EDU4491 – Thesis
Schedule, syllabus and examination date
During the second year, students are required to write a Master’s thesis of 80-100 pages. The total number of pages does not include preliminary pages, references and appendixes. It should be understood as a guiding number.
Students are guided in their work by a supervisor with expertise in the particular topic under investigation who is appointed by the Department of Education.
Data for the thesis are collected in the country/countries under investigation and depend on the issue under investigation. Norwegian students are encouraged to undertake data collection outside of Norway or on a comparative basis with Norway. Data collection is usually done in the third semester followed by the writing of the thesis in the fourth semester.
Students are assisted in developing the proposal for their thesis in the particularly designed advanced research methods course in the second semester when the first draft of the proposal will be examined. The revised proposals are reviewed in a series of thesis research seminars that form part of the Preparation for fieldwork course in Comparative and International Education in the third semester. Specific information will be provided as part of the course in advanced research methods and the preparation course for the thesis during the third semester.
Field work cannot be undertaken until the thesis proposal and the research instruments have been examined with a Pass. Permission for departure for field work must be obtained from the supervisor. It must be preceded by the necessary research permits.
The thesis is an independent piece of research that will demonstrate the student’s research and analytical competences within the field of Comparative and International Education.
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Formal prerequisite knowledge
The thesis is a compulsory part of the Master’s Programme in Comparative and International Education. Students must have completed all other courses in the programme in order to receive supervision and hand in their thesis.
The supervisor(s) will guide the student in the work on the thesis in individual tutorials. Each student has the right to a maximum of 42 hours of supervision. This includes the supervisor’s time for preparation and 14 hours of face to face supervision. The amount of time for supervision remains the same in case of supervision by a main and a co-supervisor.
A supervisor agreement form, which can be obtained at the Department of Education, must be completed and signed by both supervisor(s) and student. Students can ask for an appointed supervisor to be replaced if the working relationship proves to be difficult and attempts to improve it are unsuccessful. The total number of hours for supervision remains the same even if the student changes supervisor.
Access to teaching
A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.
The exam consists of a written and an oral part. The oral exam aims at discussing and clarifying issues arising from the written thesis.
A commission is set up to evaluate both the written thesis and the oral exam. The commission has two members, one of whom is external and the other is normally internal. The supervisor may attend in the commission meeting in order to provide pertinent information to the commission members on the work of the student or on guidance provided during the process of supervision. The supervisor has no say in the final grade awarded for the thesis by the commission.
The provisional grade by the external and internal examiners is tested against the student´s performance during the oral defence of the thesis. No information of the preliminary grade is given to the student. The final grade will normally deviate only one grade from that of the written thesis, but the full scale will be applied. The student is informed of the final grade after the oral exam. The oral exam normally takes place within 6-8 weeks of submission.
The grade is jointly agreed by the commission members. In case of disagreement about the grade, the thesis will be examined by a new commission.
If the commision judges the thesis to Fail, the student is not permitted to sit for the oral defence. The student is, however, permitted to hand in a revised thesis that will be evaluated by a new commision. Deadline to submit a revised version will be the following semester, within the regular deadlines.
The student is normally not awarded new supervision during the process of revising the thesis unless there is surplus time remaining from the total time allocated for supervision. If no hours remain, the student can only apply for additional hours of supervision if the delay is due to situations beyond the student’s control.
Students must have completed all other courses in the programme in order to receive supervision and hand in their thesis.
Use of sources and citation
Examination support material
No examination support material is allowed.
Language of examination
The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in 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.
Explanations and appeals
You may appeal about the grade given on your thesis but not the grade on the oral exam.
If you wish to complain about the thesis grade, you may do so by filling out the online form found under Appeal about grades.
A new commission will be set up to evaluate your thesis. Your supervisor will NOT be available for a new commission. If the Commission decides to alter your grade, you will be required to attend a new oral exam. (This applies both if the new grade is in the students' favour or not).
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.