Choosing a supervisor and theoretical curriculum

The master's program consists of a master's thesis and a theoretical curriculum. The thesis will often be written as part of a research project, and will be supervised by academic staff. 

All master's students must submit a personal study plan agreement, to be approved by the Program Board. 

Choosing courses for your master's studies 

Each study program has relevant and/or compulsory courses that must be inluded in the theoretical curriculum. At least 30 credits from the "Program structure " of your study program, must be included in your studies/study plan agreement. 

All 4000 and 5000 courses at the Department of informatics can be included in the theoretical curriculum for your master's degree. Other master's level courses can be approved, if they are considered academically relevant to your thesis. 

  • Long thesis: At least 40 credits should be theoretical curriculum related to the subject of your studies, and no more than 20 credits could be other/non related content 
  • Short thesis: At least 50 credits should be theoretical curriculum related to the subject of your studies, and no more than 40 credits could be other/non related content.

You will choose your theoretical curriculum with the help of your supervisor. Some research groups may require that certain courses be included in your degree in order for you to write your thesis within their field. All courses included in the theoretical curriciulum must be passed the semester before you submit your thesis. 

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All master students need to have a supervisor employed by the Department of informatics at the University of Oslo (local supervisor).

It is also possible to associate the thesis to external businesses/projects. It is expected that an external supervisor has an education of at least master’s level. Students writing an external master thesis have to, in addition to an external supervisor, also find a supervisor employed at the Department of informatics that in cooperation with the Department Board is responsible for the approval of the study and final thesis. The supervisor employed by the Department of informatics is responsible for the thesis being scientifically responsible completed.

It is primarily the supervisor’s responsibility to make sure it is possible to complete the thesis within the standardized time limits. In cases where it would be difficult to estimate the time needed to complete the thesis in advance, there has to be a plan set up that will result in partial results that can be completed and/or improved if there is still time. Should there be any uncertainties surrounding the scale of the thesis, the Department Board will investigate the estimate. During the execution of the long thesis, you could expect to get approx. 60 hours of counseling (1 hour a week for 20 weeks through 3 semesters).

Find a Research Group affiliated with your programme

Programme Programme options Research Groups
Computational Science Bioinformatics BMI
Imaging and Biomedical Computing DSB
Informatics: Design, Use and Interaction   DESIGN
DIGENT (not including the Entrepreneurship-cluster)
Informatics: Language Technology   LTG
Informatics: Robotics and Intelligent Systems Robotics and Intelligent Systems ROBIN
NANO - if they have relevant thesis topics for Robotics students
Cybernetics and Autonomous Systems Department of Technology Systems
Informatics: Programming and System Architecture Distributed Systems and Network /+

DIAS (not including the SEC-group)

Information Security SEC
Entrepreneurship   DIGENT (Only the Entrepreneusrhip-cluster)

Prearranged exceptions to the list above:

Certain employees in the IS-group and PSY-group may supervise a limited amount of information security-students. Data Science students may find a supervisor from the ASR, DSB or LTG-groups. Some Professor IIs from the BMI-group may supervise CS: Imaging and Biomedical Computing-students Simula and Sintef often supervise ifi-students, if the supervisors are employed at ifi as well, they may be considered internal supervisors (if their research group is affiliated to your masters program).

Other exemptions must be applied for, and are seldom granted.

If you wish to cooperate with a research group than the one(-s) affiliated with your program, you must apply for this upon delivery of the study plan agreement-form. The thesis topic has to be described, and the application for cooperation justified by the ifi-employed supervisor. These exceptions are rarely approved, and has to be approved by the Head of Studies. A student admitted to a program has to follow the program structure, and must have at least 30 ECTS program specific courses, even though they may collaborate with a different research group than in the table above.

Approval of the study plan

When you have found a supervisor and a subject for your thesis, you need to fill out the application form for the study plan agreement for the master program. The deadline is December 1st in the first semester of the program.

Remember to include all signatures, also on the project description.


Up to 50 percent part-time can be requested. This is done in point 5 of the study plan. There are four fixed submission dates a year. Desired submission date and year must be specified in the study plan. If you apply for part-time, you must provide a valid reason and attach relevant documentation.

Changing the study plan

While you are attending the master program, there could be several reasons for changing the theoretical curriculum or the progression of the studies. These kind of changes needs to be approved by the Department Board, and you as the student is responsible for applying for the changes. The deadline for applying for changes is three months prior to the thesis submission deadline. Keep in mind that your supervisor has to approve and sign the application.

Written applications on changes should be handed in at the Department of informatics.

Published Nov. 16, 2018 2:54 PM - Last modified Feb. 25, 2020 10:44 AM