HGO4080 – Master's thesis 30 credits

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Course content

A master's thesis of 30 credits is an option for students who wish to carry out an independent academic work of a lesser scope than a 60 credit master's thesis.

Students are required to have a member of the academic staff as their supervisor. Any external co- or main supervisor must be approved by the programme.

Getting started on a master’s thesis

Learning outcome

Undertaking a master’s thesis will prepare you to conduct independent academic work. You will also gain experience using methodology in practice, as well as experience in combining theory and research data in your writing.


Admission to the course is dependent on admission to the master’s degree programme in human geography.

Students with admission to the programme must each semester register which courses and examinations they wish to sign up for in StudentWeb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see degrees and programmes of study and admission to study programmes.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

You must have passed the examination in HGO4011 – Philosophy and Methodology of Human Geography and two of the theory courses.


During the first year of the programme, three workshops will be organized to assist students in developing their master thesis projects. Attendance to the workshops is voluntary, but students are strongly encouraged to participate.

Students will receive individual supervision by a member of the academic staff, the supervisor. Supervisors will be suggested for all students in the first semester of the master’s degree programme.

Supervisor contract 



The length of a 30-credit master’s thesis should is maximum 24,000 +/- 25% including everything (cover page, summary, table of contents, preface, reference list, annexes, figures, acronyms, etc.). Theses that deviate from the specified maximum word limit will be rejected. The next deadline for submission will then apply. If there is a need to deviate from the specified word limit, the student is required, in consultation with her supervisor, to apply to the head of studies three weeks before the submission deadline. The application must be academically reasoned.

Following the assessment of the thesis, there will be an oral examination of the thesis and its theme that adjusts and finalizes the grade.

A high academic level is required of all master’s theses in human geography, both those of 30 and 60 credits. Lesser scope refers to how comprehensive the academic work required for the individual research project is. Independent research of a minor scope involves:

  • More limited research questions and/or narrowly defined research topic.
  • More focused and selective review of relevant literature and analytical framework.
  • More reliance on secondary sources. 
  • More limited fieldwork and/or primary data collection.

Examiner guidelines

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 master’s degree can be written in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

The oral examination will be held in Norwegian. Applications to hold the oral examination in English should be submitted to the exam consultant.

The oral examination will be carried out within eight weeks of the submission deadline. This is calculated from the last possible submission date, irrespective of whether the thesis is actually delivered earlier.

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.

Examination results are published in conjunction with the oral exam.

Explanations and appeals

If you submit an appeal, your thesis will reassessed by two new examiners. At least one of the new examiners is external, i.e. from outside the University of Oslo. The new examiners will not have access to the original grade or the original examiners' explanation of this.Please note that the grade from the appeal process is final, and the grade awarded may be the same as, better or worse than the original grade. Only if the assessment of the master's thesis is changed, a new oral exam will be arranged.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Covers two semesters, starting every autumn


Spring and autumn

Teaching language