autumn 2021
PSY-3900 Master's Thesis in Psychology - 60 ECTS

Last changed 22.10.2021

Type of course

The course is for students in the master’s degree programme in psychology and cannot be taken as a singular course. 

Obligatory prerequisites

PSY-3000 Research Proseminar

Course content

PSY-3900 will enable students to 

  • Plan and implement a research project at a high (master’s) level within the stipulated time 
  • Effectively communicate their work  
  • to colleagues in the field in writing, orally and visually (in e.g. oral presentations, PowerPoint presentations, conference applications and posters) and  
  • to a more general audience, such as new students, in more popular scientific presentation forms. 
  • Learn how to apply for funding for future projects 
  • Publish their findings 
  • Internally, using MUNIN 
  • In peer-reviewed journals 
  • Plan and execute a career plan 

 

There are two types of teaching related to the master’s thesis: (1) teaching of relevant general skills for all master’s degree students, and (2) supervision of the individual student’s research work related to the thesis.  

The aim of the general skills component is to provide professional development and career guidance. Topics under professional development include: (1) research ethics with an emphasis on ethical issues and obligations, and research ethics bodies and procedures, (2) writing articles, (3) oral presentations to different audiences using visual media such as PowerPoint and video, and (4) poster creation and presentation. There will also be instruction in writing applications for research funding and research conferences. The UiT Careers Centre offers suitable career advice for students taking a  master’s degree in psychology. 

The formal work on the master’s thesis takes place during the last three semesters of the programme, but work on the thesis may be planned as early as the end of the first semester as part of the PSY-3000 Research Proseminar, a course which enables students to get to know and connect with possible supervisors. The student and the supervisor could at that time begin a dialogue on possible content for the master’s thesis and start making decisions for the student’s academic portfolio. 

Second semester (10 ECTS) 

During this semester, students are expected to familiarise themselves with relevant literature, prepare a specific research topic and draw up an initial draft of the introduction to the thesis. Students will also present their project orally to an academic forum, participate in the annual day-long Masters event with poster presentations and workshop with current and former master’s students, and receive general career advice from the Careers Centre. 

Third semester (20 ECTS) 

For projects involving empirical data, most of the data collection will take place this semester. For theoretical projects, the work will be clarified in consultation with the supervisor. The professional development component will include instruction on how to write good applications for conference presentations and research funding, and the Careers Centre will offer a Careers Day and a course in CV writing and job searching. 

Fourth semester (30 ECTS) 

During this semester, the master’s thesis will be completed and submitted. There will be a poster design course, after which posters will be presented at the annual day-long Masters event with poster presentations and workshop with current and former master’s students, and the Careers Centre will offer an interview training course. 


Objectives of the course

Upon completion of the second semester (10 ECTS), students should be able to: 

  • Evaluate critically and analytically psychological knowledge production and research as a basis for developing a new and independent topic for their master’s thesis 
  • Make strategic use of scientific sources, research methods and statistics to design independent research work within basic and/or applied psychology 
  • Write a scientific introduction using APA style 
  • Demonstrate respect for ethical norms relevant to psychological research 
  • Act ethically in accordance with the basic values ​​of psychology (e.g. within the framework established by the Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics, the Data Protection Authority, and other governing bodies) 
  • Work independently and with others to become an active, enterprising participant in the academic community of the Department of Psychology (IPS) and in the field of psychology in general 
  • Have the confidence to communicate scientific subject matter to colleagues in a presentation of some length 
  • Present research material using visual media, such as Power Point slides 
  • Draw up a progress plan for the master's thesis 
  • Identify the main elements of the plan that are relevant to their general career thinking 

 

Upon completion of the third semester (20 ECTS), students should be able to: 

  • Make strategic use of scientific research methods and statistics to (1) conduct independent research work within basic and/or applied psychology (for projects involving empirical data), or (2) evaluate the methods used to produce research findings, and on this basis present comprehensive and convincing arguments relevant to the topic (for theoretical projects) 
  • Write a scientific method and results section using APA style (for projects based on empirical data).  
  • For theoretical projects, the written work will be clarified in consultation with the supervisor.   
  • Act and write in an ethical manner in accordance with the basic values ​​of psychology (e.g. within the framework established by the Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics, the Data Protection Authority, and other governing bodies) 
  • Work independently and with others to become an active, enterprising participant in the academic community of the Department of Psychology (IPS) and in the field of psychology in general  
  • Write applications for conference participation 
  • Write applications for research funding 
  • Develop a progress plan for the master’s thesis 
  • Participate in the Careers Day organised by the Careers Centre to become familiar with career opportunities and meet representatives from suitable companies and institutions 
  • Write a good CV 
  • Make preparations for future independent job seeking 

 

For work based on empirical data, most of the data collection will take place this semester. For theoretical projects, the work will be clarified in consultation with the supervisor. 

