Methodology for Master Thesis

STR402A Methodology for Master Thesis

Spring 2024

Autumn 2024
  • Topics

    The purpose of this course is to develop the methodological skills that are required for writing a master's thesis. Students learn to formulate research questions, make critical use of literature and theory, as well as how to collect and analyse data through qualitative and quantitative methods. The course consists of a series of assignments where the purpose is to introduce the students to the different steps in the research process.


    • Introduction to the research process
    • Choice of topic and formulating a research question
    • Literature review
    • Key concepts, variables and theories
    • Research models
    • Different designs and methods
    • Data collection
    • Data analysis and interpretation
    • The writing process
    • Ethical questions

  • Learning outcome


    The candidate:

    • is able to formulate a research question
    • has advanced knowledge about research designs in social science
    • has thorough knowledge of the requirements of a master thesis


    The candidate:

    • can analyse and deal critically with various sources of information relevant to the master thesis
    • can use relevant research strategies in different methodological approaches
    • is familiar with analysing qualitative and quantitative data

    General competence

    The candidate:

    • can apply his/her knowledge and skills to carry out a master thesis project
    • can communicate a plan for his/her master thesis project
    • is able to evaluate ethical issues at each step of the research process

  • Teaching

    The course consists of a combination of lectures, assignments and student presentations. 

  • Credit reduction due to overlap

    STR402A is the equivalent to STR405 and students will not get credit for both courses.

  • Compulsory Activity

    The students need approval of all course requirements (assignments and presentation in groups of 2-3 students) to hand in the project description (term-paper) and to take the written exam.

  • Assessment

    Project description (60%). The project description has to be conducted in groups of 2-3 students.

    Exam - Four (4) hour individual School exam (40%). 

    Retaking of the project description and exam:

    Project description: students wishing to submit a new project description must submit new course assignments.

    Exam: students can retake the exam without retaking the compulsory activities (work requirements). 


    The exam text is given in Norwegian, and the students may answer in Norwegian or English in the spring semester

    The exam text is given in English, and the students have to answer in English in the autumn semester

    The project description (term-paper) has to be written in English in the autumn semester. 

  • Grading Scale

    A - F

  • Literature

    Saunders, M. N. K., Lewis, P, and Thornhill, A. (2023). Research Methods for Business Students, 9th ed. Pearson: UK.

  • Permitted Support Material

    One bilingual dictionary (Category I) 

    All in accordance with Supplementary provisions to the Regulations for Full-time Study Programmes at the Norwegian School of Economics Ch.4 Permitted support material and  






    Dictionary: one bilingual dictionary permitted


ECTS Credits
Teaching language
English in the autumn semester and Norwegian in the spring semester

Spring and Autumn. Spring. Will be offered spring 2024.

Spring (in Norwegian) and Autumn (in English). 

Course responsible


Professor Karen Modesta Olsen, Department of Strategy and Management (main course responsible)

Associate Professor Björn Schmeisser, Departement of Strategy and Management