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2020/2021  KAN-CINTO1005U  Master's Thesis

English Title
Master's Thesis

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 30 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Michael Wessel - Department of Digitalisation
Main academic disciplines
  • Information technology
  • Organisation
  • Economics
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 29-06-2020

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Demonstrate the ability to independently produce a qualified piece of research that applies relevant methods and theories and fulfills standards of academic writing
  • Document in-depth knowledge of the subject of the thesis, including the conditions and circumstances in which it is embedded
  • Formulate a research question that has relevance to the programme and steers the research process
  • Motivate the choice of theory and/or other prior literature used to address answer the research question
  • Motivate the choice of methodology used to address the research question
  • Document the analysis through the selection and processing of primary and secondary sources and/or the development of instantiations of a problem solution
  • Discuss the quality of the analyzed sources or solutions, including their appropriateness in terms of providing answers to the research question
  • Explain and evaluate the overall coherence between: the research question, the selection and use of theory, the applied method, the analysis, the conclusion, and the generalizability of the findings
  • Discuss the findings of the thesis in the overall perspective of a theoretical science perspective
Master's Thesis:
Exam ECTS 30
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Oral group exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2-3
Size of written product Max. 120 pages
The Master's Thesis should be written in groups of two or three students.
The Master's thesis may also be written individually without the need for a dispensation (individual contract).
- If the thesis is written by one student, the length is max. 80 pages.
- If the thesis is written by two students, the length is max. 120 pages.
- If the thesis is written by three students, the length is max. 160 pages.
The abstract is always max. 1 page.
Assignment type Master's thesis
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
75 min. per group, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale

The student’s spelling and writing skills are taken into consideration in the overall assessment of the examination performance, but the academic content is given the highest weight.
Regulations regarding the summary The summary is in English and is a part of the assessment.

For rules regarding individual exams, see your programme regulations and my.cbs.dk.
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and external examiner
Exam period Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the student has submitted their thesis, but is ill at the oral defense, a new defense will be arranged as soon as possible based on the thesis already submitted.
If the student receives a non-passing grade at the regular exam, they have used an exam attempt. It is then a requirement that the Master’s Thesis contract is renewed, i.e. the student must further clarify their original topic delimitation, which must then be approved by the thesis coordinator.
Description of the exam procedure

The exam form is an oral group exam.

Students may request to defend their thesis individually, even if they have written in a group, by writing to the master thesis office no later than 6 weeks before the submission deadline. 

The examination time includes time for the examiner to discuss and inform the student about their grades and it depends on the number of students:

- If the thesis is written by one student, the oral exam is 45 minutes.
- If the thesis is written by two students, the oral exam is 75 minutes. 
- If the thesis is written by three students, the oral exam is 90 minutes. 
Students are expected to bring their thesis to the exam. Also, they are allowed to bring notes and presentation material to the exam.

The exam begins with a presentation by the students (max. 10 minutes for one student, 15 minutes for two students, 20 minutes for three students) followed by a discussion between the students and the examiners.

The grade awarded will reflect a holistic assessment of the academic content of the thesis, formal aspects (e.g., correct spelling and referencing), and the oral performance. Emphasis will be placed on the academic content of the thesis (see learning objectives).

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The master’s thesis is the final assignment required to complete the Cand.merc.(it) study programme. The subject of the thesis must be within the programme profile’s particular academic identity and theoretical field(s).


The thesis is to be motivated by a problem with relevance to the contents of the study program. This problem is to be addressed through acknowledged research methods including, but not limited to, the use of empirical research methods and/or design-oriented methods.


Students identify a potential topic and develop their research approach under the guidance of a supervisor. Finding a supervisor is in the responsibility of the students (see my.cbs.dk). Students embark on independent research activities over multiple months in which they also successively write up their work. 


The supervisor can be used to give feedback at multiple stages of this process, for example, on the topic delimitation, planned methodology, thesis structure, as well as on drafts of individual chapters of the thesis. Supervisors are not supposed to review drafts of results and conclusion sections of the thesis before the final hand-in deadline.  


Article-based master's thesis:

In special cases, the research conducted in the master’s thesis may lend itself to a format that is suitable for presentation to an academic audience. In these cases, students are allowed to agree with the supervisor to write a master thesis that takes the format of a research article. When writing an article-based master’s thesis, the thesis appendix is to be used more extensively than normal to document details of the literature review, methodology, analysis, and any other information that is relevant to understand the results described in the article sections.

Description of the teaching methods
An introductory event (the "Master's thesis bazaar") will be held in September - October.

The supervision process is described in the supervision plan, which is agreed between the student(s) and the supervisor prior to the commencement of the thesis project.
Feedback during the teaching period
Students receive continuous feedback from their supervisor at supervision meetings (in person or online). During these meetings, the supervisor will, to the extent possible, discuss the student's performance to this point and possible ways to improve her/his efforts. The frequency of meetings and their content are agreed upon between students and their supervisor. Students also receive feedback from their supervisor after the oral exam.
Student workload
Supervision, literature review, data collection, report writing 800 hours
Exam preparation and exam 24 hours
Further Information

Main Category of the Course:

  • Information Systems
  • Business economics
  • Organizational theory
Last updated on 29-06-2020