Degree thesis at NMBU
Autumn: 15 September
Spring: 1 February
Submitting your thesis deadline
Autumn: 15 December at 12:00
Spring: 15 May at 12:00
Remember when submitting your thesis
Please remember that the thesis, the front and back cover and all attachments must be submitted as one PDF-file, see how to merge PDF files. You should not submit your paper in paper.
Maximum size for your thesis
The maximum size of the thesis (uploads as "Paper" in WISEflow) is 100 MB
How to merge PDFs files
- Download files with NMBU's front and back cover template
- Finalize the front cover of your thesis with the required information (your faculty, your name, study program and thesis title). Save the file in PDF-format
- When you have finished the body text of your thesis, export or save it as a PDF-file. The same applies to any attachment to the body text.
- Merge the front cover, the body text, any attachments and the back cover into one single PDF-file with PDFsam (download and install PDFsam Basic on your computer first)
Remember to register the title on your thesis in StudentWeb before you submit it - click on the thesis in Studentweb and then click "Edit" and "Show Title".
It is important that you register the correct title in StudentWeb. The title registered in Studentweb will appear on your diploma certificate.
If your thesis is restricted by law or have postponed publishing (up to 5 years) the correct form must be completed. For questions please contact your faculty. Read more about confidential thesis and thesis with postponed publication below.
- Confidential degree thesis pursuant to the Public Administration Act
- Postponed publication of degree thesis for a limited period
The information written in the cover sheet when handing in a confidential thesis in WISEflow, such as tittel and summary will be published. It is only the thesis (PDF) that is confidential.
The information written in the cover sheet when handing in a thesis with postponed publication in WISEflow, such as tittel and summary will not be published until after the postponed period runs out. The thesis (PDF) and the information from the cover sheet in WISEflow will be published at the same time.
The form must be completed together with the supervisor and the signed form sent to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than four (4) weeks prior to the submission deadline. The form must also be attached when submitting the thesis in WISEflow.
Your thesis has to be submitted in WISEflow:
- Log in to WISEflow with your NMBU/Feide user account.
- Choose whether you are writing the thesis alone, or together with another student.
- If you write: alone - click the "Create one-person group" button.
- If you write together with another student - click the "Form group" button, and choose the student(s) to add to your group. The student(s) you add to your group will have to log in to WISEflow to confirm that they should be a part of the group, before you can submit the thesis.
- Under "Paper" upload the thesis in PDF format.
- If your thesis is barred (postponed) or restricted by law , upload the signed form under "Appendix material".
- Tick any questions on the cover.
- Press the green “Hand in” button to submit the thesis. Angi om du skriver oppgaven alene, eller sammen med en annen student.
- If you have questions or experience problems when submitting in WISEflow please contact us via the support form in NMBUhelp
- File upload - a WISEflow how to guide
Publishing in Brage (Master degrees only)
As of December 2022 Master degrees will automatically be published in Brage after submitting and assessment in WISEflow.
- For questions, please contact the Library.
Faculty pages about degree theses
- Biosciences - For BIOVIT's masters's student
- Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management - For MINA's master's students
- Landscape and Society - For LANDSAM's masters's student
- Science and Technology - For REALTEK's masters's student
- School of Economics and Business - For HH's master's students
Writing Degree Thesis at NMBU
A bachelor’s degree may include an individual work (bachelor’s thesis). Master’s degrees of 120 and 300 credits must include an individual work (master's thesis). Experience-based master’s degrees with a scope of 90 or 120 credits must include an individual work (master's thesis).
The individual work can be one of the following:
- bachelor's thesis: 15 credits
- master's thesis: 30 credits
- master's thesis: 45 credits
- master's thesis: 60 credits
A Master theses can also be article-based.
Guidelines for article-based master's thesis
Article-based master's theses consist of two parts: a "cover" and an article draft. The cover should put the article in a larger context and describe the issues, main results and conclusion that are presented in the article. The cover should describe or elaborate on background, theory and methods that there is no space to describe in detail in the article itself.
The cover should be divided in to three chapters:
- 1. Introduction and background/motivation for the study,
- 2. methods and
- 3. results and discussion.
This is followed by a separate bibliography for the cover, article manuscript with associated bibliography, and finally any extra appendices that are referred to in the cover.
