Master's Handbook – Childhood Studies – Master programme – 2-years – Trondheim
Master's handbook - Childhood Studies
Master's handbook - Childhood Studies
Valid for the academic year 2023/24
The master's handbook in Childhood studies gives you the information you need during your master's study. Read this carefully so that you will be better prepared for what is expected of you and what you can expect from us at the Norwegian Centre for Child Research/Department of Education and Lifelong Learning. You will find most of the necessary practical information here, but don't hesitate to contact the student advisor and/or program coordinator if you have questions.
Information for 1st year students
Orientation Week (international students only)
During week 33 (14–18 August), there will be several events arranged by the department, the NTNU Office of International Relations and the university. You will find information on the study programme pages. We also refer to this page: New international student. At the bottom of the page, you will find "arrival checklist" and other useful information.
Introductory days in Childhood studies (all new students)
On Monday 14 August at 10:00 new students in the Childhood studies programme are invited for a meeting together with the staff on Dragvoll campus. You will be introduced to the department and the master in Childhood Studies, you will meet the student representative and our learning assistants. You will also be given an exercise that will be followed up by student presentations in a meeting on the 24 August at 11:15.
Recommended courses and meetings (international students only)
During the first semester, the Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences (SU) arranges the following courses for international students:
Computer course. See the study programme page for times and dates.
Library course. See the study programme page for times and dates.
Course in academic writing. See the study programme page for times and dates.
More information will be given during the Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences’ information meeting for international master’s students. You will receive an email with information about time and place for the meeting.
Expectations to you as a student. It is compulsory to attend all lectures and seminars. You must document this by signing the student list which will be handed out during each lecture/seminar. If you are absent more than 20 % of the time, you will need to bring a statement from your doctor in order to be allowed to sit the exam. For each course, there will be several deadlines posted on Blackboard. We expect you to keep the deadlines. If you, for instance, are unable to submit a paper on time, you need a statement from your doctor in order to sit the exam. We expect you to read the literature that is listed for a lecture before the lecture. Before the exam, you should have read through all the literature on the reading list.
You are not allowed to use the department logo in student papers, letters etc. The only exception is your master's thesis.
How to get started
Semester fee and registration
The deadlines for the semester registration are as follows:
- 15 September/1 February: Deadline for paying the semester fee.
- 15 September/1 February: Deadline for class and exam registration and for confirming your individual education plan on Studentweb.
- Deadline for cancellation of registration for examination is published in Studntweb.
- We would advise you to do the semester registrations as soon as possible to get your student ID card, computer access and access to course information on Blackboard (see below).
You can get help with your individual education plan by sending an email to the department.
Student ID card and Student ID app
As an NTNU student, you must have an ID card with your name and photo. The card serves as your student ID, key card to allow you to access specific NTNU buildings, library card, and printer access card. To get student discounts on buses, trains and other services, you need both the student ID card and the student ID app.
Information on how to get your student ID card.
Information on how to download the student ID app.
To get your student ID card, please bring your passport (or other ID) and semester card and show up at 'Byggsikring', building 6, level 3, Dragvoll campus. The officer will take a picture of you and produce the student ID card right away. It could be wise to show up early in the morning to avoid the queue. The student ID card will give you access to Dragvoll buildings, computer rooms, reading rooms, library etc. Together with your semester card, the student ID card will give you a discount on buses and trains, as well as a discount on membership at the Sports Centre, events at the Student's Society Samfundet and many other activities.
Computer access and e-mail
As an NTNU student, you will get your user account and an e-mail address, and access to Studentweb, NTNU's intranet 'Innsida' and Blackboard (more information below). You will also get free access to computers and the Internet on the campus. Register online here. Here you will also find an arrival checklist. If you have questions please contact:
Orakeltjenesten Tel: +47 73 59 18 10
Office: Building 8, level 5 (the library at Dragvoll)
Opening hours: 08:00–16:30
Note that important information from the university will be sent to your student e-mail address only, not to your private e-mail address. It is therefore important that you check your student email regularly.
Blackboard is the electronic learning system for students at NTNU. The teachers usually post lecture notes, seminar schedules, information about exercises, and other important information on Blackboard. It is also used for digital lectures in Backboard Collaborate.
When you have registered for classes and exams on Studentweb, your courses will appear on Blackboard. You can log on to Blackboard via 'Innsida' by using your username and password. You can also find a link for Blackboard via 'Bookmarks'.
