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Thesis Proposal: Law and Society


Admission requirements

This course is open to students enrolled in the Master Law and Society.


This module is designed to teach students to draft a well-considered and well-written thesis proposal. Students are assigned to a supervisor on the basis of their research topic (combined with the capacity of available staff) and grouped with peers focusing on similar topics. The classes consist of a maximum of ten students, and are organized by the same person supervising the thesis. The module involves five meetings. Each meeting an assignment is prepared by the student, and discussed in class. Each assignment focuses on a specific part of the proposal and builds on the former ones. Assignments are made individually, geared towards the individual thesis exploration. Additional to the assignments students use this timeframe to read literature to add to the bibliography of their own projects. Class meetings are used to receive input on their own work and to learn by reflecting on the work of peers. Upon conclusion students have a full draft thesis proposal. This proposal must be approved by the first and the second supervisor, in order for students to continue with the thesis.

Within the timeframe of the Thesis Proposal there is included an exercise set to orientate students on their future career possibilities. This Labour Market Orientation Exercise comprises of two tutorials (of 30 students each) in week 1 and week 4, with an interview exercise to be executed in between the two meetings.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course

At the end of this course, students will be able to

  • Conduct a literature survey resulting in knowledge of the area of research;

  • Theoretically motivate their research question;

  • Motivate their choice of methods in relation to the research question;

  • Operationalize the concepts employed in the research;

  • Give feedback;

  • Receive feedback;

  • Reflect on feedback received and defend choices;

  • Write an academically sound and feasible research proposal;

  • Orally present their research plans;

  • Motivate and justify their research question;

  • Write a workplan, time schedule and set a budget.


The timetable of this course can be found here.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 5

  • Name of instructor: to be announced

  • Required preparation by students: preparing assignments

Other methods of instruction

  • 2 labour market orientation modules

All students are required to attend and actively participate during seminars.

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

Evaluation is based on the approval of the thesis proposal by both the first and the second designated supervisor of the thesis (‘go’). In case of an insufficient thesis proposal, the student receives clear and timely feedback from the supervisor on how the proposal needs to be improved. A new deadline is set in mutual consultation, though no later than the end of the next block. During the time for revision the student has no further claim on supervision. If the resubmitted proposal again fails to meet the approval of the first and second supervisor, the student cannot continue with the thesis (‘no go’).

Assessment of the thesis proposal takes place on the format of the rubric used to assess the final thesis, abbreviated to those categories relevant for the proposal. Additionally the proposal is assessed on feasibility.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

All information and reading materials will be distributed via Brightspace.


Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis.

Contact information

  • Coordinator: dr. mr. Danielle Chevalier (subject to change)

  • Work address: KOG (Steenschuur 25 Leiden), room B1.20

  • Telephone number: +31 (0)71 5271039

  • Email:


  • Institute: The Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of the Law

  • Department: Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance & Society

  • Room number secretary: KOG (Steenschuur 25 Leiden), room B1.14

  • Opening hours: Mon – Fri, 9.00 – 17.00

  • Telephone number secretary: +31 (0)71 527 7260

  • Email: