Course code MAST300

MAST300 Planning the Master Thesis

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2014 - 2015 .

Course responsible: Erling Berge, Nikolai Kristoffersen Winge
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning
Teaching language: NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
Autumn term
Course frequency: Annually, autumn term
First time: Study year 2009-2010
Preferential right:
Course contents:

The goal of the course is to develop a plan for producing your own MA thesis (hereafter called the "MA plan").

The course shall present a broad survey of the meaning of scientific work both theoretically and methodologically. The course will also introduce ethical standards for research and technical requirement for scientific writing.

To assist the work on the MA plan, and later for developing the MA thesis, the following will take place:

1) Study of required reading providing a survey of what scientific work means,

2) Introduction of ethical requirements of research,

3) Exercises in technical requirements of academic writing, and

4) Critical reading of MA theses, reviewing them according to theoretical, methodological, technical and ethical standards

The course has 2 mandatory exercises.

A) After about 4 weeks groups will present results from their critical reading of 2 MA theses (point 4 above). It is required to be present during all the group presentations.

B) After about 8 weeks a reading report of mandatory readings is due. The report shall be short, maximum 800 words. It shall present a survey of what the mandatory reading contains and which parts (if any) holds interest for the kind of MA theses the reviewer plans to write.

If the 2 mandatory exercises are approved the candidate shall after about 12 weeks submit for evaluation an MA plan.

The MA plan shall include

1. A discussion of the problem or topic that will be the subject of study. The discussion shall provide guidelines for choice of methods and procedures for the work required for answering the problem or surveying the topic.

2. The MA plan shall discuss ethical problems likely to be encountered in the work that the MA-plan discusses.

3. A list of references demonstrating correct use of references in relation to the problem or topic discussed as outlined in point 1.  

4. A copy of the «Contract between student(s) and supervisor(s), including project plan and work schedule for degree thesis». 

 5. A copy of the form that has to be submitted to the the Data Protection Official for Research if data on identifiable persons (also indirectly identifiable) will be collected in any way.  

Learning outcome:

Knowledge: Provide understanding of the significance of theoretical foundation and choice of methods. Grasp of the fundamental principles for scientific work. Understanding the work process of a MA thesis: Planning, Execution, and Academic Writing.

Skills: Develop skills in preparing a plan of work on your MA thesis. Develop particular skills often used in academic writing such as use of literature, footnotes, figures, tables, etc.

Attitudes: Understanding ethical problems often encountered in working on a MA thesis, including protection of personal identities and use of sources.

Learning activities:



 Individual study

Teaching support:
Academdic guidance
Required reading will be announced by way of Fronter. 
Admitted for MA level studies
Recommended prerequisites:
AOS240 or equivalent (since AOS240 is not mandatory for everybody it is noted that AOS240 or equivalent is a prerequisite for taking AOS340)
Mandatory activity:

The course has 2 mandatory exercises:

A) After about 4 weeks groups will present results from their critical reading of 2 MA theses.It is requied of group members to be present during all group presentations. 

B) After about 8 weeks a reading report on mandatory readings is due. It shall be based on independent reading of the required reading. 


The MA plan will be read and evaluated by the external examiner. Criteria for a pass grade on the MA plan is 

1) that the MA-plan conforms to the requirements outlined in the section on "Content of the course",

2) that the candidate demonstrates knowledge of technical requirements of scientific writing, and 

3) that the responsible teacher and the external examiner believe the plan can lead to a finished MA thesis within the stipulated time frame. 

Nominal workload:
Lectures, group excersies, seminars ca 40h. Individual study (incl. supervision): ca 110 h.
Entrance requirements:
Qualified for MA-level studies
Reduction of credits:
Type of course:
Lectures: ca 10 h, Group presentations: ca 10h over 2 days, Seminars: ca 20 h
An external examiner will evaluate submitted work.
Examination details: Continuous exam: Bestått / Ikke bestått