The thesis is a written report of research which the student has carried out under supervision
by a lecturer but with a high degree of independence. In principle, the thesis must be of
sufficient quality (possibly following some modifications) to be published in an academic
journal in the relevant field. The thesis must demonstrate among others that the student is
a. Completely independently formulate a research question which displays insight into
the methodological principles, central issues and state of the art of his or her field of
b. Independently formulate a realistic research plan which fulfils the criteria set in the
relevant field of research;
c. Critically and analytically report on existing academic debates and propose creative
solutions based on secondary literature;
d. Apply the more complex concepts/methods of his or her field to a corpus of primary
source material (whether existing or collected during the student’s own research);
e. Formulate ideas clearly and correctly.
The scope of the MA thesis generally corresponds to a maximum of 1000 words per ec including notes, bibliography and
appendices per credit point. A ResMa thesis of 25 ects equals around 25.000 words.
See also http://www.hum2.leidenuniv.nl/pdf/oer/1011/MA-FO-Master-thesis-Regulations.pdf