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Supervision of the Master's Thesis

Supervision is compulsory. You can not submit your master thesis without having actively participated in supervision

You will be assigned a supervisor at the end of the third semester of the Master's programme, after completion of the Master's Thesis seminar. The department appoints supervisors on the basis of the research proposal. The assignment of a supervisor presupposes that your research proposal has been approved. You may indicate a wish for a particular supervisor but the final decision of the assignment rests with the department. 

Scope of the supervision

You will receive up to 10 supervisory sessions with your supervisor. That also applies for two students writing the master's thesis together. Supervision can be given individually or in groups, by email, phone, Zoom or other digital platforms.

Guidelines for supervision

At the initial stage of the supervision, you and your supervisor must agree on the framework for the supervision, i.e. progress plan and expectations for guidance etc.

Topics you should discuss with your supervisor

The following topics should be discussed in the first meetings with your supervisor. To ensure an effective supervisory relationship, we recommend that you and your supervisor maintain a dialogue about the topics throughout the entire working process. 

The topics should be considered in relation to the supervision agreement and with the Ethical guidelines for supervision relationships at UiO. 

Distribution of supervisory sessions

In the first meeting with your supervisor you should agree on how to distribute the supervisory sessions over the course of the project. Will you schedule supervisory sessions at regular intervals, or will you contact you supervisor to make an appointment when needed? 

Expectations of supervisor’s role and function

It would be useful to discuss your mutual expectations around the supervisor's role with regards to i.e. development of research questions, choice of theories, analysis and choice and search for literature. 

Expectations of the student’s role

When discussing your mutual expectations of your role as a student, you may discuss expectations of how you should prepare for the supervisory session? Will you set an agenda for each session? And to what extent should you keep your supervisor informed about the progress of the project?

Expectations of the supervisor's feedback

The nature and format of the feedback your supervisor will provide should also be discussed. What kind of advice and feedback do you think would be most effective for your work? Should the feedback always be given in writing? Should it be given in advance of the sessions? Should your supervisor help you ensuring that the progress plan is being followed? 

Would you like your supervisor to make an assessment of grade? What do you think, and what does your supervisor think about this? Please note that your supervisor will not take part in the final assessment and grading of the master's thesis. 

Expectations of revision of drafts

When your supervisor reviews your drafts, what do you expect him/her to comment on? This should be a recurrent topic to discuss during the entire project period.

It is important that you clarify how many days in advance your supervisor must receive a draft in order to be able to prepare sufficiently for a supervisory session.

Expectations of how many times a supervisor should read a text

At a later stage this will be an important topic to clarify with your supervisor. It is especially important to discuss expectations of whether your supervisor should read the final draft of the master's thesis. 

The student's responsibilities

As a student, you

  • must contact your supervisor immediately after the assignment 

  • are responsible for submitting the supervision agreement to the department within the deadline February 1st

  • must come prepared for the meetings with your supervisor

  • must follow the progress plan as agreed upon, and keep your supervisor informed about the work

  • must give your supervisor as much notice as possible if you cannot attend a scheduled meeting 

  • must immediately notify the department if serious cooperation issues occur.

  • are responsible for familiarizing yourself and for following relevant guidelines for the master thesis

  • are responsible for notifying your project to NSD if you are to process personal data in your master project

The supervisor’s responsibilities

The supervisor shall

  • carry out the guidance in accordance with the framework set by the department and with the Ethical guidelines for supervision relationships at UiO

  • ensure that the first supervisory session takes place as early as possible

  • offer the student up to 10 supervisory sessions, relatively evenly distributed throughout the semester

  • be prepared for the meetings with the student

  • provide guidance and advice on research questions, design, methodology and ethical issues and help ensuring that it is possible for the student to finalize the project  within the submission deadline

  • review and provide detailed written comments on a draft at least one time

  • keep himself/herself informed about the students progress through the supervisory sessions and assess the student's progress in relation to the progress plan

  • give as much notice as possible to the student if he/she cannot attend a scheduled meeting

  • ensure that the student notifies the project to NSD if the project will process personal data

Termination of supervisory relationship

In cases of serious problems in supervision, the student and supervisor should immediately bring this to the attention of the department. In such cases the student or supervisor may request to be released from the supervision agreement and a new supervisor may be considered.

Published Apr. 15, 2020 12:45 PM - Last modified Nov. 25, 2020 2:30 PM