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 engineer.
The assignment will normally be carried out during the last semester of your studies, except the
master's thesis of 60 ECTS that run over two semesters. At this stage you will have acquired
the knowledge and know-how needed for accomplishing a relevant assignment in your studies.
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
Since the master theses are very different 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.
Required prerequisite knowledge
Form of assessment
A - F
Submission of an individual thesis with provisional grading. The submitted thesis is given a temporary grade followed by an oral presentation that serves to adjust the grade. Final grading is decided after the oral hearing composed of a presentation of the thesis and followed by an oral examination. The presentation should last for approximately 30 minutes where the student gives an overview of the thesis. This part is open to the public. Following the presentation is an oral examination on the thesis with external sensor and supervisor. The final grade is set after the oral examination. We further refer to Regulations relating to studies and examinations at the University of Stavanger, § 3-10 section 4 and Regulation for bachleor's and master's thesis at the Faculty of Science and Technology.
It is important both to the student and the advisor that a good cooperation routine is established during the execution of the project. This may e.g. take the form of regular meetings in which the student will present and discuss his/her work as it develops. Preferably the student should have written something that can form the basis of the conversation/discussion with the advisor. It is an advantage to start writing the thesis at the earliest possible stage. Make a preliminary table of contents for the thesis. As your work progresses, the various chapters and part chapters will be filled with text. At the start the text will often be incomplete and take the form of key words. But be sure to write down all your ideas and thoughts as they come to your mind. Otherwise, good ideas may easily be forgotten. When working on a thesis, you may from time to time find yourself in a period of frustration where everything looks hopeless and where there is no progress. In such periods it is an advantage to be able to take out part chapters that are almost finished.