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.

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.

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


Individual academic supervision of the master’s thesis is compulsory. Up to 10 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.

Compulsory activity:

You will have to submit a draft of the thesis halfway through the semester in order to qualify for the final examination.


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.

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

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.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

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