BARN3900 - Master's Thesis


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Master's thesis with adjusting oral examination
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Master's thesis with adjusting oral examination 100/100

Course content

Students write a master's thesis in childhood studies, based on an independent, scientific study related to children and childhood. The thesis must be 55-85 pages (Verdana 10, space 1.15). Usually, the thesis includes an empirical study that involves fieldwork. It is strongly recommended that the data collection is completed by the middle of the 3rd semester (medio October). The thesis is expected to be completed within four semesters from admission into the programme. Supervision will not be provided beyond this time.

Learning outcome

By the end of the course, the student has obtained the following


  • Develop in-depth knowledge of a self-selected topic related to childhood and/or children's lives
  • Obtaining knowledge of the formal requirements and expectations of an academic text


  • Training and experience in analyzing empirical fieldwork data, handling and structuring large amounts of information, and writing a scientific study related to children and childhood
  • Training in developing the ability to make a connection between empirical material and conceptual/theoretical ideas

General competence:

  • Can carry out comprehensive, ethical and independent empirical work
  • Can handle and assess the quality of various forms of sources and information, and analyze as well as communicate research results in a clear and comprehensible manner.

Learning methods and activities

The master's thesis seminar series has two parts. The first part takes place in the 2nd semester before undertaking fieldwork, consisting of 4 obligatory seminars. They focus on research design, choice of topics and formulation of research questions. Students will learn about ethical clearance and how to be prepared to undertake good empirical research. These seminars are obligatory and considered key aspects of developing the ideas for the master's thesis. Approval to undertake fieldwork or start writing a master's thesis requires the completion of the seminars and preparation for fieldwork. Students will get a supervisor assigned during the second semester. All students must sign a master's thesis agreement in the second semester. The agreement regulates, among other things, the relationship between the student and supervisor.

The second part of the seminar series takes place in the 3rd and 4th semesters. All students will be given individual supervision amounting to a total of 60 hours. Following fieldwork, a total of six master's thesis writing seminars will be held in the 3rd and 4th semesters focusing on how to work with theory and data. Students will share and discuss their field experiences, the process of analysing and interpreting field data as well as how to produce academic text. Students also receive tips and guidance on writing a master's thesis. Students' participation in master thesis seminars enables them to develop theoretical knowledge and practical skills related to the process of writing their research. Students are required to present and discuss their thesis as they write it. They are expected to hand in chapter drafts to their supervisor throughout the writing period.

Compulsory assignments

  • Attending seminars in the 2nd semester
  • Project description
  • Submission of chapter drafts and supervision

Further on evaluation

The exam consists of two parts; the master's thesis and an oral defence of the thesis. The oral examination must be completed in English and can be held in person or digitally. The oral examination is a conversation about the thesis between the candidate, the internal examiner and the external examiner. The final grade for the master's thesis may be adjusted after the oral examination.

Specific conditions

Admission to a programme of study is required:
Childhood Studies (MPCHILD)

Required previous knowledge

Students must pass the examination in BARN3101, BARN3201 and BARN3202 before they can start doing fieldwork and write the master's thesis.

Course materials

Information will be given at the beginning of the semester.

More on the course

Version: 1
Credits:  60.0 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 2
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2023

Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2024

Term no.: 3
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2024

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Childhood Studies
  • Social Sciences
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Education and Lifelong Learning


Examination arrangement: Master's thesis with adjusting oral examination

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Master's thesis with adjusting oral examination 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Master's thesis with adjusting oral examination 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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