Course syllabus for

Master Thesis, 30 credits

Examensarbete, 30 hp
This course syllabus is valid from spring 2021.
Course code
Course name
Master Thesis
30 credits
Form of Education
Higher Education, study regulation 2007
Main field of study 
Public Health in Disasters 
AV - Second cycle 
Grading scale
Fail (F), fail (Fx), sufficient (E), satisfactory (D), good (C), very good (B) or excellent (A)
Department of Global Public Health
Decided by
Education Committee GPH
Decision date
Course syllabus valid from
Spring 2021

Specific entry requirements

A Bachelor's degree or a professional degree of at least 180 credits in Health, Management and Administration or Social Sciences. Applicants must have a good command in English.

Applicants must prove a C1 English level (IELTS (minimum score of 6.0 with at least 5.0 point in each section); TOEFL (paper based) at least 575 points with 4.0 in the writing section; TOEFL (IBT) 79 points with at least 17 points in every section).


On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Explain how a research project is developed from problem definition to design of study design and implementation of data collection.
  • Identify, formulate and handle questions relevant for disasters and health.
  • Identify relevant sources of information, carry out literature searches, assess the relevance of the literature and use correct reference management.
  • Apply for the master thesis suitable approach, design, choices of appropriate methods for data collection and analysis.
  • Apply general ethical principles in the different steps of the master thesis process.
  • Justify and critically discuss approach and method in the master thesis.
  • Evaluate and critically discuss results and conclusions.


A research project shall be developed, implemented and analysed. The degree project can, however, also be based on secondary data from registers, e.g. demographic health surveys (DHS) and then the project has already been developed and implemented.
Finally a thesis shall be written and examined.

Students will carry out a research project and submit it as a thesis addressing a relevant subject in the arena in question. Issues shall be formulated as problems and clearly demarcated. Choice of method(s) shall be reported and justified, and also be appropriate with appropriate design, sample and sampling frame. Limitations of any method selected shall be discussed. Results and data shall be clearly and accurately reported and correctly analysed. Problems of interpretation are considered, with regard to the correctness of methods, conceptual frameworks and samples. Judgements concerning results, interpretations and conclusions should be supported by data.

 The topic of the thesis should be in line with the program's objectives.

Teaching methods

Supervision includes: problem formulation, design, implementation, analysis and writing. Supervision can be divided between supervisors within the program at Karolinska Institutet and collaborating institution where collection of data takes place.
In addition, seminars may be arranged that focus on specific parts of teh scientific process or specific research methods.


The examination consists of:

  • To independently complete a written thesis in English based on a relevant subject for the Master programme
  • To present, defend and discuss the work at a seminar with an examiner and two assisting members from the Erasmus Mundus Consortium.
  • Orally perform as an opponent/discussant of another thesis at a seminar.

The seminar can be carried out at location or through video conference.

The student receives one final grade for the whole course (A-F). The final grade joins the three components above, where assessment of the quality of the thesis weighs heaviest. In order to pass the course, the student must obtain at least grade E on all parts. To obtain a higher grade, this grade is required on the essay and no more than two grades lower on the other parts.

Compulsory participation
The examiner assesses if, and in that case how, absence from compulsory parts can be compensated. Before the student has participated in all compulsory parts or compensated absence in accordance with the examiner's instructions, the student's results for respective part will not be registered. Absence from a compulsory activity may result in that the student cannot compensate the absence until the next time the course is given.

Limitation of number of occasions for the examination
Students who have not passed the regular examination are entitled to participate in five more examinations. If the student has not passed the exam after four participations, he/she is encouraged to visit the study advisor. If the student has failed six examinations/tests, no additional examination or new admission is provided.
The number of times that the student has participated in one and the same examination is regarded as an examination session.
Submission of blank exam is regarded as an examination session.
An examination for which the student registered but not participated in, will not be counted as an examination.

If there are special grounds, or a need for adaptation for a student with a disability, the examiner may decide to deviate from the syllabus's regulations on the examination form, the number of examination opportunities, the possibility of supplementation or exemptions from the compulsory section/s of the course etc. Content and learning outcomes as well as the level of expected skills, knowledge and abilities may not be changed, removed or reduced.

Transitional provisions

Examination will be provided during a time of two years after a possible cancellation of the course. Examination can take place according to an earlier literature list during a time of one year after the date when a major renewal of the literature list has been made.

Other directives

Course evaluation is carried out according to the guidelines that are established by The Committee for Higher Education.

The course is given in English.

Literature and other teaching aids

Woodward, Mark Epidemiology - study design and data analysis
Armitage, Peter; Berry, Geoffrey; Matthews, J.N.S. Statistical methods in medical research
Qualitative methodology for international public health Dahlgren, Lars; Emmelin, Maria; Winkvist, Anna; Lindhgren, Maria
Rothman, Kenneth J. Epidemiology : an introduction
Aschengrau, Ann; Seage, George R. Essentials of epidemiology in public health
Using Research Evidence in the Humanitarian Sector: A practice guide. London, Blanchet, Karl; Allen, Claire; Breckon, Jonathan; Davies, Phil; Duclos, Diane; Jansen, Jeroen; Mthiyane, Helen; Clarke, Mike