M30-SF Master's Thesis

Credits (ECTS):30

Course responsible:Line Nybakken

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:750 hours

Teaching and exam period:The master thesis is written during the fall semester and delivered according to guidelines in December, or during the spring semester and delivered according to guidelines in May.

About this course

Master students in Forest sciences shall write a thesis on a topic in the field of forest sciences as approved by the student supervisor(s). Students can choose from a wide range of natural and social science methods and theories that are part of the thesis. Writing a master's thesis is an independent academic work. Independent collection and analysis of sources (primary and/or secondary) is central to the thesis work. The student often conducts fieldwork. The student will receive supervision in developing research questions. If the student conducts fieldwork supervisor must approve research outline before the fieldwork is carried out.

Learning outcome

Writing a master's thesis is a comprehensive work process. When the work is completed, the student has gained in-depth knowledge on a specific topic and relevant methods and theories. The student will have worked independently to identify and evaluate various sources. The Master's thesis will be structured in line with academic standards. The student will have gained experience in planning and implementing a project over a period of about six months. Through this process, the student will receive special knowledge, skills and competencies:

  • The student will gain experience in researching different sources, reading and assessing these in relation to a specific topic in forest science
  • The student will gain insight into the different steps in a research process, including methods and ethical considerations
  • If the student has conducted fieldwork and collected primary data, he/she will gain practical experience in assessing sources and collecting data in the field, in addition to analyzing and explaining the results
  • Students will also gain experience in using feedback from supervisor(s) to adapt their own work and can critically reflect on the results of the research and work process in connection with writing a thesis
  • The student undertakes research that will result in a scientific report (master thesis).
  • Instructions, information on deadlines and links to suggested topics are available at the website of the Faculty «For MINAs masterstudenter».

    Information about the choice of thesis topic, the writing process, deadlines and guidelines are presented to the students during the first year.

    Participation in a mandatory method course provides necessary skills for planning and undertaking the master thesis (literature search, problem statement, choice of theory and method, data collection, analyses etc.).

    The student is encouraged to benefit from courses and information from the University Library and The Writing Centre at NMBU.

    Each student has the right to 40 hours of supervision from a supervisor with competence in the subject. The supervisor should be available for the student to an extent that provides the appropriate support within given timeframes.

  • Passed a relevant methods course, and solid knowledge within the subject of the thesis.
  • Written assignment with oral presentation and discussion of the assignment.

    The master thesis is completed with an oral examination which should be undertaken within 6 weeks from delivery of the thesis. At the examination, the student will give a presentation of the work (20 minutes), followed by questions from the external examiner and supervisor (30-60 minutes). The outcome of the oral examination (presentation/discussion/answers) can impact the final grade of the thesis. The grading follows a national system for studies in mathematics, science and technology.

  • The examination committee comprises an internal and an external examiner. The internal examiner is usually the supervisor.
  • A contract between the student and the supervisor(s), including a time plan, should be delivered to the faculty before the work with the master thesis can start.

    Participate and present the research question and preliminary results of their own thesis at the forestry master's seminar in March/April.

  • Supervision is undertaken based on agreements between the student and the supervisor(s).
  • Students enrolled in the Master´s program in Forest science of natural resources.
  • Students enrolled in the master program in Forest science, and students enrolled in other master programs at NMBU, writing a thesis with thematic focus on forest science and being supervised by a MINA employee.