Master's Thesis

Course content

Master’s thesis format

STUDENTS SIGNED UP BEFORE SPRING 2022:

Students can choose the following formats:

  • Classic Master’s thesis
  • Scientific article(s)
  • Annotated dataset
  • Report for external partner

 

Classic Master’s thesis

The Master’s thesis must fulfil the standard requirements above as well as those in the Curricula’s Common Part.

 

Scientific article

The Master’s thesis must fulfil the standard criteria and contain the following main components:

  • A companion framing text containing a more comprehensive introduction and background giving a comprehensive account of the theory and methods employed, outlining the social scientific/academic background for the study. Any ethical or legal concerns, e.g. about data collection, data processing, fieldwork, application of algorithms, should be analysed and critically reflected upon.
  • One scientific article. The scientific article should be written with the style, format, and length of a “letter” or “short article” in a top social science journal of the student’s choosing, emphasizing how the Master’s thesis contributes to existing literature.

 

Annotated dataset

The Master’s thesis must fulfil the standard criteria and contain the following main components:

  • A companion framing text containing a more comprehensive introduction and background giving a comprehensive account of the theory and methods employed, outlining the social scientific/academic background for the study. Any ethical or legal concerns, e.g. about data collection, data processing, fieldwork, application of algorithms, should be analysed and critically reflected upon. The companion framing document should also state how the dataset is useful for new research and/or for commercial as well as social purposes.
  • A detailed annotated dataset, including a thorough account of how data was produced, cleaned, categorized, and/or analysed, as relevant for the intended purpose of the dataset. 

 

Report for external partner

The Master’s thesis must fulfil the standard criteria and contain the following main components:

  • A report, primarily addressed to an external party, in which a problem from an academic internship/project-oriented work or data collection is analysed.
  • A companion paper containing a more comprehensive introduction and background giving a comprehensive account of the theory and methods employed, outlining the social scientific/academic background for the study, the social context and relation to the external partner. The paper should challenge and discuss the project-oriented work for the external partner, targeted at an academic audience. Any ethical or legal concerns, e.g. about data collection, data processing, fieldwork, application of algorithms, should be analysed and critically reflected upon.

 

STUDENTS SIGNING UP FROM SPRING 2022:

Students can choose the following formats:

  • Classic Master’s thesis
  • Scientific article
  • Annotated dataset
  • Report for external partner

 

Classic Master’s thesis

The Master’s thesis must meet the learning outcomes described below and fulfil the requirements in the Curricula’s Common Part.

 

Scientific article

The Master’s thesis must fulfil the standard criteria and contain the following main components:

  • A scientific article. The scientific article should be written with the style and format of an article in a top social science journal. The scientific article should be of maximum 20 pages, emphasizing how the Master’s thesis contributes to existing literature.
  • A companion paper written for an academic audience which expands on and supplements the scientific article as necessary to document the full scope of the Master’s Thesis’ learning outcomes.

 

Annotated dataset

The Master’s thesis must fulfil the standard criteria and contain the following main components:

  • A detailed annotated dataset, which should 1) contain a documentation of the data, 2) code that structures the raw data source, 3) a sample of how raw data looks like (can be anonymized or simulated, if relevant) that the code can run on, 4) a sample of the structured/annotated data (can be anonymized or simulated, if relevant)
  • A companion paper written for an academic audience which expands on and supplements the detailed annotated dataset as necessary to document the full scope of the Master’s Thesis’ learning outcomes. 

 

Report for external partner

The Master’s thesis must fulfil the standard criteria and contain the following main components:

  • A report, primarily addressed to an external party of no more than 20 pages, in which a problem from an academic internship/project-oriented work or data collection is analysed.
  • A companion paper written for an academic audience which expands on and supplements the report as necessary to document the full scope of the Master’s Thesis’ learning outcomes.

The Master’s thesis is the conclusion of the degree programme. The purpose of the Master’s thesis is for students to acquire research-based competencies by conducting a social data science in-depth study of a problem of their choosing. This includes identifying a problem by gathering and analysing relevant social data and applying methodological, theoretical, ethical and legal perspectives while at the same time incorporating social science and data science. Relevant data may include, but is not limited to, big social data from e.g. social media platforms or other sources.

Education

Mandatory course on MSc programme in Social Data Science at University of Copenhagen. 

 

PLEASE NOTE: There is two different descriptions merges into this one. 

Learning outcome

At the end of the Master’s thesis, students are able to:

Knowledge

  • Account for the scientific and social potentials of the research.
  • Relate critically to existing knowledge within this area.
  • In connection with the oral defence, the student must demonstrate a command of the methodologies applied in connection with the preparation of the Master’s thesis.

 

Skills

  • In connection with the oral defence, the student must be able to account for the issue of the thesis and its clarification in a clear and comprehensible manner.
  • Structure and argue convincingly while processing the problem.
  • Critically assess the quality and use of empirical data or algorithms employed in the Master’s thesis, including any legal, ethical, political or other relevant considerations.
  • Justify the design and discuss the choice of methodology.
  • Justify in what sense new knowledge has been generated or new light shed on existing knowledge and qualify this in terms of usefulness, topicality, theory or methodological progress.
  • Account for the distinct social science contribution to knowledge made by the analysis and how it is part of a social data science approach.

