Master's Thesis in Computational Engineering (MODMAS)

The master thesis is an independent project in which you will apply the knowledge acquired during your studies on solving a given assignment. It is through this assignment that you will show your abilities and qualities as a coming master in Computational Engineering.

The assignment will normally be carried out during the last semester of your studies. At this stage you will have acquired the knowledge and know-how needed for accomplishing a relevant assignment in your studies.

Course description for study year 2022-2023


Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start


Number of semesters


Exam semester


Language of instruction

English, Norwegian


Master's theses are very different and it is difficult to set up joint guidelines for project execution and reporting. Normally, the master thesis will result in a report.

One example of a report is shown below. It is emphasized that this is only an example and that in most cases it will be necessary to make adjustments. Each Department may also have their own examples or requirements in their guidelines. You should agree with your advisor in advance how your project should be carried out and documented.

At an overall level many reports will have a rather similar structure. First an introduction presenting the background of the thesis, its purpose and contents. Then there will be a presentation of relevant theory, existing methods and models relevant to the project, laboratory etc.

This will be followed by a presentation of the analyses/experiments/developments done and the results hereof. For non-experimental projects the results may include (further) development of principles, methods and models. A discussion of the results achieved should be included. How are the results achieved compared to existing theory, methods and models? What conclusions can be drawn? The description of the problem given will in many cases give you a hint as to how the contents should be organised. If you are working on several problems it may be a good idea to complete one problem complex with theory, results, discussions before you start on the next one.

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

Regulations relating to studies and examinations at the University of Stavanger, § 2-10 section 4: A candidate will generally have one attempt at a performing examination or Bachelor's or Master's thesis. a) Upon application, a second attempt may be granted if a candidate wishes to improve their grade. In such cases, the candidate may not be permitted to revise a previously submitted response, but must write a new response on a new basis b) Upon application, a candidate who has not passed the bachelor's or master's thesis may be granted a second attempt. In such cases, a reworked version of the bachelor's or master's thesis may be submitted, or a completely new thesis may be submitted. This must then be submitted by the specified deadline and will count as a new exam attempt. c) The Dean himself shall issue supplementary regulations for the completion and supervision of Bachelor's and Master's theses.A bachelor's or a master's thesis not submitted in time will be graded Fail.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

It is important for both student and supervisor that you establish a good relationship during the thesis-working project. An example of this is practicing regular meetings where the student present and discuss the work during the process. A good rule is that the student should have written/produced something as a basis for meetings with the supervisor.

It is an advantage to start the writing of the thesis as soon as possible.

To make a preliminary table of contents is often smart. During the working process, the different chapters and sub-chapters will gradually be filled with it's content.

In the beginning, the text will often be deficient and party in the form of keywords. A good advice is to  note all ideas and thoughts one come up with during the process. If not - good ideas may easily be forgotten. During the working process with a Master Thesis, one may from time to time expericence frustrating periods where everything looks hopeless and there is no trace of progression. It is then an advantage to be able to look at sub-chapters that are close to completion.

We recommend all students to read the Student Guide for Bachelor's and Master's Thesis. 


The syllabus can be found in Leganto