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2023/2024  AO-ASTHO2001U  Master's Project

English Title
Master's Project

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 15 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Fourth Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
AO Study Board for cand.soc.
Course coordinator
  • Sebastian Zenker - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Service management
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 26-06-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
The aim of the master’s project is to demonstrate the ability to conduct independently a qualified piece of research within the field of tourism and hospitality. More specifically, to achieve the grade 12, students have to meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes:
  • Demonstrate the ability to produce a qualified piece of research within the tourism and hospitality field independently that applies relevant methods and theories;
  • 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 field;
  • 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;
  • Critically reflect on theoretical and practical aspects the finding;
  • To follow academic conventions in the written and oral presentation.
Master's Project:
Exam ECTS 15
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, see also the rules about examination forms in the programme regulations.
Individual or group exam Oral group exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2
Size of written product Max. 60 pages
Assignment type Master's project
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
30 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
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 defence, a new defence 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.
Description of the exam procedure

The exam form is an oral group exam based on a written project - but can also be written individually. If written individually, the project must be 30 pages max.


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 30 minutes.

- If the thesis is written by two students, the oral exam is 60 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. 7 minutes for one student, 15 minutes for two 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 project is the final assignment required to complete the study program. The project must be within the programs profile and is to be motivated by a problem in tourism and hospitality that is relevant to the study program. The problem is to be addressed through acknowledged research methods and should contain an empirical part as well.


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). The topic and research question then needs to be approved by the course coordinator. Students embark on independent research activities over multiple weeks 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.  


Two workshops will be offered to present and discuss the project with academics and other students (for peer-group-feedback).

Description of the teaching methods
The course includes two workshops and an introductory event ("Master's Project Kick-Off") to discuss potential ideas and to introduce to challenges of writing a master’s project..

The workshops are at a later stage of the project, to present first empirical findings by the students and to receive feedback from academics and students.

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 master’s project.
Feedback during the teaching period
The students will receive feedback at the two workshops and from their supervisor at supervision meetings (in person or online). The frequency of supervision 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
Attending class (kick-off and workshops) 8 hours
Project (including supervision) 356,5 hours
Oral exam (including exam preparation) 48 hours
In total 412,5 hours
Expected literature

This course literature depends on the project chosen by the student and needed to be identified by them. Additionally, we recommend the following readings:


  • Alvesson, M. & Sandberg, J. (2011). Generating research questions through problematization. Academy of Management Review, 36(2), 247-271.
  • Byron, K., & Thatcher, S. M. (2016). Editors’ comments: “What I know now that I wish I knew then”—Teaching theory and theory building. Academy of Management Review, 41(1), 1-8.
  • Kock, F., Assaf, A. G., & Tsionas, M. G. (2020). Developing courageous research ideas. Journal of Travel Research, 59(6), 1140-1146.
  • MacKenzie, S. B. (2003). The dangers of poor construct conceptualization. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 31(3), 323-326.
Last updated on 26-06-2023