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MACREL-OPG Master Thesis

Course description for academic year 2018/2019

Contents and structure

The master thesis is an independent, empirical, scientific work in which the student documents insight into and reflect on research and development work, relevant theory, and methods used for examination of the problem statement and/or area of interest. Through commiting research results within the chosen profile of master study, the student is to reflect upon the work in relation to previous research, and consider pedagogical and didactic challenges and problem areas in the research field.

 The master thesis will include:

  • Problem formulation and/or problem area
  • Explanation of and reflections around academic and scientific theory perspectives, relevant theoretical issues and subject positioning
  • Selection and justification of research design and methods in the work
  • Appropriate and clear presentation and documentation of results from the analysis of empiricial material OR artistic research
  • Discussion of results

The master thesis must be designed in accordance with applicable rules for master theses at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. A systematic organisation and clear presentation of the work is emphasized.

The candidate can choose between two approaches to submit the study as:

1) Research work where the candidate use relevant methods for collection of empirical materiale from creative, aesthetic learning contexts and practices within the chosen profile area

2) Artistic research where the candidate use relevant methods to develop an artistic product made available for the public, and critically reflect on the creative and aesthetic process, subject development and artistic viewpoint within the chosen profile area

If the master thesis is implemented as 1) Research work, the written report shall normally consist of a total amount of 21 000 - 28 000 words (60-80 pages). If two candidates collaborate, the written report shall normally consist of a total of 38 000 - 45 000 words (110-130 pages). In addition, the thesis should include an abstract, foreword, content list, and attachments (not included in the word count).

If the master thesis is implemented as 2) artistic research, documentation of the artistic result shall be submitted together with written material conveying the critical reflection in the work. The candidate chooses medium and shape on the final submission. In total, the work shall equal 45 ECTS of work, where the written part normally consists of a total amount of 12 000 - 15 000 words (30-40 pages). If two candidates collaborate, the written part shall normally consist of 21 000 - 28 000 words (60-80 pages). In addition, the thesis should include an abstract, foreword, content list, and attachments (not included in the word count).

When collaborating, the master thesis work should be balanced equally between the candidates. A declaration of shared work responsibility must be attached. Collaborating candidates shall have individual oral presentations and hearings.

Learning Outcome


The candidate

  • has specialist knowledge of the academic and scientific theory basis for their own master's work
  • has broad knowledge of national and international literature concerning R&D work that can be associated with their own master's work
  • understands and critically reflects on issues concerning the requirements for science and systematics associated with their own work
  • has knowledge of ethical standards that must be met during preparation and implementation of research projects


The candidate

  • is able to problematise and discuss research and development issues associated with their own master's work
  • is able to limit such questions and implement large-scale R&D work with supervision and in line with current ethical standards for research
  • is able to plan and select the appropriate strategy and methods for their own master's work and critically reflect on their own choices
  • is able to document, create and communicate the work in a satisfactory manner and reflect on the relevance of the work with regard to relevant learning purposes

General competence

The candidate

  • is able to implement and document large-scale R&D work in a satisfactory and relevant manner
  • is able to communicate the results of large-scale R&D work in a satisfactory and relevant manner
  • is able to discuss and reflect on their own choices in the R&D process and put these into a wider R&D perspective
  • may be included as a participant in different R&D programmes and can critically analyse which contributions existing R&D-based knowledge may contribute to solving educational challenges in the relevant work situation

Entry requirements

Completed first year of the master's study and Scientific theory and research methods (15 sp).

Recommended previous knowledge

Completed first year of the master degree and MACREL-VIT.

Teaching methods

The master's work is an independent course of study closely connected to the previous subject in the course of study and will be carried out with supervision. The candidate will be assigned a supervisor as soon as the theme of the master's work has been determined and approved. Efforts will be made to ensure that the candidate can associate their master's work with ongoing R&D work at the institution. This allows the candidate to also benefit greatly from other master's and PhD students working on different projects at the institution. Presentation of the work to other master's students is an integrated part of the study and compulsory seminars will be implemented at early and late stages of the process. An individual supervision plan will be prepared for and in collaboration with the student. The candidate is responsible for seeking supervision in accordance with the agreed plan and is responsible for the master's work.

Compulsory learning activities

Participation on seminars according to the semester plan.


Master Thesis (70%)

Oral Examination (30%)

Examination support material

All Written and printed aids

More about examination support material