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Before writing the thesis

What we expect from a thesis; links to the theoretical courses; which particular events are included: information about thesis templates and so on.

This page includes criteria for assessment, relation to theoretical courses, seminars and other exercises during the time of writing. There is also a template for the thesis and other information.

The link between the theoretical course and the thesis

If you are writing your thesis or essay as a part of a bachelor level, the optional theory course and the thesis course are integrated. Your teacher (or one of your teachers if there are several) on the theoretical course will be your supervisor. It is a good idea to reflect on a topic for the thesis early on during the semester. It is possible to choose a topic, which is not related to the theme of the theoretical course, given that you and your supervisor are in agreement. There are some advantages to writing within the framework of the course; you can draw on literature you have already read and skills developed during the course.

Advanced level (One Year and Two Year)

Generally speaking, there is no direct link between the theoretical courses and the thesis course on this level. Students are expected to send in a thesis idea to the compulsory introductory meeting at the beginning of the semester, see letter of introduction for more details. The course then commences with a seminar, which is held by a thesis co-ordinator. The students’ topics are discussed and each student is assigned a supervisor with the theme of the thesis in mind.  More information about this is available on-line on the course websites for the respective courses in Live(at)Lund.

There are four different thesis courses on the advanced level. STVM20 (15 credits) is for Swedish students who pursue a Masters (One Year) Degree (i.e. a Swedish filosofie magisterexamen). STVM25 (30 credits) for Swedish students pursuing a Master's (Two Years) Degree (filosofie masterexamen). STVM23 (30 credits) for students pursuing a Master's (Two Years) in European Affairs and WPMM43 (30 credits) is for students pursuing a Master's (Two Year) in Welfare Policies and Management, major Political Science. 

In order to pass you must also participate in an opposition seminar. This is usually done in pairs. The opposition seminar is discussed in detail in section five.

Individual Thesis or Essay and Writing in Pairs

Second-semester theses on intermediate level are written in pairs, but Bachelor's and Master's students are expected to author their thesis individually. Collaborations are typically not allowed on these levels. Students at all levels are of course encouraged to discuss their ideas with fellow students, as well as teachers.

Formal Criteria

Level                                           Maximum Word Count              

Bachelor                                                       10 000                                     

Master (One Year)                                        10 000                                       

Master (Two Years, 15 credits)                     10 000                                           

Master (Two Years, 30 credits)                     20 000                                            

The maximum word count may not be exceeded.

Thesis Template

The thesis should follow our typographical guidelines. Detailed information is available in “The Art of Writing and Speaking”. In order simplify matters, we provide a thesis template in Word format, which follows these guidelines. We strongly recommend that you use this template.

Download Thesis template in English (doc, 76,5 kB, new window)

Student Account

You must have a student account in order to submit your thesis or essay. If you are writing with a fellow students, both of you have to have a student account. If you have lost your password, you can order a new one through Servicedesk (servicedesk [at] lu [dot] se). Obtaining a new password may take up to a week.

You can find more information on your student account on

Help with your writing?

In the study of Political Science, particular weight is placed on the student's capacity to produce critical review and presentation of scientific texts, both orally and in writing. The structure for best achieving this varies between different disciplines, as well as between different tutors/researchers. The art of writing and speaking is a normative user's guide on all levels in the Political Science discipline, not least in conjunction with thesis writing.

The Art of Writing and Speaking (pdf, 1,01 MB, new window)


Academic support in English is available for all International Master’s students at Lund University.

The service aims to support students with the academic skills necessary for success at Lund University and gives the opportunity to meet with an English language consultant for individual hands-on supervision in English on academic topics.

More information on


AWELU (Academic Writing in English at Lund University) is an Internet resource for both students and staff looking for help when writing academic texts in English.

AWELU is a platform containing useful and easily accessible information in English about English grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and punctuation, but also more general help with the writing process in general, referencing, quoting, and how to avoid committing plagiarism.