ECON4091 – Master's Thesis and Oral Exam
Schedule, syllabus and examination date
In this course students engage in the analysis of a substantive economic question. They do this by independently producing an original written piece of research at an academic level.
This involves formulating a research question, developing an approach that allows answering this question using economic methods, and implementing this approach in a scientific manner which leads to a structured analysis which is reported both in writing and orally.
The topic of the thesis can be chosen freely, although it is recommended to coordinate plans with a (potential) supervisor at an early stage.
Supervisors will be formally appointed in the 2nd semester of the 2-year master’s programme, or in the 8th semester of the 5-year master’s programme. This guarantees supervision throughout the process of writing the thesis.
In order to be assigned a supervisor, the student must have passed at least 190 credits (5-year master’s programme) / 20 credits (2-year master’s programme) in the programme.
- in-depth and comprehensive understanding of the research question
- formulate a scientific research question develop a research design
- conduct an economic analysis (theoretical and/or empirical)
- use relevant economic literature
- the ability to report orally and in writing
- be able to critically reflect on research in a systematic and argumented manner
- complete a project from idea to finish
Students must be admitted to one of the master's programmes at the Department of Economics.
A supervisor must be assigned before the student can start writing the master's thesis.
All master students must hand in a project plan for the thesis and a contract of supervision one semester before they are to submit their thesis.
Access to teaching
Individual academic supervision is compulsory for all students who write their Master's thesis in Economics.
The thesis and an oral exam.
The thesis should represent an independent contribution and should address a clearly stated problem. For further information please read Choosing a topic
- The thesis must have the format specified by the Department of Economics
- It is not permitted to submit a thesis that is part of a previous degree
- A joint thesis by two or more students is acceptable provided that each one is responsible for delimited and clearly defined parts that can be evaluated separately. The joint thesis may also have parts with joint responsibility.
- The oral exams will be arranged after the submission of the theses
- The date and place for the oral exam will be announced and sent to the students UiO-email at least 7 days before the date of the oral exam
Students present the master thesis (15 min) which is followed by a questions and answers session (20 min).
The presentation may be held using slides, for example a PowerPoint presentation. Prepared manuscripts are allowed.
The purpose of the oral exam is threefold:
- to confirm that students indeed wrote the thesis themselves
- to investigate students' understanding of the topic and research methods
- to test their ability to critically reflect on the strength and weaknesses of the work
The questions that will be posed during the oral exam will be linked to the thesis and will inquire about the relevant knowledge, skills and competencies of the student. They may, for example, relate to the research question, the structure of the thesis, comprehension of the relevant economic theory and methods and possible improvements of the thesis.
The oral exam is open to the Public.
How the master thesis is assessed
- The examination committee will consist of two examiners and at least one of them will be external, i.e. not hold a position at the University of Oslo
- Prior to the oral exam, the examination committee will award a preliminary grade to the master thesis
- The performance at the oral exam will be used to adjust the grade of the master thesis. Once the committee has determined the grade following the oral exam, the student will be notified of the final grade and given a short explanation
- If the committee decides that the thesis do not meet the minimum requirements to qualify as a master thesis in economics from the University of Oslo, the student will be notified before the oral exam
Submit your thesis in Inspera and DUO
Use of sources and citation
Language of examination
You may submit your thesis and attend the oral exam in Norwegian or English.
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.
Prior to the oral exam, a preliminary grade will be awarded to the master thesis. The performance at the oral exam will be used to adjust the grade of the master thesis.
Explanations and appeals
How the appeal against the grade is assessed
- You can submit an appeal against the grade awarded on the written work (the thesis). You cannot submit an appeal against the grade on the oral examination.
- Two new examiners will reassess the written work (the thesis).
- If the new result differs from the original result awarded on the written work (the thesis), you will get a new oral exam.
- If the new result does not differ from the original result awarded on the written work (the thesis), you will not get a new oral exam.
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.