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MA Thesis Middle Eastern Studies


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Middle Eastern Studies.

Completion of Theories and Methods of Middle Eastern Studies.


The thesis is based on original research and makes substantial use of primary materials and professional literature. The thesis is written in English, and is up to 20,000 words (10% above or below this word limit is accepted) in length, including footnotes and bibliography and reflecting the scholarly virtues of originality, focus and conciseness.

Course objectives

The thesis must show the student’s ability to conduct original research under supervision, and to make a contribution to scholarship in a way that inspires confidence in his/her ability to prepare written reports of good quality. Its author must show that s/he is conversant with the discourse as it emerges from influential publications in the field. References should be formatted consistently in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style or the American Anthropological Association Style Guide.



Mode of instruction

Thesis supervision
The thesis is supervised by a lecturer of the Programme Middle Eastern Studies. The Department assigns students to a lecturer from the Programme for thesis supervision. To find the best possible match, students must fill out an online form, available via Brightspace, before October 1 (for Thesis supervision in Spring) or March 1 (for Thesis supervision in Fall).
The decision regarding the topic of the thesis depends on availability of staff. Students may be asked to change or adapt the topic of their thesis, if the Programme is unable to find appropriate supervision for the topic of their choice.

Assessment method


Formal regulations around the MA Thesis
The formal regulations around the MA Thesis can be found in Appendix A to the Teaching and Examination Regulations.

Thesis supervision
TheBoard of Examiners, in consultation with the Programme Board, assigns students to a lecturer from the Programme for thesis supervision. To find the best possible match, students must fill out an online form. The deadline for filling out this form is 1 October. Between October-February students will work on their thesis proposal and will write their thesis mainly during the period February – June, in order to graduate in August. It is possible for students to extend their studies and write their thesis in the period September-January, in order to graduate in January. In that case the deadline for filling out the online form for supervision is 1 March. For exact dates and further details please see below.

Rough time path
The Programme Middle Eastern Studies works with roadmaps to guide you through the thesis writing process. These can be found here, and will also be made available via Brightspace and discussed during the introductory meeting.
Students planning to graduate within one year, are advised to follow the Roadmap MA thesis (trajectory September-July) (i; students who wish to extend their studies with one semester are advised to follow the Roadmap MA –thesis (trajectory February-January). Please note the strict deadlines designed by the Programme.
Thesis submission is limited to two deadlines per academic year. Students of the September 2023 intake need to submit the thesis before 15 June 2024 in order to graduate in August 2024. If this deadline is not met, the next opportunity for submitting the thesis will be 5 January 2025. In the latter case the date of graduation will be January 2025.

Supervisors are only appointed for a specified period, and for a specific number of consultations. Missing the deadlines (not finishing the thesis within the set period) will result in serious consequences, which likely include the appointment of a new supervisor, and beginning a new research project.
It is important to realize that students need to hand in and discuss the separate chapters of their thesis over the semester. They are not allowed to hand in a complete thesis at once at the end of the semester. To facilitate this process and manage expectations, students and their supervisors are expected to fill out the appointment form designed by the Programme.
Supervisors may not always be available during the periods when no classes are taught. No supervision or grading will be done between 15 July and 15 August.




A full and complete final thesis was submitted on the set deadline in June.
A student granted this opportunity uses the comments given by both readers to rewrite, but does not get any further supervision during the rewriting. The deadline for resubmission is on 26 August 2024. The rewritten thesis will be graded by the supervisor and a second reader. The student will receive the grade 3 weeks after the deadline.

Reading list


Students will be registered by the Education Administration Office.


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


Please note that the additional course information is an integral part of this course description.