A thesis earning 30 ECTS


30 ECTS credit thesis

All students shall write a masters thesis of at least 30 credits to be handed in at the end of the last term of studies.Students are required to attend a course on essay writing at the start of the term in which work on the thesis begins. However, this does not apply if a student has attended such a course in connection with the writing of a B.A. thesis.

An M.L. thesis shall achieve the goals established by the student and accepted by the advisor before the start of work. The goals should be clearly laid down in the introduction to the thesis.

It should be clear from the approach taken in dealing with the subject that a 30-credit thesis is the result of no less than 750 hours of work.

The length of a 30-credit thesis shall be in the range of 25.000 to 30.000 words, as counted in a word processing programme.

Following the completion of an M.L. thesis, students should have acquired knowledge of careful working habits in the resolution of legal issues. This means that a student:

  • is able to select a legal topic for research, delimit the topic and analyse it in a clear and concise manner;
  • is able to account for the significance of the subject and the originality of the work;
  • is able to use the methods of the law (one or more) and differentiate between different approaches;
  • has the skills required to seek and collect the sources necessary to resolve complex legal problems in studies and in work;
  • is able to find the relevant sources of law and secondary sources and other information, account for these sources and their interrelationship, evaluate them and choose between them based on their significance for the subject;
  • is able to discuss legal subjects in an independent and academic manner;
  • is able to account for opposing viewpoints, where applicable;
  • is able to present a subject in an organised and logical manner;
  • is able to draw conclusions and present them in clear understandable language;
  • is able to use sources properly and employ legitimate working procedures when using the writings and conclusions of others;
  • has gained a deep knowledge and sound understanding of a delimited subject;
  • has command of legal terminology.

The Dean shall appoint an examiner, and the advisor and examiner shall jointly evaluate the student's thesis. In the event of their disagreement, the grade given by the examiner shall have equal weight to that of the advisor. If there are more than one advisor, they should jointly assess the thesis, in which case no examiner is needed.

M.L. theses shall be submitted to the office of the School of Law within the deadline specified on the School's website. Students are not permitted to withdraw a submitted thesis.

A grade should be awarded for an M.L. thesis in the same manner as for courses taken in the School of Law. Students who do not achieve a minimum grade may apply for permission to write another thesis. Another thesis refers to a new thesis written by a student for a different advisor. Students may apply for special permission from the Dean of the School of Law to undertake a subject that will permit them to make use of their previous research. In such cases students will have to provide a special account of the new/changed approach and/or treatment of the subject. In processing such an request the Dean of the School of Law shall seek the opinion of the advisor in question.

A student's thesis will not be evaluated for credits or a grade until the second year of M.L. studies. By that time students should have completed a minimum of 52.5 credits at the masters level.

As regards work methods, the roles of students, advisors and examiners and other matters relating to the preparation of M.L. theses, reference is made to Rules on the preparation of M.L. theses approved by the School

OSCOLA - Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities

A thesis earning 60 ECTS

Students in masters studies who have shown outstanding performance in their studies may, with the approval of the supervising teacher, apply to the Academic Council for permission to write a 60-credit masters thesis instead of a 30-credit thesis. The rules of Article 16 apply to such theses except as provided below.

It should be clear from the approach taken in dealing with the subject that the thesis is the result of no less than 1500 hours of work.

A 60-credit thesis shall be 50,000 to 60.000 words, as counted in a word processing programme.

In addition to the learning outcomes laid down in Article 16, a student shall:

  • be able to select and analyse a subject which constitutes a definite and independent contribution in the field of law and, as applicable, other academic fields to which the subject pertains;
  • test a theory as an answer to a research question;
  • be able to use primary and secondary sources and other information to support or refute a theory proposed as a response to a research question.

If an application by a student to write a 60-credit masters thesis has been approved, the Dean of the School of Law will appoint a committee comprising the student's advisor and two specialists in the scholarly field covered by the thesis. The majority of the committee shall have completed a masters degree, comparable studies or a higher university degree. The committee shall assess the student's thesis and subject the student to an oral examination on the subject of the thesis in a public seminar. A grade should be awarded for the thesis in the same manner as for courses taken in the School of Law. If a student does not receive the minimum grade permission will not be granted to write another 60-credit thesis. Students may apply to write a 30-credit thesis on the same conditions as those laid down in the ninth paragraph of Article 16 and complete the remaining 30 credits by means of other study components.


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