The master's thesis is an independent scientific work, and the master's student must be the author of the draft article alone. If two students write the master's thesis (cover and article draft) together, what each student has contributed must be explained in an introduction to the cover.
Students and supervisors can, after assessment, jointly assess whether the article draft should be processed further for submission to the chosen journal. Supervisors' co-authorship must then be discussed, but the supervisor is not automatically a co-author (cf. the Vancouver guidelines).
Thesis that involves collecting, registering, processing or storing personal data are notifiable. The Norwegian Center for Research Data (NSD) acts as privacy advisor for projects carried out at NMBU and which handle research data with personal information. The right to collected data and possible publication of these should be discussed
- Personvern i forskning - In Norwegian only. English version will be available soon
- Take a test - do you need register your project/thesis.
- NMBU's guidelines related to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) English version available soon
Forms, agreements and templates
Notification for the choice of thesis topic
When the student and supervisor agree on the selection of a master's thesis, this can be reported to the faculty to which the supervisor is affiliated via the form Notification for the choice of thesis topic. The student is responsible for the form being submitted to the faculty within the set deadline.
The faculty approves the choice for thesis topic and the supervisor for the individual student.
Confidential and postponed thesis
If the master's thesis is to be confidential or restricted (postponed), see section on this further down, the form for such thesis must be completed in collaboration with the supervisor and accompanied when submitting the thesis. Be specific about the budget for the assignment, and clarify how expenses for field work, laboratory work, travel etc. are intended to be covered.
Collaboration between the student and an external party
When carrying out a degree thesis in collaboration with a company or external business, the form Agreement - collaborating with a company / external party should be completed. This agreement regulates, among other things, rights of the parties, etc.
Agreement regarding student participation in research projects
Students who are going to participate in a research project should complete an agreement. Link to the agreement regarding student participation in research projects - the template is available under the heading "Studenters deltakelse i forskningsprosjekter".
The template for agreement should be used when NMBU involves a student in a research project related to his/her thesis with a need for regulating the ownership of the results, research data and for reasons of confidentiality.
Contract for Degree Thesis
The student and the supervisor must together draw up a fixed contract for the degree thesis.
The student's responsibility
- The student is responsible for handing in the form Contract – thesis to the supervisor’s faculty.
- The student must register for the degree thesis via StudentWeb
- The faculty approves the registration for the degree thesis when a valid contract is available. Until the registration is processed, it will say "Awaiting processing" in Studentweb.
- The student is responsible for handing in the form Contract – thesis to the supervisor’s faculty.
- The student must make certain that that he/she is registered for both teaching and the final registration for the degree thesis by 1 February for the spring semester or 15 September for the autumn semester. The student must also pay the semester fee.
- The student must register for any Special Syllabus on the StudentWeb within the registration deadline by 1 February for the spring semester or 15 September for the autumn semester.
- The student has a responsibility to keep in regular contact with his supervisor(s), as well as to follow the progress and meeting schedule.
Supervisor and student joint responsibility
- The student and the supervisor must together draw up a fixed contract for the degree thesis.
- In the initial phase, both the student and the main supervisor are mutually responsible for setting up and agreeing on the framework for the supervision (schedule, the expectations and the extent of the guidance, etc.). If there are several supervisors, the contract must state the responsibilities of each supervisor.
- If the main and additional supervisor (s) are employed at various faculties at NMBU, a percentage allocation of each supervisor’s responsibility must be agreed upon.
- The supervisor and the student shall, upon entering into the contract, agree upon a meeting schedule for the entire period of supervision, i.e. until agreed submission.
- Both parties are obligated to honor the meeting schedule. Follow-up of the progress plan is important to avoid postponing the delivery date. It is emphasized that students can be refused applications for a postponed submission deadline if there are reasons that the student(s)/supervisor should have foreseen.
- The schedule must ensure regular follow-ups and be realistic, be based on the progress plan and ensure that the milestones are reached.
- At a minimum a start-up meeting, a thorough written and oral mid-term review and a review with feedback in the final phase should be planned. For students who have data collection, field or laboratory work, a meeting should be set up after this work is completed for a review of the collected data.
We recommend all available resources is used while writing the degree thesis. Information on how to write academic texts, source reference and literature list, reference tools, e-learning as basic requirements for academic writing, tips for information retrieval, literature search and reference management tool OneNote, course in presentation technology and much more are available.
