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2023/2024  KAN-CDSCO4001U  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
Master of Science (MSc) in Business Administration and Data Science
Course coordinator
  • Sine Zambach - Department of Digitalisation (DIGI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Information technology
  • Statistics and quantitative methods
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 09-05-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
The subject of the thesis must be within the programme profile’s particular academic identity and theoretical field(s).
Through the thesis project, the student should develop the ability to
  • Demonstrate the ability to independently produce a qualified piece of research that applies relevant Data Science methods for business and society and fulfils the standards of academic writing
  • Document in-depth knowledge about the thesis's subject area, including the thesis topic's business and/or societal context.
  • Formulate a research question that has relevance to the Data Science methods and steers the research process
  • Motivate the choice of Data Science methods, prior literature and/or theory used to address the research question
  • Document the analysis through the selection and processing of primary and/or secondary data sources and/or the development of instantiations of a problem solution
  • Discuss the quality of the analyzed sources or solutions, including their suitability and validity 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 (if any), the applied Data Science methods, the analysis, the conclusion, and the generalizability of their findings to business and/or societal context
  • Discuss the findings of the thesis in the overall context of the existing body of knowledge, either along the theoretical or business perspectives
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, 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 2-3
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
Release of assignment Subject chosen by students themselves, see guidelines if any
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 Data Science 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 in business, information technology and/or policy/law that is relevant to the Data Science study program. The problem is to be addressed through acknowledged research methods including, but not limited to, the use of empirical and computational research 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.   

Description of the teaching methods
An introductory workshop 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 commencement of the thesis project.
Feedback during the teaching period
The students receive feedback from the supervisor at the supervisor meetings. The frequency of meetings and their content are agreed upon between the students and the supervisor.
Student workload
Supervision, literature review, data collection, report writing 800 hours
Exam preparation and exam 24 hours
Further Information

Main Category of the Course:

  • Data Science
  • Business economics
  • Communication
  • Management of Information and Knowledge Management
  • Information Systems
Last updated on 09-05-2023