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MA Thesis Seminar Literary Studies


Admission requirements

Admittance only for Literary Studies masterstudents.


The aim of the seminar is to introduce students to the process of developing an MA thesis topic, a formal proposal with a sound methodological framework and a proper research and writing schedule. It forms the preliminary stage to the MA thesis proper.
The seminar consists of 3 meetings where students learn to identify their specific field of interest and to define possible research questions related to that field; they also work at identifying the scholarly methods needed for their research, and do some preliminary reading on methodological matters.
Methods used during class include brainstorming, making a mind-map of research fields and methods, developing a mock thesis proposal and various forms of intervision and peer review.
The seminar will run every semester. During the first (Autumn) semester, it is aimed at students who plan to submit their official thesis proposal to the Board of Examiners on 1 February and to graduate at the end of the academic year. During the second (Spring) semester, it is aimed at students who plan to submit their official thesis proposal to the Board of Examiners on 1 July and to graduate approx. 6 monthes later.
There will be 2 groups running at a time: one for the students of the English Track, and one for the students of the tracks French, German, Italian Literature and Culture and the track Literature in Society.
Attendance and active participation is compulsory for all students in the MA Literary Studies; it will be assessed through a testimonium and this will be taken into account in the final assessment of the thesis.

Course objectives

  • 1) The ability to independently formulate a clear and well-argued research question, taking into account the theory and methods of the field and to divide this question into manageable sub-questions;

  • 2) The ability to independently set up an original research project that can make a contribution to existing scholarly debates;

  • 3) The ability to provide constructive feedback on, and to formulate criticism of, the work of others

  • 4) The ability to evaluate the value of criticism and feedback received on one’s own work and to incorporate it;


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

The course is assessed through a testimonium, which will be granted if the following requirements are met:

  • Attendance and active participation

  • Homework handed in on time:
    1) mock thesis proposal (200-300 words)
    2) final reflection report (approx. 300 words).

Reading list

not applicable.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory. You can register until two weeks after classes have started however students are advised to register as soon as possible and preferably before the start of the course. In the case of electives: please be aware that most electives have a maximum amount of students who can enroll. Do not approach the course instructor in case the class is full. You will automatically be put on a waiting list.

In case you have difficulties with registering for courses you may ask the student administration at Arsenaal for assistance. Their e-mail address is Always include your name, student number, the course title and the concerning activity number see schedule


For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the teachers: Dr. A.E. Schulte-Nordholt Tracks French, German, Italian & Literature in Society

Dr. E.J. van Leeuwen Track English

Student administration: Arsenaal
Coordinator of studies: Coordinator of studies: ms. Mr.drs. P.C. Lai


All other information. Study materials will be made available via Brightspace.