Earlier master's thesis dealing with topics with similar issues or written on similar topics can provide useful insight into how the written product should be designed are available in Brage. Contact the study supervisor at the faculty for access to previous bachelor theses.
There is no NMBU standard for font, line spacing or width. Contact the faculty for further information.
The student must familiarize with available information about how to write academic text as well as how to cite and write correctly to avoid plagiarism. See the Writing Center's page on academic writing and referencing. Please also do the e-learning about plagiarism.
All master's program students are entitled to be assigned a main academic supervisor in connection with the completion of the master's thesis. The faculty is responsible for ensuring that the individual student receives such guidance as the student is entitled to.
The supervisor is normally required to provide the student with 40 hours of guidance including marking for a 30 credits Master’s thesis, 60 hours of guidance including marking for a 45 credits Master’s thesis and 80 hours of guidance including marking for a 60 credits Master’s thesis. Both parties are encouraged to keep an account of the hours.
The hours include all thesis-related activities:
- preparation and planning of the assignment
- laboratory work
- statistics help
- review and feedback on manuscript
- general communication between student (s) and supervisor (s).
If the supervisor is to be away for a long period of time, it must be clear to the student how information will be exchanged and who can assist the student in the period the supervisor is unavailable. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to make sure that the student has others who can supervise when planning absenteeism.
The supervisor must adjust the number of Master's theses he/she can supervise to other teaching responsibilities. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure that he/she has the necessary skills to guide the Master's thesis, including sufficient competence to guide the student in necessary statistical analysis. The supervisor shall ensure that there are co-supervisors available if parts of the thesis are outside the field of competence of the main supervisor, or if the supervisor lacks the skills to provide adequate guidance in statistical analysis. This should be clarified and incorporated into the contract.
The supervisor commits to encourage the student to stay in touch and provide updates on the thesis work. The supervisor will direct the student in the design of the Master's thesis and provide academic and methodical feedback on the work. This includes attention to research ethics, methodology and other relevant ethical and legal issues (including good research practice, publishing, mission research, publicity and confidentiality, and protection of animals, people and the environment involved in research).
The supervision must follow the student through all the elements of the learning objectives.
The Student responsibility under supervision
If the student receives supervision in connection with the Master's thesis which is unsatisfactory, or there is a conflict or more fundamental disputes between the student and the main supervisor, it is the student's responsibility to report any problems to the faculty. The student can contact the student advisor.
A Master's thesis may contain a special syllabus. An agreement about a special syllabus must be stated in the contract and the form Special Syllabus, which must be agreed to with the supervisor and must be approved by the faculty with which the main supervisor is affiliated. The special syllabus must consist of minimum 5 credits.
The special syllabus must be at the master’s level and shall provide a supplementary competence for the academic work on the assignment. This may constitute a deeper understanding in a subject or provide a broader scope in the subject than the university's courses can provide. If the special syllabus is included in the reference list for the Master's thesis, the work on this curriculum must mean a significant contribution in relation to what should be expected in the reference literature.
For more information on completion of the oral presentation of the special syllabus, please see the section on oral presentation below.
Both the student and the supervisor are obliged to follow NMBU's guidelines for HSE.
All students conducting field work (home and abroad) are responsible for securing insurance coverage for the period of field work which can be used in case of accidents. The student is responsible for contacting appropriate healthcare professionals and must arrange for vaccination(s) before and during the fieldwork. Read more about insurance and vaccines. Students conducting fieldwork (home and abroad) are also responsible for filling in a fieldwork notification form. In case of fieldwork abroad, the student is also responsible for obtaining a visa, residence permit and any other necessary documents for the country in question before departure. Both student and supervisor are required to follow guidelines for fieldwork and field trips.
Laboratory and work in workshop
Students with work in a laboratory or workshop are required to follow the faculty's rules and regulations for the use of the premises and equipment. When working in laboratories, the student is required to undergo basic training in health, safety and environment before work commences. Students with work involving use of different equipment belonging to the faculty is obliged to use the equipment according to the rules of the faculty.
Research should initially be open and accessible to the public.
Barred (postponed) thesis
If special considerations exist, the thesis may be barred from the public for up to 5 years, but never permanently. Any decision to postpone the publication of a thesis for more than five years shall be made by the University Board on the basis of an application that states the grounds for postponement. Please note that NMBU will use the title of the degree thesis on the student's transcript and diploma, it is therefore wise to not include any restricted/confidential information in the thesis's title.
