Only open to Cultural Analysis: Literature and Theory students.
The final component of the MA programme consists of writing a Master’s thesis. Once the thesis has been approved and assessed, a final interview will take place where candidates will be invited to reflect on their research in the presence of the second reader and supervisor.
Choosing a topic
Students are encouraged to select the topic of their thesis themselves, after which the track leader assigns them a supervisor whose research interests match the topic in question. In most cases, the supervisor (or ‘first reader’) of the thesis will be the lecturer responsible for the course which inspired the topic. Once the match has been made students are asked to approach their assigned supervisors in order to discuss the chosen topic and formulate a potential research question or claim.
If necessary, the supervisor will assist in finding relevant secondary literature. A second reader is chosen in consultation with the supervisor. At the heart of a thesis lies a specific research question based on a theoretical problem, which has to be examined in an academic way. Before a research question can be formulated, students should do some preparatory reading. Once the student has selected a topic, formulated a research question and put together a provisional bibliography, the thesis proposal can be submitted to the supervisor. It should include the title of the thesis, a bibliography and a description of the topic.
Research and writing
In principle, students will already have made a start on their research in the course of formulating the research question. They should have a clear time schedule for the research, in consultation with the supervisor. The amount of research should be proportionate to the time available (560 hours). It is advisable to start writing as soon as possible.
Supervision arrangements are made in consultation between the supervisor and the student.
Submission of the final version
Once the thesis is completed, the student hands in a copy of the final draft to the supervisor. As soon as the supervisor has given their permission, the student can produce the definitive version and send it (as a pdf, and in print if requested ) to the first and second reader. The first reader then contacts the student and makes an appointment for the final interview. The date of the interview will be at least two weeks after submission of the definitive version.
A thesis is an academic essay, written by the student in consultation with the supervisor. The thesis must show that the student is capable of critical analysis and reflection, appropriate use of primary sources and secondary literature, and of conducting independent research. The thesis is an academic report of this process.
To graduate before the end of any academic year, the final draft must be submitted to the supervisor no later than 30 June.
Mode of instruction
Thesis of approximately 20.000 words. In the assessment of the quality of the thesis, the following aspects are taken into account:
The formulated research question(s) based on a theoretical problem;
The research process and use of research methods;
Use of relevant concepts or theories;
Integration and use of relevant secondary scholarly literature;
Originality of the arguments;
Scholarly and professional relevance of subject and outcomes;
Structure of the thesis;
Quality of style and use of language.