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Research MA Thesis (Middle Eastern Studies, Asian Studies)

Course
2020-2021

Note: This is a preliminary course description. It will be adjusted as soon as possible.

Description

The thesis is the last step of your research project. Based on original research (conducted largely during the research project in the third semester) and makes substantial use of primary material and professional literature. It is written in English, is up to 30,000 words in length (including footnotes and bibliography, but excluding possible appendices), and reflects the scholarly virtues of originality, focus and concision.

The thesis must demonstrate the student’s ability to conduct original research under supervision, and to make a contribution to scholarship in a way that inspires confidence in the student’s ability to prepare written reports of good quality. Its author must show that s/he is conversant with the discourse that emerges from influential publications in the field. If the supervisor does not specify otherwise, the references should be formatted consistently in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style or the American Anthropological Association Style Guide. In consultation with the supervisor the format to be used can be determined, e.g. 1.5 spacing, with a standard font size (e.g. 12 pt Times New Roman or 10 pt Arial). Students should be aware that transgression of the stated length may lead to deductions in the grade.

The thesis is supervised by a staff member of one of the Departments involved in the MA Middle Eastern Studies (research) or the MA Asian studies (research) programme possessing the appropriate expertise in the field addressed in the thesis. Formally, the supervisor is appointed by the Board of Examiners. Students of the Research MA are assigned an academic advisor as soon as possible after the start of their studies. This academic advisor may but need not necessarily become the thesis supervisor. To formally request a thesis supervisor, students must fill out a form and send it to the Board of Examiners as soon as possible, but at the latest by March 15 of the first year. The form can be used to indicate the preferred supervisor(s). Note that in exceptional cases the supervisor may hold an appointment elsewhere than the above-named units.

The official regulations regarding the Thesis of the Research Master are available as attachment to the Teaching and Examination Regulations of the MA Middle Eastern Studies (research) or the MA Asian Studies (research).

It is important to realize that students need to hand in and discuss the separate chapters of their thesis over the semester. They are not allowed to hand in a complete thesis at once at the end of the semester. To facilitate this process and manage expectations, students and their supervisors are strongly advised to make clear appointments on when to meet, what to discuss during these meetings and what needs to be handed in when before the meetings.

Supervisors may have plans for research and may not always be available during the periods when no classes are taught. No supervision or grading will be done between 1 July and 15 August.

Presentation of the Thesis

Students in the MA Middle Eastern Studies (research) or the MA Asian studies (research) are required to present their thesis proposal and to defend it publically.

Assessment

The Research Master thesis is assessed by at least two persons: a first reader (in most cases the supervisor) and a second reader, both appointed by the Board of Examiners. Both readers use a standard form for their assessment, in which the criteria are laid down. The second reader may not have participated in the supervision of the student in the context of the thesis.

Registration

Students do not need to register for this "course."

Rough time path

Graduation by 31 August

Students planning to graduate by 31 August need to hand in the first, complete version of their thesis by 1 June. Theses handed in by 1 June will receive feedback by 1 July. Students will have the summer to revise the thesis. By 15 August they must hand in the final version, after which the first reader (in general the supervisor) and the second reader can assess it. This allows for sufficient time to officially graduate on 31 August.

Students are advised to discuss the actual time path with their supervisor(s) as early as possible. Supervisors may have plans for research and may not always be available during the periods when no classes are taught.

Graduation by 31 January

Students planning to graduate by 31 January need to hand in the first, complete version of their thesis by 1 December. Theses handed in by 1 December will receive feedback by 20 December. Students will have through the Christmas break to revise the thesis. By 8 January they will have to hand in the final version, after which the first reader (in general the supervisor) and the second reader can assess it. This allows for sufficient time to officially graduate on 31 January.

Students are advised to discuss the actual time path with their supervisor(s) as early as possible. Supervisors may have plans for research and may not always be available during the periods when no classes are taught.