B15-DS Bachelor's Thesis

Credits (ECTS):15

Course responsible:Lars Kåre Grimsby

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Course frequency:Spring and Autumn parallel.

Nominal workload:375 hours

Teaching and exam period:

Spring: February - 15th May

Autumn: September - 15th December

About this course


The Bachelor Thesis gives an introduction to academic research and is based on independent work with theory and various secondary sources. The work is guided by a supervisor and results in a written text of between 7000 and 10 000 words. The Bachelor thesis requires substantially more work than a regular term paper.

The thesis process consists of the choice of topic, allocation of a supervisor, search for literature and secondary sources, analysis of sources, and writing of the thesis.

Themes for the Bachelor thesis and allocation of supervisor

The thesis must fall within International Environment and Development Studies. Thematic areas will be defined and the Bachelor thesis topic should generally fall within one of these. The student chooses one of the thematic areas and is then allocated a supervisor. Supervision may be organized as an individual student-supervisor relationship, or as group sessions where several students work together with one supervisor. In the case of individual supervision, it is the student's responsibility to request supervision.

Structure and format of the thesis

Generally, the thesis should have the following structure:

I. Introduction: A brief introduction of the topic and the research question(s).

II. Literature review and theoretical approach: A presentation of the literature, theoretical perspectives or conceptual framework you will employ, with an explanation of how these will help you address your chosen topic and research question(s).

III: Empirical material. Normally the thesis will draw on empirical material, such as examples, cases or statistical data, to support your argument and discussion. These are mainly drawn from the literature and secondary sources but may also include own experience.

IV. Discussion. The analysis and discussion is the central part of the thesis, in which you substantiate your main arguments. The analysis should be based on the literature and empirical material you have presented. You may choose to integrate the discussion and presentation of empirical findings in one chapter.

V. Conclusion: Summarize the key points made, seeking to answer the research questions you have chosen to address.

VI. References: A complete list of the references you have used in the text, following an approved academic style.

Requirements concerning the format and contents may vary depending on the orientation of your Bachelor-thesis, for example whether it is based on quantitative or qualitative methods; on social science or natural science disciplinary conventions and formats; and your supervisor's advice. More information on format will be provided.

Tentative time schedule

The work with the thesis is initiated with a start-up seminar in the end of January or beginning of February. The main themes of the seminar are: how to write a Bachelor thesis, how to delimit a research topic, how to formulate research questions, and how to develop an outline.

Allocation of a supervisor and the work on identifying a thesis topic and elaborating a thesis outline should be finalized by the end of February. The student should by that time prepare a time schedule for the writing of the thesis together with the supervisor, sign a Thesis contract with the supervisor and upload it on CANVAS.

The main work with the literature and other secondary sources, the elaboration of the analysis and the drafting of the thesis text should take place in the period March to May.

The deadline for thesis submission is 15 May / 15 December.

Learning outcome


The student is able to describe/explain

  • a research problem relevant to International Environment and Development Studies
  • a theoretical or conceptual framework
  • a relevant case or theme for investigation


The student is able to

  • work independently with a longer academic text
  • identify a relevant issue/topic
  • find relevant literature, theory and empirical cases
  • critically analyze topic and empirical cases and present the findings
  • follow norms for scientific writing

General competence:

The student can work independently to produce a major analytical text adhering to norms for scientific writing.

  • Learning builds on a research and writing process, consisting of a review of secondary sources, the reading of theory, method application, analysis of empirical cases and the composition and editing of a longer text. The process is guided by a supervisor.
  • 15 hours of supervision, and seminars.
  • Compulsory courses in the BIEDS degree
  • A final evaluation of the thesis by internal and external examiners. Graded on a scale from A to F.

  • An external examiner evaluates the bachelor thesis.
  • 1.2/15.9 (spring/autumn) deadline for thesis registration and withdrawal in studentweb

    Contract for bachelor thesis should be submitted to Canvas in February/September, depending on the semester the student is writing his/her thesis.

    15.5/15.12 deadline for submission

  • B-IEDS
  • Open for students enrolled in Bachelor in International Environment and Development Studies (B-IEDS). This course will be offered as elective course for students who started their bachelor program in 2017 or later.