Course code M30-BIOEC

M30-BIOEC Master's Thesis

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Thore Larsgård
Teachers: Frode Alfnes
ECTS credits: 30
Faculty: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
Autumn or Spring Parallell.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2022-2023
Preferential right:
Master students at the masters degree programme in Bioeconomy - Biobased Value Creation and Business Development.
Course contents:

The master's thesis is an independent and scientific research work where the students will go in-depth on a problem. Students will be trained to think and work independently and develop analytical and methodological skills. The master's thesis is a research thesis where students must demonstrate maturity, reflection and analytical ability in the field of bioeconomics and their area of specialization.

The course consists of independent work with a master's thesis, as well as feedback and discussions with the supervisor. The master's thesis must be a high-level report within the area of specialization.

Learning outcome:

When the master's thesis has been passed, you must have the following knowledge, skills and general competence.


  • You shall have knowledge of the research process and dissemination.
  • You shall have knowledge of planning, organization, implementation and reporting of research work.
  • You shall have specialized knowledge of the scientific basis and methods for conducting research and assessment within your specialization.


  • You shall be able to use social science approaches and methods to collect, process, analyze and interpret information.
  • You shall be able to critically evaluate your own and others' use of methods, assessments and presentations.
  • You shall be able to write a systematic and coherent subject text.
  • You shall be able to carry out independent investigations and analyzes of issues within your area of ​​specialization, in line with current ethical norms.

General competence

  • You shall have experience in the use of methods and written presentation, which can be useful in connection with evaluation and development work in working life.
  • You shall be able to identify and analyze subject and research ethics issues within the bioeconomic subject area.
  • You shall be able to convey a larger independent assessment work to the public.
  • You shall be able to actively participate in, develop and carry out advanced projects and work tasks in a company.
  • You shall be able to critically evaluate other people's work, so that your competence benefits working life.
Learning activities:

M30-BIOEC is a research work under supervision.

The master's thesis shall be written by two students in collaboration. The efforts should be equally shared between the students. Student may apply for approval to write the master`s thesis alone from the person with course responsibility.

Teaching support:

Everyone should have regular meetings with the assigned supervisor. Up to 40 hours per master's thesis are set aside for supervision. This includes joint meetings, supervision meetings with discussions and comments, reading and grading.

In order to get started with the planning of the master's thesis, there will be a start-up seminar in the second semester to start the process with the master's thesis. It is important to start early to find a writing partner, a topic for the thesis, and possibly a company to work with. In the third semester, the course M0-BIOEC Planning of a master's thesis will lead to a project description and provide a good basis for writing a master's thesis in line with research ethics norms.

sters programme in Bioeconomy - Biobased Value Creation and Business Develpment. These seminars are compulsory and a part of the total offer of supervision at the program. 


Recommended literature: 

xampForskningsmetode for økonomisk-administrative fag (2020) by Asbjørn Johannessen, Line Christoffersen and Per Arne Tufte (or equivalent book in the social science method) 

Masteroppgaven - hvordan begynne - og fullføre (2020) by Inger Furseth and Euris Larry Everett  (or equivalent book on writing master thesis)

For an English book, see for example Day, T.  (2013).  Success in Academic writing, Palgrave, London.

It is expected that students have completed M0-BIOEC Planning the master's thesis, and around 90 ECTS before the writing of the master thesis begins.
Recommended prerequisites:
Many students can benefit from a course in academic writing, such as AOS345 Effective Written Communication or LNG250 Academic Writing.
Mandatory activity:
Attendance at and participation in agreed supervision.
The master's thesis is evaluated and graded on a scale from A-F. Evaluation of the master thesis has two elements: First and foremost the grade is based on the written thesis which is evaluated by the advisor and an external examiner. In addition, there is an oral defense of the thesis. This includes the student preparing a presentation of the written work, followed by an individual discussion with the external examiner and advisor. The performance during the oral defense can result in a minor adjustment of the final grade for the thesis. 
Nominal workload:
M0-BIOEC and M30-BIOEC are combined 750 hours.
Entrance requirements:

Master students at NMBU's masters programme in Bioeconomy - Biobased Value Creation and Business Development.

Passed the course M0-BIOEC Planning the Master's Thesis.

The degree thesis shall be graded by at least one external examiner and one internal examiner. The main supervisor is usually the internal examiner.
Examination details: Term paper: Letter grades