- Postponing the publishing must be clarified with the supervisor prior to submission of the assignment and should be discussed at the conclusion of the contract.
- Common reasons for postponed publication may be if the thesis is intended to be used in later work with the aim of publication or a higher degree, or that one collaborates with a company that works in this area in a competitive market.
- An agreement on postponement must be entered into before submitting the assignment. For tasks performed at a company, it may be appropriate to enter into an agreement between NMBU and the company / institution. The agreement should regulate special matters concerning publication.
- The form for postponed thesis must contain information about the duration and reason for the postponement and must be submitted together with the thesis for censorship. The degree thesis will not be published.
Restriction required by law
Master's theses that contain, or part thereof, information that is subject to a statutory duty of secrecy shall be restricted. The rules about secrecy are set out in section 13 of the Norwegian Public Administration Act. Please note that NMBU will use the title of the degree thesis on the student's transcript and diploma, it is therefore wise to not include any restricted information in the thesis's title.
The form for Restrictions must be completed with your supervisor and the completed and signed form must be submitted to email@example.com no later than four (4) weeks before the thesis submission deadline. It must also be attached electronically when submitting the thesis in WISEflow.
The regulations concerning statutory duty of secrecy apply to the following information*:
Lovbestemt taushetsplikt (jf. forvaltningsloven (fvl.) § 13) foreligger blant annet der oppgaven inneholder:
- information about an individual’s personal affairs*.
- information about technical devices and procedures as well as operational or business matters which for competitive reasons it is important to keep secret in the interests of the person whom the information concerns.
- information subject to a duty of secrecy which the researcher obtains from an administrative agency, information received from private sources upon pledge of secrecy in connection with the research.
- information concerning persons who are dependent upon the body (school, hospital, institution, enterprise, public authority etc.) which has arranged for their contact with the researcher.
* The duty of secrecy according to section 13 shall not prevent information from being used when no legitimate interest indicates that it should be kept secret, for example when it is generally known or generally accessible elsewhere (point 3 of section 13a).
The student may apply for a postponed submission deadline of the Master's thesis due to illness or other special circumstances (e.g. teaching at NMBU, significant responsibilities as an elected student representative, care work or problems with the thesis that are outside the control of the student). The student can submit the application form to the faculty he / she is associated with during the work on the degree thesis. A written account for the reasons for the delay is required, as well as a documented need for an extended deadline (e.g. sick leave), a specification for the amount of time for the postponement and a proposed new schedule must be completed in cooperation with the supervisor(s).
During the spring semester, the student can apply for extended submission to 15 June, 15 July, 15 August or until 15 December (new semester). During the autumn semester, the student can apply for extension to 15 January, 15 February, 15 March or 15 May (new semester).
A written explanation of the reason for the delay is required, documentation for the need for an extended deadline (for example sick leave), a time indication for the need for postponement, as well as a new progress plan for completion which is filled in in collaboration with the supervisor(s). If, due to unexplained problems with the thesis, the student applies for a postponed deadline for submitting the degree thesis, the application must contain a justification from the supervisor.
An application for an extended submission deadline is processed by the faculty of the main supervisor for the thesis.
The student must apply for a postponed submission deadline without undue delay after the cause of the delay has occurred (no later than one month before submission deadline unless medical certificate is submitted). The student can be granted up to a 3-month postponement. A deadline extension is only granted once. The extension of the submission deadline does not entitle the student to further supervision. If the student's granted submission deadline is extended for more than three months the student must register for a new semester as well as register the thesis for the semester in which the thesis will be submitted.
If the student applies for a leave of absence after having entered an agreement about the degree thesis, the student is obliged to revise the Master’s thesis contract with the supervisor before the start of the leave of absence. The student must deliver the revised contract to the faculty.
In case of the supervisor’s illness, leave of absence or similar, the faculty is responsible for appointing a new supervisor.
A degree thesis that has not been submitted by the deadline cannot be submitted later in a revised or supplemented form. In such cases, the student may forfeit the right to study. If the student is readmitted to NMBU at a later date, he/she must write a new thesis.
Submission of the theses is described in more detail at the top of the page under Remember when submitting a degree thesis
- Assessment deadline for degree thesis is 6 weeks from the submission deadline.
