M60-BIOL Master's Thesis

Credits (ECTS):60

Course responsible:Jorunn Elisabeth Olsen

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Norsk, engelsk

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:1500 hours

Teaching and exam period:Autum parallel and Spring parallel

About this course

Master students in biology are required to write a 60 credits master thesis/dissertation on a topic within the field of biology. The research proposal must be discussed and approved by the student's supervisor. The master thesis is an independent academic work. Independent gathering and analysis of sources (primary and/or secondary) are key elements of the dissertation. The student may also conduct fieldwork. The student is supervised in developing a research proposal. If the student is conducting fieldwork, it is required that the supervisor approves the research proposal prior to travel to the field.

Learning outcome


  • The student has advanced knowledge about a specific thematic area, relevant methods and theories


The student can:

  • work independently to identify and compare different sources in relation to a specific thematic area within biology
  • structure the Thesis according to academic standards
  • present a research topic, including choice of methods, data collection and analysis
  • plan and carry out a project over a long timeframe of multiple months


  • The student will have insight into the different steps in a research process, including methodical and ethical considerations
  • If a fieldwork, and collection of primary data, has been completed, the student will have practical experience in comparing sources and collect data in the field, analyze and explain research results
  • The student will have experience in using feedback to process their own work, and are able to critically reflect over the results of the research and the Thesis process
  • Supervision: Each student is entitled to 80 hours of supervision (including the supervisor's share of the grading) for a 60 ECTS master thesis. Students sign a contract with the supervisor. The supervisory relationship is guided by the contract as well as common understandings for supervisory responsibility. Writing a research proposal is an integral part of the thesis process and its supervision. The student has a responsibility to stay in touch with the supervisor. The student submits a signed contract to the supervisor and to the study administration.
  • It is recommended that the students actively use the courses offered by the University Library, Writing Centre and other resources available at the University.
  • One written thesis and oral discussion.

  • The Master thesis shall be graded by at least one external examiner and one internal examiner. The main supervisor is usually the internal examiner.
  • The student must submit a signed contract to supervisor and to the study administration at the faculty before he/she can start working on his/hers thesis.
  • Students at other master program at NMBU are welcome to do a thesis at BIOVIT.
  • Masterstudents at NMBUs master program