 

Competencies

  • Formulate a precise problem statement/research question.
  • Independently take responsibility for own academic progress.
  • Plan, structure and implement a social data science study in accordance with scientific standards.
  • Independently manage and coordinate the collaboration with fellow student, supervisor, and potential external partner; including handling interdisciplinary differences, political or commercial interests, time schedules etc.
  • Apply relevant social science theory in the analysis and present independent observations on it.
  • Discuss the knowledge produced critically and put it into perspective.

 

 

Before spring 2022:
Students are assigned to a cluster consisting of 4-6 students and two supervisors among the group of full-time teachers at the Faculty of Social Sciences. The cluster will meet weekly during the semester to discuss how to structure data collection, analysis and writing. The meetings are not compulsory.
The assignment of students to supervision clusters is done by a full-time lecturer appointed by the Head of Studies. The assignment is based on students’ requests as well as overlap between the proposed thesis format, supervisors’ profiles and overlap with the proposed format of other students under supervision. In unusual circumstances, students may apply to the Board of Studies for an external supervisor.
Please note that supervision is only offered in connection with the first thesis contract.

From spring 2022:
Students are assigned to a cluster consisting of 4-6 students with two supervisors per cluster. The supervisors are drawn from a supervisor pool made up of the full-time teachers at the Master’s program and PhD students and post docs affiliated with the Copenhagen Center for Social Data Science (SODAS). The cluster will meet during the semester by appointment.
The assignment of students to supervision clusters is done by the Head of Studies or a full-time lecturer appointed by the Head of Studies. The assignment is based on supervisor availability, fit between supervisor profiles and proposed thesis topic and format, students’ requests as well as overlap among all students signed up for the Master’s Thesis. In exceptional circumstances, students may apply to the Board of Studies for an external supervisor.

Please note that supervision is only offered in connection with the first thesis contract.

It is a requirement that 60 ECTS credits have been passed before the thesis writing period begins.
Students are strongly encouraged to place the Master’s thesis in their final semester, and as a minimum complete all compulsory courses before writing their thesis.

Oral
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
ECTS
30 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral defence, 1 hour
Before Spring 2022:
The Master’s thesis is defended in an oral defence based on the student's written presentation. The oral defence lasts one hour in total, and the student has approximately 20 minutes to make the presentation.
The Master’s thesis must include a summary that summarizes the main points of the Master’s thesis and how the student arrived at these points. The summary must be written in another language than Danish, even if the Master’s thesis is not written in Danish. The summary may be in English, German or French. Swedish and Norwegian do not count as foreign languages, cf. the Danish Examination Order.
The Master’s thesis may be written individually or together in a group by a maximum of three students. If written by one student, the total number of pages in the Master’s thesis must amount to no more than 40 standard pages; with two students the limit is 60 pages; with three 80 pages.
Students co-writing their Master’s thesis defend it together.

From Spring 2022:
The Master’s thesis may be written individually or together in a group by a maximum of three students. For the classic Master’s thesis, the total number of pages must amount to no more than 40 standard pages for a single student, 60 pages for groups of two students, and 80 pages for groups of three students. For the non-classic formats, the same page limits apply to the combination of all thesis components.
The Master’s thesis is defended in an oral defence based on the student’s written presentation. Students co-writing their Master’s thesis defend it together. The duration of the oral defence is one hour for one student, with 15 minutes added for each additional student in a group. Approximately one third of the total duration is reserved for students’ presentation.
The Master’s thesis must include a summary that summarizes the main points of the Master’s thesis and how the student arrived at these points. The summary must be written in English, German og French, even if the Master’s thesis is not written in Danish.

For both fall 2021 and spring 2022:
The study board has decided that plan B for the exam is to hold the oral defence on Zoom in spring semester 2022. Plan B only takes effect if no physical presence is allowed on campus due to COVID19.
Aid
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

The exam will be assessed on the basis of the learning outcome (knowledge, skills and competencies) for the Master’s thesis.

The summary is included in the assessment of the Master’s thesis. The assessment of the Master’s thesis is weighted in such a way that the written part weighs approx. 2/3 and the oral part approx. 1/3.

Writing and spelling skills form part of the overall assessment of the Master’s thesis. However, the academic content is assigned the highest weight. The Board of Studies might grant an exemption from this rule in case of impairment, cf. the Danish Examination Order.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Guidance
  • 40
  • Exam Preparation
  • 802
  • Exam
  • 1
  • English
  • 843

Kursusinformation

Language
English
Course number
ASDK20100E
ECTS
30 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master
Duration

1 semester

Placement
Autumn
Students are strongly encouraged to place the Master’s thesis in their final semester, and as a minimum complete all compulsory courses before writing their thesis.
Studyboard
Social Data Science
Contracting department
  • Social Data Science
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Friedolin Merhout   (8-686f67746a71777642757165306d7730666d)
Saved on the 07-02-2022

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students