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MA Thesis (audiovisual and textual)


Description and requirements

For students taking Visual Ethnography as a Method, the MA Thesis encompasses an audiovisual and a textual component. The relative weight of the audiovisual and the textual components will be decided in consultation with the supervisor, but will always need to include a text of minimal 6,000 words, maximum 9,000 words (excl. list of references, and excl. text that has been used in the research proposal – calculation via Ephorus). The audiovisual part can consist of a ‘film’ with a length of about 20 minutes, but it is entirely feasible for students to propose alternative audiovisual formats, and thus another ratio between audiovisual and textual component.

The textual component is based on fieldwork data and literature study, and should explicitly include:

  • The theoretical presuppositions and their relation to the research findings.

  • A clear definition of the research problem. An assessment of the reliability of the data used, and of the method of data analysis.

  • Critical reflection on one’s research experiences (including reference to ethical issues).

  • Accurate quoting and accurate references.
    Content and form of the audiovisual component are to be decided in consultation with the MA advisor.

Mode of instruction

Individual supervision.
N.B.: Also visit the website of the Master-Thesis Lab (Scriptie-atelier)

The FSW maintains a limited number of workstations equipped with Adobe Premiere Pro. These computers are suited for editing video recorded with the camera’s owned by CA-DS. Students can use the workstations at no additional cost. Given the limited number of computers available, each student will be allotted a limited number of editing hours. Students are required to bring a personal hard disk to store their video data. Editing is done in March, April and completed in May 2014.

Reading list

Dependent on research topic and area.

Assesment method

Assessment of the final version of the MA thesis is done by the supervisor and a second reviewer in July and August 2014. Finalisation of the grade is due at the end of August.
A digital (pdf & avi, mov, iso or dmg) as well as a printed version of thesis (paper and disk) must be handed in at the institute’s secretariat (room 3A19) well in advance of graduation. For the evaluation, the points of reference will be used as defined by the institutes Educational Committee.

Each year the Institute for Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology grants an award to the student who produces the best MA thesis. This Speckmann Award (instituted at the request of Hans Speckmann, a former lecturer at the institute) consists of € 450 and an official award letter. The aim of this award is to improve the quality of MA research. Evaluation of theses submitted for the prize is carried out by a departmental committee. Staff members of CA-DS bring theses that they consider eligible for the Speckmann award to the attention of the committee.

N.B. The thesis must be completed within a maximum of two years after the completion of the fieldwork. After this period of two years the fieldwork data loose their validity and the thesis can no longer be accepted.

Time table

March to June 2016.
Submission of the first complete drafts (latest) by June 1st.
Submission of the finalized MA Thesis (audiovisual and textual) by July 1st 2015.
Please note that there can be no supervision in July and August due to research obligations of the teaching staff.