Thesis writing – University of Copenhagen

Thesis writing

As a student of the Master of Disaster Management programme, you are required to submit a final thesis in order to be awarded a Masters degree. The thesis will be graded by your supervisor and an external examiner.

The thesis process consists of the following components:

1. Draft Thesis Proposal (submitted before the programme starts)
2. Synopsis
3. Research Proposal
4. Data Collection
5. Participation in Thesis Seminar
6. Thesis

Download detailed thesis guidelines (pdf)

Thesis objectives

Your Masters thesis should demonstrate that you are able to address complex problems/issues, which demand the integration of empirical data, theory and rigorous methods. The thesis may be based on primary or secondary data and material.

The thesis must:

  • be based on a clearly formulated research question;
  • have specific objectives;
  • be based on relevant and clearly-described materials and methods;
  • present clear findings;
  • present a balanced and critical discussion of materials, methods and findings, relating these to other relevant literature within the field;
  • fulfil the formal requirements for scientific presentations and include a front page, an abstract, a table of contents, references, etc.

On completion of the thesis project, the student should be able to:


  • demonstrate insights into the research process from identifying the nature of a research problem, formulating research questions and translating these into research objectives
  • understand the value of the choice of appropriate research methods


  • Collect necessary data/information and critically analyse, review and interpret own research in the context of existing literature.
  • As part of the thesis writing process give a short thesis presentation, highlighting research problems and questions, research objectives, methods and main findings, conclusion and possible recommendations - as well as discussing critical questions and remarks regarding the findings and conclusions.


  • Develop and present well-argued and referenced recommendations as to future practice(s) in a given field.
  • Where relevant, include proper communication with and feedback to study objects and local authorities on research results including practical policy implications (if research is based on local data) with a view to contribute to improvements at the local level.
  • Provide critical and constructive feedback to fellow students on their theses.

Deadlines in Spring 2018

Synopsis: 30 January at 12:00 noon
Full research proposal: 25 April at 12:00 noon
Thesis seminar: 13-14 June 
Thesis submission: 11 July at 12:00 noon
Pre-graduation ceremony: 13 July

Deadlines in Fall 2018

Synopsis: 30 January at 12:00 noon
Full research proposal: 19 September at 12:00 noon
Thesis seminar: 8 November
Thesis submission: 5 December at 12:00 noon

Credit points