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Master Thesis Project


Description and requirements

The Master Thesis must be completed within maximum two years after the completion of the fieldwork. After this period of two years the fieldwork data lose their validity and the thesis can no longer be accepted.

Thesis (15 EC): minimum of 22,500 words, maximum 30,000 words (excl. list of references, and excl. text that has been used in the research proposal – calculation via TurnitIn) based on fieldwork or internship data and literature study.

In the Master Thesis special attention should be paid to the following:

  • The theoretical presuppositions and their relation to the research findings as worked out in the thesis.

  • Clarity of definition of the research problem; attention, accuracy and precision of data analysis and reliability of the data.

  • The extent to which the author conveys the general social scientific importance.

  • Scientific curiosity and critical reflection on one’s contribution.

  • Conciseness of the research report.

  • Clarity of presentation and writing style.

  • Accurateness in making references and accurate quoting.

  • The thesis should be written in English or, if approved by the Exam Board, in Dutch.

Mode of instruction

Individual supervision by the supervisor.

Reading list

Dependent on research topic and area.

Assesment method

Assessment of the Master Thesis is done by the supervisor and a second reviewer.

In evaluating the thesis the supervisor will use the grading rubric defined by the Board of Examiners.

Speckmann prize

Each year the Institute for Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology awards the best Master Thesis Project with the Speckmann prize. This prize consists of an official award certificate and a financial reward. The aim of this prize is to stimulate students to improve the quality of the Master Theses. Evaluation of theses submitted for the prize is carried out by a departmental prize-committee.

Only the staff members may bring theses that they consider eligible for the Speckmann prize to the attention of the committee.

Time table

April, May, June for students starting in September.
November, December, January for students starting in February.
Please note that there can be no supervision in July and August due to research obligations of the teaching staff.