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Research Seminar Modern History


Admission requirements

Registered as a student of the [Research] Master’s in Latin America Studies or another master program.
This course is open to students who have a good command of the Spanish language, or students with a passive command of the Spanish but a goed command of Portugues.


This course is an introduction to the design, implementation, and reporting of a scientific social research. The course covers the specific context for research in Latin America and the choice and delimitation of a subject for scientific analysis. The emphasis is on the theoretical underpinning and the formulating of a problem proposal, research questions and hypotheses. During the seminars are formulated a research question and practics writing techniques for the drafting of the BA-thesis. The guidance focuses on the preparing of a BA-thesis.

Course objectives

At the end of the program, students will:
1. Identify the characteristics of Latin America as a study area.
2. Learn about the various research methods and techniques in the social sciences.
3. Conceive a research proposal with a theoretical framework.
4. Learn the techniques and criteria for the drafting of a BA-thesis
5. Prepare the design of the BA-thesis.



Thursday 13:00-15:00 hours

Mode of instruction

This course has the format of lecture (50%) and seminar (50%). In the course of the lectures, students will prepare a research proposal.

Course Load

10 EC = 280 hours in total.

  • Hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: 28 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature: 80 hours

  • Time for completing assignments, whether in preparation at the college: 80 hours

  • Time to write a paper (including reading/research): 92 hours

Assessment method

The substance of this course is evaluated at different times.
A. In the first six colleges will appear the methodological and technical aspects of a scientific proposal (6 in total). There is always a new command follows from any college.
These commands consist of written reports on the implementation of the curriculum in preparation for the framework of the BA-thesis.
The figure for these 6 commands is equal to 60% of the final mark.
The aspects that will be evaluated are:

  • clarity in the reports

  • relevance and consistency with respect to the chosen thesis issue

  • capacity to research techniques to apply in the context of the chosen topic.

B. The individual active participation throughout the course is measured. The figure for this aspect is equal to 10% of the final mark.

C. At the end of the course is submitted a final project. For this final project is a research proposal of at least 8 and up to 10 A4 pages with a table of contents for the BA-thesis worked out.
The score of the final project is equal to 30% of the final mark.
The aspects that will be assessed are:

  • coherence and clarity of the writing,

  • quality and quantity of the collected bibliographic sources

  • accuracy of the investigation techniques on the chosen theme

  • suitable use of the APA system

  • formal presentation of the text of the final project.
    Formal rules and deadlines of each evaluated aspect will be given throughout the course.
    The lecturers of Modern History will participate in three moments to give advice about the research proposal.
    During the course, students will read a weekly average of 30 pages of the relevant literature. This material will form the basis of the research proposal.

The tasks of the students of the research master’s (two years) require a larger size, depth and complexity than the tasks of the one-year master.

Resit exam takes place if the mark of the final project is less than 6.0. Resit consists of a new improved version of the final project within a limited time.


Blackboard is used for providing study materials (literature and Powerpoint presentation of each session), methodological indications and instructions, specific information about each college and the format of the written reports and the research proposal.

Reading list

BAARDA, B.; BAKKER, E.; FISCHER, T.; JULSING, M.; DE GOEDE, M.; PETERS, V. & VAN DER VELDEN, T. (2013). Basis kwalitatief onderzoek. Handleiding voor het opzetten en uitvoeren van kwalitatief onderzoek. Groningen/Houten: Noordhoff Uitgevers, 3e. druk.

ESCOBAR, J. y BONILLA-JIMÉNEZ, F.I (2009). ‘Grupos focales: una guía conceptual y metodológica’, Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos de Psicología, Vol. 9 No. 1, 51-67,

HERNÁNDEZ SAMPIERI, R.; FERNÁNDEZ-COLLADO, C. y BAPTISTA LUCIO, P. (2006). Metodología de la investigación. México (D.F.): McGraw-Hill Interamericana, 4ª edición.

PADMOS, BRAM (2012). De scriptiesupporter. Een doeltreffende aanpak van je scriptie. Antwerpen-Apeldoorn: Garant, 11e druk.

TAYLOR, S.J. y BOGDAN R. (1994) Introducción a los métodos cualitativos de investigación. La búsqueda de significados, ‘Capítulo 3. La observación participante en el campo’ (pp. 50-99). Buenos Aires: Editorial Paidós Básica, 2ª reimpresión.

TAYLOR, S.J. y BOGDAN R. (1994) Introducción a los métodos cualitativos de investigación. La búsqueda de significados, ‘Capítulo 4. La entrevista en profundidad’ (pp. 100-132). Buenos Aires: Editorial Paidós Básica, 2ª reimpresión.




Contact information
Mr. Dr. P.A. Isla Monsalve
phone: +31 (0)71 5272061


Class attendance is compulsory. The student is allowed to miss a maximum of three sessions. In the case of more absences, the lecturer may decide to impose supplementary assignments on the student.