nl en

Master thesis tutorial


Admission requirements

Admission to the Master Archaeology programme.


The MA/MSc thesis consists of 20,000-30,000 words. This course focuses on the planning and elaboration of the Master thesis, and aims to provide students with the required academic skills, such as writing and presenting at an academic level.

The Master thesis tutorial has 3 modes of instruction:
1) general lectures;
2) specialised seminars within each research section;
3) individual supervision.

1) The general lectures are centrally organised, will include all MA and MSc-students and take place during the 1st block for students who start in September, and during the 3rd block for students who start in February. These lectures will deal with essential academic skills, including subjects such as plagiarism, academic writing, referencing, formulating good research questions, constructing good arguments, structuring the thesis, and the essential do’s and don’ts for giving academic presentations.

Please note that you are supposed to have a topic and preliminary research question ready at the end of the collective thesis tutorial. This will serve as a starting point for the thesis seminar of your research section. At the start of the 3rd block you are supposed to have your introduction and methodology chapters and 2/3 of your reference list ready, so it is important to start in time and to use the periods in which no classes are scheduled to work on your thesis.

2) The thesis seminar is organised by each research section, and will take place approximately every 2 weeks. During these sessions, more specific discussions of the main research questions and of the thesis structure within the own field will take place, and the students are expected to do practical assignments and presentations, on which they will receive feedback from the lecturers and each other.

  • At the end of the 1st block, the research focus and research question should be determined, and submitted via Blackboard. This will be discussed at the beginning of block 2.

  • During the 2nd and 3rd blocks, students have to submit various assignments, on which they will receive feedback by both fellow students and lecturer. At the end of the 2nd block, the students will also give their first (“practice”) presentation.

  • During the 3rd block, the students will submit and discuss their first two chapters: e.g. the introduction and methodology.

  • The final, “formal” presentation will take place towards the end of the course.

3) Individual supervision:

  • During block 1, students are expected to determine their thesis topic, and find their own personal thesis supervisor.

  • At the end of block 2, students have to submit an outline of research questions and thesis plan (including bibliography) via Blackboard, which must be approved by the individual supervisor.

  • During blocks 3 and 4, when the student is carrying out research independently, several meetings must be scheduled with the individual supervisor.

Thesis seminar coordinators per section:

  • Archaeology of the Americas: prof. dr. C.L. Hofman & dr. M. Antczak (Caribbean/Amazonia), prof. dr. M.E.R.G.N. Jansen, dr. A. Rojas Martinez Gracida & dr. M. May Castillo (Mesoamerica/Andes)

  • Heritage of Indigenous Peoples: dr. A. Rojas Martinez Gracida & dr. S. Mire

  • Heritage Management: dr. M.H. van den Dries

  • Museum Studies: dr. M. de Campos Françozo

  • Near East: dr. J.A.C. Vroom

  • Classical/Mediterranean: dr. M.J. Versluys

  • Roman/Medieval/Modern Period: prof. dr. F.C.W.J. Theuws, dr. C. van Driel-Murray & M.J. Driessen (Roman period), dr. R.M.R. van Oosten (Mediëval period)

  • Prehistory NW Europe: dr. M.H.G. Kuijpers & dr. Q.P.J. Bourgeois

  • Palaeolithic archaeology: prof. dr. J.W.M. Roebroeks

  • Palaeoecology: prof. dr. M. van Kolfschoten

  • Human Osteology: dr. A.L. Waters

  • Material Culture Studies: dr. C. Tsoraki

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of the state of the art regarding the region and discipline of thesis research;

  • Formulation of a research topic in the framework of modern scholarly discussions;

  • Exercising analytical and library research skills;

  • Preparation and elaboration of the thesis project exercising skills of oral presentation, discussion and writing.


Course schedule details can be found in the MA time schedule.

Mode of instruction

  • Centralised lectures;

  • Seminars (including assignments, discussion, presentations, with feedback);

  • Individual tutorials.

Course load

No ects will be awarded for the thesis tutorial; following the thesis tutorial is part of the ects awarded for the thesis.

Assessment method

  • Presentation;

  • Thesis.

Assessment deadlines:

  • Presentation: tba.

  • Thesis:

    • Deadline for manuscript submission: 1 May (1 November for students who started their programmes in February)
    • Deadline for submission of the finished thesis: 15 June (15 December for students who started their programmes in February)
      NB: both deadlines are absolute!


Registration for the thesis tutorials is not necessary.


For more information about this course, please contact C.G. Slappendel MPhil.


Compulsory attendance.