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2022/2023  KAN-CPOLV1003U  Free Paper, 15 ECTS

English Title
Free Paper, 15 ECTS

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 15 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 BSc/MSc i International Business and Politics, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Leonard Seabrooke - Department of Organization (IOA)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalisation and international business
  • International political economy
  • Political Science
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 03-02-2022

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • independently explore, review and systematize the academic literature on a topic of interest
  • independently develop and justify a research question that relates to that topic,
  • address the research question with appropriate and justified choices of theory and research design, demonstrating awareness of alternative choices,
  • arrive at a clear and substantiated conclusion and offer persuasive implications,
  • reflect critically on the quality of the answers produced, and
  • present the entire analysis in a clear and coherent manner.
Course prerequisites
This elective is only avaliable to students admitted to MSc International Business and Politics
Free Paper (15 ECTS):
Exam ECTS 15
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 40 pages
Assignment type Report
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter and Summer, The hand-in deadline
Spring semester: 1st September
Autumn semester: 1st March
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach


To be agreed between student and supervisor.



There is not one standard template for a Free Paper in IBP. 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, or discussing the theoretical implications of empirical findings, all driven by the multidisciplinary nature of the IBP program.


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, then 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 an indicative requirement for independent reading. This is 1000 pages and refers to the reading of material that is not part of the fixed curriculum in the IBP program. This requirement is indicative and the way it is met is part of the assessment criteria.



Description of the teaching methods
The paper is independently written under the guidance and supervision of a staff member. The character of the supervision process is to be agreed between the staff member and the student.

For a 15 ECTS paper there are 8 hours of supervision, (including staff time for preparation and grading.)
Feedback during the teaching period
Report and research paper supervision should always be a two-way process. Students are encouraged to seek feedback on their work by maintaining contact with their supervisor on a regular basis and preparing in advance for supervision sessions by drawing up an agenda listing questions or issues for meetings or discussions.
Student workload
Preparation time (readings, group work etc.) 278 hours
Exam (incl. preparation for the exam and actual exam period) 138 hours
Last updated on 03-02-2022