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Master's Thesis in Political Science (1 year), 15 Credits

Swedish name: Magisteruppsats i statsvetenskap

This syllabus is valid: 2018-09-03 and until further notice

Course code: 2SV027

Credit points: 15

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Political Science: Second cycle, contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)

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

Responsible department: Department of Political Science

Revised by: Head of Department of Political Science, 2018-05-29


The aim of the course is to develop the student’s ability to independently write an academic thesis. The course will also increase the student’s knowledge in one or more themes within Political Science.

Expected learning outcomes

In order to pass this course, the student should be able to
  • identify and delimit a scientific problem and formulate an ambitious research question within Political Science
  • develop a thought-through analytical framework clearly grounded in theory and method within Political Science
  • conduct a study by applying appropriate methods and relating it to relevant theory
  • write a scientific thesis, which adds to relevant knowledge and research
  • reflect upon strengths and weaknesses of their own approach
  • review and analyze scientific articles and/or other student theses and relate those analyses to broader theoretical perspectives and approaches to knowledge.

Required Knowledge

Political Science 90 credits including a thesis or Economics 90 credits including a thesis, or equivalent. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish Upper Secondary course English A. Where the language of instruction is Swedish, applicants must prove proficiency in Swedish to the level required for basic eligibility for higher studies.

Form of instruction

The course consists of seminars and individual supervision. Supervision is provided during the first semester that the student is registered to the course (cf. Other regulations below). The study guide presented at the introduction of the course provides further information about the course.

Examination modes

The course is examined through a thesis seminar where the student defends his or her thesis. As part of the examination each student also acts as a commentator, and is expected to actively participate in the discussions. The final grade for the course is U (Fail), G (Pass) or VG (Pass with distinction).

General rules regarding examination
A student who does not meet the requirements to pass an examination can, if decided by the course instructor, be given a complementary assignment to reach the requirements to pass the examination. The complementary assignment can be individually modified to the specific requirements that the student has failed to reach, but the assignment must be of corresponding proportion to the original examination.
Ordinarily, the complementary assignment is given at the end of the course or when the grades at the original examination is announced. When the student has been given the complementary assignment, he/she should finish the assignment within ten days (not including weekends and holidays). If the student fail to finish the assignment within the required time, a new complementary assignment can only be given the next time the course is arranged, or during the two weeks of re-take exams the Department arranges every year during week 34 and 35.
If it is not possible to do complementary assignments (if so, it is stated next to each individual examination above), the student is required to do a re-take exam. The first re-take exam should be given two months after the original examination, at the latest, but no sooner than ten days after the grade on the original examination has been given (not including weekends and holidays). If the examination is given during May or June, the first re-take exam should be given no later than three months after the original examination. Two weeks of re-take exams are also arranged every year, which means complementary assignments are treated during this time independently of when the course was given. These weeks are arranged during week 34 and 35.
Students who fail an examination may retake that examination. A student has the right to request a new examiner if he/she fails two sub-course examinations (i.e. an examination and a re-take). In such cases students should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Studierektor). Examination in accordance with the same syllabus as during the original examination can be guaranteed for up to two years after the student’s first registration.

The appointed examiner may decide to use other forms of examination if required by particular circumstances.

Transfer of Credits
Students who wish to transfer credits from other Departments or universities (Swedish or foreign) should do so in accordance to the Principal's decision “Tillgodoräknandeordning vid Umeå universitet (Dnr. 545-3317-02)”.

The application must be submitted in written form. The request should specify which module or course the request applies to. An official transcript should also be submitted. The transcript must include the following information: where and when the course was given, the discipline and level of the course, total course credits and grade received. A syllabus describing the course and a list of required readings should be submitted with the request. Where applicable, written research papers should also be submitted.
Upon completion of this course, the credits can be transferred to a selective course. However it is always the responsible Department or program that determines the possibility for credit transfers and the extent of the credit transfer. The student should therefore always contact the responsible Department or program before submitting an application for credit transfers.

Other regulations

Supervision is provided during the first semester that the student is registered to the course.
A written and anonymous course evaluation is given at the end of the course. During the course an oral evaluation is also arranged, and the student can also anonymously submit thoughts and opinions in digital form.


Valid from: 2018 week 36

The students are responsible for obtaining relevant literature for the thesis.