South Asia studies, including contemporary South Asian society, culture, and politics. Topics are chosen in cooperation with the supervisor, and supervision is compulsory in order to ensure that research questions are precisely defined, methods well founded, and arguments systematically presented. Students are encouraged to choose a topic that allows for specialized supervision from the academic staff.

Learning outcome

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

  • The ability to formulate a research question and structure a thesis in a way that directly addresses the original question
  • The ability to produce, gather and analyze empirical material
  • The ability to use scientific research methods
  • The ability to produce longer, more substantial academic texts


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 South Asian Culture and Society


Individual academic supervision of the master’s thesis is compulsory. Up to 9 hours of supervision will be given. Supervisors are assigned by the department in connection with the course MES4000 where the students develop their project description.

In addition to supervision, students must attend at least two thesis seminars 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.

Compulsory activities

  • Attendance to at least two thesis seminars
  • Submission of a draft of the thesis halfway through the semester 

Valid absence

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

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


A Master's thesis 35 to 50 pages long (17 500 – 25 000 words).

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

You must fulfill the requirement of the compulsory activities in order to submit your master's thesis.

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

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

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

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

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

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.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Spring and autumn


Spring and autumn

Teaching language