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MA Thesis Religious studies

Vak 2017-2018

Admission requirements

Only students who are enrolled in the MA Theology and Religious Studies can take this course.

Description

All master students write a master thesis of 20 ec. This thesis amounts to min. 18.000 – max. 20.000 words, including footnotes and bibliography. The master thesis is written in English, unless the supervisor and the Board of Examiners approve of the use of another language (which may include Dutch). In all languages, correct use of grammar and style is expected from the student.

Students must fill out a form to request the Board of Examiners to appoint a supervisor. Students should be aware that the decision regarding the topic and the supervisor of the thesis is taken by the Board of Examiners and that they may be asked to change their topic or to find another supervisor.

An MA Thesis Seminar for master students is coupled to the writing of the Master Thesis. The MA Thesis Seminar consists of four sessions (one in the first semester; three in the second semester). In these sessions we discuss how to formulate a good research question, how to manage the work process, and how to structure the argument of the thesis. The MA Thesis Seminar is led by Markus Altena Davidsen. The MA Thesis Seminar has the status of a ‘practical exercise’ for the master thesis. This means that only students who have been active and constructive participants in the MA Thesis Seminar are eligible to hand in a thesis.

Course objectives

Knowledge, insight, and content-bound skills

After successfully completing the MA Thesis and the MA Thesis Seminar,
• students have gained a solid overview of a self-chosen topic of considerable scope within the study of religion; and
• students have demonstrated their ability to formulate a research problem regarding the chosen topic, to set up a research design employing the most suitable methods and theories from the study-of-religion toolbox, and to carry out and report on their research according to the standards of the study of religion.

Transferable skills

After successfully completing the MA Thesis and the MA Thesis Seminar,
• students have demonstrated their ability to integrate knowledge and handle complexity, to draw conclusions concerning the reliability of information provided by available sources, and to offer suggestions for further research;
• students have demonstrated their ability to communicate conclusions of their research, as well as the knowledge and rational underpinning of these conclusions, clearly and unambiguously, in written, academic English.
• students have refined their research skills, including their skills at formulating an independent research problem, at locating both primary and secondary sources, and at identifying the most suitable methods and theories to tackle the problem at hand;
• students have demonstrated their ability to work independently and disciplined on an individual research project of considerable size and bringing it to a successful conclusion within a set time limit; and
• students have refined their skills at responding constructively to feedback from their supervisor.

Timetable

Timetable

Mode of instruction

Individual supervision and seminar.

Course Load

20 ects x 28 h/ects = 560 hours
• Time spent attending MA Thesis Seminar: 8 hours
• Time spent on mandatory readings and assignments for the MA Thesis Seminar: 32 hours
• Time spent attending supervision meetings (intake, four regular meetings, concluding meeting after the mark has been given): 6 hours
• Time spent preparing meetings with supervisor: 44 hours
• Time researching and writing thesis: 470 hours

Assessment method

Assessment criteria master thesis

Regulations concerning the procedure surrounding the master’s thesis

Requests and application procedures

Practical Exercise
The MA Thesis Seminar has the the status of a ‘practical exercise’ for the master thesis. This means that only students who have been active and constructive participants in the MA Thesis Seminar are eligible to hand in a thesis. In practice, this means that students who plan to write their MA Thesis within a given calendar year are obliged to follow the MA Thesis Seminar in the Spring of that year (NB: the first meeting falls already in the late autumn of the previous year). After the last session of the MA Thesis Seminar, the instructor informs the Board of Examiners which students are entitled to hand in a thesis that year.

Blackboard

Students are required to register in the MA Thesis Seminar module on Blackboard.

Reading list

A reading list for the MA Thesis Seminar will be made available to students in the Autumn of 2017.

Registration

Not applicable

Contact

Remarks

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations).