Descriptions of grades for master's theses

Descriptions of grades for master's theses

NHH has adopted new and more detailed descriptions of grades for master's theses as of spring 2015.

The descriptions were recommended by the National Council for Economic and Administrative Education (NRØA).

The grade will be criteria based as before, and there is no pre-defined distribution of grades that has to be achieved. However, the new descriptions will most likely result in a broader (less top-heavy) distribution of grades.

Grade distribution of master theses

Descriptions of grades 

A - Excellent

Generally: An excellent performance that clearly stands out at a national level

  • Displays excellent insight into the academic theories and methods in the field and knowledge at an exceptionally high level. The goals of the thesis are clearly defined and easy to understand.
  • Can choose between and use relevant methods of research and academic development, and masters the methods used in a convincing manner.
  • The work is innovative and has required very extensive work.
  • Has an excellent ability to analyse and critically relate to different sources of information and to use these to structure and articulate academic arguments.
  • Has in an outstanding manner conducted an independent, delimited research or development project under supervision and in line with applicable norms of research ethics.
  • Displays excellent capacity for critical reflection, and can clearly distinguish between own contribution and the contributions made by others.
  • Shows that they have undertaken extensive independent work and has excellent mastery of the expressive forms of the field. The thesis has an advanced form, structure and language.

B - Very Good

Generally: A very good performance that clearly stands out.

  • Displays very good insights into the academic theories and methods of the field and knowledge at a very high level. The goals of the thesis are clearly defined and easy to understand.
  • Can chose between and use relevant methods of research and academic development, and masters the methods used in a very good manner.
  • The work is innovative and has required extensive work.
  • Has a very good ability to analyse and critically relate to different sources of information and to use these to structure and articulate academic arguments.
  • Has in a very good manner conducted an independent, delimited research or development project under supervision and in line with applicable norms of research ethics.
  • Displays very good capacity for critical reflection, and can clearly distinguish between their own contribution and the contributions made by others.
  • Shows that they have undertaken extensive independent work and has very good mastery of the expressive forms of the field. The thesis has an advanced form, structure and language.

C - Good

Generally: A generally good performance.

  • Displays good insight into the academic theories and methods of the field and knowledge at a high level. The goals of the thesis are generally defined well.
  • Has chosen relevant and correct methods for research and academic development and masters the methods used well.
  • The work is good and the thesis represents a normal scope of work.
  • Has a good ability to analyse different sources of information and can use these in an independent and competent manner to structure and articulate academic arguments.
  • Has conducted an independent, delimited research or development project under supervision and in line with applicable norms of research ethics.
  • Displays capacity for critical reflection, and can distinguish well between their own contribution and the contributions made by others.
  • Masters the forms of expression in the field well. The thesis has good form, structure and language.

D - Satisfactory

Generally: A clearly satisfactory performance.

  • Displays satisfactory insight into the academic theories and methods of the field, and shows that they have a satisfactory level of knowledge. The goals of the thesis are not defined clearly.
  • Has chosen relevant and correct methods for research and academic development and masters the methods used to a satisfactory degree.
  • The work appears to have required a modest amount of work
  • Has some ability to analyse different sources of information independently but depends on relatively close supervision in order to structure and articulate academic arguments.
  • Has conducted an independent, delimited research or development project under supervision, but the thesis has clear potential for improvement. The work is in line with applicable norms of research ethics.
  • Displays capacity for critical reflection, but has difficulty in distinguishing well between their own contribution and the contributions made by others.
  • Masters the forms of expression in the field to a satisfactory degree. The thesis has a satisfactory form, structure and language.

E - Sufficient

Generally: A performance that is sufficient in that it satisfies the minimum requirements

  • Has sufficient insight into the academic theories and methods of the field. The goals of the thesis are described but appear unclear.
  • Has chosen relevant and correct methods for research and academic development, and masters the methods used in a manner that satisfies the minimum requirements.
  • The work appears to have required a very modest amount of work and seems fragmented
  • Shows some independent ability to analyse different sources of information, but depends on relatively close supervision in order to formulate academic arguments.
  • Is clearly dependent on supervision in order to complete a delimited research or development project. The work is in line with applicable norms of research ethics.
  • Shows sufficient capacity for critical reflection, but has not utilised the competency of the research community in a good way.
  • Can generally use the expressive forms of the field, but the form, structure and language of the thesis have notable deficiencies.

F - Fail

Generally: A performance that does not satisfy minimum requirements.

  • Has insufficient insight into the academic theories and methods of the field. The goals of the thesis are not clearly described, or are not described at all.
  • Lacks competency in the methods of the field, and lacks technical skills in the methods that were utilised.
  • The work required modest work and is fragmented.
  • Does not use existing sources of information, and has not understood or wanted to use advice and guidance.
  • Does not show sufficient capacity for critical reflection, and has not utilised the competency of the research community in a good way.
  • The presentation shows significant deficiencies in its form, structure and language.