This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

Social work as a field of knowledge is obtained and developed through different sources such as practice, education and research. Research is a fundamental part of social work and welfare innovation and professional development. Such research examples are identifying social issues, studying the effectiveness of practice, developing user participation and facilitate ethical informed empowering interventions. This master thesis module involves the completion of investigating a research question using one or several relevant research methodologies, and further utilize and build on knowledge, skills and values developed throughout the Nordic Master of Social Work and Welfare.

Learning outcome

After the completion of the course, the student has advanced knowledge in
  • Research design and theory of science relevant to the investigation of a particular question.
  • Relevant research literature positioning the students chosen topic within an academic context
  • Theoretical perspectives and conceptual tools relevant for writing the master thesis on researching the chosen topic
  • Methodological approaches to describe and discuss collection and analysis of relevant data for the master thesis

The student will be able to
  • Conduct a literature review of the relevant state of the academic knowledge related to the chosen research topic
  • Conduct an independent master thesis within a workload of one-semester timeframe and under supervision
  • Critically review and evaluate relevant methods and findings used in literature that are important and in use in the actual master thesis
  • Discuss and choose a relevant methodology and apply this in a reflective manner at the actual master thesis
  • Show the ability to make judgments with regard to research ethics and societal aspects

The student will be able to
  • Read and critically assess academic literature
  • Undertake independent and ethically informed applied research by the integration of advanced skills and knowledge in the field of social work and welfare
  • Critically analyse and synthesise multiple forms of empirical, theoretical and methodological data with careful consideration of research ethics, including the importance of human rights and social work, welfare and cultural context
  • Present specialised knowledge and research findings in the form of academic writing and facilitate research-informed social work and welfare knowledge, oral or/and written, to multiple settings and audiences


This module deepens the students` knowledge in social work and welfare. The course will deal with the following topics:
* To choose a topic and formulate research questions
* To collect data
* To document the data
* To analyse the data
* To write a research report
Students will get access to library, supervisor and master thesis seminars at their host university for their master thesis work. The supervisor will be appointed by the Consortium Committee (CC is containing one to two members from each cooperating university). The supervisor is to assist the student when he or she is developing the research description, collecting and analysing data and writing up the master thesis. A contract between the student and the supervisor will be agreed upon and signed by both parties to ensure that rights and obligations are understood. Students who fail the master`s thesis can re-submit their thesis according to the rules at the local university.

Required prerequisite knowledge

All previous courses on the program must be completed


Master Thesis with Oral Examination
Weight Duration Marks Aid
Master Thesis0/1 A - F
Oral examination - adjustment1/1 A - F
The master`s thesis will be assessed by two examinators. Word count: 20 000 words (+/- 10 %) including table of contents, notes, references and bibliography. Reference style: APA 6th
Within a month after the submitting of the thesis, the student is required to give an oral defence
The dissertation consisting of the written thesis and the oral defense will be awarded grades on a descending scale from A to E for pass and F for fail.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator
Siv Oltedal

Method of work

Open to

Nordic Master in Social Work and Welfare

Course assessment

The course will be assessed every semester by the Consortium


Literatur will be published as soon as it has been prepared by the course coordinator/teacher

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

Sist oppdatert: 14.08.2020