Master's Thesis at SUM

Supervision of masters thesis

As a general rule, the scope of the advisory relationship should encompass from 10 – 15 meetings, beginning with the initial meeting in the student’s second semester and ending with the thesis defence. Experience shows that meetings between advisor and student are more effective when both agree beforehand on the subject of the meeting and the issues/questions to be discussed. In the final writing phase, the subject will usually be drafts of sections of the thesis, which should be submitted to the advisor in advance of Meetings.

Here is an overview over Supervisors at SUM.

Ethical implications in research

If your fieldwork materials are subject to a concession (i.e., contain personally identifiable data or sensitive information), you must also supply a copy of your agreement with the Norwegian Social Sciences Data Services (NSD).

If you, through interviews, questionnaires, observations or other means, are gathering, registering, processing or storing information about individuals (i.e. personal data), then your project is likely to be subject to Notification to Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD). This means that you are obligated to fill out a notification form (meldeskjema) and submit it to the Data Protection Official for Research. Even if the final report contains no personal data, the project may still be subject to notification if you process personal data while working on the project. Submitt as soon as possible prior to your field work.

Take the Notification Test here

If your research handles sensitive information, you may need to follow special regulations. If you believe your research may have ethical implications, ask your advisor for help to understand the regulations and to fill out the necessary forms for restricting the Master's thesis. Restriction of the master's thesis usually means blocking access to both the digital and printed version of the thesis.

Fieldwork and financial support

All students should fill in a declaration of personal information for students doing fieldwork abroad. This is due to security precautions so that UiO will be able to assist you in case of emergency.

Declaration regarding fieldwork abroad (CES)

SUM offers up to 3500 NOK in travel support for master fieldwork, which will be reimbursed to your bank account after the completion of the trip. In order to be reimbursed, you will have to fill out and hand in an expense claim form (see example) together with original receipts for all the expenses you want covered.

If you include "electronic" receipts (for instance an email receipt for your plane ticket), these have to be accompanied by a screenshot of your bank statement, showing that the amount in question has been charged to your account (unless the last four digits of your payment card are included in the receipt, in that case the bank statement is not necessary). The screenshot will have to show both your name and the amount in question.

Also, please note that UiO can only reimburse you for expenses you have paid for yourself, and the reimbursement can be made to your bank account only. If you do not have a Norwegian bank account, you will also have to fill out your bank account information in the "Payments abroad" form.

Hand in the form(s) and the receipts (fastened on A4 paper if the receipt is not in that format) in Terje's mailbox in the printer room on the 2nd floor.

Norwegian studens may also apply for financial support from Lånekassen. You apply online through "Mine sider", but should attache the "D-skjema" which is available on Lånekassens website

IT Services

Save, save, save! Always save and take backups of your files and recordings. We recommend downloading Office 365 and to save your files or backups on OneDrive.

NVivo is a software that allows you to code text, sound, images and video. NVivo can also be used for transcribing.

EndNote is a reference tool most students find useful. The Library organize courses, there are online tutorials and a EndNote Facebook Group.

Writing the thesis

These are guidelines for the layout of master’s thesis at SUM: 

  • Number of pages: 90 -130 (front page, index, appendix and bibliography not included)
  • Line spacing: 1.5
  • Font size: 12 points
  • Margin: approx. 2.5 cm
  • Gutter: 1.5 cm
  • Alignment: left
  • Page numbering: bottom centre (top centre if many footnotes)
  • Font style: Times New Roman

How to format the gutter (innbindingsmarg) in Word: Choose from the top menus: “File -> Page Setup -> Where it says “Multiple pages”, choose “Mirror margins” from the drop down menu. Where it says “Apply to”, choose “Whole document” from the drop down menu. Now set the margins to 1.5 cm. and click “OK”.

When writing large documents, it is helpful to use styles. Styles help with the layout of the document and form the basis for the automatic generation of a table of contents.The guidelines from the service Search & Write describes the formal requirements for a master's thesis, what elements are to be included, tips on how to work with styles and headlines, etc. 

