Course code: 3GJ322
Course name: Theoretical MA Thesis
Semester: Starts autum, goes over two semesters
Academic year: 2020–2021
Credits: 45 ECTS Credits
Single subject: No
Required prerequisite knowledge
- 3GJ303 Research Methodology
- 3GJ321 Thesis Preparation Seminar
- In addition, as the main rule, 75 ECTS credits of the programme must have been completed. Exceptions to this rule may only be made in circumstances where minor parts are missing.
Relevance within study programme
GJ 322 Theoretical MA Thesis is part of the MA Programme in Global Journalism at NLA University College. It takes place in the third and fourth semesters of the programme, immediately following the proposal submitted in the preceding Thesis Preparation Seminar (GJ 321).
GJ 322 Theoretical MA Thesis is an independent and individual project where the student demonstrates skills to carry out a small scale research undertaking within the field of Global Journalism and write a report pursuing a theoretical argument. The thesis is the realization of the research proposal developed in GJ 321 Thesis Preparation Seminar. An internal advisor will be appointed for each student.
Learning outcomes descriptors
- comprehends the field data gathered for the MA project
- has thorough knowledge of the specific theoretical framework applied in the MA thesis
- knows the theory and principles behind a chosen methodology
- can assess key areas of the academic discussion related to the theory chosen for a research project
- can make arrangements and gather field data based on a research proposal
- is able to make necessary choices as the project unfolds
- can pursue the chosen methodology for a small-scale research project
- can present field data and engage theoretically with the findings in a report
- can communicate research findings and arguments in such a way that they are accessible to the general public and at the same time academically sound
- is able to consider ethical issues pertaining to research projects
- is able to carry out a small-scale research project
- can write a report pursuing a theoretical argument
- is able to generate new knowledge within Global Journalism
See Organization and teaching methods
Teaching and learning methods
The course is organized on an individual basis according to the strategy for the chosen research project. In general, the organization will consist of three parts, assuming that method and theoretical framework have been decided in the preceding Thesis Preparation Seminar. The first part of the project period will usually consist of fieldwork in accordance with the research proposal (typically estimated to be 4–6 weeks of work). The second period consists mainly of data analysis. The third period, which is the longest, represents the writing of the thesis. The student meets with the advisor throughout the project, and is expected to keep in touch via electronic means when on fieldwork.
The thesis is an independent and individual project. That the project is independent means that it is a result of autonomous efforts where the student takes responsibility for all choices made during the work. That it is individual means that the thesis may only be submitted as a single person–s product; group submissions are not allowed.
The Guidelines for the master's thesis in Global Journalism outlines the details for the thesis and the thesis work. The topic of the thesis must be within the field of Global Journalism, which may demand that the candidate must conduct fieldwork in a geographical and cultural environment other than one–s own. A purely conceptually driven study will not be accepted for the submission.
No formal instruction is offered. Supervision is given in either English or a Nordic language.
There are no lectures offered in GJ 322. The student is required to meet at least three times with the advisor during the project period. The only compulsory submission in the course is the MA thesis.
Grading, coursework requirements
The assessment of GJ 322 comprises of one compulsory item: Theoretical MA thesis
The thesis must follow the requirements outlined in the Guidelines for the master's thesis in Global Journalism. The recommended length of the thesis is 30,000 words (approximately 60 pages), +/- 25%. The word count includes all text, introductory pages, footnotes, reference list etc., but excludes appendices.
The thesis is assessed by an examination committee composed of two members; one internal and one external. The committee decides on a grade for the thesis, after which the candidate is required to defend the thesis orally before the examination committee. The performance in the defence may confirm the grade, alternatively adjust the grade one step up or down. This in turn constitutes the final grade for the thesis.
Permitted aids under examination
The thesis is assessed according to the standard A–F grading system.
The thesis may be written in either English or a Nordic language.
Annually course evaluation in accordance with the quality assurance system for NLA University College.
The student may not defend his/her MA thesis until all other courses in the programme (75 ECTS) have been completed.
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