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Master thesis, first year, 15 Credits

Swedish name: Magisteruppsats, första året

This syllabus is valid: 2021-01-04 and until further notice

Course code: 3FH062

Credit points: 15

Education level: Second cycle

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

Grading scale: Three-grade scale

Responsible department: Department of Epidemiology and Global Health

Revised by: Programme council for Master Programmes in Public Health, 2020-05-20


The purpose is for the student to independently conduct a scientific project. In this course, the student shall demonstrate the ability to independently plan, carry out and present their project within a public health-related subject, both orally and in writing. This includes formulating a thesis question and aim, selecting the appropriate methods for the collecting and analysis of data, and also presenting and discussing the results in relation to scientific articles and other relevant pieces of literature. The course provides the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills acquired during the other courses of the public health programme. The thesis can be either a systematic literature review, a study protocol or an empirical study.

Expected learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
After completing the course, students shall be able to:

  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge within a specific field of public health that relates to the aim of the thesis, and to demonstrate insight into the current research within the chosen area of research. 
  • Demonstrate developed specialised knowledge of methodology in relation to the methods chosen for the degree project and the ability to analyse the strengths and limitations of the chosen methods.

Skills and abilities
After completing the course, students shall be able to:

  • Identify and formulate well-defined research questions within the field of public health.
  • Plan and justify a study in accordance with established research methods and relevant ethical guidelines.
  • Identify, evaluate, integrate and present previous scientific studies relevant to the thesis research questions.
  • Process research materials and draw conclusions in accordance with established research methods and relevant ethical guidelines.
  • Present and discuss their own research results related to the thesis research questions.
  • Independently produce a degree project within a given timeframe and in accordance with established instructions regarding language and format.
  • Critically review and discuss the corresponding work of another student.

Judgement and approach: 
After completing the course, students shall be able to:

  • Demonstrate an in-depth ability to assess public health research when it comes to scientific, social and relevant ethical aspects.

Required Knowledge

Applicants to the course need at least 30 credits within the main field of study Public Health at second-cycle level, of which 10 credits must be in research methodology, as well as English proficiency equivalent to English B/6 from Swedish Upper secondary education.

Form of instruction

The thesis work is introduced during the programme's first semester. The various parts of the thesis course are presented at this time. The student will have the opportunity to discuss the choice of topic and aim for the thesis with teachers and other students in groups. A supervisor for the student's thesis project is appointed before the course starts. The thesis work is then carried out mostly over the duration of the course, i.e. the latter part of the second semester. 

The course starts with compulsory introduction days. The student is entitled to individual supervision for the duration of the course. The thesis is presented at a concluding seminar where another student acts as the opponent. The student shall in turn act as an opponent for a thesis presented by another student in the same fashion. Attendance at a set number of thesis seminars is compulsory. The final meeting between the student and supervisor takes place at the end of the course (after the seminar).

Examination modes

In addition to a written master's thesis, the examination has four parts that are required for the grading of the course: 1) a written master's thesis plan, 2) attendance during introductory days and thesis seminars 3) an oral presentation and discussion of the thesis, 4) an oral opposition for another student's degree project. Grading for these four parts is done by awarding one of the grades Pass or Fail. Grading for the written master's thesis is done by awarding one of the grades Pass with distinction, Pass or Fail. 

The following grades are used to grade the course as a whole: Pass with distinction, Pass or Fail. For a grade of Pass, the student must achieve a grade of Pass on all five parts of the examination. For a grade of Pass with distinction, the student must achieve a grade of Pass with distinction on the written master's thesis and a grade of Pass on the remaining four parts of the examination. 

The grade of Fail is given to students who (i) have failed to achieve a grade of Pass on the four parts described above and/or (ii) have been given a grade of Fail on their written master's thesis

For a student in situation (i) above, the next opportunity to present their thesis is at a seminar the following semester, and also supplementary assignments if necessary. For a student with a failed written thesis but a grade of Pass on the other four parts, the university rules for course examination is applied in the following manner. The student is entitled to three examinations in total. For the thesis course, this means that the first examination takes place when the student submits the thesis (final version) for assessment by the examiner. If the thesis is given the grade of Fail, the student can then submit up to two revised versions of the thesis and have them assessed by the examiner. Please note that the student is only entitled to supervision during the course, i.e. until the conclusion of the course in May. If a student does not achieve a passing grade on their thesis after submitting three versions, as described above, the student will have to re-register on the thesis course and be assigned a new supervisor. The student will then take the course under the same conditions as other students taking the course. If the student fails to obtain a passing grade on the thesis course after completing the course twice, the student cannot re-register on the thesis course again.
Under special conditions, the examiner has the right to decide on other forms of examination. A student who has received a pass grade may not retake an examination. As such, it is only allowed to supplement a failing grade to a pass. Supplementation to achieve a higher grade is not allowed. A student with a grade of Fail who has submitted two versions of the thesis has the right to request and have another examiner appointed, provided there are no special circumstances contradicting this. Written requests are submitted to the Director of Studies. 

Deviations from the course syllabus' examination may be made for a student who has been subject to a decision granting pedagogical support due to a disability. Individual adaption of the examination form shall be considered based on the student's needs. The form of examination is adapted within the framework of the expected learning outcomes of the course syllabus. At the student's request, the course coordinator shall promptly decide, in consultation with the examiner, on the appropriate form of examination. The decision shall then be communicated to the student.

Other regulations

Under special conditions, students can request a change of supervisor. Written requests are submitted to the Director of Studies.


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