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Thesis Lab


Admission requirements

MSc International Relations and Diplomacy students.


In the thesis laboratory students learn to prepare or refine a thesis proposal step-by-step and to provide constructive feedback on thesis proposals prepared by their fellow students. Most of class time will be devoted to peer review and discussion of students’ proposals. Students are asked to prepare three written coursework pieces which will be graded and include: two proposals, one on the research question, literature review, theory and hypotheses of their thesis, and the second on the research design, data collection and methods of analysis which, taken together, will serve as the basis for the thesis proposal. In addition, students will prepare an ‘elevator speech’ (i.e. a short one or two-minute oral description of their project) for presentation in class which will be graded by the instructors. The discussion of the draft thesis proposal in the final week of the course will provide students with another round of feedback before they submit their final draft which will also be graded. A satisfactory thesis proposal is expected from all students as the final result of the course.

Course objectives

*To acquire the necessary skills to prepare a successful thesis proposal.

  • To provide effective and constructive feedback on fellow students’ proposals as part of a peer review process.


See the link at the front page of this programme.

Mode of instruction

Short seminars; individual consultations; peer review.

Course Load

5 EC

Assessment method

Graded Assignments:
1. Research Proposal I: Research question, literature review, theory and hypothesis [20%]
2. Research Proposal II: Research design, case selection, data collection and methods of analysis [20%].
3. Oral presentation of research topic: 2 mins speaking “elevator pitch” and 5 minutes peer review [10%].
4. Final thesis proposal: [50%]

Failed partial grades or components should be compensated by passed partial grades or components. The calculated grade must be at least 5,5 to pass the course. It is not possible to re-sit a partial grade or component once you have passed the course.


Information relevant to the course will be posted on Blackboard.

Reading list

Each student is responsible for reading up on necessary methods and techniques. A recommended reading list will be included in the syllabus. To prepare, you can consult the following textbooks:

  • Halperin, Sandra, and Oliver Heath. 2012. Political Research, Methods and Practical Skills, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Toshkov, Dimiter. 2016. Research Design in Political Science, Palgrave: New York, NY.

  • Baglione, Lisa A. 2015. Writing a Research Paper in Political Science: A Practical Guide to Inquiry, Structure, and Methods. Third ed. Los Angeles, CA: CQ Press.


Use both uSis and Blackboard to register for every course.

Register for every course and workgroup via uSis. Some courses and workgroups have a limited number of participants, so register on time (before the course starts). In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results. Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course.
Also register for every course in Blackboard. Important information about the course is posted here.


Dr. Marinko Bobic
Dr. Vanessa Newby