Chinese - Master's Thesis

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The master thesis constitutes the most important part of the Master degree, and should normally be written in the course of two semesters of intensive work. The aim of the master thesis is to enable the student to develop deeper knowledge, understanding, capabilities and attitudes in the field of Chinese Studies. The topic of the thesis may in principle be chosen freely, following discussion with a supervisor, but will in practice be restricted by the capacity of the Chinese faculty to supervise the thesis. The topic and research questions should be connected to one of the main disciplines within the field of Chinese Studies. Using appropriate theoretical and methodological perspectives in Chinese Studies to address specific research questions is expected.

The master thesis must be written in English and comprise 70-110 pages (the total word count of the thesis must be between 25 000 and 40 000 words.).

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 Chinese Studies

- will have gained broad knowledge of the field in general and detailed knowledge of a limited subfield

- will have gained 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 the discourse in the public arena in areas relevant to the discipline.

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Autumn and Spring

Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Bachelor degree with specialisation in Chinese language, Sinology, or the equivalent. Proficiency in Chinese language is necessary in order to understand the Chinese data for analysis.
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Students should complete the courses in the master programme in Chinese Studies before embarking on the master's thesis.
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course
The course is open to students enrolled in the Master programme in Chinese Studies at the University of Bergen.
Teaching and learning methods
The Master thesis is usually written during the third and fourth semesters of the Master in Chinese Studies programme. There is no teaching in these two semesters, and the student will do research work mainly based on independent study, with full supervision from the supervisor(s).
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 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.

Forms of Assessment

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

The Master thesis is a thorough analysis of a self-chosen topic in the field of Chinese Studies. It shall 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 final examination for the Master degree (i.e. the Master thesis and subsequent oral examination) can be carried out at the beginning and end of each semester. Deadlines for submission of the thesis are 1 February and 15 May in the Spring semester, and 1 September and 20 November in the Autumn semester.

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 KIN350 is offered in the Spring and Autumn semesters.
Reading List
Course Evaluation
The course is evaluated in accordance with the quality control system of the University of Bergen.
Examination Support Material
Not relevant.
Programme Committee
The Programme Board is responsible for the academic content and structure of the study programme, and for the quality of all the subjects therein.
Course Coordinator
The Programme Board for Chinese Studies
Course Administrator
The Department of Foreign Languages at the Faculty of Humanities has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study programme.