autumn 2012

HEL-3950 Master's Thesis in Public Health - 30 stp


Last changed: 16.11.2012

The course is administrated by

The course is administrated by

Faculty of Health Sciences
Type of course

Type of course

This course is open programme students only.
Course contents

Course contents

The master thesis consists of 30 ECTS-credits, which is equivalent to the workload of one semester. Normally this workload is distributed over several semesters. For this reason it might be a challenging to divide the work with the master thesis in a correct manner, work systematically and utilize the given time properly.

The thesis is to be carried out as a simple research project. It can either be an empiric study based on an extisting data set or the student may choose to collect new data within a chosen field of interest. The thesis can also be a discussion of a problem based on studies of relevant literature or a thesis of a more theoretical or methodological nature. The master thesis must contain a precise research question, choice of methodology and an explanation why the student plans to use this methodology, and systematic argumentation. The students themselves are responsible for choosing a topic for the thesis. The student must have completed all other courses in the programme before the thesis can be handed in. Meaning the obligatory 90 ECTS must be passed.

Objective of the course

Objective of the course

The master thesis is a mandatory part of the Master Programme of Public health.

By completing this course, mandatory supervision (and the writing-/supervision seminar) included, the student shall be able to form small scale research projects. The student will learn how the results from a study should be reported in order to comply with standard scientific criteria.

Through the thesis the student needs to demonstrate that he/she masters relevant methods that have been demonstrated during the programme, the ability to work independently, demonstrate insight, reflection and maturity within the given field of study. If a student wishes to use qualitative methodology in his/her master thesis, it may be granted by individual application. In this application the student must document adequate formal qualifications in qualitative methodology.

- The student should -

Knowledge and understanding:

- Be able to do an autonomous in depth study on a defined topic

- Develop a critical attitude to the source material and literature

Skills:

- Develop the ability to formulate precise research questions and conduct a small research project

- Relate to existing research

Language of instruction

Language of instruction

English
Teaching methods

Teaching methods

The institute arranges three obligatory, collective supervision seminars, lasting three hours each (these gatherings are obligatory for students starting studies from autumn 2008.

Students who have started earlier are also invited to participate):

- First semester: Seminar on thesis writing:

The students get an introduction to working on the thesis from idea to formulation of a problem statement to a finished product. This includes an introduction to preparing a project description, literature searches and use of references, rules for research ethics, approval and the supervision arrangement.

- Second semester:

Seminar on Application for Supervision:

A further introduction is given to working on an application for an individual supervisor that the students must send to the Program Coordinator for master studies before the end of the second semester. This application must contain a topic or problem statement for the thesis, background or theoretical approach, research methods, relevant source materials or data, as well as a schedule. The student should also indicate requests for a supervisor from the institute and information about a possible external supervisor. Attention is drawn to the fact that not all supervisor requests can be fulfilled.

Everyone who has applied will receive a written reply informing them of their supervisor before the beginning of the 3rd semester.

- Third semester: Supervision and presentation seminar:

During the 3rd semester, the student must, under supervision, prepare a project description and the ongoing schedule for the thesis. At this seminar, the student must present this description in front of fellow students and teachers, followed by questions and comments.

The project description must be a maximum of 5 A4-pages. It is the supervisors responsibility to make sure that the project is sent for necessary assessment by REK and that the Privacy Ombudsman, NSD, is informed.

No later than one week before the seminar, the student must upload a summary of the description to ClassFronter, max. 2 A4-pages.

After the seminar the project description can be revised and then must be approved by the supervisor and a scholarly employee at ISM, preferably one responsible for the subject matter relevant for the thesis topic. Approved, ongoing master theses are registered at MUNIN, the University of Tromsø's open research archive.

- In the fourth semester, students will finish up the work on the master thesis.

Assessment

Assessment

The thesis has a workload equivalent to 30 credits. The length of the thesis will depend on the topic and form, but should normally be between 30 and 60 pages, including references and notes.

Two students may collaborate on a task, but it must be applied for in advance. Students must describe each individual's effort, and length of such a task should be 80 to 100 pages.

Scripture should have font size 12, spacing 2. The first page shall state the title, student name, supervisor's name, time and place, Master of Public Health, ISM, University of Tromsø. The thesis should follow the outline that applies to the articles to the Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association, see (http://tidsskriftet.no/Innhold/Forfatterveiledningen). Other academic forms of presentation can also be used in consultation with the supervisor. The thesis can be written in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English. If a non-English language is used, the thesis must contain a 1-2 page summary in English.

Submission

In order to hand in the thesis, all other courses at the Master's program must be completed. There are two submission deadlines each year: May 1st or December 1st. The deadline for submission is May 1st four years after the start of an experience-based master's program of 90 ECTS, or five years after the start of a master of the 120 ECTS (corresponding to the duration of the admission cf. Regulations for studies at the University of § 16). Thesis submitted electronically via MUNIN as a pdf file.

Evaluation

The thesis is assessed by an external and an internal examiner (examination committee). The thesis will be graded from A to E, or fail (F). The student's supervisor cannot be an internal examiner. It is adopted by the University Board (21.06.2007, case S25/07) that examination committee may have a short conversation with the supervisor before the assessment meeting. If necessary, the examining committee will ask the supervisor to provide a written explanation of the counseling process.

Schedule

Schedule


Recommended reading/syllabus

Recommended reading/syllabus

Available on request
Lectures Autumn 2012
1st semester student seminar will be Oct. 26th. Students on their 3rd semester will have their seminar Oct. 19th.

Lectures Autumn 2012
1st semester seminar: Oct. 26th. 3rd semester seminar Oct. 19th.
Tredje semester: Veilednings- og presentasjonsseminar Prof. Jan Abel Olsen


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