Reading room

The reading room on SUM's 4th floor is reserved CES students. Read more about the reading room and apply for a work desk on the SUM reading room website.

Submission deadline and extention 2020 (updated 24 March 2020)

- 2 June at 15:00. On the submission date you have to submit three printed copies if Reprosentralen has re-opened. If Reprosentralen is closed due to COVID-19, you submit the pdf of your thesis on e-mail. We will arrange for your oral exam in late June (in Zoom or Teams if UiO is closed to COVID-19).

- If you are not able to submit your thesis 2 June, you must apply for an extra semester. The application must include a work schedule for completion of the master's thesis approved and confirmed by your supervisor. We will plan for your oral defense according to the work schedule you send us. Further information and application form is available here. NB! For international students, specific conditions may apply.

2021: Se semester page in course website for deadline, SUM4091 – Master's Thesis in Development, Environment and Cultural Change

Submission checklist


These are the steps to follow when submitting the thesis


To do


Make sure that you have followed the guidelines of the UiO master thesis template, and that the UiO-logo on the front page is  centered (in the previous template it was a bit off-centre, to the right)


Check that you’re not missing any references in your list of references.


Update your table of contents.


Save the finished thesis as a PDF file (How to make a pdf. file).


Print out the thesis in PDF and revise that everything looks fine.


Write a summary of the thesis (maximum 1 page), and prepare a few keywords that describes it.

The keywords will be searchable in DUO (the digital archive of UiO) when the thesis is published, and will make it easier for others to find your thesis. For inspiration, check out previous master's thesis from SUM.


Submit your thesis to the UiO's open research archive (DUO) through StudentWeb (info about submiting to DUO).


E-mail or submit the following to

  • the submission receipt you receive from DUO
  • the pdf of your thesis
  • Form for submission of Master´s Thesis. Leave the field "Programme option" open. Without the form, we are not able to issue the diploma.


Order prints of your master's thesis on Reprosentralen's website. Choose the custom made product "SUM-Masteroppgave".

Information you need for ordering the prints:

  • How to estimate the percentage of color pages: count the number of color pages in your thesis, max 10. Divide the number with the total number of pages in your thesis, times 100 = %
  • Duplex print (Norwegian: Tosidig)
  • Sted/Location code: 290 100

SUM covers the cost of 10 copies. Any additional copies and more than 10 colour pages are at your own expense. 4 copies of your thesis is sent directly to SUM (for the supervisor, examiners and a display copy), and you have to pick up your own 6 copies at Reprosentralen (preferably as soon as they are ready).


Oral exam

When the thesis is submitted, a Commission will be appointed to examine the thesis. The student will be informed by email of the date for the exam and the make-up of the Commission. The Commission will consist of one in-house and one external examiner. The Commission may ask the supervisor beforehand whether she or he wishes to provide the Commission any information on the candidate or the research, but the supervisor does not participate in the exam.

The oral exam will take place at SUM. At the agreed upon time for the exam, the two examiners meet briefly to discuss the written thesis. The quality is assessed and the examiners agree on a provisional grade. After the committee’s initial discussion, the candidate is called in and examined. The student should be prepared to answer questions about the thesis content and preparation. The exam will normally take 45-60 minutes. The examination is conducted in English. The quality of the candidate’s performance in the exam contributes to the final grade for the thesis.

After the exam is completed, the Commission will determine a grade for the thesis, which will be given to the student at the end of the session. You will also receive a written explanation of the grade which has been awarded. You should familiarize yourself with UiO grading system's general, qualitative descriptions of the criteria used in the assessment of examinations.

You can appeal against your grade or any formal errors relating to the examination. Please see the information website on explanations and appeals.

The final Masters Diploma will be sent to the address the student has registered in StudentWeb.

Published Sep. 26, 2011 11:18 AM - Last modified July 28, 2020 10:31 AM