English - Master's Thesis

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The Master's thesis is a scientific work in the discipline of the student's specialisation, and may be written on the basis of one of the selected topics.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Master's programme:


The graduate

  • will have further developed the knowledge s/he has gained previously via specialised courses in English linguistics and/or English literature or/and culture and/or didactics.
  • will have gained broad knowledge of the field in general and detailed knowledge of a limited subfield.
  • will have gained basic knowledge of central problems and methodologies in the selected discipline.


The graduate

  • is able to work independently and in the long term on solving problems based on his/her knowledge of the discipline.
  • is able to engage with and critically assess theories, methods and interpretations within the discipline.
  • is capable of acquiring and applying knowledge of new subfields within the discipline.
  • is capable of carrying out a limited supervised research project in accordance with the relevant research-ethical norms.
  • is familiar with the norms of academic writing.
  • is capable of using the ICT tools which are necessary in order to carry out independent work within the discipline.

General competence

The graduate

  • is capable of continuing to develop his/her competence and specialisation in an independent manner.
  • can express problems, analyses and conclusions within the student's selected discipline in English.
  • is familiar with relevant communicative genres.
  • can contribute to discourse in the public arena in areas relevant to the discipline.

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Spring and autumn

Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Bachelor degree with specialization in English, or the equivalent.
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Before starting work on the Master's thesis, it is recommended that the student has achieved 60 credits in Selected topics in English linguistics and/or English literature/culture.
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course
The course is open to students enrolled in the Master programme in English and the Master's programme in Foreign Language Teacher Education at the University of Bergen.
Teaching and learning methods
The master thesis is usually written during the third and fourth semesters of the Masters programme.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Students are advised to choose a topic for their Master's thesis as early as possible in the second semester.

Students receive supervision for their work on their Master's thesis. A supervision contract outlining the rights and responsibilities of the student is signed by the student, supervisor, and department administration. If a student takes more than two semesters to complete the Master's thesis, supervision will be reduced. Students using a fifth or sixth semester to write their Master's thesis have the right to feedback on a single full and final draft of their thesis if submitted to the supervisor no later than two weeks before the desired final submission deadline.

Work-in-progress seminar As part of the Master's thesis, students hold three approved presentations at the Department's work-in-progress seminars for Master students:

1. a project presentation

2. a draft of a chapter of the Master's thesis,

3. a discussion of another student's chapter draft.

Students are expected to participate actively in their discipline's work-in-progress seminars by presenting their own work and by taking part in discussions about others' presentations. It is especially important that students take part in these seminars the two semesters they spend writing their Master's thesis, but it is also advantageous that they participate in their first and second semester.

Forms of Assessment

Selected topics must be passed before examination. Likewise, all obligatory requirements must be met before examination.

The final examination for the Master degree (i.e. submission of the Master's thesis and subsequent oral examination) can be carried out at the beginning and end of each semester. Deadlines for submission of the master's thesis is 1 February and 15 May in the spring semester, and 1 September and 20 November in the autumn semester.

The Master's thesis is to be written in English, and should comprise 70- 110 pages (the total word count of the thesis must be between 25 000 and 40 000 words.).

The subject for discussion at the oral examination is the student's Master's thesis. Following oral examination, the final grade for the Master's thesis may be adjusted up or down by one on the grading scale. Both parts of the exam must receive a passing grade in order to get a passing grade in the course.

Grading Scale
The Department uses a grading scale ranging from A to F. F is a failing grade.
Assessment Semester
Examination in ENG350 is offered in the spring and autumn semesters.
Reading List
Course Evaluation
The course will be evaluated in accordance with the quality assurance system of the University of Bergen.
Examination Support Material
Programme Committee
The Program Board is responsible for the academic content and structure of the study program, and for the quality of all the subjects therein.
Course Coordinator
Programme Board for English
Course Administrator
The Department of Foreign Languages at the Faculty of Humanities has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study programme.