Master's Thesis


Content, progress and pedagogy of the module

Social work as a field of knowledge is obtained and developed through different sources such as practice, education and research. Research is a fundamental part of social work and welfare innovation and professional development. Such research examples are identifying social issues, studying the effectiveness of practice, developing user participation and facilitate ethical informed empowering interventions. This master thesis module involves the completion of investigating a research question using one or several relevant research methodologies, and further utilize and build on knowledge, skills and values developed throughout the Nordic Master of Social Work and Welfare.

The module deepens the students` knowledge in social work and welfare. The course will deal with the following topics:

  • To choose a topic and formulate research questions
  • To collect data
  • To document the data
  • To analyse the data
  • To write a research report

Learning objectives


  • Research design and theory of science relevant to the investigation of a particular question.
  • Relevant research literature positioning the students chosen topic within an academic context.
  • Theoretical perspectives and conceptual tools relevant for writing the master thesis on researching the chosen topic.
  • Methodological approaches to describe and discuss collection and analysis of relevant data for the master thesis.


  • Conduct a literature review of the relevant state of the academic knowledge related to the chosen research topic.
  • Conduct an independent master thesis within a workload of one semester timeframe and under supervision.
  • Critically review and evaluate relevant methods and findings used in literature that are important and in use in the actual master thesis.
  • Discuss and choose a relevant methodology and apply this in a reflective manner at the actual master thesis.
  • Show the ability to make judgments with regard to research ethics and societal aspects.


  • Read and critically assess academic literature.
  • Undertake independent and ethically informed applied research by the integration of advanced skills and knowledge in the field of social work and welfare.
  • Critically analyse and synthesise multiple forms of empirical, theoretical and methodological data with careful consideration of research ethics, including the importance of human rights and social work, welfare and cultural context.
  • Present specialised knowledge and research findings in the form of academic writing and facilitate research-informed social work and welfare knowledge, oral or/and written, to multiple settings and audiences.

Type of instruction

Two seminars and project work

Extent and expected workload




Name of examMaster's Thesis
Type of exam
Master's thesis/final project
The research project at a minimum of 36 and a maximum of 44 pages – equivalent to a minimum 18 000 and maximum 22 000 words – is designed to be an in-depth evaluation and/or analyses of social work and welfare.
The master’s thesis must document skills in applying academic theory and methods to a specific academic subject. The thesis completes the programme.
The maximum scope of an assignment or a project is defined as a number of standard pages. A standard page corresponds to 500 words.
Notes and lists of references are included in the word count, whereas the title page, table of contents and summary are not. Appendices can be added. Appendices are usually not produced by the examinee, but con-tain presentations/reproductions of source material and are not included in the word count. Appendices must, however, correspond somewhat to the scope of the project.

The master`s thesis consisting of minimum 18 000 and maximum 22 000 words will be assessed by two examinators – in Denmark one of the examinators will be external.
Within a month after the submitting of the thesis, the student is required to give an oral defence.
Assessment7-point grading scale
Type of gradingExternal examination
Criteria of assessmentThe criteria of assessment are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures

Facts about the module

Danish titleKandidatspeciale
Module codeSAC440002C
Module typeProject
Duration1 semester
Language of instructionEnglish
Location of the lectureCampus Aalborg
Responsible for the module


Study BoardStudy Board of MSc in Social Work
DepartmentDepartment of Sociology and Social Work
FacultyFaculty of Social Sciences and Humanities