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2023/2024  KAN-COECO1000U  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 Autumn, Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Advanced Economics and Finance
Course coordinator
  • Economics
    Cédric Schneider - Department of Economics (ECON)
  • Finance
    Kristian Miltersen - Department of Finance (FI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Finance
  • Economics
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 09-01-2024

Relevant links

Learning objectives
The students may choose:

- To write a (traditional) Master's thesis
- to write a business project and a (shorter) Master's thesis

Hereafter both formats are referred to simply as Master's thesis.

The topic of the Master’s thesis must fall within the academic profile of the MSc in Advanced Economics and Finance and must be written in English.

Students are required in their written thesis to:
  • Describe, analyze, and reflect on a complex problem going beyond the level of the compulsory and elective courses by either dealing with new theoretical issues or by applying state-of-the-art methods to new problems.
  • Apply, present, and elaborate on specialized knowledge within the area of the MSc in Advanced Economics and Finance.
  • Reflect critically on the foundation, relevance, and validity of methods, theories, and empirics used.
  • Identify key issues and relevant solutions and to present these with linguistic clarity.
  • Balance the problems addressed with the methods applied, and in the business project, balance scientific rigor and applicability.
  • Be responsible for the planning, timing, and execution of the thesis work and, as part of this, develop a problem statement that facilitates control and structure of the work on the thesis and its content.
Master's Thesis defence:
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
Size of written product Max. 120 pages
The Master’s thesis can be written individually or by two students together.
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 An abstract (max. one page) written in English must be part of the Master’s thesis. The abstract is included in the overall assessment of the thesis.

For rules regarding individual exams, see your programme regulations and my.cbs.dk.
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and external examiner
Exam period Autumn and Spring
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 grade given must express an overall assessment of the written thesis (including the executive summary), the oral examination, and the student’s spelling and style, although the academic content will carry most weight.

The (traditional) Master’s thesis may not be more than 120 standard pages for a joint thesis submitted by two students.

The (shorter) Master's thesis must be no more than 45 pages for two students writing together.

The business project must be no more than 37 pages for two students writing together.



Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The traditional master’s thesis serves as a test of the student’s ability to engage in in-depth study and independently describe, analyze, and process a complex issue within economics and finance at the master’s level. The thesis is supervised by a faculty member.


The business project consists of two parts, (i) a consultancy report and (ii) a shorter master’s thesis and is supervised both by a corporate advisor and an academic supervisor.  The business project serves as test of the student’s ability to solve a concrete problem for a given firm (or organization or institution) using state-of-the art methods from economics and finance at the master’s level.  The consultancy aspect will be part of the evaluation, including issues like relevance of the problem for the firm, choice of methods, the ability to apply relevant economics and finance, and the actual solution proposed.  This aspect is mainly evaluated based on the consultancy report.  In addition to the consultancy report, the student also writes a shorter master’s thesis which is evaluated as an academic scientific article. The article should deal with a central economic and/or finance problem related to the problem of the business project in a short and concise way. It may deal with the problem in a novel way, or it may provide a survey of existing literature. The shorter master’s thesis is supervised by the same academic supervisor as the business project.


When writing a business project, the student is responsible for entering into an agreement forming the basis of the cooperation with the firm. This agreement between the student and the firm must be approved by the academic supervisor.


The traditional master’s thesis has more focus on analyzing an academic question within economics and finance (i.e., to get a deeper understanding of a phenomenon/problem/object studied – or to get an answer to the `why’ question, i.e., it is more governed by `curiosity’) whereas the business project has more focus on solving a concrete problem (for a firm) using methods and theories from economics and finance (hence, there is an important trade of between how well the methods and theories applied `fits’ the concrete problem and how applicable and robust the proposed solution is – so it is more of a `how’ question and more governed by `find a feasible (but still as-good-as possible) solution’ thinking).


To take a concrete example, take a student who is interested in studying liquidity management of firms.  A traditional master’s thesis could then focus on why firms hold cash and what the trades of are from holding more or less cash.  The business project could take its point of departure in a concrete firm’s liquidity management problem and suggest a solution that tells how much cash the firm should hold in which types of asset classes depending on a realistic set of parameters and taking the relevant aspects into account using methods and theories from economics and finance.


Description of the teaching methods
Feedback during the teaching period
During supervision. Please note that the supervisor is not allowed to read the thesis in its entirety before you submit it.
Student workload
Thesis writing 814 hours
Exam 10 hours
Last updated on 09-01-2024