Hi, I am a fourth year undergraduate student currently undertaking my thesis coursework. My basic physics knowledge level includes Classical Mechanics (Marion and Thornton), Electrodynamics (Griffiths), Quantum Mechanics (Griffiths), and Statistical Mechanics (Blundell). Now, part of my thesis coursework is to read and understand the following paper: http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0511156. However, I am finding it a bit hard-going as there are quantum-field-theoretic concepts in the paper which I am not used to. I wonder if it's common in thesis coursework to work on material beyond the grasp of students.