Course code M60-EI

M60-EI Master's Thesis

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Showing course contents for the educational year starting in 2019 .

Course responsible: Joachim Scholderer
ECTS credits: 60
Faculty: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: EN, NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
Autum parallel or Spring parallel
Course frequency: Annually
First time: 2019H
Last time: 2020V
Course contents:

The master thesis is an independent and scientific research project, a masterpiece meant to show maturity, reflection and analytical skills within the subjects of entrepreneurship and innovation. The master thesis is a substantially different type of work compared to projects that are more practical where the purpose is to work in larger teams to solve problems for enterprises by e.g. writing business plans and strategies. Throughout the master thesis, you will be using your own methods to highlight and answer the thesis research questions, in other words; how problems (possibilities and challenges) connected to innovation and entrepreneurship can be highlighted and researched through exposition and research.

In other words the purpose of the thesis is not to create a concrete «product» while working with the thesis, but rather to highlight results, processes or areas of interest for our field, and study them from the outside as a scientist with the help of theory and practical examinations. In some cases our master thesis may produce results that it is on the border of being products, these are produced in the action research profile, where the purpose is to contribute to change in practice and then research the change. In this case, the change in practice can be defined as «the product» for the master thesis, however, there is a demand to anchor the change of result in a theoretical perspective. The master thesis is a major piece of work that will demand your full attention and work capacity over an extended period of time, thus you will benefit from a strong inner motivation to work with the thesis to achieve a good result.

The master thesis in entrepreneurship and innovation must fall within one of the following methodical profiles, or a combination of these.

1)    Classic academic profile, theoretically driven  In this profile the student may be connected to a research project and research themes from supervisors at Handelshøyskolen (external partners may also be part of the research project). The classic profile utilizes different research designs and methods, however, primarily qualitative research methods is being used for this profile.  

2)    Action research, empirically driven -  The main purpose of action research is to contribute to the understanding of practice with the goal of improving it. In the action research profile the student initiates a new practice or alternative solutions to existing practice and evaluates the results through appropriate theory. This profile is used by students who want to test methods, work with evolving practice in an enterprise or develop their own entrepreneurial ideas.  

3)    Assignment based, research for an enterprise profile  This profile is connected to enterprises need for research within innovation and/or entrepreneurship themes. The different projects may vary in theme and will utilize different methodological approaches. This profile may use elements of the other profiles in it theoretical and methodological approach. Many students are interested in this type of scientific research, but may be faced with challenges in regards to limitations in relaying the information due to confidentiality. 

Learning outcome:
Throughout the master thesis the candidate should obtain a high level of competence within chosen methodical profile and theme for the thesis. The candidate shall obtain solid knowledge in regards to available research on the chosen area, both nationally and internationally, including the ability to show theoretical and methodical understanding in analyzing the research problems that the chosen profile uncovers. The candidate should further develop the competence to obtain, structure, and analyze relevant data and information. The candidate should be able to show the concrete implications the thesis has for its chosen subject and practice. 
Learning activities:
The program recommend that two students write the master thesis together. The efforts should be equally shared by the students. Exceptionally, students write alone. Two authors provide numerous benefits and synergies in relation to theoretical understanding, data collection and analysis. Begin therefore to think early about whom you whether this is appropriate and feel free to contact the program responsible at the Master in Entrepreneurship and innovation.
Teaching support:

There is 40 hours of allocated time for supervision including examination, reading and commenting on the last draft. The supervising period for the master thesis of master programme in Entrepreneurship and innovation follows the study plan to the program and will be held in the 4th semester. At least one person in the staff at School of Economics and Business carries out the supervision. The choice of supervisor is made based on the theme of the thesis and is made after evaluations by the collegium in regards to the academic committee following School of Economics and Business codes of conduct. The responsible for the thesis may hire external supervises when needed. 


There is a given setup of seminars at master programme in Entrepreneurship and innovation during the master thesis period, these are obligatory and is part of the total offer of supervision at the program. These seminars are: Mastertorg (medio September, 3rd semester), kick-off master thesis (ultimo November, 3rd semester), oppstartsseminar (primo January, 4th semester) and midtveisseminar (ultimo February, 4th semester). 

All obligatory courses in the master programme in Entrepreneurship and innovation profile must be finished before starting the master thesis. 
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
The student must submit a signed contract to supervisor and to the study administration at the faculty before he/her can start working on his/hers thesis.
The master 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 an external examiner, in dialogue with the internal supervisor. Furthermore the defense of the thesis works as a quality check, you have to be ready to explain and defend your choices and explain how you have worked with the thesis. Read the instructions from the Student information Centre (SiT) and the homepage for the School of Economics and Business about delivering and the oral defense. Common practice for the defense is a 15-20 minutes presentation and then a discussion with the external examiner. The discussion can result in an adjustment of the final grade for the thesis. The total defense of the master thesis usually takes an hour. 
Nominal workload:
1800 hours
Entrance requirements:
Masterstudents at NMBUs master program
We will at all time refer to the current regulations of NMBU, and remind the students that it is their responsibility to learn and deliver on all mandatory guidelines. Such as reporting, contracts, registration, deliveries and eventual applications for delayed delivery (requires documentation). Follow the information at the homepage of Student information Centre (SiT) and contact the supervisors for questions.
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: A - E / Ikke bestått