 

Upon completion of the fourth semester (30 ECTS), students should be able to: 

  • Draw and communicate reasoned conclusions and make suggestions for further work based on scientific reasoning 
  • Write a complete piece of scientific work using APA style 
  • Demonstrate behaviour based on an attitude grounded in the values ​​relevant to psychological research 
  • Work independently and with others to become an active, enterprising participant in the academic community of the Department of Psychology (IPS) and in the field of psychology in general 
  • Design striking and sufficiently informative posters based on their research for the thesis 
  • Have the confidence to present their research in a poster session to a broad audience (particularly BA students and other interested people at the university) 
  • Develop a viable publishing plan with their supervisor 
  • Practice job interview skills under guidance of the Careers Centre 
  • Complete and submit the master’s thesis 

Language of instruction

English

Teaching methods

Teaching and learning methods will depend on the topic and may include lectures, discussions, group work, workshops and practical exercises. 

Assessment

Examination: 

The master’s thesis is to be submitted in MUNIN. It will be assigned a grade on the scale A-F, where A-E are pass marks and F is a fail. Students who are given F will be allowed to re-take the examination early in the following semester. 

 

Each semester, all academic and professional development work requirements must be approved by the supervisors and submitted with the supervision contract at the end of the semester. The work will be verified by the Master’s Degree Committee. When the work submitted has been approved by the supervisor and the Committee, the student is entitled to continue to the next semester of the course. 

 

Work requirements: 

Work requirements for the second semester include: 

  • A written introduction using APA style (minimum five pages). 
  • For projects using empirical data, this should include a working title, the initial draft of the introduction to the topic, the research design and a reference list. 
  • For theoretical assignments, the introduction should include a working title, the initial draft of the introduction to the problem, a proposed outline of the remaining work, and a reference list. 
  • An oral presentation of the introduction to supervisors and the Department using visual media such as PowerPoint and video. 
  • Participation in the Careers Centre programme. The work requirement includes attendance and active participation in the programme. 
  • A project outline and progress plan (1-2 pages) 
  • The topic, goals and sub-goals of the thesis should be included, in addition to mandatory and project-specific deadlines for PSY 3900 in the third and fourth semesters and details of the elective subjects the student plans to take. 

 

Copies of the work requirements must be attached to a completed copy of the contract page for the second semester, signed by the student and the supervisor. 

 

Work requirements for the third semester include: 

  • Oral presentation of the introduction to the group of new master’s students during their orientation week (no work is to be submitted; the presentation itself will be assessed) 
  • A conference application related to the thesis (using the templates of a conference chosen by the student). 
  • An application for research funding (maximum five pages, using the template of the Research Council of Norway) 
  • Participation in the Careers Centre programme 
  • A revised progress plan (one page) 
  • Information on the goals achieved in the second semester must be included, in addition to goals, sub-goals and mandatory and project-specific deadlines for PSY 3900 in the third semester 

 

Copies of the work requirements must be attached to a completed copy of the contract page for the third semester, signed by the student and the supervisor. 

 

Work requirements for the fourth semester include: 

  • Presentation and submission of the poster (an A4 or A3 copy of the poster) 
  • A preliminary written agreement for any future published work. 
  • The title and abstract of the thesis 
  • Submission of the master’s thesis in MUNIN. The thesis is assessed on the scale A-F, where A-E are pass marks and F is a fail. Students who receive F will be allowed to re-take the examination early in the following semester. 

 

Copies of the work requirements must be attached to a completed copy of the contract page for the fourth semester, signed by the student and the supervisor. 


  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 60
  • Course code: PSY-3900