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Master's Thesis

During your fourth semester, you will write your master’s thesis. This is the time for you to be creative and put together everything you have learned during the programme in your own research project!


The thesis course consists of a degree project for which the student independently designs and executes a scientific inquiry. The student should identify a relevant research problem in their field from a social sciences perspective, select appropriate methods, apply comprehensive theoretical and empirical material, and report the findings in the form of a written text. The research process is guided by a supervisor at the department of the student's major. While the supervisor provides constructive feedback on the basic structure of the inquiry, the thesis represents an independent research effort, and therefore it is the authors themselves who are responsible for the final product.

Eligibility Requirements and Thesis Proposal

In order to be eligible for the thesis course you must have completed the first full year (60-credits) of your programme, consisting of 30-credits of profile courses and 30-credits of research methods and/or theory of science courses. The eligibility requirements must be met by the spring term course start in order for you to be able to register for the course.

In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements, prospective thesis students are required to submit a thesis proposal to Graduate School in their third term (late November) for the purpose of assigning the student to a supervisor. During the student's third term Graduate School will arrange opportunities for the student to receive feedback on their research proposal ideas from their programme directors.

Thesis and Major

You who are admitted to an interdisciplinary programme (Development Studies, Global Studies, Social Scientific Data Analysis and Social Studies of Gender) are assigned to a major, usually based on your undergraduate studies.* You cannot change the major unless there are very special circumstances. A change of major must be decided by the Director of Studies. 

Graduate School cooperates with the departments within the Faculty of Social Sciences for the master’s thesis course. You will write your master’s thesis at the department which corresponds to the major in your Bachelor’s degree. The master’s thesis should therefore reflect your programme studies and you should use theory and method from your major.

The department of your major is responsible for assigning both your supervisor and your examiner. The department will choose a supervisor for you based on the thesis proposal that you will have to submit to Graduate School in your third term. You do not have to find or look for a supervisor yourself.

*Middle Eastern Studies programme students will be writing their theses in the subject of contemporary Middle Eastern Studies and therefore do not have a major.


The master’s thesis course starts on your fourth term at Graduate School, always around January 15-20. By course start you will know the name of the supervisor. Most departments and supervisors require that students are present in Lund during the master’s thesis course. Some departments arrange peer review seminars and other activities, which requires the students' presence on campus. The thesis course is a campus-based course, so you cannot expect to receive distance supervision through Zoom or email unless you are away for valid reasons (i.e. such as fieldwork or returning from a 3rd term exchange/internship). For ethical reasons fieldwork should be conducted in agreement with the supervisor. Keep in mind that you yourself are responsible for your research project and for your writing process. The supervisor can offer support and guidance, but you will have to be the driving force of your research project.

In addition to the supervision from the departments, Graduate School offers a midterm seminar on programme level in mid-March. This is a great opportunity to receive feed back from your programme director and from your peers.

Supervision is only provided during the first term that you are registered for the course. We are rarely able to provide supervision outside of the normal course period, whether before you register, or afterwards in cases of re-registration. Once registered, you need to use your supervision hours within that given term or risk losing them altogether.


At Graduate School we arrange thesis submission in May, August and January each year. Specific dates and details for each submission can be found on the Thesis Portal on Canvas. Submission deadlines cannot be negotiated. Your thesis should be submitted both electronically, on Canvas, and in hard copy (1 copy) if the examination round takes place on campus. The hard copy must be handed in. If you cannot come to Lund in time for the submission, you may send a friend to submit your thesis. You may also send the thesis by post. More detailed information on submission can be found here.

Remember to notify your supervisor before submission and the Graduate School administration by filling out the Status Update webform by the deadline specified. Submitting your thesis a later round will have no bearing on your grade.

Examination seminars

Thesis students must participate in both a defence and and opposition seminar. After submission, a schedule for examination seminars will be set up. You must ensure that you can be available during normal Swedish business hours (8-17) during the entire period for which your seminars are slated. Re-scheduling is not an option; failure to attend an examination seminar counts as a Fail (F). We have to consider the examiners, the different majors and the localities, therefore we cannot consider individual requests for specific dates. You will receive the exact dates of your opposition and defence seminars via email, and the schedule for all programs will be posted on Canvas. 

Two examination seminars are mandatory for every new submission: the one where you defend your own work and the one where you are an opponent on the work of a peer. The thesis seminars are open to the public and we encourage students to attend the seminars of their peers. After your defence seminar, you will most likely know if you pass or fail, but the examiner may take up to 15 working days to decide on the grade.

After the seminar

Once you know that you have passed your thesis you may make smaller revisions to your text, according to the comments from your opponent and examiner. You have 5-10 working days to make these corrections. Thereafter you should upload the revised thesis in LUP Student Papers. Your examiner will report your grade to Graduate School together with a written assessment of your work. Your thesis coordinator will register the grade in Ladok and send you your written assessment as soon as possible once the grade is registered. Note that this process may take a few days.

Once you have received a passing grade on the thesis course you will need to apply for a degree certificate! You will find more information here.

Thesis Coordinator

Headshot of Katherine Anderson Ahlstedt

Katherine Anderson Ahlstedt
katherine [dot] anderson_ahlstedt [at] sam [dot] lu [dot] se
Book an appointment by email.

Upcoming thesis submissions

August 2024: Online only

Aug 8:  Confirm your plans to submit by filling out the Status Update webformThis form opens on July 29.

Aug 15: Final submission deadline: upload on Canvas by 12 p.m. (noon) Swedish time.

Aug 26-30: Thesis examination seminars (on Zoom)


January 2025: Online only. Exact dates TBA

Mid December: Confirm your plans to submit by filling out the Status Update webformThis form opens ca Dec 1.

Early January: Final submission deadline: upload to Canvas by 12.00 p.m. (noon) Swedish time

Jan 15-17: Thesis examination seminars (on Zoom)