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Master Thesis CA-DS (February intake)


Description and requirements

Thesis (15 ECTS): minimum of 22,500 words, maximum 30,000 words (excl. list of references, and excl. text that has been used in the research proposal – calculation via Ephorus) based on fieldwork data and literature study. In the MA thesis special attention should be paid to the following:

  • The theoretical presuppositions and their relation to the research findings as worked out in the thesis.

  • Clarity of definition of the research problem; attention, accuracy and precision of data analysis and reliability of the data.

  • The extent to which the author conveys the general social scientific importance.

  • Scientific curiosity and critical reflection on one’s contribution.

  • Conciseness of the research report; the number of pages not to exceed the formal limits.

  • Clarity of presentation and writing style.

  • Accurateness in making references and accurate quoting.

  • We recommend writing the thesis in English, Dutch or French.

Methods of instruction

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

Reading list

Dependent on research topic and area.

Assesment method

Assessment of the definitive printed version of the MA thesis is being done by the supervisor and a second reviewer in July and August. Finalisation of the grade is due at the end of August.
A digital (PDF) as wel as a printed version of the thesis must be handed in at the Institute’s Secretariat (room 3A19) before graduation.

Each year the Institute for Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology awards the best field research and MA thesis. The award called the Speckmann Award consists of a sum of € 450 and an official award letter. The aim of this award is to improve the quality of research and the MA theses. Evaluation of theses submitted for the prize is carried out by a departmental prize-committee.
In evaluating the thesis for the Speckmann Award, the effort and time put into the thesis by the student is irrelevant, in contrast to the evaluation of the thesis for the final grade. The final product alone is assessed for its scientific competence. The thesis must completed within the required period if it is to be taken into consideration.

Both students and staff members may bring theses that they consider eligible for the Speckmann award to the attention of the committee.

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

Time table

July to December.
Please note that there can be no supervision in July and August due to research obligations of the teaching staff, but students can use this period to organise their field-data.