The MIS-programme has initiated a small catalogue of thesis proposals with descriptions of current topics where we see a knowledge-gap and need for more research. Our students would contribute to closing that gap through their thesis work. Obviously, it is up to the students themselves to choose the topic of their thesis, but this ‘thesis-topic-catalogue’ is developed as ideas and suggestions to help defining the topic of the Master’s thesis. The catalogue consists of sample topics, as an inspiration and which you can adapt and develop to fit the individual project you wish to research.
The catalogue has been created with important objectives in mind. The Centre for Sami Studies sees it as one of its responsibilities to bridge academia and the civil society. Many indigenous issues remain unadressed, and our hope is that through improved communication between academia and the society at large, current issues from the indigenous world will receive further attention and investigation.
The indigenous experience remains largely overlooked and underrepresented in official circles, and one of our goals is to identify and highlight some of the more urgent themes from the indigenous world that need urgent scholarly attention. All titles, descriptions and suggested methods are provisional and open for interpretation and change. They are mostly intended to draw students’ attention to important indigenous issues, and to show possible areas of research.
We hope you find this helpful in the process of designing your master’s thesis project.
The Forum for Development Cooperation with Indigenous Peoples (FDCIP) was a meeting-place for researchers, development workers and Sámi organisations engaged in cooperation with indigenous peoples in the South. It was hosted by the Centre for Sami Studies between 2000 and 2015. We have gathered information and reports from events concering development support and Indigenous peoples that took place during the existence of FDCIP. These resources might also be of help in designing your individual master's project.
The master's thesis is the core of the MIS program, and it makes up 60 of the total 120 ECTS. It provides an opportunity to explore and immerse yourself in a topic connected to Indigenous studies – chosen and developed by you in collaboration with the programme and your supervisor. The first step is for the student to identify areas of interest. Some of our students have very specific cases or issues they would like to conduct research on or with. Most of the students are interested in a broader field or within a geographical area, have a vague idea or a case they would like to explore further. Some come from Indigenous communities and would like to work on specific issues connected to their home communities. There are many options! The different courses in the first year of the programme can also be used as a source of inspiration for the variety of topics and approaches available.
The first steps towards the master's thesis are taken during the first semester. The students will then spend the second semester developing a project proposal in close collaboration with their supervisors. The whole process with developing a master's project, from the very first stages of developing an idea to actually analysing and writing the final thesis, is an important part of developing the skills and ability to reflect and write independently. The work on the thesis does not only give you deep knowledge on specific issues, but also develops the skill of designing a research project.
Though the master's thesis is written independently, the student will work closely together with other students. The third and fourth semesters consist of text and chapter seminars, where each student will share and present a chosen text from their drafts. Presenting a text, giving and receiving feedback is par to learning how to read and respond critically to academic texts. This whole process prepares you well for the final exam after two years in the MIS programme.