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Bachelor's thesis in International Business Administration, 15 Credits

Swedish name: Kandidatuppsats i internationell företagsekonomi

This syllabus is valid: 2020-08-17 and until further notice

Course code: 2FE301

Credit points: 15

Education level: First cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Business Administration: First cycle, has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bache...

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Business Administration

Revised by: Rector of Umeå School of Business and Economics, 2020-05-28


The objective of this course is to develop the student's critical ability and the student's ability to independently undertake and solve a business problem using scientific methods. Thus, the main task of the course is comprised of a comprehensive independent work (thesis). A chosen research question of relevance for practical business problem solving is to be thoroughly analyzed and described. The thesis work must be based on empirical material.

Module 1. Work-in-progress seminar, 0 credits
The thesis work is to be supported by an oral and written critical examination of a prior Bachelor's thesis. The written examination should follow the directives for side-oppositions. The aim is both to establish the requirements and extent for the thesis work and to give practice before the side- and main opposition work.

Module 2. Side-opposition, 0 credits
The aim of this module is to develop the student's ability to examine written reports and investigations within the field of business administration, from a critical and scientific point of view.

Module 3. Bachelor's thesis, 15 credits
The thesis work should prove the student's independent ability to investigate and develop a focused topic within the field of business administration. The emphasis lies in a critical choice of method, creating a relevant theoretical frame of reference, and an analysis of the theoretical and empirical material, where the author should make a contribution to the chosen subject or problem area.

Module 4. Main opposition, 0 credits
The student's critical ability is to be documented by conducting a main opposition/major critical analysis of someone else's Bachelor's thesis work.

Expected learning outcomes

After completing this course, the student should be able to:
  • choose, define and argue for a business related research question
  • identify relevant empirical material and choose relevant methods to gather empirical material in light of the research question
  • collect empirical material in a systematic manner from the research question and the chosen methods.
  • analyze and discuss empirical material utilizing a relevant theoretical framework
  • draw conclusions and make recommendations for a specific research question
  • discuss societal and/or ethical issues of relevance for the thesis
  • communicate the main arguments, contents and results of the study
  • defend the thesis at a seminar
  • critically examine other student theses both orally and in writing

Required Knowledge

Courses in Business Administration (75 credits) At basic level (A-level) and intermediate level (B-level) 60 credits at the bachelor level (bachelor level) in Business Administration 15 credits with the exception of an internship course on bachelor level. Previously completed courses must include studies of scientific methodology within business/social sciences corresponding to at least 7.5 credits, including both qualitative and quantitative methodology.
Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English B, English/6.

Form of instruction

Thesis work is a programmed process with continuous supervision. It is implied that the ongoing thesis work is presented for the supervisor at least on three occasions, after agreement with the supervisor, during the thesis process. The work-in-progress seminar with critical examination of a prior thesis is scheduled in the beginning of the course. Apart from obligatory seminars the student is normally expected to take active part in in-progress seminars organized by the supervisor.

Examination modes

Examinations take place in set exam periods within the semester.

Module 1. Work-in-progress seminar, 0 credits
This part of the course is examined through seminar participation and delivery of written material. The activity is graded as pass or fail.

Module 2. Side-opposition, 0 credits
The module is examined through a written 'side-opposition', i.e. critical analyses, of one other Bachelor's thesis. Written side-opposition is always individual. In addition participation in each of the thesis seminars is required. Side-oppositions are graded as pass or fail.

Module 3. Bachelor's thesis, 15 credits
The module is examined through authoring and defending an independent work. The defense cannot take place until the work-in-progress seminar (module 1) has been approved. The grades used are: pass with distinction, pass or fail. The thesis is evaluated and graded by a grading teacher and an examiner, whereas the individual effort in the defense is graded at the seminar.

In case the Bachelor's Thesis is not accepted as is, it may be revised with instructions given by the supervisor (or the grader), or subject of a new effort. In cases of revision, the new version should be completed and delivered to the grading teacher within four weeks after the final seminar/or the date the revision was presented.

Module 4. Main opposition, 0 credits
The module is examined through an individual written, as well as an oral, main opposition (critical examination where the student is responsible for leading the seminar) on another Bachelor's thesis. The oral main opposition can be conducted in collaboration with your co-author on your thesis. The main opposition is graded as pass or fail.
Rules and regulations concerning the production of academic texts and correct referencing will be applicable to all written assignments.
For grading of the thesis course as a whole, the grades used are: pass with distinction, pass or fail.

Other regulations

When a thesis has been written in English, the seminar should as a general rule also be held in English, unless all seminar participants (including side opponents and seminar leader) are Swedish speaking. The written main- and side-oppositions may be in Swedish provided that the seminar leader is Swedish speaking.

Supervision is only guaranteed for the semester under which the student is first registered for the course, regardless of how much supervision that has been utilized.

The thesis should normally be jointly written by two authors. It is not possible for two students who jointly write a thesis, to be registered for different types of theses (e.g. one student writing a bachelor's and the other a master's thesis).The thesis course is a campus course, which implies personal presence for supervision, participation in seminars, and collaboration with a thesis partner.

As a rule of thumb, the scope of the thesis should be approximately 40-60 pages.

The empirical material that is utilized in the thesis should on request be available for the supervisor, the main opponents and the graders in its original form (raw-data).

The work-in-progress seminar must be completed before thesis defense.

When the grade has been set, archive copies of the completed thesis shall as soon as possible, and within 4 weeks, be submitted in digital form in the Diva system.

Academic credit transfers are according to the University credit transfer regulations.

Exceptions from examination form as stated in the syllabus can be made for a student who has a decision on pedagogical support for disabilities. Individual adaptations of the examination form should be considered based on the student's needs. The examination form shall be adapted within the framework of the expected learning outcomes stated in the course syllabus. At the request of the student, the course responsible teacher, in consultation with the examiner, must promptly decide on the adapted examination form. The decision must then be notified to the student.


Valid from: 2020 week 34


Module 1

Readings will be assigned by the supervisor or seminar leader.

Module 2

Instructions are found in the Manual for Thesis Writing.

Module 3

Literature is to be found individually. A list of recommended method literature could be found in the appendix to the Manual for Thesis Writing.

Module 4

Instructions are found in the Manual for Thesis Writing

Reference literature

Reference literature is literature that broadens, deepens and clarifies the subject. The student is expected to use these sources, especially during the work with the written report. Read more about this in the Thesis Manual. Additional individual literature focusing on specific topics may be needed to be able to complete module assignments.

Umeå School of Business, Economics and Statistics USBE. Thesis writing in Business Administration. Thesis manual. (latest edition)
USBE Företagsekonomi :