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Master's thesis in service leadership in international business MSERMAS

The master's thesis is a carefully crafted research project which defines and explores a research question based on original ideas and scientific arguments. The thesis should have a substantial research component and must be written under the guidance of an advisor. The thesis provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate expertise and represents a test of research independence and self-reliance within service leadership and international business.

Course description for study year 2022-2023. Please note that changes may occur.

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The Master's thesis is an independent, individual, and tutored scientific work. The chosen topic must be relevant to important management and scientific areas within the master's program. 

The workload is equivalent to one semester of full-time work, or 30 ECTS, which amounts to a student workload of approximately 750-800 hours. A finished dissertation is usually a monograph of 60 to 80 pages. Two students may cooperate on a thesis, in which case the work should be more comprehensive. 

It is also possible to write a thesis in an article format. The article should be publishable in a peer-reviewed scientific journal of good quality.

Learning outcome

A candidate who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge skills and general competence:


After completing the master's thesis, students have: 

  • advanced knowledge on how to define, present and pursue a topical research question within service leadership and international business 
  • a thorough understanding of how to develop and conduct a scholarly based work of research 
  • the ability to identify research questions suitable for a master's thesis 
  • a thorough understanding of theories and methods that can be used to address the chosen  research question at this level of scientific complexity 


After completing the master thesis, students can 

  • search relevant sources for theories and data that can address a specific research question 
  • review existing theories and empirical evidence 
  • organize, summarize and analyze data, present and discuss results 
  • write clearly about the chosen research question, discuss results and implications

General competence 

After completing the master's thesis, students can 

  • plan and complete a large project under supervision and in accordance with existing norms for  research ethics 
  • apply knowledge and skills to the chosen area of research 
  • demonstrate high-level abilities for critical thinking and reflection 
Required prerequisite knowledge
All first year courses must be passed.
Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Master's thesis 1/1 Letter grades All

Course requirement: Oral presentation of thesis project plan for feedback and evaluation with the evaluation: passed or not passed.

Coursework requirements
Participation in the autumn semester seminar, Master thesis project plan
Master's thesis project plan.
Course teacher(s)
Course coordinator: Terje Ingebrigt Våland
Method of work

By December 1st students must submit a paper describing the plan for the thesis. The paper will be evaluated and must be approved before students are allowed to proceed with the dissertation work. 

In the spring semester students mainly work together with their advisor. 

Open for
Students on the master’s program: Service leadership in international business.
Course assessment
The course will be assessed and evaluated according to the University of Stavanger' administrative quality system.
The syllabus can be found in Leganto