Writing Course and Project Description

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The course gets students to start early with their master thesis through writing training and practical insight into the research process. The course aims at offering students more insight into the writing process behind a successful master thesis by working with a project proposal for the future master thesis. The project proposal forms the basis for the master thesis and the allocation of a supervisor.

Learning Outcomes

Having completed the course, students should be able to:
  • Choose relevant knowledge in system dynamics related to their field of interest and/or specialization within system dynamics.
  • Choose a topic for a master thesis, develop and narrow it down to a clear, researchable question that can be investigated within the given time and resource limits.
  • Carry out an independent project with the support of a supervisor.
  • Argue scientifically, structure a master thesis and follow good scientific use of references.
  • Identify ethical issues in a research project and register such project for ethical clearance.
  • Carry out systematic search in the library, in scientific and other databases, and interpret and evaluate data and literature critically.
  • Document a system dynamics model according to state-of-the-art guidelines.

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
GEO-SD302, GEO-SD303, GEO-SD304, GEO-SD308, GEO-SD321, GEO-SD325, or other adequate background in modeling.
Recommended Previous Knowledge
GEO-SD302; GEO-SD303; GEO-SD304, or other adequate background in modeling.
Access to the Course
The course is open to graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Bergen if they have taken GEO-SD302, GEO-SD303, and GEO-SD304, or other courses that provide an adequate background in System Dynamics.
Teaching and learning methods

Live-streamed, recorded and stored lectures and seminars with active participation by students in a 2 week intensive course in August/September.

Total: 4-5 lectures à 2 hours per week - 9 lectures in the first two weeks.

Assignments and milestone meetings (on campus and remotely) between September and December.

1 seminar with presentations in December

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Two assignments:

  • During the first phase of the course, a thought paper (1-2 pages: first week) with the aim to develop theme, perspective and argument
  • A project draft (3-4 pages; second week) which seeks to develop the project towards a scientific problem, including important references

Oral seminar presentation in December

Forms of Assessment

A project description of 5-10 pages, containing an elaborate description of theme, aim and justification of the project, scientific problem, and a brief outline of research design, methodology, and planned schedule.

The exam assignment will be given in the language of instruction in the course.

The exam answer must be submitted in the same language as the exam assignment.

Grading Scale
Assessment Semester
Course Evaluation
All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.
Programme Committee
The System Dynamics Group, in collaboration with the Department of Geography, is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the M.Phil program in system dynamics, including GEO-SD310.
Course Coordinator
Birgit Kopainsky and Peter Andersen
Course Administrator
The Department of Geography at the Faculty of Social Sciences has the administrative responsibility for the course