- At least two examiners, at least one of whom must be external, shall assess students’ independent second-degree work. The faculty responsible for the course appoints the examiners.
The Faculty will give more information about the oral presentation.
The Master’s thesis and any special syllabus must be discussed orally within 6 weeks of submission of the thesis. The supervisor determines the time for the discussion in consultation with the student and the examiner. The supervisor is usually the internat examiner.
For students with a special syllabus, the examination in the special syllabus will be conducted first. The mark in the special syllabus will be announced after the external examiners and supervisors have discussed the performance of the examination. The external sensor determines the mark and informs the student of the mark.
The oral discussion of the Master's thesis is initiated by a presentation of the thesis (approximately 20-30 minutes), where the student gives an overview of the thesis. This is followed by an oral discussion with the examiners. Both external and internal examiners, as well as all supervisors, are normally present during the oral discussion. The purpose of the discussion is to provide feedback on strong and weak aspects of the thesis, as well as to assess the students' judgement, understanding, effort and independent thinking. There is no separate mark for the discussion, but the discussion is part of the assessment of the Master's thesis, and the discussion may contribute to the final grade of the Master's thesis.
At the oral discussion of a thesis conducted by a group of students, the examiner can make an individual assessment of the examinee. Students who have written a Master’s thesis in collaboration can achieve different marks for their Master's thesis. Only under exceptional circumstances, can students who submit a collaborated thesis have separate discussions of the thesis.
A student who does not attend the oral discussion of the thesis and who has not been granted a postponement for submission will be registered as a "no-show" for the thesis. In such cases, the student may loose his/her admission to the programme of study.
If a Master's thesis is given the mark of F (fail), the examiners shall, in consultation with the student(s), consider whether there is basis for an oral discussion.
Fail grades and revising a degree thesis
If the external and internal examiners so agree, a submitted degree thesis that is awarded the grade F (fail) may be revised by the student. The thesis that was originally submitted must have content that can be revised.
A degree thesis that has been awarded the grade F (fail) and that the student has been permitted to resubmit, cannot be presented for a new assessment sooner than three months or later than four months after the date of publication of the original assessment. A new contract and a revised progress schedule must be drawn up. If the new date of submission is in a new semester, the student must register for the new semester in accordance with the regulation. The student is not entitled to further supervision in connection with the revision of the thesis. The student must give a new oral presentation of the revised degree thesis.
The student cannot appeal against a grade F (fail) awarded for a revised degree thesis. If the student fails the revised degree thesis, he/she will forfeit the right to study. If the student is readmitted to NMBU at a later date, he/she must write a new thesis.
Revising a degree thesis awarded the grade F (fail) - form:
Appeal about a given grade
For complaints about the mark of a Master’s thesis ordinary procedures for appeal about a given grade apply. In the event of a complaint about the grade on the degree thesis, the written presentation must be sent to new examiners. If the new grade awarded for the written presentation is changed to the favour/disfavour of the appellant, a new oral test adjustment to grade given for written work, must be held to determine the final grade
The student has property rights, including copyright, to the thesis. All intellectual property rights to the results of the thesis created by the student alone through the thesis work are owned by the student with the reservations that follow from points b) and c) below.
The student has the right to enter into a separate agreement with NMBU on the publication of their thesis in NMBU's institutional archive on the internet. The student also has the right to publish the thesis or parts of it in other contexts if no restrictions on the right to publish have been agreed upon.
Where the thesis is based on, or further develops material and / or methods (project background) owned by the company, the project background is still owned by the company. Utilization of the further development, which includes the project background, presupposes that a separate agreement is entered into between the student and the company.
The company shall have the right to use the results of the thesis (of any nature and whether they are patentable or not) in its own business if the utilization falls within the company's business area. This presupposes that the student receives reasonable remuneration. Reasonable remuneration shall be interpreted in accordance with the content of the term in the Copyright Act (åndsverksloven) section 69. The content of the «company's business area» shall be interpreted in accordance with the content of the term in the Employee Inventions Act (arbeidstakeroppfinnelsesloven) section 4.
Use of the result of the thesis outside the company's business area, cf. the section above, presupposes that a separate agreement is entered into between the student and the company.
The submitted copies / files of the thesis with attachments, which are necessary for assessment and archiving at NMBU, belong to NMBU.