Master's Thesis in Computational Engineering (MODMAS)

The master's thesis is an independent project in which you will apply the knowledge acquired during your studies to solve a problem. By completing the thesis, you will show your abilities and qualities as a Master in Computational Engineering.

The assignment will normally be carried out during the last semester of your studies.

Course description for study year 2023-2024


Course code




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Semester tution start


Number of semesters


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Language of instruction

English, Norwegian


The master thesis focuses on a particular problem that the student will address during a 4.5month period of research. The particular problem will depend on the student's interest and will be developed under the supervision of a University of Stavanger staff member and possibly an external supervisor.

Thesis topics are relevant to the program, and the student will have the opportunity to select or propose topics. The thesis will include significant components of research and writing. The student is encouraged to participate in auxiliary courses provided by the University of Stavanger library.

Learning outcome

A candidate who has completed and passed his or her master thesis has acquired the following learning outcomes:

  • Is able to present and communicate extensive independent work
  • Can describe the problem clearly and masters the terms and expressions within the academic field
  • Has acquired an overview of relevant international literature, scientific reporting and ethical standards in the field, and manages to deal critically with various sources of information
  • Is able to analyse relevant theoretical models and/or studies supported by scientific research
  • Masters analysis of relevant scholarly tools and techniques
  • Is able to give an account of the academic problem and analyse results and independent conclusions according to the problem
  • Is able to reflect upon and evaluate his/her own work in a critical manner
  • Is able to defend high moral standards in scientific, as well as other, context, thus being a good role model

Required prerequisite knowledge

In order to qualify for writing the master's thesis, the student must have passed at least 50 ECTS credits in their study plan by 15th of October the semester before writing the thesis, or alternatively, 80 ECTS credits by 15th of January when writing in the spring semester.

If a student does not meet these requirements, she/he can apply for writing the thesis in the fall semester, or write the thesis in the next spring semester.'


Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Master thesis 1/1 4.5 Months Letter grades All

Read more about writing a master's thesis at the Faculty of Science and Technology here.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Aksel Hiorth

Method of work

Project work: The project work varies with each thesis topic. Some thesis topics are theoretical, develop a new algorithm, and others working with datasets; therefore, the focus of research activities may be different. All thesis projects will include significant literature research and usage of a computer.

Communication with supervisor: It is important for both student and supervisor to establish a successful cooperation throughout the work progress. This can for example be accomplished through regular meetings where the student presents and discusses the work progress. A good practice is that the student has written something prior to the meeting as a basis for discussions with the supervisor. Any written work or papers that the student would like to discuss should be shared with the supervisor prior to the meeting.

Managing the project: While regular communication with the supervisor is encouraged, the student should create a realistic schedule to ensure progress in the project. The schedule should include milestones and deadlines such as when the bulk of literature research should be completed; when different phases of experiments, interpretation or field work should be completed; and when each thesis section should be written for review. It is an advantage for the student to start the writing process as soon as possible. Beginning the writing process with an outline will help you maintain an organized approach to wrting.

Thesis content: Master's theses can have several different forms. Many theses include construction- or experimental work, while other theses are more theoretical. A thesis can be an overview-based thesis where an overview of a concept is made out of different literature sources, a more complementary discussion-based thesis, or a thesis aiming to solve a specific problem or develop a product. A thesis must include motivation and a clearly defined aim with research questions, be well-structured and be well well-written. The discussion should include the ethical (c.f. the Norwegian National Committee for Ethics and Research - the Guidelines for Resarch Ethics in Science and Technology - and environmental consequences of discoveries/themes/developed products. The general sections of a thesis are: introduction to the topic and problem with the motivation of the study, aim, and research questions; literature review; geologic setting, if applicable; method or experiment; data or list of materials; presentation of results; discussion of results; and conclusions in which the research questions are answered and future work from the study is proposed. The arguments for and against a certain statement must be logically presented and supported by literature. A fellow student with a similar background should be able to read the thesis without having to use extra information in order to understand the message. Reproduction of content from teaching books etc. about general theory and knowledge should be limited. The candidate must make a list of references for the thesis and properly cite those references in the thesis text.

We recommend all students to read the student guide for bachelor's- and master's theses:

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course coordinator, the student representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital course evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


The syllabus can be found in Leganto