Syllabus for Master's Thesis

Master's Thesis

A revised version of the syllabus is available.


  • 30 credits
  • Course code: 5RT928
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: International Humanitarian Action A2E
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2009-03-17
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Theology
  • Applies from: week 36, 2009
  • Entry requirements:
  • Responsible department: Department of Theology

Decisions and guidelines

The course is offered within the Masters Program on International Humanitarian Action 120 ECTS credits.

Learning outcomes

The aim of the Master's Thesis is to provide the students with an ability to develop a scientific approach to a problem of relevance for International Humanitarian Action from a multidisciplinary perspective. After the course the students are expected to have:

- Capacity to formulate a research question within the field of humanitarian research
- Ability to independently carry out a scientific research task within the field
- Ability to use methods and theories relevant to the research
- Capacity to critically analyse empirical data and results
- Capacity to develop an interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary understanding
- Ability to develop a coherent scientific and humanistic reasoning around a theme
- Capacity to defend one's thesis at a seminar as part of the learning process
- Capacity to be the opponent of another student's thesis at a seminar as part of the learning process.


The thesis can either be based on ethnographic field studies or be a literature research on a chosen topic that the student and supervisor have jointly agreed upon. The research is mainly individually based but can also be conducted by two students jointly. In the case of the latter, the thesis has to be extended accordingly. It is expected that the student actively explores and pursue his/her chosen topic in an independent manner and conduct the research according to academic and ethical standards.


Seminar on how to write a thesis will be given. A supervisor will be assigned to each student with the obligation to supervise according to a given schedule. Supervisors are appointed by the NOHA faculty and should be members or affiliated members of the faculty. Supervision will be given individually as well as in group during the research period. If the student is not present physically in Uppsala, supervision might be conducted with technical means such as Skype.


The Master's thesis is presented and discussed at a thesis seminar following academic procedures. It is expected that the student is physically present at the thesis seminar. Only under very special circumstances can a video or Skype conference take place. Each such case is decided by the NOHA director. The thesis will be graded by an examiner in consultation with the NOHA faculty. Grade: Väl Godkänd (VG) or Godkänd (G) (Distinction or pass) as well as ECTS grades. If the thesis is given a U (fail) at the seminar it can, after complementary assignments, as the highest grade be given Godkänd (G) or a C in the ECTS system.

Transitional provisions

Members of a course regulated by a former version of this course plan have the possibility to be examined in accordance with that course plan within two years after the closure of the course. If there are particular reasons, such an examination can take place also later on. Normally no instruction in accordance with former versions of the course plan is given.

Other directives

The students must write and present their thesis in English.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 36, 2009