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Master Thesis

This is the study programme for 2019/2020. It is subject to change.

The master thesis is an independent project in which you will apply the knowledge acquired during your studies. It is a crafted scholarly document presenting research questions and original arguments based on scientific methods under the guidance of an advisor. The thesis gives the student the opportunity to demonstrate expertise in their chosen research area.
Master thesis seminars are held in the aumtumn semester. The goal of the seminars is to develop a research design for the master thesis.

Learning outcome

It is expected that the students, after completing the course, will have the following knowledge, skills and general competencies.
Students who successfully complete the course should:
  • know the demands, requirements and guidelines for the master.
  • know the content of a research design and the decisions that has to be made in order to make an outline of the master thesis.
  • understand how to define and present research questions.
  • have gained a thorough understanding of theories and methods that can be used to address the chosen research question.
  • understand how to use analytical frameworks and theories to answer research questions.

After completing the course, students should be able to:
  • develop an outline of the master thesis that can be used as the starting point for the master thesis.
  • evaluate social science research, including their own research plans.
  • identify research questions suitable for a master's thesis.
  • search relevant sources for theories and data that can address the chosen research questions.
  • review existing theories and empirical evidence.
  • organize, summarize and analyze data.
  • write clearly about the chosen research question.
  • plan social science research and report writing.

General competence:
After completing the course, students should be able to:
  • present oneself as a possible participant in a research project.
  • plan and complete a large project under supervision and in accordance with existing norms for research ethics.
  • apply knowledge and skills to the chosen area of research.


The master's thesis is a carefully crafted scholarly document which presents research questions and original arguments, and it is an independent, individual and tutored scientific work. The thesis should have a substantial research component, building on theories, methods, collected data that are carefully documented based on primary and/or secondary sources within the field of energy, environment and society. The thesis must be written under the guidance of an advisor. The thesis gives the student the opportunity to demonstrate expertise in their chosen research area.
The master thesis seminars, held in the autumn semester, is preparation for the master thesis. Here we present guidelines for the master, potential themes and problem statements for the master, potential supervisors and possible cooperation with industry and public authorities. The students will be preparing their master thesis under supervision and in collaboration with lecturers and student colleagues.
The first part of the seminar presents the guidelines and prepares the students for what is expected and required in order to be able to write a master thesis. We look at possible research designs, and discuss possible themes, problem statements and research questions as part of the development of the research design. The main activity is to develop a research design for the students' own master thesis, through discussions with lecturers, student colleagues and other invited people.

Required prerequisite knowledge

MEE100 Societal transition and transformation - Energy and climate change, MEE120 Energy and environmental politics and policy in a comparative perspective, MEE140 Philosophy of Science and Research Methods, PET515 Energy, energy technologies, and energy system integration
Minimum 60 ECTS (all compulsory first-year courses must be passed).


Weight Duration Marks Aid
Home assignment1/11 A - F
The advised number of pages are 60-80 (excluding attachments and references). 80 pages corresponds to approximately 30,000 words.

Coursework requirements

One research design
The research design to be developed is a research plan for the Master Thesis. The project outline should normally contain the following points:
  • Title - what do you want to write about?
  • Background - why study this?
  • Introduction - problem statement and research questions.
  • Research strategy.
  • Theory - theoretical perspective and approach.
  • Method - how will it be studied?
  • Results - what do you expect to find?
  • Discussion - what can you already see in this phase of possible ways to explain/interpret the findings?
  • References (preliminary).

The research design should be around 5 000 words (+/-10%).

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator
Oluf Langhelle
Course teacher
Bettina Bluemling

Method of work

Lectures, group work and discussions in the seminars in order to develop a research design for the Master Thesis. The spring semester is for writing the Master Thesis.

Open to

Energy, Environment and Society - masterstudium

Course assessment

Student evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the evaluation system of the faculty.


Chosen in collaboration with the supervisor.

This is the study programme for 2019/2020. It is subject to change.

Sist oppdatert: 23.11.2019