How to do a good master's thesis at KTH?

by Martin Monperrus

Recap. document for a good master's thesis. May be specific to my field (computer science / software engineering) and my style of supervision.

Novelty, Soundness, Clarity

The goal of a master's thesis is to contribute to science with a piece of knowledge that is:

Aim high: Some Master's theses have changed the world, such as the one by Claude Shannon at MIT. A good master's thesis contains material for a real peer-reviewed scientific publication, if you're ready to work the extra mile to make it happen.

Research Questions

A master thesis typically contains and one problem statement and 3-4 research questions (RQ) that explore different facets of the same problem.

RQ are generative: a good research question gives a super interesting answer which itself generates other research questions.


As a student preparing your Master's thesis, you have to be professional.

Being professional means:




Good practices:

Bad practices:

See also

Appendix: KTH regulation

Point taken from KTH Comprehensive guidelines for degree project courses, common goals and assessment criteria

  1. demonstrate knowledge of the scientific grounds of their chosen subject area, as well as in-depth insight into current research and development and in-depth knowledge of relevant methodology.

  2. demonstrate the ability to search for, gather and integrate knowledge and identify their need for additional knowledge, all with a holistic, critical and systematic approach
  3. demonstrate the ability to identify, analyse, assess and handle complex phenomena, questions and situations, even with limited information

  4. demonstrate the ability to plan and, with adequate methods, carry out skilled tasks within a given time frame and evaluate this work

  5. demonstrate the ability to develop and evaluate products, processes, systems, methods or technical solutions with respect to people's circumstances and needs, as well as society's goals in terms of economically, socially and ecologically sustainable development

  6. demonstrate the capacity, both orally and in writing, in dialogue with different groups, to clearly account for and discuss their conclusions and the knowledge and arguments on which these are based

  7. demonstrate the ability to make assessments with regard to relevant scientific, social and ethical aspects

  8. demonstrate the skills required to participate in research and development work or to independently work in other skilled activities

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