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2017/2018  KAN-CSSMV3001U  Open problem-oriented assignment in social science

English Title
Open problem-oriented assignment in social science

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn, Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Social Sciences
Course coordinator
  • Erik Caparros Højbjerg - MPP
Main academic disciplines
  • Service management
  • Sociology
Last updated on 26-06-2017

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: The successful free paper demonstrates the student’s ability to:
  • independently develop and justify a clear research question within the area of the students’ MSc.Soc. program
  • address the research question with appropriate and justified choices of theory and research, design, demonstrating awareness of alternative choices,
  • conduct literature search to locate own research substantively in relation to what has been previously done by identifying what is already known and providing new insights into where the own research may contribute (indicative literature requirements are presented below
  • arrive at a clear and well substantiated conclusion and offer persuasive implications
  • present the entire analysis in a clear and coherent manner
Course prerequisites
It is only possible for cand. soc students to do one open problem-oriented assignment when enrolled in the program. All compulsory courses form the first year must be passed.
Open problem-oriented assignment in social science:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 20 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter and Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Revised paper should be submitted for the next deadline:
1 February (Autumn semester) / 1 July (Spring semester)
Description of the exam procedure

The progression elective free paper can be made in Autumn semester and Spring semester.


Deadlines Autumn:

Handing in the form: 1 September

Handing in the exam paper: 1 December


Deadlines Spring:

Handing in the form: 1 February

Handing in the exam paper: 1 May


When a cand. soc student has reached agreement with a supervisor, the registration form must be filled in, signed by both the student and the supervisor, and submitted at credit-candsoc@cbs.dk.


The form is downloadable from the folder on e- campus and my.cbs.dk.

Course content and structure

Literature: 900 pages to be agreed between student and supervisor.


There is not one standard template for a Progression elective free paper on the MSc.Soc.Sc. programs. Students make their own choices – in consultation with their supervisors – on research design, use of theory, methodology, and data. All papers, however, must have a clear research question.


Furthermore, all students are expected to

• reflect upon their research design, i.e. how they suggest building a scientific argument to arrive at justified answers to the research question,

• demonstrate awareness of alternative choices, and,

• towards the end of the paper, explicitly and persuasively present implications of their work.

Papers can be theory-driven as well as evidence-driven, and the methodology can be deductive as well as inductive. However, a theoretical element is required. Thus, papers should support or challenge existing theory or practice.

Students may achieve this objective by:
• contributing to understanding of extant theories,
• using theory to explain a real-life phenomenon,
• initiating a search for new ideas by carefully delineating a novel type of problem,
• identifying new angles to a well-researched area, synthesizing recent advances and ideas into theoretical frameworks,
• initiating a search for new ideas by carefully delineating a novel type of problem, or
• discussing the theoretical implications of empirical findings, all driven by the
multidisciplinary nature of the MSc.Soc.Sc. programs.

Students are advised not to engage in large- scale collection of primary data, and
generally they should discuss with their supervisors the scope of the paper. If a study
appears unfeasible for reasons of method, funding, time or any other structural constraint, the student is advised to revisit the questions that have been posed in an effort to ensure a close fit between the method and the focus of the study.
Papers must meet the paper length requirements specified in the table below. Note that the number of pages refers to the standard CBS definition that includes an STU (standard typographical unit) or taps count and some further specifications. There is also a requirement for independent reading specified in the table below. This refers
to the reading of material that is not part of the fixed curriculum in the students’ MSc.Soc.Sc.program. This requirement is indicative and the way it is met is part of the assessment criteria.


Teaching methods
Independent writing of a paper with supervision from a teacher. Supervision format will be agreed between the teacher and the student.
There are 4 hours of supervision, including the teacher’s time for preparation.
Feedback during the teaching period
Individual supervision is provided.
Student workload
Course activities (including preparation) 4 hours
Exam (including exam preparation) 205 hours
Last updated on 26-06-2017