Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The objective of the thesis is for students to be able to document that they have understood the key research principles of the program. The thesis can be of a theoretical or empirical nature. The students must demonstrate their ability to carry out systematic, reflective, and critical analysis of research questions and data collection. The relationship between the research questions, methodology, generation of data and reporting must be communicated reflectively and critically. The student must be able to provide an informative, clear and concise written presentation of the subject area. The thesis can include student active research carried out in the research groups. The thesis must be written on the basis of a project description that has been developed in collaboration with, and has been approved by, a supervisor.

An information meeting about the thesis will be organized in the first half of the 10th semester (3rd last semester). At this meeting, the students will be given information about possible thesis projects. By the end of the 10th semester, students must have signed up for a supervisor and a research group (student-active research), and signed a contract with a supervisor in the relevant topic. The contract must be submitted by the end of the 10th semester.

The thesis should be written individually or in groups of 3 students maximum. The thesis can total between 40 and 60 pages, based on the supplementary guidance. The thesis can also be submitted in an article format, based on the supplementary guidance.

A thesis written as an article must be submitted as a publishable manuscript. The supervisor cannot be listed as a co-author. Any assignments, articles or other written work he student has written and published previously (such as via student scholarships/summer scholarships) cannot be submitted as the thesis. If the thesis is written as an article, this must adhere to the author guidelines of the journal for which the article is intended. The student must choose a level 1 or 2 journal that has been academically approved (see: A short summary of the journal¿s guidelines, especially if these deviate from the APA Style Guide, and a link to the journal¿s homepage, must be attached to the submission.

Learning Outcomes


Upon completion of the course, the student will have

  • acquired in-depth knowledge in, and able to use psychological concepts, methods and theories within the thematic area of the thesis in a manner relevant to the field of research
  • acquired in-depth knowledge of research ethics, and can follow guidelines pertaining to professional ethics in the work carried out for the thesis.


Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to

  • formulate clear research questions and give grounds for why these are interesting and relevant for the field of psychology as a subject and for the topic of the thesis
  • analyse the relationship between the topic, the research question and the research design
  • choose a suitable research strategy/design based on the research questions and contextual factors such as time and funding
  • use specific methods to identify the relevant literature, including searching for relevant literature databases
  • understand methodological opportunities and limitations in the different forms of research
  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge within the subject area of the thesis
  • explain relevant ethical assessments and formal procedures for the allocation and formal distribution of responsibility
  • demonstrate skills in the correct formulation of academic writing using the APA Style Guide, with the correct use of sources and the correct presentation of references

General competence:

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to

  • reflect on the ethical relationship regarding the use of data, sources and citations
  • reflect on the authorship and co-authorship of academic work
  • familiarize themselves with new research questions, assess and acquire new subject-specific knowledge and use this knowledge in independent analysis of relevant community issues
  • discuss basic ethical issues that one encounter in practical research work

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
The student must have passed all previous courses of the Professional Program in Psychology
Access to the Course
Professional Studies Program in Psychology
Teaching and learning methods
Writing the thesis with feedback provided by a supervisor.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Forms of Assessment
The thesis will be assessed by a committee who have the formal academic competence required, which includes an internal and an external examiner.
Grading Scale
The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, while grade F is a fail.
Assessment Semester


The deadline for submission i December 15 for the autumn semester and May 15 for the spring semester.

Reading List
There are separate reading lists for each thesis.
Course Evaluation
The course is evaluated in line with the procedures for participatory evaluation at the Faculty of Psychology and the quality assurance system at the University of Bergen.
Course Coordinator
The Faculty of Psychology