Marking Criteria

Course information 

Course code, name and course content  MARLTHESIS - Master thesis
Admission requirements Admission requires a completed bachelor's degree comparable to a Norwegian bachelor's degree and a minimum grade average of C (in the Norwegian grading scale) and completion of the compulsory courses as well as a selection of elective courses that makes a total of at least 90 ECTS. 
Examination  Thesis, no more than 18,000 words. 
Last updated 07.11.2018

Grading criteria 

The master thesis is the culmination of the master’s degree studies. During the writing process, the student will be assigned a supervisor. The Director of each master programme is in charge of this process.

The thesis is an independent work, and the topic is of the student’s own choice but must fall within the scope of the study programme in question.

Assessment of the master thesis must be in line with the learning outcome. Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail.

The following academic criteria are used when assessing the master thesis:

Research question and methodology

  • A clear, well-defined main research question (and related sub questions, if applicable).
  • When the subject is delimited explicitly, and adequate reasons are given, it shall not count against the student that the issues falling outside the delimitation are not discussed.
  • A suitable and well-articulated methodology.

Analysis and independence 

  • The thesis shows some degree of originality in the treatment of the chosen topic (not simply repetition of what others have argued, but at least in part a genuinely original contribution).
  • The candidate demonstrates the ability to identify relevant material (empirical data, cases, theory), and to:
    • … distinguish between different, but related, issues.
    • … distinguish between principal and subsidiary questions.
    • … place the identified issues in their appropriate context.
  • Logical flow of reasoning (coherence).
  • Arguments are built on a proper integration and analysis of a variety of relevant sources.
  • Due consideration of contrary positions and different perspectives and interpretations.
  • The candidate sufficiently explains the topical and methodological choices and those choices are adequately grounded in the relevant field of research.
  • Reflection:
    • Engages with the material.
    • The analysis demonstrates a thorough or good understanding of the relevant issues and the materials used.
    • Demonstrates independent thinking, for example by analysing a topic that is insufficiently addressed in the literature, or by asking or discussing questions in new or interesting ways.
    • The ability to identify relationships of a methodological or substantive nature that are not readily apparent from the primary or secondary materials.
  • The conclusions follow logically from the analysis. 

Command of language, including use of adequate professional terminology; writing skills, including in-depth analysis, structure, signposting, are all relevant factors for the assessment.

Style and structure

  • Use of own words and professional terminology, as appropriate.
  • Proper use of grammar, sentence construction, paragraph structure etc.
  • Appropriate tone/voice – minimal verbosity.
  • Clear introduction, body, and conclusion.

Adequate citations and referencing

  • The candidate has used sufficient and adequate sources to support the arguments. Best efforts are made to use primary, non-partisan, and peer-reviewed sources. 
  • Sources used are properly acknowledged, to avoid plagiarism.
  • Correct, consistent, and precise citation (including where relevant, page numbers, or paragraphs of judicial or other decisions).
  • The bibliography shows the depth and width of sources used to construct the thesis arguments.

Formal requirements

Word count

  • The substantive part (i.e. introduction, all chapters and conclusion) should be no more than 18,000 words. 
  • Footnotes are also included in the word count.
  • Not included in the word count are table of contents, bibliography, and any tables and registers.
  • Theses normally do not include a preface or acknowledgements, but if they are included, they count towards the word count. 

General qualitative description of valuation criteria

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail.


The assignment must be an overall good perfomance in most areas to recive a passing grade.

Published Nov. 7, 2018 5:31 PM - Last modified Feb. 7, 2020 3:47 PM