The MA thesis is based on original research and makes substantial use of primary material and professional literature. As a rule the thesis is written in English (exceptions possible) and reflects the scholarly virtues of originality, focus and concision. The thesis must show the student’s ability to conduct original research under supervision, and to make a contribution to scholarship in a way that inspires confidence in his/her ability to prepare written reports of good quality. The topics of MA theses Classics and Ancient Civilizations generally imply working with primary sources in the original languages or relevant archeological data.
The thesis process includes the Classics and Ancient Civilizations MA-Seminar with sessions about academic and technical writing skills.
Thesis application form
The Board of Examiners has to approve of the thesis plan and is responsible for appointing the thesis supervisor and a (independent) second reader. Students themselves approach one of the staff members possessing the appropriate expertise in the field addressed in the thesis as a supervisor for their MA thesis.
Students are required to (digitally) hand in the Thesis application form to the Board of Examiners. Students planning to graduate in June/July/August, have to submit the form before 15 March at the latest. In case of graduation after the first semester, students have to submit the form before 15 October at the latest.
The Thesis application form is available via the website of Classics and Ancient Civilizations > Study > Education information > Thesis and paper writing.
N.B. 1) All theses in the Classics specialization are based on a substantial amount of primary texts in Greek or Latin relevant to the line of investigation, which is either of a linguistic or literary nature, or of a cultural-historical nature; in the case of the latter, one of the two (either the supervisor or the second reader) should be from a language section and one from the cultural-historical disciplines. In these cases, the thesis plan must be approved by both the supervisor and second reader before the start of the writing process.
N.B. 2) Students in the Egyptology specialization have to orientate on their thesis topic, read secondary literature and formulate a research question in the second block before they leave to Egypt for the excursion. Upon their return in March, students can start writing the MA thesis.
Students should be able to write their MA Thesis in one semester. Make sure that you start early with the orientation on your thesis subject.
Students are advised to discuss the actual time path with their supervisor as early as possible. Supervisors may have plans for research and may not always be available during the periods when no classes are taught. On the Thesis application form you can indicate your timepath.
For students planning to graduate in January, the deadline for handing in the final version of their MA thesis is the Wednesday 15 January 2020, after which the supervisor and second reader can assess it. This allows for sufficient time to officially graduate on 31 January 2020 (ceremony in February/March).
For students planning to graduate in August, the final deadline for handing in the definite version of their MA thesis is Friday 14 August 2020, after which the first supervisor and second reader can assess it. This allows for sufficient time to officially graduate on 31 August 2020 (ceremony in September/October).
N.B. From the 1st of July until the middle of August supervision of theses does not take place. Therefore, students ideally hand in the final version of their thesis before the 1st of July. After this date, the thesis supervisor has to approve of finishing the thesis without supervision.
Mode of instruction
The thesis for the MA program Classics and Ancient Civilizations contains a maximum of 15,000 words including notes, bibliography and appendices (only if the thesis is written in combination with the Classics and Ancient Civilizations MA-Seminar). More information about the official regulations regarding the MA thesis can be found in the attachment of the Teaching and Examination Regulations.
N.B. The date on which the thesis is submitted via Turnitin is the exam date of the thesis.
Please put the following information on the cover/title page of the thesis:
Title (and subtitle)
Name and student number
Name of supervisor(s)
Master Thesis Classics and Ancient Civilizations
Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University
Students are required to submit their MA thesis via Turnitin in order to check the thesis for plagiarism. When handing in the paper versions of the thesis to your supervisor and second reader, also to upload your final version via Turnitin on Blackboard (code: 5864VMA-0000FGW). The date on which the thesis is submitted via Turnitin is the exam date.
The same Blackboard module is used by the MA-seminar for communication and distribution of study materials.
Registration for the MA Thesis in uSis is not required. Registration for the Classics and Ancient Civilizations MA-Seminar via uSis (code: 5864VCLTW) is mandatory.
Contact and more information
L. (Lies) van Heteren MA (study advisor)
Students have to upload the MA Thesis in the Student Repository after grading. The repository forms an independent part of the Leiden Repository and offers an online archive that makes Leiden University student Thesis easily searchable and publicly available (if desired). Students have to fill in the form of consent for the publication of a thesis and hand the form in at the Huizinga student administration.