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Postgraduate course

Master's Thesis in Psychology

  • ECTS credits60
  • Teaching semesterSpring, Autumn
  • Course codeMAPSYK360
  • Number of semesters2
  • LanguageEnglish and Norwegian
  • Resources

Teaching semester

Autumn and spring

Objectives and Content

The Master's thesis shall provide students with a deeper insight into theory and empiricism in a defined field by engaging in practical research. They shall also acquire expertise in developing, planning and completing a research project.

By working on a research project, students shall develop their own abilities to deal critically with defined problems by employing scientific methods. When undertaking such practical research considerable emphasis is also placed on resolving assignments through student cooperation. They are required to produce a written presentation in line with the APA standards.  

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing the course candidates shall be able to:


  • Analyse the relationship between subjects, research issues and research design.
  • Choose adequate research design based on approaches to problems and framework factors such as time and the financial situation.
  • Demonstrate broad, in-depth knowledge about their subject area in the project.


  • Develop, plan and complete a research project, as well as present the results of such projects.
  • Provide a clear, precise written presentation of their research work.
  • Assess and explain their use of research design.
  • Demonstrate the correct development of a scientific work in accordance with APA standards, the correct use of sources, the correct presentation of references and the use of relevant literature databases.

General expertise

  • Reflect on the role of researchers in respect of collecting and using data.
  • Reflect on ethical conditions in respect of using and interpreting their own data, sources and quotations.
  • Develop project outlines and undertake research projects.
  • Reflect on the authorship and co-authorship of scientific work.

Teaching Methods and Extent of Organized Teaching

This course consists of three elements:

  • A 10-page project outline
  • The Master's thesis (50-60 pages)
  • The presentation section in the form of a scientific presentation of students' own projects at a final conference for the Masters course.

Master's theses shall be written in line with the APA standards (A4, 1.5 line spacing, left, top and bottom margins of at least 2.5 cm), excluding the reference list and appendix. They shall consist of 50-60 pages of text (as a guide). Unlike the format used for articles, theses shall have an introduction which contains a broader review of the literature and a more comprehensive presentation of the background and problems involved. The discussion shall also be more detailed than that commonly used in the format for articles. The other parts of the thesis shall comply with the APA standards, i.e. there shall be a summary in Norwegian and English, each consisting of approx. 200 words. MA theses can also be written in English.

Master's theses can be written individually or in conjunction with another student.

When there is more than one author, the authors are expected to contribute equally to the work involved.

Their supervision is regulated by a more specific supervision agreement. Some supervision can be provided in groups. The deadline for submitting the Supervision Agreement contract is 15 October for students who start working on their Master's thesis during the autumn semester, and 15 March for students who start work on their Master's thesis during the spring semester.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Project plan: Students shall write a project plan under supervision for their Master's thesis consisting of up to 10 pages. The project plan shall explain the subject of the project, the problems involved, the methods employed, the data processing or analysis form, ethical research considerations and the time frame.

The deadline for submitting the project plan is 15 October for students who start working on their Master's thesis during the autumn semester, and 15 March for students who start work on their Master's thesis during the spring semester. The project plan will be assessed as being approved/not approved.

Presentation: Students shall present their own scientific projects in the form of a presentation lasting for over 30 minutes at the final conference for the Masters course. This presentation shall be an oral presentation.

Forms of Assessment

Master's theses will be assessed by a committee consisting of two experts, one external and one internal.

Grading will be determined on the basis of the written work presented.

Joint grades for all candidates will be awarded for their written Master's theses. When awarding grades for the written work, a grading scale of A to F will be used. Joint feedback will be provided on the theses submitted by candidates once the grades have been awarded.

Master's theses shall be submitted electronically on Mi side. Students can submit their Master's theses when they are ready, although within the deadline for the nominal length of study. Students shall normally have passed their exams in respect of the joint section and the subject-specific section prior to submission of their Master's theses.

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Reading List

For recommended literature please refer to our website under Mitt UiB.

Course Evaluation

Students shall assess their tuition in accordance with the UiB's quality assurance system.

Exam information