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MSB206 Research Design: Advanced Research Area and Specialisation

Course description for academic year 2024/2025

Contents and structure

The course in Advance Research Area and Specialization is directed towards the preparation of research design, included a field specialization and understanding of the research process. The aim is to prepare the process that leads up to the master thesis, where the students will prepare an academic research proposal for the thesis where subject, problem for discussion, theoretical perspectives and research literature will be presented.

The course is divided in two, with joint lectures and seminars in smaller groups. The lecture part will be led by researchers and faculty members who will present their research and research projects, so that the master students get a thorough understanding of the research process, research question and possible subjects for the master thesis. In addition, researchers and representatives from public and private sector will be invited to hold quest lectures on specific research topics and research opportunities that can be developed further.

In addition to the lectures there will be seminars where smaller groups of students (approximately 10-15 students) present and discusses research literature related to a specific field. Students will present and discuss the academic research proposal for the master thesis project, where the seminars will be led by an experienced researcher. During seminars, the students will read and present a previous master thesis, an article or book chapter and give an academic analytical and critical evaluation of the research design. The students are expected to participate extensively in discussion and participating with reflections and critical argumentation.

The course is a part of Master of Science in Business (MSB) - profile Campus Bergen: Management and innovation.

Learning Outcome


On completion of the course, the student has advanced knowledge of:

- Theories that are relevant to a specific research field

- The relevant premises for scientific research design

- Analytical and critical evaluation of research literature


On completion of the course, the student can:

- Be able to develop an original academic research proposal for the master thesis, which includes a research question, discussion of relevant literature and undertake balanced criticism of a research field.

- Be able to conduct data collection with necessary skills for critical research.

- Be able to analyse, evaluate and report from own research projects.

General Competance

On completion of the course, the student can:

- read, criticize, and know how to use knowledge published in scientific literature.

- undertake balanced criticism of data sources.

- Know how to use critical academic argumentation.

- participate in large-scale research projects.

- participate in consultancy work in the areas of organisation, relevant technology, and management.

- communicate relevant topics to both specialists and non-specialists.

- know when further expertise is necessary, and where it can be found.

Entry requirements


Recommended previous knowledge

Recommended previous knowledge: Completion of first and second semesters.

Teaching methods

The most important success factor is self-study and participating in organised seminars with student presentations. Self-study is important to benefit from course readings and assignments. This will be complemented by lectures and guest lectures from various research projects.

Compulsory learning activities

Students must fulfill two tasks: give an oral presentation of a scientific research article/ book chapter or master thesis. Each student group (two students) will present their academic research proposal for the master thesis, and comment on other student groups' academic research proposal.


Term paper in the form of an academic research proposal, written in groups (maximum 2 students). Length of the term paper: approximately 6000 words pages (+/- 10%), font size 12, line spacing 1,5. Grading scale: A-F.

Examination support material

All sources are allowed

More about examination support material