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MA Thesis Russian and Eurasian Studies


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the MA Russian and Eurasian Studies.


The MA-Thesis is a scholarly report on an extended piece of independent research, written by the student in consultation with a supervisor who possesses expertise in the relevant field. In the thesis, the students demonstrate their ability to formulate a research question, to analyse existing literature in a critical manner, and to conduct their own research using primary sources/empirical data as appropriate for the chosen discipline. The MA-thesis conforms to academic standards regarding structure, methodology, language use, system of reference.
While supervision takes place either on an individual basis or in small groups per lecturer, the students are asked to report on their progress in a group setting to all of the students of the MA-programme twice. Participation in these meetings is obligatory

Course objectives

The student is able to to conduct academic research independently, and report on this by means of a written thesis and an oral presentation. The student is able to formulate a research question within the discipline of his choice, handle primary and secondary sources, apply appropriate methods, and place the research topic within current academic discussions.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Assessment method


A thesis for the Russian and Eurasian Studies MA programme contains 20.000 words with a 10% margin above or below, including notes and bibliography. The thesis is marked by two lecturers.
In assessing the quality of the thesis, the following aspects play an important role:

  • Formulation and analysis of the research question;

  • Structure of the thesis;

  • Integration of secondary literature into the argument;

  • Originality and creativity of research;

  • Good argumentation of student’s answer to the research question;

  • Style, use of language, and lay-out;

  • Student’s ability to work independently

  • Presentation at the two meetings.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Not applicable.


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc., contact the Education Administration Office: Reuvensplaats.


Once the entire thesis is completed, a digital copy should be submitted online via Turnitin and the student should hand in two hard copies to their supervisor, who will pass one copy on to the second reader.
The thesis will be graded within four weeks by the two markers. Between 1 June and 31 August it can take up to six weeks. To guarantee that the marking of a thesis can be completed in time to permit graduation after one academic year, it should be submitted by 1 July for students who start their MA in September. It cannot be guaranteed that any thesis submitted after that date can be marked in time and final graduation may have to take place in the following academic year.
After the marking of the thesis, the student will need to upload a digital copy of the final and graded version of his/her MA-thesis to the Leiden University Repository. Please note that the repository accepts only one upload per student. Consequent revised versions will therefore not be accepted.