Methodology for Master Thesis

STR402A Methodology for Master Thesis

  • 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 constructs, variables and theories
    • Research models
    • Different designs and methods
    • Data collection
    • Data analysis and interpretation
    • The writing process
    • Ethical questions

  • Learning outcome

    Learning outcome

    Knowledge - 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

    Skills - 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

    Credit reduction due to overlap

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

  • Requirements for course approval

    Requirements for course approval

    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 - Three (3) hour written 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 a new course approval. Course approval in STR405 applies to retake of the exam

    Transitional arrangement autumn 2017

    The assessment form on this course has been changed. For the autumn semester 2017, it will be possible to repeat the examination in STR402A/STR405 with the previous assessment form (Project description (50%) and Exam - Three (3) hour written exam (50%). ) This applies only to students who have taken STR402A or STR405 before.

    The exam text will only be given in English the Autumn semester (students may answer in Norwegian or English) and only in Norwegian the Spring semester.

  • Grading Scale

    Grading Scale

    Grading scale A - F.

  • Semester


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

  • Literature


    Saunders, M., Thornhill, P., and Lewis, A (2016). Research Methods for Business Students, 7th ed. Pearson: UK.


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

Course responsible

Professor Karen Modesta Olsen (English Autumn)

Professor Marcus Selart (Norwegian Spring 2018)