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Thesis Project for the Degree of Master of Science in Mathematics, 30 Credits

Swedish name: Examensarbete för masterexamen i matematik

This syllabus is valid: 2018-08-20 and until further notice

Course code: 5MA194

Credit points: 30

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Mathematics: Second cycle, contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
Computational Science and Engineering: Second cycle, contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)

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

Established by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2018-06-21


In this course, the student is trained in specifying, planning, carrying out and presenting a thesis project with scientific qualities. The course builds on selected advanced courses in the subject, and treats topics more advanced than in standard courses in mathematics on an advanced level. The scientific method is treated, as regards ways of posing a research question, collecting, reading and analysing background materials, and presenting scope, limitations, methods, results and conclusions. The main part of the course consists in producing a written report with scientific qualities, which is then presented orally and in written form at a seminar. At the seminar, students critically evaluate each other's reports.

Expected learning outcomes

For a passing grade, the student must be able to

Knowledge and understanding
  • exhibit advanced knowledge of some area of mathematics
  • exhibit broad knowledge of mathematics, for instance by accounting for applications where the topic of the thesis project is relevant, or by framing the research question in a wider mathematical perspective
Skills and abilities
  • with a high degree of independence plan and carry out a thesis project within specified timeframe
  • gather, select and analyse relevant scientific literature
  • orally and in a written report with scientific qualities communicate research questions, methods and results
Judgement and approach
  • critically and constructively evaluate another advanced level thesis project

Required Knowledge

The course requires courses in Mathematics minimum 120 ECTS-credits including at least 30 ECTS-credits on advanced level and a Bachelor Thesis (minimum 15 ECTS). Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English 5/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 mode of teaching on the course consists in individual supervision. At the end of the course, students critially evaluate each other's thesis project reports in seminar form.

Examination modes

Examination on this course consists of three parts: Critical evaluation of another thesis project report, defense of one's own thesis project report, and the written thesis project report itself. For the critical evaluation and defense, one of the grades Fail (U) or Pass (G) is given. For the written thesis project report, one of the grades Fail (U), Pass (G) or Pass with distinction (VG) is given. If all parts of the examination have been given a passing grade, the final grade on the course, Pass (G) or Pass with distinction (VG) is decided by the grade for the written thesis project report.

A student who has been awarded a passing grade for the course cannot be reassessed for a higher grade. Students who do not pass a test or examination on the original date are given another date to retake the examination. A student who has sat two examinations for a course or a part of a course, without passing either examination, has the right to have another examiner appointed, provided there are no specific reasons for not doing so (Chapter 6, Section 22, HEO). The request for a new examiner is made to the Head of the Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics. Examinations based on this course syllabus are guaranteed to be offered for two years after the date of the student's first registration for the course.

Credit transfer
All students have the right to have their previous education or equivalent, and  their working life experience evaluated for possible consideration in the corresponding education at Umeå university. Application forms should be adressed to Student services/Degree evaluation office. More information regarding credit transfer can be found on the student web pages of Umeå university,, and in the Higher Education Ordinance (chapter 6). If denied, the application can be appealed (as per the Higher Education Ordinance, chapter 12) to Överklagandenämnden för högskolan. This includes partially denied applications

Other regulations

In a degree, this course may not be included together with another course with a similar content. If unsure, students should ask the Director of Studies in Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics. The course can also be included in the subject area of computational science and engineering.


The literature list is not available through the web. Please contact the faculty.