Skip to content
Main menu hidden.

Degree project in Business Administration for Degree in Master of Science in Business and Economics, 30 Credits

Swedish name: Examensarbete i företagsekonomi för civilekonomexamen

This syllabus is valid: 2022-10-31 and until further notice

Course code: 2FE410

Credit points: 30

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Business Administration: 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: Business Administration

Established by: Rector of Umeå School of Business and Economics, 2022-01-27

Revised by: Rector of Umeå School of Business and Economics, 2022-09-29


The objective of the Degree Project is to develop the student's critical thinking and ability to solve problems. This objective is met by the student's identification and examination of a research problem within the area of Business Administration. The course will develop the student's knowledge about, and experience of how to independently plan, conduct and present a scientific study. The Degree Project must have an empirical basis. In addition, the course will develop the student's ability to critically examine and assess investigations as well as research papers.

Module 1. Work-in-progress seminars, 0 credits
The module comprises three work-in-progress seminars. The seminars focus on the following areas:

  • Seminar 1. Oral and written critical examination of a prior Degree Project. The written examination must follow the guidelines for side-oppositions.
  • Seminar 2. Development of research questions and choice of theoretical points of departure.
  • Seminar 3. Presentation of the theoretical framework and research method. (The seminar is based on a draft of introductory, theory and method chapters, including the planned data collection approach and a plan for the continued work). The seminar should be held before the empirical data collection commences.

At seminar 2 and 3, the student is expected to present drafts of different parts of their Degree Project and to review other students' thesis drafts. Seminar 2 and 3 are thus opposition seminars.

Module 2. Side-opposition, 0 credits
The module includes one written side-opposition of another Degree Project, and active participation at the seminar where the thesis is defended.

Module 3. Degree Project, 30 credits
The Degree Project shall demonstrate the student's ability to independently examine problems of relevance to the area of Business Administration. Following scientific practice, the Degree Project shall focus on a topic of high actuality and relevance. The theoretical and methodology discussions must be consistent with the problem area. The different parts of the thesis must be coherent and well integrated. The Degree Project should contribute to the chosen research area and provide recommendations to practitioners.

Module 4. Main opposition, 0 credits
The aim of this module is to examine the student's ability to assess another Degree Project. The module includes writing an individual opposition paper and the oral opposition at the seminar

Expected learning outcomes

After completing this course, the student should be able to:

  • independently select an appropriate topic and formulate theoretically and practically relevant research questions in the area of Business Administration
  • develop a relevant theoretical frame of reference and describe how the thesis can be positioned in connection to the theoretical frame of reference and knowledge development
  • convincingly argue for the chosen research method and collect a relevant and comprehensive empirical material
  • analyze the empirical material with appropriate analytical methods and discuss the results
  • draw conclusions with clarity and precision considering scientific implications and formulate practical recommendations to relevant stakeholders
  • discuss societal implications and ethical research aspects of relevance for the thesis
  • communicate the main arguments, contents and results of the study following academic procedures
  • defend the thesis at a seminar and critically examine other scientific studies orally and in writing.

Required Knowledge

Courses in Business Administration 90 credits of which courses at Basic level (basic A-level) and Intermediate level (basic B-level) should be a minimum of 60 credits, 15 credits, at the Bachelor level (bachelor level) in Business Administration together with 22.5 credits on advanced level (advanced level) in Business Administration. 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 or the equivalent.

Form of instruction

The Degree Project work is to a large extent an independent work, which means that the supervision will allow for individual freedom, creativity and personal responsibility. However, drafts of Degree Project manuscript must be presented and discussed with the supervisor at least three times during the course period. The dates for the supervision are planned together with the supervisor. Supervision is only guaranteed during the first semester a student is registered for the course.

Examination modes

Examination takes place during specific periods each semester.

Module 1. Work-in-progress seminars, 0 credits
This part of the course includes the participation in three compulsory work-in-progress seminars. The work-in-progress seminars are graded as pass or fail.
Module 2. Side-opposition, 0 credits

This module consists of one written side-opposition on another Degree Project (i.e. not Bachelor or Magister theses). The written side-opposition is an individual assignment. Instructions can be found in the thesis manual. In addition, the student is required to actively take part in the seminar for this particular Degree Project. The side-opposition is graded as pass or fail.

Module 3. Degree Project, 30 credits
The Degree Project is examined through authoring and defense of a thesis. The defense cannot take place until the student has passed the work-in-progress seminars (module 1). The following grading system is used: Pass with distinction (Väl godkänd, VG), Pass (Godkänd, G) and Fail (Underkänd, U). The Degree Project is assessed and graded by a grading teacher and an examiner, whereas the defense is graded by the supervisor at the seminar.
In case the degree project is not accepted for grading directly after the seminar, it may be revised following the supervisor's (or later the grading teacher's) instructions. In cases of revision, the new version should be completed and submitted to the grading teacher within four weeks after the final seminar/or the date the request for revision was announced.
Module 4. Main opposition, 0 credits
The examination in this module is based on a written and an oral main opposition of another Degree Project. While the written main opposition is an individual assignment, the oral opposition is conducted together with the other main opponent. The main opposition is graded as pass or fail.
Rules and regulations for the writing of academic texts and correct referencing are applicable to all written course assignments.
For the course as a whole, the following grading system is used: Pass with distinction (Väl godkänd, VG), Pass (Godkänd, G) and Fail (Underkänd, U).

Disciplinary action may be taken against students who uses unauthorized help aids or in some other way tries to mislead on a test or when another type of task is being evaluated. Rules and regulations concerning the production of academic texts and correct referencing will be applicable to all written assignments. See instructions in the thesis manual, Thesis Writing in Business Administration. Systems for plagiarism detection may be used for control. In addition, Umeå University rules and regulations  for education and research applies.

Other regulations

Degree Project in Business Administration for the Professional Degree Programs 30hp, the course contains a degree project intended for the Degree of Master of Science in Business and Economics 240hp.

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

Students at the International Business Program shall write their Degree Project (Swedish; Examensarbete) in English to meet the requirements for obtaining a degree in the program.

Similarly, when students at the International Business Program defend their Degree Project, the seminar will be held in English. In other instances where a Degree Project has been written in English, the seminar should, as a general rule, be held in English, unless all seminar participants (including side-opponents or seminar leader) are Swedish speaking.

Supervision is only guaranteed during the first semester a student is registered for the course, regardless of how many times the students have met with their supervisor.

The Degree Project is written jointly by two students.

It is not possible for two students who jointly write a Degree Project or thesis, to be registered for different types of theses (e.g. one student writing a Degree Project 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.

The length of Degree Projects typically ranges from 50 to 80 pages.

The empirical material used in the thesis should upon request be made available to the supervisor, main opponents and the grader in its original form (raw-data).

It is recommended that students, if possible, complete the compulsory side-opposition  before defending their own Degree Project. The work-in-progress seminars must be completed before thesis defense.

The thesis seminar and the main opposition are normally held at the end of the course (usually the end of the semester). Students who do not finish their thesis in time have the opportunity to defend their thesis during the next seminar period.

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.

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: 2022 week 44

Module 1

Readings may be assigned by the supervisor or seminar leader.

Module 2

Instructions for side-opposition are found in the Manual for Thesis Writing. ´

Module 3

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

Module 4

For instructions main opposition, see the Manual for Thesis Writing.

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