Syllabus for Master's Thesis

Master's Thesis


  • 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
  • Revised: 2018-04-10
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Theology
  • Applies from: week 25, 2018
  • Entry requirements: 75 credits within the  Master Programme in International Humanitarian Action.
  • Responsible department: Department of Theology

Decisions and guidelines

The course is offered within the Master Programme 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 successful completion of the course, students are expected to have the following competences:

  • a capacity to formulate a research question or research questions within the field of humanitarian research;
  • an ability to independently carry out a scientific research task within the field with the help of relevant methods and theories;
  • an ability to develop and present a credible answer to the research question(s) in a systematic way and support it with relevant empirical and theoretical material;
  • a capacity to understand and acknowledge relevant and valid critique of one’s thesis;
  • an ability to offer constructive criticism to another student’s thesis.


The thesis can either be based on 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 conducts the research according to academic and ethical standards.


Seminars 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 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 by technical means.


The Master's thesis will be presented and discussed at a thesis seminar. Students should be physically present at the thesis seminar. If, however, that is not possible, a video conference will be arranged.
The thesis will be graded by an examiner in consultation with faculty. Grade: VG, G or U (Pass with distinction, Pass and Fail). If the thesis is given a U (Fail) at the seminar, it can be approved after complementary assignments and improvements.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University’s disability coordinator.

Transitional provisions

Students retain the right to be examined on the course according to this syllabus for 3 semesters after their course instance has ended. Normally, instruction will be given according to the latest version of the course syllabus only.

Other directives

The students must write and present their thesis in English.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 25, 2018

  • Robson, Colin Real world research : a resource for users of social research methods in applied settings

    3rd ed.: Chichester: Wiley, 2011

    Find in the library


  • Booth, Wayne C.; Colomb, Gregory G.; Williams, Joseph M. The craft of research

    3. ed.: Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press, 2008

    Find in the library