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MA Thesis Book and Digital Media studies


Admission requirements

Only open to BDMS students.


The final component of the MA programme consists of writing a Master’s thesis. Once the thesis has been approved, it must be defended orally. The thesis should be based on the student’s specialisation, which is either History of the Book, Contemporary Academic Publishing, Text and Data Mining in the Humanities, or Digital Access to Cultural Heritage.

Choosing a topic
Students are encouraged to select the topic of their thesis themselves, in consultation with lecturers from the programme. One of them will be the thesis supervisor. A second reader is selected in consultation with the supervisor.
At the heart of a thesis lies a specific research problem which addresses a theoretical question or an issue from the extensive domain of Book and Digital Media Studies, which has to be examined in an academic way. Once the student has selected a topic, formulated a research problem and put together a provisional bibliography, these should be submitted to the supervisor in a thesis proposal (template available). The proposal should be submitted at the beginning of the second semester; it is advisable to start working on the thesis as soon as possible.

Research and writing
In principle, students will already have made a start on their research in the course of formulating the research question. They should have a clear time schedule for the research, in consultation with the supervisor. The amount of research should be proportionate to the time available (560 hours). It is advisable to start writing as soon as possible.

Supervision arrangements are made in consultation between the supervisor and the student, based on the preliminary schedule that is part of the thesis proposal.

Submission of the final version
You have to submit the final version of the MA thesis by e-mail to your supervisor and second reader. When doing so, you have to put the e-mail address of MAthesis in cc. If the supervisor and/or second reader request a paper copy, the student should hand in a paper copy to the supervisor and/or second reader.

Thesis seminar
Students will participate in a series of meetings to prepare themselves for the Master’s thesis early in the second semester.


A thesis is an academic essay, written by the student in consultation with the supervisor. The thesis must show that the student is capable of critical analysis and reflection, appropriate use of primary sources and secondary literature, and of conducting independent research. The thesis is an academic report of this process.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Thesis seminar;

  • Personal supervision.

Assessment method

Thesis of approximately 20.000 words. In the assessment of the quality of the thesis, the following aspects are taken into account:

  • The formulated research problem and subsequent question(s);

  • The research process and use of research methods;

  • Use of relevant concepts or theories;

  • Integration and use of relevant secondary scholarly literature;

  • Originality of the arguments;

  • Innovative perspectives;

  • Scholarly and professional relevance of subject and outcomes;

  • Structure of the thesis;

  • Quality of style and use of language;

  • Quality of the oral defence.

Reading list



  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Arsenaal


Not applicable