Course Syllabus Master's Thesis, International Operational Law

Course Code:
Valid from Semester:
Education Cycle:
Advanced level
15 Higher education credit
Grading Scale:
Fail, Pass, Pass with Distinction
Main Field of Study:
International and Operational Law
Department of Political Science and Law
International and Operational Law
Language of Instruction:
The education is partially in English
Decided by:
The Research and Education Board’s Course Syllabus Committee at the Swedish Defence University
Decision date:

Entry Requirements

Degree of Master of Laws or Degree of Bachelor of Science in Law with Specialisation in International Law or equivalent, plus English B or English 6 and 30 credits of passed second cycle (Master’s) courses from semester 1.

Course Content and Structure

The purpose of the course is to give the student the prerequisites to be able to independently conduct research. The course is the final course in the Master’s Programme in International Operational Law. During the course, each student is responsible for writing an independent, qualified research paper (thesis) under supervision. The student shall plan and write a thesis on an appropriate and limited subject area within international operational law.
Initially, the student shall formulate a research question and a research design. These shall be examined in a peer review process in which the student receives feedback from other students. During the final part of the course, the student shall present and defend the thesis verbally and comment on other students’ theses as student examiner.
The Master's thesis shall be written independently and may not be divided into separate papers.
The course aims to give students deeper subject matter knowledge and develop their methodological ability.
Instruction is in the form of self-studies, supervision and authoring of a Master’s thesis, which is followed by defence of the student’s own thesis and serving as student examiner of another student’s thesis.

Intended Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of the course, the student is expected to be able to:

Knowledge and understanding
  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of international operational law, and demonstrate very good knowledge and understanding of the specific subject area of the Master’s thesis.

Competence and skills
  • demonstrate and in-depth knowledge of and ability to apply relevant scientific methods,
  • demonstrate the ability to systematically and independently identify, formulate and delimit research problems in international operational law and use appropriate methods to plan and conduct thesis work within the given timeframes,
  • demonstrate the ability to integrate knowledge and analyses, assess and manage complex legal phenomena, issues and situations.

Judgement and approach
  • demonstrate the ability to clearly present their conclusions and defend their own thesis,
  • demonstrate the ability to, both verbally and in writing, present and constructively discuss their own and other students’ conclusions, as well as the knowledge and arguments that form the basis for these.


Scope: 15 Higher education credit


Grades are set according to a three-grade scale: Pass with Distinction (PwD), Pass (P) and Fail (F). Grading criteria are specified by no later than the start of the course.

Restrictions in Number of Examinations

The number of examinations is not limited.

Restrictions Concerning Degree

The course cannot be included in a degree with another course whose content fully or partially corresponds to the content of this course.

Transitional Provisions

When the course is no longer given or when the course content has changed substantially, the student has the right to be examined once per semester during a three-term period in accordance with this syllabus.


The course is given within the Swedish Defence University's Master's Programme in International Operational Law.
If a student has a decision from the Swedish Defence University regarding special educational support due to a disability, the examiner may decide on alternative forms of examination for the student.
On completion of the course, an evaluation will be conducted under the auspices of the course director and will serve as the basis for any changes to the course.