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Critical Study of Literature



At this stage of the program, students are expected to have a general idea as to the subject of their MPhil thesis. For their term paper, they are expected to set down the state of the art in research concerning the topic of their interest. This implies an extensive bibliographical search, including autopsy of the relevant literature. This will result in a bibliography of source material as well as of relevant scholarly literature on the topic. The bibliography will have to be introduced by a concise description of the main issues and approaches that currently define the field in question, in the ideal case leading up to definition of the exact topic of the MPhil thesis.
Size of the paper: 12.000 words. Work on the paper should start in February, and be undertaken after consultation, continuing throughout the term, of the proposed thesis supervisor. It should be kept in mind that primary source material (for instance texts in Arabic, Persian,….) brought into focus in the course of this undertaking may form the subject of tutorial sessions during the 3rd term (Tutorial: Start of thesis work).

Course objectives

A critical review of literature setting down the state of the art in research concerning the topic of the student’s interest ideally leading up to the definition of the topic of the MPhil thesis.


Not applicable.

Mode of instruction

Independent study.

Assessment method

Paper (100%)


not applicable.

Reading list

not applicable, individually per thesis.


Different teachers.