You may apply for a permanent study carrel in one of the reading rooms at Dragvoll campus. The application deadline is 25 August for the autumn semester and 25 January for the spring semester.
If you have already been given a desk for last semester, you must still apply to keep your desk. Students who apply after the deadline will get the lowest priority. If you do not need a desk every day, you may apply for using a desk part-time, which means sharing with another student.
Information in Norwegian about how to get started
Outline of the programme with elective courses
The master's programme in Childhood Studies involves two years of full-time studies. The workload for a full-time student for one academic year is 60 credits. See the description of the study programme structure.
On the same page, you will also find an updated list of the elective courses.
The elective courses are administered by the Department of Geography (GEOG courses).
For more information about the course outline, core courses and elective courses etc, please visit the webpage Master of Philosophy in Childhood Studies. This is a Norwegian landing page, search for Childhood studies.
Reading, course plans and timetables
The reading lists, course plans and timetables will be posted on Blackboard. You can also find reading lists and information about courses, schedule and exam dates on NTNU's web pages.
A large part of the literature on the reading lists is available electronically via Oria as e-books or e-journals at NTNU University Library. Compendiums are also available electronically. You will also find links to compendiums on Blackboard. You can make printouts of articles.
A few of the books you will need to buy or borrow from the library. You can buy books for the courses at Akademika book shop, Dragvoll. There will be an overview of how to access literature for each course on Blackboard.
Experts in Teamwork
Experts in Teamwork (EiT) is a compulsory course for all master's students at NTNU. This is a course in which students apply their academic competence in interdisciplinary project work to learn teamwork skills to prepare them for working life.
Teaching in EiT takes place in units called 'villages'. As a Childhood Studies student, you must choose an 'intensive village', with teaching every weekday for three weeks in January 2020. Make sure that you choose a village that will be taught in English. Register your five village priorities on Studentweb from 1 October–1 November. See more information about Experts in Teamwork.
Exchange student at Brunel University?
Norwegian Centre for Child Research collaborates with the Interdisciplinary Centre for Child and Youth Focused Research at Brunel University, UK. Apply before 15 September. You may apply for spending one semester at Brunel.
The exchange programme has two allotments for students admitted to Childhood studies. The exchange period is the second semester (the 2nd term at Brunel University), from January to May. Erasmus students are not required to pay tuition fees at Brunel, and they are entitled to an Erasmus scholarship from NTNU.
Read more about the exchange programme and how to apply.
The master's thesis - general information
Learning objective and time frame
The learning objective for the master's thesis in Childhood Studies is to provide students with training in carrying out a scientific study related to children and childhood.
Usually, the thesis must include an empirical study. You must complete the data collection by the middle of the 3rd semester, usually by September. If necessary, you may use the summer between the 2nd and 3rd semester for data collection.
The thesis accounts for 60 credits. It is expected to be completed within four semesters from your admission to the programme. Supervision will usually not be given beyond this time.
Choosing a topic for the thesis
During the 2nd semester, we will arrange 3-4 Master's Thesis Seminars. Attendance is obligatory. Here, you will develop a 1-page project description for your master's thesis. The project description will include your full name, the (working) title of the project, research site (country/area), tentative research questions and some ideas about methodology. Detailed guidelines and deadlines will be published by your lecturers. After the project description is approved, you will receive an email with the name of your supervisor.
The project description must be approved before you are allowed to do fieldwork.
Before your start writing your thesis, you fill in the forms on the study structure page. See section Writing and submitting your thesis.
Guidelines for covering students’ expenses for the master’s thesis at IPL.
You apply for one of these two options:
Printing and posting questionnaires
On application, the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning will cover necessary expenses for printing and posting questionnaires etc. in connection with the master’s thesis with up to 1500 NOK. To get the support, send in a reimbursement form and upload receipts in the form. You send an email to your supervisor and ask him/her to confirm that your expenses are connected to your master's thesis, and then your forward the email from your supervisor to the head of office Wenche S. King within one week after the deadline of your master's thesis.
2. Travel expenses
On application, the department will cover necessary and documented travel expenses in connection with data collection for your master’s thesis with up to 1500 NOK for fieldwork in Norway, and up to 4000 NOK for fieldwork abroad. You must choose the cheapest fare. You will not get a refund for subsistence expenses. To get the support, you ask your supervisor for an email confirmation stating that there is a connection between the destination and the topic of your thesis. Send in a reimbursement form and upload receipts in the form. You forward your supervisor's email to the head of office Wenche S. King within one week after the deadline of your master’s thesis.
The department reserves the right to reject applications if the financial situation of the department changes. Students either apply for a grant from NTNU Bridge or IPL.
This does not apply for students having received NORPART scholarships.
If you have questions please send an email to the department.
Approved by the Head of Department in January 2023.
Further information about funding
It is possible to apply to different organizations for funding of you fieldwork expenses. It could be wise to contact NGO's that work in the area you plan to do your fieldwork. Here is an overview of NGO's in Norway.
IPL has a few digital tape recorders available for students to borrow during fieldwork. You must pay a deposit, NOK 200 (cash), to borrow it. You will get the deposit back when you return the tape recorder. If you need to borrow a tape recorder please send an email or visit the front desk at the department.
If you are doing fieldwork outside Norway, you can get a letter of introduction from the department for your fieldwork collaborators/authorities. The letter will be signed by the study programme coordinator. If you need such a letter, please send your project title, fieldwork period and name of place/country by email to the department.
We have made a checklist for you to go through before you leave for fieldwork, regarding the information that must be provided for the fieldwork participants. Please read this thoroughly, and ask your supervisor if you have questions. The checklist is posted on the Student Information webpage. When entering the page click on the link 'Master´s Handbook and related documents'.
All students who will be doing fieldwork must fill out a field card. You will find the card on the web page Fieldwork for participants. Please hand in the field card at the department. Kindly also read the Fieldwork Communication Plan, Fieldwork Checklist and Fieldwork HSE Guidelines.
A supervisor will be appointed for you based on the 1-page project proposal submitted in the 2nd semester. Supervision will be given during 2nd, 3rd and 4th semester. The total number of supervision hours is 60, including the supervisor's preparations etc.
The supervisor’s tasks are to discuss with you and give advice about:
- defining a research topic and research questions
- how to find relevant literature
- methodological choices
- empirical findings and how to analyze and interpret these findings
- the structure of the thesis
- ethical questions related to the project
Both you and your supervisor are responsible for setting up a plan for the thesis progress, and to keep in touch with each other during the writing period. However, you have the main responsibility for the content and the progress of your thesis work. Therefore, do not wait for the supervisor to contact you. Make appointments with your supervisor, and always send her/him a text in advance of the meeting.
You and your supervisor may agree that you write a short summary after each meeting. This summary may include topics discussed, decisions made for future work, literature to read and preparations for the next meeting.
Thesis structure and format
A master's thesis usually contains the following chapters: Introduction, background/context, theoretical framework, methodology, analysis (1–3 chapters), discussion and conclusion/summary.
Before the first chapter starts, you should include a title page, preface/acknowledgements, abstract (max. 1 page), contents, and list of acronyms. After the final chapter, you continue with a reference list and appendices (interview guides, access letters, photos etc).
You may find it useful to take a look at some of the master's theses already published in NTNU Open, in order to get some ideas about different ways of structuring your thesis. The theses are available in the Childhood studies library.
The thesis must be 55–85 pages, Verdana 10, 1.15 Word margins. 85 pages are the maximum amount of pages. The pages before chapter 1 and the reference list are not included in the defined number of pages.
The first page of chapter 1 should correspond to page no 1. This means that the table of content and other texts/figures before chapter 1 have no page numbers, and you can, for instance, use Roman numerals for this.
It is important to refer correctly to literature that you use in your master's thesis (see also paragraph about plagiarism). There are some small variations in the different ways of referring - you should choose one of them and be consistent. Here you find some examples:
Students are not allowed to post pictures and videos of their informants on web pages, for example Facebook. This violates the ethical guidelines for research with children.
Information for 2nd-year students
Master's Thesis Seminar
We strongly advice that you attend the Master's Thesis Seminars during the 3rd and 4th semester, led by one of staff members. There are seminar meetings several times during the semester.
The seminar has two purposes:
- To be a 'support group' and a meeting point for the students during the writing period
- To allow the students to discuss academic and practical issues related to the writing of the master's thesis
You will be asked to send the seminar leader short texts from your own work that will serve as a basis for group discussion.
Chapter deadlines and milestones
As a help in structuring your master's thesis work, the department has defined some milestones, in terms of chapter deadlines.
