Level of Study
Autumn and spring
Objectives and Content
The course aims at providing the student methodological and analytical skills and the abilities to develop, discuss and analyse geographical problems. The student will develop independent working methods and verbal and written presentation skills. The student shall carry out a practical/theoretical research project under supervision which after 2 years will lead to a completed Master thesis.
The subject shall facilitate the understanding of the various stages of a geographical research project, how it is carried out, and how the findings are disseminated. The Master thesis is linked to and carried out within one of the study directions of Geography.
In cooperation with a supervisor, the student shall formulate a research problem and obtain an overview of relevant theories and previous related research connected to the theme and/or area of research. Further to this, the student shall complete an independent practical and/or theoretical piece of work linked to their research problem. In most cases, the study includes a component of fieldwork and data collection. A combination of the practical and theoretical components will set the foundations for the Master thesis. The final thesis shall be in the range of 80-100 pages long.
The thesis shall give an account of a research problem, theory, methodologies and results. The student must provide a straightforward explanation of the thematical, theoretical and methodological bases of the study. Additionally, the empirical findings should be presented in a clear and concise manner. During the evaluation of the thesis, the application of relevant theory, methodologies and analysis will be scrutinised.
A student who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:
- Has advanced knowledge in one of the study directions of Geography and specialised knowledge within a specific field
- Has advanced understanding of the scientific theories and methods within Geography
- Can analyse geographical research problems on the basis of Geography's history, traditions, unique character and role in society
- Can develop, discuss and analyse a geographical research problem and obtain an overview of relevant theories and previous work relevant to the theme and/or research area.
- Can select and apply geographical methods to perform a comprehensive analysis of a given problem
- Can collect sources and information, analyse and critically evaluate various sources of information and apply these to structure and express academic reasoning.
- Can apply existing theories, methods and interpretations within the specialisation of Geography and work independently with practical and theoretical problem solving.
- Can perform an independent research project under supervision in line with ethical research norms
- Can perform a high level analysis and presentation of geographical data
- Can undertake the entire process of a research project
- Can analyse research ethical problems in Geography
- Can apply geographical knowledge and skills in new fields and carry out advanced tasks and projects
- Can disseminate a comprehensive, independent piece of work, both in written and verbal forms, and apply the scientific terms of Geography
- Can communicate geographical problems, analyses and conclusions, to specialists as well as the general public
- Can work independently and diligently within a specific time frame
- Is capable of good academic writing, argumentation and use of references
Required Previous Knowledge
Has passed the 60 credits of courses from first year of the master's programme, including project description, theory of science, specialised courses and milestones.
Access to the Course
Master's Programme in Geography, Master's Programme in Geographies of Sustainable Development (Development Geography) and Master's Programme in Physical Geography.
Teaching and learning methods
Individual and/or collective supervision and milestone seminars
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Milestone 1, 2 and 3 must be approved before the thesis can be submitted.
Milestone 1 comprises the seminar part of GEO310 (project description). Milestone 2 is held as a seminar before fieldwork. Milestone 3 is a seminar held after fieldwork with poster presentation.
Milestone seminars are held in groups for students with similar themes, along with their supervisors. The aim of the seminars is to exercise verbal presentations of the status of the project, and receive feedback from supervisors and students. Supervisors as well as students serve as discussants at the presentations.
Forms of Assessment
The final examination is comprised of two parts:
- The submitted Master's thesis
- An oral exam containing:
- Public presentation (approx. 20 min.) of the most important results of the thesis
- An oral exam of the thematic fields of the thesis
The oral exam may adjust the grade of the thesis.
The student must submit the thesis before the deadline on May 15.
All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.