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Master Thesis Heritage and Museum Studies


Admission requirements

Admission to the Master Archaeology programme, specifically the track Heritage and Museum Studies.


The Master thesis is the final work that demonstrates your ability to write, plan and execute an academic research project. The thesis is a contribution to an academic debate related to Heritage and Museum Studies. It is based on data derived from material culture, fieldwork, anthropological data, historical sources and/or academic literature.

You have to apply what you have learned, develop (new) knowledge, and be able to operate as an independent researcher while executing your research for the thesis. The supervisor has to agree on the project proposal before the start of the research; the project needs to be feasible and the supervisor should be able to supervise the research topic. Therefore, the subject should always be related to the research themes of staff within Heritage and Museum Studies.

The list of potential supervisors and their field of expertise can be consulted on Brightspace. You can pick a subject and request an examiner from the department of Heritage and Museum Studies for approval and supervision.
In your proposal the following needs to be addressed:

  • Aim;

  • Motivation;

  • Research question;

  • Research design/approach;

  • Realistic time frame;

  • Which steps are necessary to execute the research within the proposed time frame;

  • Valorisation of the results/disseminate the results (communication plan).

Once your proposal has been approved, your research should include a complete and accurate data description, an in-depth data analysis and an informed, well-argued data interpretation.
The research should be positioned in a broader context and should include a critical analysis of the theoretical and/or methodological perspectives related to the research problem.

The thesis consists of ca. 20,000-30,000 words and includes materials necessary to support your argument. This equals roughly 40-60 pages of text, plus figures, tables, references and appendices.
More information on writing your thesis, deadlines, forms and criteria can be found on the Archaeology thesis page.

Course set-up

  • Individual meetings with the supervisor. The norm for individual supervision throughout the thesis trajectory is ca. five contact moments between supervisor and student (this can be online or on campus) and are based on texts that have been handed in before the meeting;

  • Start-up meeting on the research topic;

  • Feedback on the research plan;

  • Feedback on a chapter and the thesis outline;

  • One meeting to discuss the progress;

  • Final feedback on the complete first draft.


  • Submission of the draft: 1 May or 1 November;

  • Submission of final version: 15 June or 15 December.

Course objectives

Ability to:

  • Independently plan and execute a small research project on an archaeologically relevant topic;

  • Maintain a critical attitude and use feedback in a constructive way;

  • Formulate clear and relevant research questions;

  • Relate the research to a broader academic debate and current theoretical perspectives;

  • Propose, select and apply a suitable and effective methodology;

  • Interpret archaeological and/or heritage data using sufficient and relevant primary academic literature and learn to deal with limitations of the data;

  • Relate the research to a broader academic debate and current theoretical perspectives;

  • Present the research in a coherent, well-argued and clearly formulated text, supported by adequate tables, figures and other supporting materials, and maintain a critical attitude, and seek and use feedback in a constructive way.


Course schedule details can be found in MyTimetable.
Log in with your ULCN account, and add this course using the 'Add timetable' button.

Mode of instruction

The Master thesis is an individual research project and is coached by a staff member, who offers regular feedback on text that was handed in before a meeting.

Assessment method

  • MA thesis (100%).

Your thesis will be individually assessed by your supervisor, the first examiner, and an independent second examiner who was not involved with your research and is appointed by the Board of Examiners (BoE).
The final grade is set by the two examiners who together fill in a final assessment form. This will be sent to the student by the Administration Office.

In case the first and second examiner cannot come to an agreement, a third examiner is appointed by the BoE. Based on the assessments of the first and second examiners and their own assessment, they will decide upon the final grade. This grade is definitive and will be communicated to the student.

A retake of the thesis is possible only once and has a strict deadline. Should you receive a fail for your thesis, you have six weeks after receiving your result to make improvements. The new grade will have a maximum of 7.0. If you fail this new version, you need to write a new thesis on a new subject. See the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Examiners, article 4.9.4 for the complete procedure.


The regular deadlines are:

  • June 15: allowing you to graduate on August 31st

  • December 15, allowing you to graduate on January 31st

Please note that if you fail to meet the deadlines above, you can hand in your thesis at any moment, except for July-August and January.

The thesis will be assessed within four weeks after handing in the definitive version, see the thesis page for more information on the Faculty guidelines, assessment form, assessment criteria and information on handing in the thesis.

Reading list

To be compiled by each student individually depending on their thesis topic. The list needs to be approved by the thesis supervisor.


For lectures, tutorials, and exams, enrolment through MyStudymap is mandatory.
You are also required to confirm your exam in MyStudymap. No confirmation = no participation!

General information about registration can be found on the Course and Exam Enrolment page.


For information about the Heritage and Museum Studies thesis, please see the list of supervisors on Brightspace, or contact dr. M. (Mariana) de Campos Françozo.

For general information about thesis writing, see the thesis and paper writing page.