Thesis writing on Master of Disaster Management – University of Copenhagen

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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 Master’s 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 Master’s thesis should demonstrate that you are able to address complex problems/issues, using  solid theoretical foundation, rigorous methods and empirical data.. The thesis may be based on primary or secondary data.

The thesis must include:

  • a research-worthy problem within the field of Disaster Management
  • a thorough literature review
  • a clearly formulated research question/s;
  • main and specific objectives;
  • a relevant and clearly-described methodology section;
  • clear findings
  • a balanced and critical discussion of the methodology and findings, relating these to other relevant literature within the field; and
  • fulfil the formal requirements for scientific presentations including a front page, an abstract, a table of contents, references, etc.

On completion of the thesis, you 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 Fall 2017

Synopsis: 1 February 2017 at 12:00 noon
Full research proposal/Thesis Contract: 20 September 2017 at 12:00 noon
Thesis seminar: 9 November 2017
Thesis submission: 5 December 2017 at 12:00 noon

Deadlines in Spring 2018

Synopsis: 20 January 2018 at 12:00 noon
Full research proposal/Thesis Contract: 25 April 2018 at 12:00 noon
Thesis seminar: 13-14 June 2018
Thesis submission: 11 July 2018 at 12:00 noon
Pre-graduation ceremony: 13 July 2018

Credit points