1st week October: Draft of introduction (including background/context)
3rd week November: Methodology chapter
2nd week January: Theory/Analysis chapters
1st week March: Theory/Analysis chapters
4th week March: Conclusion and the first draft of the complete thesis
15 May: Submission of thesis
The chapter deadlines may be modified in consultation with your supervisor if he/she recommends a different plan for the progress. Please send the chapters to your supervisor. Conclusion and the first draft of the whole thesis should be finished by 30 March, so that you will have time to make the last adjustments before you submit. The technical/practical work is usually more time consuming than many students expect (reference list, format etc.), so make sure that you include this in your plan. In order to have the final oral examination within the spring semester, the deadline for submitting the thesis is on the 15 May at 15:00. You can hand in your thesis before this date. You hand in your thesis in Inspera.
Help with finalizing the thesis document
This page provides information on what you as a student should do with your master’s thesis before submission. If you need technical support before you submit your thesis, you can contact Orakel support services.
Tel.: +47 73 59 15 00
Office: the library at Dragvoll, building 8, level 5
Opening hours: 08:00–16:30
Printing the thesis
Final oral examination
The assessment is based on
- Master's thesis and
- Oral examination
Two examiners will assess your thesis; one external examiner (not employed at NTNU) and one internal examiner. Their evaluation shall correspond to the Guidelines for grading master's theses, which is posted on the Student Information webpage under 'Master´s Handbook and related documents'. The examination date will be decided by the administration at the department. We will send you the time and place for the oral examination. In the spring semester, oral examinations will be arranged before the Graduation Ceremony (see below), unless unexpected circumstances make this impossible. In that case, some exams might be held in August, even if the thesis was submitted within the deadline. This page describes the guidelines for digital oral exams at NTNU.
The examiners will have a committee meeting before the oral examination to discuss the thesis, decide which questions to be asked by whom during the examination, and propose a grade. You as a student will not be informed about the proposed grade. The examiners will not be given information about your examination results on other courses in your MPhil degree. During the oral examination, the examiners will ask you questions about the thesis content and the literature you have used, and you must be prepared to defend your work. Usually, the external examiner leads the discussion. After the oral examination, you will leave the room, and the examiners will decide upon the final grade, which is an adjustment of the grade proposed in the committee meeting (or the same grade). The external examiner has the final word. The examiners will inform you about the final grade immediately after their meeting and will fill out and sign a form which will be sent to the Examination office. If you would like an explanation of your grade you must ask for it before you leave the examination room. If the examiners are not able to agree upon a grade, a new committee will be established.
After you and your classmates have completed your final oral examination, the department will arrange a graduation ceremony. This will take place around the 24 June.
You will receive a digital Master's Diploma.
Evaluation of the programme and the courses
Each year we establish an evaluation group, consisting of 2-3 students. The evaluation group should be a link between the study programme coordinator and the students. The group will be responsible for passing on suggestions and contributions from the students to the study programme coordinator, and for organising this process.
When the exam is given in another language than your mother tongue, you are allowed to use a dictionary (translating between mother tongue and English). You do not have to apply for this. The dictionary will be inspected by the invigilator before the start of the examination.
Plagiarism means that a submitted text does not credit the source or provide a correct reference to where the text is taken from. It is also plagiarism if a cited text is not clearly identified by quotation marks or similar. This applies to texts downloaded from the Internet or texts taken from textbooks, other books, thesis or papers. It is also plagiarism if a student submits a paper that another student has previously delivered. Plagiarism is considered as cheating. Cheating can lead to the annulment of the exam or degree, and to the student being expelled from NTNU for one year. Here, you can read more about the consequences of plagiarism here. NTNU has acquired a system for identifying plagiarism. This system is designed to identify plagiarism in term papers/assignments and other texts submitted by students. This means that supervisors and teachers can apply this system on texts either if they suspect plagiarism or as random tests.
Student life and health
On this webpage, you can read about student life in Trondheim. Here, you will find general information about health care.
If you face problems in your everyday life and need someone to talk to, there are different opportunities:
- your student advisor at the department
- SiT contributes to the students’ well-being. Read about SiT's psychologists.
- health station and campus nurses
- the student priest service tel. + 47 73 59 19 80/73 59 81 60. Send an email. Office at building 2, level 3, Dragvoll campus
The student government is a way for students to help develop NTNU as a place of education and works to make students’ voices heard in questions of academic quality, campus, facilitation, learning environment and similar issues. Childhood studies have a student representative. The current study programme representative (SPR) is Olena Hrabchenko.
The student representatives have two main tasks:
- To be student contact
- To represent the students in meetings at the department and Student Council meetings etc.