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Master's project



The Master’s project is the capstone of the Master’s programme. It integrates the knowledge, skills, and attitudes (competences) you have learned during your other courses. It is also the largest project within the programme and gives you the opportunity to practise many skills that will be useful when you are working in the professional field. The Master’s project is therefore not only a conclusion of your study programme, but also a preparation for your future after graduating.

During your Master's project, you will gain experience with a real-life research project, which includes all elements of empirical research. You will join a research project, in most cases this will be a current project at the institute of Education and Child Studies. Within that project, you will formulate a research question, work on research design (including the methodological, ethical and practical implications), study relevant literature, contribute to data collection and data handling, analyse data, draw conclusions and write a research report (thesis).

For more information about the Master’s project, see the Master’s project module on Brightspace. There you will find the Master’s project prospectus (Wegwijzer), with formats, tips and guidelines. On Brightspace, you will also find all other information on your Master’s project, including rules on the use of genAI.

Course objectives

The Master’s project brings together the skills you have learned in other courses, in the following set of objectives:

  • Gain practical experience with real-life research. Think of contributions to project organization, data collection, data administration, data coding, ethical procedures, etc.

  • Describe a theoretical framework, based on a balanced, nuanced, and fairly complete overview of the literature on a particular topic.

  • Set up a consistent line of reasoning, based on scientifically supported arguments.

  • Formulate clear research questions.

  • Make a data-analysis plan: choose analysis methods that suit your questions.

  • Write a research proposal.

  • Plan and organise a project that runs across several months.

  • Appreciate and make ethical considerations regarding the research design and methods.

  • Responsibly handle (sensitive) research data.

  • Perform data exploration and data analysis.

  • Interpret and report analysis results.

  • Translate research results to implications for pedagogical practice.

  • Write a well-structured research report (thesis) at an academic level.

  • Work together in a research team. Find your own role within that team.

  • Communicate clearly, sensitively, and respectfully.

  • Reflect on your strengths and opportunities for further development.

  • Ask for, accept, and give constructive feedback. Process feedback to improve your work.

  • Test your resilience. Throughout the project, you will meet with challenges, disappointments, criticism, lack of inspiration, and insecurities. These are all part of the process; don't let them set you back and ask for support when you need it!

The preparation of your Master's project should result in a clear and well- structured project proposal, including a realistic time schedule. This proposal will offer you direction in carrying out your Master’s project. Your project proposal has to be approved by two independent assessors: your thesis supervisor and a second assessor. Only after approval, you can continue to the implementation phase of your project.

Your research project ends in your thesis. The lay-out of the thesis must conform to the latest version of the American Psychological Association Manual. The Master's project prospectus (Wegwijzer) on Brightspace includes guidelines and extensive formats for the proposal and the thesis. Make sure you carefully follow these formats.


There are no pre-scheduled meetings. You make regular individual appointments for meetings with your supervisor(s). Depending on the size and nature of the project, there may be group meetings as well. Your project has to be finished within one year after the start (September or February). If you have personal reasons for requiring an extension to this deadline, always contact the study advisor.

Mode of instruction

Individual and team research under supervision.
You get a supervisor who supports you with the practical research activities (research supervisor) and a supervisor who supports you with writing your thesis (thesis supervisor). Sometimes these two roles are represented by one person, sometimes by two different persons. In addition, you can contact the study advisor for additional support.

Assessment method

Grading is based on your thesis as well as the process of the project. Your thesis is evaluated by two independent assessors using a digital assessment form (rubric; available on Brightspace). The second assessor is not involved in the supervision of the project. You will be informed of the evaluation within three work weeks after you have delivered the final version of your thesis. Your grade will be rounded by half a point and will never be between 5 and 6. With a grade of 6 or higher, you pass the course. If you receive a grade of 5 or lower, you get one opportunity to rewrite your thesis, based on the feedback of the two assessors (the re-exam).


Relevant literature on the research topic. You will find most of the literature yourself; some papers or books may be prescribed by your supervisor(s).


Twice a year (in September and February) a list of Master's projects is offered from which students make a choice. At the beginning of each semester, students automatically receive an email containing the Master's projects on offer and information about the registration procedure. You do not have to register in My Studymap for the Master's project.

Contact information

Contact persons per specialisation are: