Master's Thesis in Psychology

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The master's thesis shall provide students with a deeper insight into theory and empiric practice in a defined field. The thesis will develop the students' abilities for a critical and scientific reflection on a research question. A written presentation must be given in line with the current standard for scientific research dissemination.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing the course candidates shall have acquired ...

Knowledge on how

  • to analyse the relationship between topic, research question, and research design.
  • to choose a research design adequate for the investigating the research problem and in view of constraining factors such as time and the financial situation.
  • to demonstrate both broad and in-depth knowledge about the research area of the project.

Skills on how

  • to develop, plan, and complete a research project, as well as present the results from the project.
  • to provide a clear and precise written presentation of the research work.
  • to assess and explain the choice of the research design.
  • to understand which conclusions can be drawn from the analysis.
  • to be proficient in developing a scientific text in accordance with APA standards, the correct use of and reference to sources, and competent use of relevant literature databases.

General expertise on how

  • to reflect on the role of researchers in collecting and using data.
  • to reflect on ethical conditions with respect to using and interpreting own data, sources, and quotations.
  • (* to develop project outlines and undertake research projects. *)
  • to reflect on authorship and co-authorship of scientific work.

Semester of Instruction

Autumn and spring
Required Previous Knowledge

Students must have completed and passed the course MAPSYK302 Research methods and 30 credits from the other common and specialisation courses before starting on the master¿s thesis module.


Students must have passed the examinations in the common courses and specialisation courses in their chosen programme option before they can submit their master's thesis.


Students on the "behaviour and neuroscience" programme option who are going to use laboratory animals must take a course in the use of laboratory animals in research equivalent to the course LAS301 during the course of their study.

Recommended Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course
Registration for the course requires admission to the master's degree programme in psychology
Teaching and learning methods

This course consists of three elements:

  • A 10-page project outline
  • The Master's thesis (50-60 pages)
  • The presentation section in the form of a scientific presentation of students' own projects at a final conference for the Masters course.

Master's theses shall be written in line with the APA standards (A4, 1.5 line spacing, left, top and bottom margins of at least 2.5 cm), excluding the reference list and appendix. They shall consist of 50-60 pages of text (as a guide). Unlike the format used for articles, theses shall have an introduction which contains a broader review of the literature and a more comprehensive presentation of the background and problems involved. The discussion shall also be more detailed than that commonly used in the format for articles. The other parts of the thesis shall comply with the APA standards, i.e. there shall be a summary in Norwegian and English, each consisting of approx. 200 words. MA theses can also be written in English.

Master's theses can be written individually or in conjunction with another student.

When there is more than one author, the authors are expected to contribute equally to the work involved.

Their supervision is regulated by a more specific supervision agreement. Some supervision can be provided in groups. The deadline for submitting the Supervision Agreement contract is 15 October for students who start working on their Master's thesis during the autumn semester, and 15 March for students who start work on their Master's thesis during the spring semester.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
  • A project outline must be submitted via MittUib within the specified deadline.
  • Dissemination: The students must carry out an academic presentation of their project in the form of a presentation lasting 15¿30 minutes at the closing conference for the master's degree programme. The presentation must be in the form of an oral presentation.
  • Forms of Assessment

    Master's theses will be assessed by a committee consisting of two experts, one external and one internal. Grading will be determined on the basis of the written work presented. A grading scale from A to F will be used. If two students submit a joint thesis, they will receive a joint grade for both candidates. 

    The project outline shall be submitted in MittUiB, and the master's thesis shall be submitted in StudentWeb, within the deadlines given.

    Grading Scale
    The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.
    Assessment Semester
    Autumn and spring
    Reading List
    For recommended literature please refer to our website under Mitt UiB.
    Course Evaluation
    Students shall assess their tuition in accordance with the UiB's quality assurance system.
    Examination Support Material
    Not applicable
    Programme Committee
    Department of Psychosocial Science
    Course Coordinator
    Department of Psychosocial Science
    Course Administrator
    The Faculty of Psychology