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RMA Thesis Archaeology Year 2


Admission requirements

Research proposal from RMA Thesis Archaeology Year 1 approved and registered as a pass in Brightspace.


The RMA thesis is the final masterpiece that shows that you can write, plan and execute an innovative academic research project that may serve as a basis for ongoing PhD research. The research is based on data derived from material culture, fieldwork, laboratory research, or historic sources and additional academic literature. It is researched and written over the course of two years and should be related to the research track.

The research has to contain innovative and critical analyses of complex data and should lead to new theoretical or methodical approaches, related to a broad scientific debate.

The thesis consists of approximately 30,000 words. The RMA thesis is a report of an academic research project and should be completed in 2 years. Ideally, an RMA thesis should be used to write an academic paper that meets the international academic standards of peer-reviewed journals, or to write a project proposal for PhD-research.

More information on writing your thesis, deadlines, forms and criteria can be found on the Archaeology thesis webpage.

The coordinator can be consulted during all stages of the research for general questions or issues with supervision.

Course set-up

This course involves individual research and therefore also an individual work plan, that should be discussed with your supervisor.

Course objectives

The RMA thesis demonstrates that the student is able to:

  • Independently design, plan and execute innovative archaeological research, while maintaining a critical attitude and using feedback in a constructive way;

  • Define clear research questions and choose the correct methodology;

  • Combine alpha-, beta and gamma applications in a creative and confident way;

  • Collect, analyse and interpret complex academic data;

  • Select and use relevant specialist literature and current theoretical perspectives;

  • Build an argumentation structured and in a good academic style;

  • Clearly describe and present data both in text and graphically;

  • Deal with incomplete or limited information, typical of archaeological datasets;

  • Function in academic networks and teams;

  • Reflect on ethical-social aspects of archaeology and to discuss this from an international globalising perspective.


Not applicable.

Mode of instruction

Individual feedback of your supervisor. The individual supervision is usually based on submitted text or feedback on a dataset. You can always ask for an appointment, but the supervisor may ask for a progress report as well.

In general, 5 meetings with your supervisor in which you discuss your progress and discuss feedback is sufficient.

Planning of the thesis in the second year should be based on the research plan and schedule that you submitted after year 1.

The course comprises the final outcome of an individual research project of which the first part (15 ec) has been completed in year 1 (RMA Thesis Archaeology Year 1) and is assessed by a thesis of about 30,000 – 35,000 words (20 ec).

Assessment method

  • Thesis (100%).

See the Faculty website for our thesis guidelines.


Deadlines for graduating before 1 September:

  • 15 June: Upload your final thesis in Brightspace.

  • 31 August: Final date that the thesis can be approved.

Deadlines for graduating before 1 February:

  • 15 December: Upload your final thesis in Brightspace.

  • 31 January: Final date that the thesis can be approved.

Thesis submission after 15 June requires prior permission by the Board of Examiners. There needs to be a valid reason for this delay.

Please note that you can graduate each month, except July and August, but there are only two graduation ceremonies per year.

Reading list

To be compiled individually.


Enrolment through MyStudymap is mandatory.

General information about registration can be found on the Course and Exam Enrolment page.


For more information about this course, please contact dr. J.A. (Joanne) Mol.